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March 11th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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LaLa LaLa is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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The 3 day nursing sabbatical

So… what is a 3 day nursing sabbatical? (Desperate? Skip down to get to the nitty gritty instructions).
A 3 day nursing sabbatical is really the cure-all for most of the common early problems in Bfing. Low supply particularly, but even poor latch, nipple confusion, etc can all benefit. Its really useful if you’ve found yourself in the viscious cycle of trying to get baby to stay interested, nurse more, increase supply, reduce formula, get where you don’t have to pump as frequently, etc. This is also ideal for growth spurts (in fact, its darn near mandatory).

All too often the story goes something like this: wonderful woman meets cute guy, they fall in love they have kids, they have grand plans. Wonderful woman plans wonderful birth. Things may or may not go as expected, but most often NOT as expected. Shes spent 9 months reading all about how to have a great birth, what colors to paint the nursery for the best developmental stimulus, and how to escape it all without too much damage to show for it while still enjoying and tolerating the stretch marks that don her belly. Then – she has the baby and realizes, NOBODY told her the half million things that might come up as she nurses her baby, who seems to be also clueless about what to do. Also news - theres a difference between lactation counselors and consultants, few pediatricians receive any training about breastfeeding, and the ones that did apparently missed that day of class b/c they had a frat party the night before. (Oh come on – you think he was a saint in college?!)

So – here you are – a postpartum mom, trying to figure out nursing in a world where few people you know nurse (IF you even know someone). You’ve been sent home with formula samples out your ears, and maybe you used a few those first few nights (b/c nobody told you that they just happen to discharge you before things really get moving in the BFing department, and that 3rd night is when all babies decide they want to stay up allllllllll night long although they slept like angels the first few nights).

OR maybe you got “lucky” and your baby is sleeping a LOT – and as a result not nursing quite as much. And to get by, or to satisfy your paranoia, or to let dad feed the baby, you’ve given a few bottles of milk (pumped or artificial). And now – youre stuck. Baby never seems satisfied. Baby is constantly hungry. Laundry is piling up and you don’t know what to do? The 3 day sabbatical is for you.


WHAT TO DO:

First things first. Pull out the calendar. The one you used BEFORE the baby came along that organized your life that you can barely keep up with now that it takes an hour to get out of the house from the 2 diaper changes and 3 outfit changes (1 for you and 2 for baby). WIPE EVERYTHING OFF FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS! Soccer practice – gone. Lunch date – cancel it. Drs appt – only if its serious lol. Moms coming over – give her a list of to-dos. Church – God will understand, I promise. Call DH & tell him youre ordering pizza for the next 3 nights, unless hed like to reheat leftovers, bring home Chinese food, or make grilled cheese (unless you were the lucky one that got the DH that could cook, and then I’m jealous).

Find a good book – maybe the BFing book that’s been gathering dust the last 10 months. Have DH bring home all the trash magazines so you can catch up on all the celebrity goodness. Whatever floats your boat. Grab a comforter, a pillow, the remote, some snacks and a lot of water and find a comfy place in front of a TV. That’s your home for the next 3 days. Give up your anxiety now, the laundry will not walk off, it will be there in 3 days and your DH could use another job anyways!

Now – strip down from the waist up. Yes, you’re probably leaking more than the rickety faucet in the downstairs bathroom. That’s ok. Now, strip baby down to just a diaper. Which reminds me – grab a handful of diapers, wipes, and the bathroom trash can to put next to the couch. Turn up the heat if you must, but really – your body heat will do the job.

Your job for the next 3 days is to feed the baby. That’s all. No laundry. No cooking. No cleaning. You can take a shower if you’re one of the lucky ones that has a baby that will sleep when DH comes home. But, really – its not necessary. Baby likes the way you smell 

Nurse nurse nurse. The reason this works so well is:
1 – you’ve finally succumbed to motherhood. Priorities priorities priorities. This is your ONLY job. Until you get this down pat, nothing will fall into place. When you have this down pat, everything else will run smoother, including your brain 
2 – skin to skin contact. The skin to skin contact, even if baby barely nurses at all the first day, will do more for the baby than just about any other single thing you can do.
3 – Being naked will give you an unobstructed view of what is going on down there. Is baby’s latch good (for the answer, pull out that dusty BFing book). Tongue should be slightly visible, both lips puckered out like a fish’s, and you should hear gulping, not clicking.
4 – Interest in the breast – this is why the leaking happens. Baby knows the smell of milk- baby will get interested in the breast, will root around, and will start to get the hang of things
5 – because you have nothing else to do except nurse – baby will nurse probably ALLLLLLLLLLLL day and your supply will increase naturally as a result.

Now – those diapers. Count em. From the time you get up till the end of the evening – count diapers. If baby is under a week old, you should get at least 1 diaper per day of life (3 days old = 3 dirty diapers). For babies over 1 week old, look for 5 – 6 wet/poopy diapers a day. Because you don’t have anything else to do but nurse, change diapers, and keep up with which celeb is in rehab again, you can change frequently and don’t have to worry if that diaper had one pee pee or two. Having trouble determining whether its wet (b/c they don’t dump a gallon of pee when theyre that little)? Well, you could leave them naked but assuming you don’t want to call an upholstery cleaner at the end of the 3 days, place a piece of toilet paper in the diaper when you change the baby. By the next diaper change if the TP is obviously wet, then you know baby peed. The super absorbent diapers can be hard to tell but this makes it easier.

IF you don’t have enough wet diapers, you can supplement an ounce or two (base your judgement off of how many diapers you got).

Check these links for more info:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html
http://www.kellymom.com/newman/04enough_milk.html

This usually works. You can do fenugreek and mothers milk tea if you need, just add that to the pile in your nest on the couch. Fenugreek is usually around 3 – 4 pills, 3 – 4 times a day for a total of 9 – 12 pills (you should smell like maple syrup within a day or two). You should be taking in a lot of fluids as well. But rest assured, if youre getting enough wet/poopy diapers, your baby is getting enough milk. 


Yours Truly,
Lala...
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