It has been a lovely week with little Rory and Mum home. Yes it is true, sleepless nights go hand in hand with a newborn, mainly due to the consistent feeding that is required – every 2-3 hours – so we have said adios to those nice long uninterrupted slumbers. But who wants to sleep when you can marvel at your little wonder ? Another thing to marvel, is the intellect of a breast ! A breast you say…chuckle chuckle.
I am serious though, they are wonders of nature. It was jammed down our throat at all the courses, that breast is best, but only after seeing them in action can I fully appreciate them (hmmm hard to contain my smile writing this blog…yeah I know I’m immature, but tell me you’re not smiling too).
We were always hoping that Marilyn was able to breast feed, though never sure that this would be the case. Marilyn has a family history of it being difficult, and you don’t really know if you can until birth occurs. Thankfully, perhaps due to the support of our current health care system, Mum is able to breast feed. This may have not been possible without the midwives being hands on immediately, consistently assisting with the manual expression, providing general encouragement and offering support via lactation consultants.
Although, I say breast feed, it isn’t what you are probably thinking, it’s more like express or perhaps espresso feeds. Little Rory along with being a great sleeper, is a lazy feeder, just likes to have the boob in the mouth really…just like errr. Mum has therefore had to resort to expressing the milk into bottles and feeding him via them. Yes, I refer you back to a previous post of mine, monkey pump…according to Marilyn a breast pump bra would be very handy right now!
This constant expressing is a little bit of a nuisance and uncomfortable for Mum, as you have to plan for expressing, and have a power source (unless you have a manual pump), you just can’t whip it out so to speak. I’ve never seen someone use a pump in public, but from what I’ve seen at home, it is far from subtle, I again refer you to the pic from the previous post.
The benefits of breast milk is worth the hassle though for both baby and mum. A couple of benefits for Mum, are that it helps reduce weight via fluid loss, and the act actually contracts the uterus back to pre-pregnancy. Amazing machines us humans, seems to be a reason for everything. For baby, it gives the child all the nutrients it requires, and provides natural anti-bodies to help with the immune system. Plus, it’s free. The breasts even regulate the amount of milk required.
We found that through expressing we were able to document exactly what we were feeding Rory. No worries about if he was, or wasn’t getting enough milk. Breast milk production increased through the week, exactly co-ordinating itself with what Rory required. 20-40 mls milk after the first few days, once colostrum had dried up (colostrum was administered via syringes whilst in hospital), and now up to 80 ml per 2-3 hour feed. The breasts knew best.
Our next step is to try and get Rory to get the milk from it’s source, all us guys know that tap beer beats bottle ! RBWH provides a free lactation service so we will be making an appointment this week to get some tips, for using the nips…can I say that here?;) We are after all, noobs to the boobs.
As you can read, it’s all about learning for the family this week. Mum and I are getting to know what the little boy’s grumbles are. Urrrrrrrrr – is doing a poo (see left), so we put him in the squat position as gravity can help. Head bobbing, smacking lips, and hands in mouth – is he needs a feed. This is nearly clockwork. Just general grumbling is that he wants to be in a new position or some cuddles to help sleep. Wide bright eyes and reaching out, it’s time to play, whether it be tummy time on the chest, some up and downsies, or some fine air guitar to Led Zeppelin ‘Whole Lotta Love’. It’s such a pleasure seeing Rory come into his own, and showing more and more cute little expressions, even if it’s just him saying, ‘Yo dad, change my nappy!’
Rory has also had his first couple of outings, one to visit my Mum, or Netty. Another to see the Robinsons at the local markets, and some lunch with Unky Craig & Richie. Rory was happy to open one eye to say hi, and just lay back in his chair to take it all in (or sleep, mainly sleep).
All in all, it has been a wonderful first week, a fantastic learning curve for the whole family. We are first time parents just trying to get it right, but thankfully Mother Nature has some pretty great arsenal, just ask Austin Powers. Which takes me back to my original point, perhaps the next time someone calls you a boob (does anyone use this term anymore?), you can say ‘Thank you, so nice of you to say so!’, feeling sound in the knowledge that boobs are both smart and useful 😉
A quick thank you to everyone for their beautiful gifts and well wishes this week. It’s so nice to hear from friends, near, far and wide.
We are loving the love !
Tip of the Ice-Blog #6
Not everyone is able to breast feed. This doesn’t mean your child can’t get the nutrients he/she needs, as formula is a perfectly suitable substitute (we’ve used it when the boobs were out of service for a session, and I’ve got friends who could only use formula, their children are better than fine !). We have found breast feeding hard, and for us, it hasn’t come exactly naturally, but if you have the chance, I think it is worth the perseverance. It can save time and save money. There are many services out there more than willing to offer support, not just your local hospital. Such services as Australia’s Breast Feeding Association and Early Feeding Support Clinics.