My daughter was taken away from me after birth...
No, she was as not abducted. She was not actually “taken” from me. But as I was rolling away from her to go to the Operating Room, it sure felt like it might of been the last time that I would ever see her...
I royally tanked breast feeding with my first daughter so I wasn’t overly confident when it came to breast feeding my second. I came into it with no expectations and was more than willing to do formula feeding again if breastfeeding wasn’t successful. My birth was smoother the second time and I had the opportunity to bond and feed my daughter for the golden hour after her birth. Thinking about how she was placed on my chest and how I was able to cuddle her and nurse her for a full hour before anyone took her away from me, literally still brings tears to my eyes. Such a special moment. I didn’t have that opportunity with my first daughter. Sometimes I think that how she was brought into this world and who she spent her first minutes bonding with has had a big impact on our relationship. I feel terrible admitting that. I feel terrible even being honest and saying it out loud, but it’s the truth. I love her dearly, I would walk through fire for her, but she is a Daddy’s girl through and through.
I had a traumatic birth and was taken away to the OR to control a postpartum hemorrhage. Charleigh (my first daughter) was able to spend that time skin to skin with her Dad and they bonded for the hours that I was in surgery and recovery for. He gave her her first few bottles and kept her safe while I was gone. After she was born I got to hold her for maybe three minutes before she was taken from me in a panic. I do truly believe that this affected our breast feeding journey, and even to this day, my daughter is definitely a daddy’s girl as I mentioned.
There are numerous, numerous articles that suggest a full hour of bonding after birth in order to initiate a successful breast feeding journey. With that being said, I GET IT. She got taken from me because it was an emergency. There was no preventing it and obviously the emergency took precedence in this situation. I am a nurse. I get it. But it was still a shitty situation.
Anyways, I had a very, very smooth birth the second time around. Because of this, I was able to bond with Nora (my second daughter) right away and nurse her through the golden hour... we have developed a very strong bond. I really do think this has helped us with our breast feeding journey.
If you are unaware of what the golden hour is, take a read through this information below:
“The Golden Hour encompasses a set of evidence-based practices that contribute to the physiologic stabilization of the mother–newborn dyad after birth. Important elements of the Golden Hour include delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin contact for at least an hour, the performance of newborn assessments on the maternal abdomen, delaying non-urgent tasks (e.g., bathing the newborn) for 60 minutes, and the early initiation of breastfeeding. The Golden Hour contributes to neonatal thermoregulation, decreased stress levels in a woman and her newborn, and improved mother–newborn bonding. Implementation of these actions is further associated with increased rates and duration of breastfeeding. This article explores the evidence supporting the Golden Hour and provides strategies for successfully implementing a Golden Hour protocol on a hospital-based labor and delivery unit.”
This initial interaction paved the way for a much easier journey than the first time. I was also a bit wiser when it came to parenting and not afraid to ask for help. I immediately sought out assistance from a Lactation Consultant and she gave me so many useful tips and tricks to make the journey easier. I found myself nervous, embarrassed and anxious whipping my boobs out the first time. This time, I just wanted to make it work at all costs. The lactation consultant taught me positions to feed in and little tricks to make things easier and smoother. I want to share them with you so that so can hopefully make at least one mom’s journey a bit easier.
- Check to make sure your baby doesn’t have a lip on tongue tie. Charleigh has a minor lip tie that affected feeding. Nora did not, but I made sure to get this checked out because she was falling asleep at the breast. If your baby is falling asleep at the breast, they may have a tongue or lip tie causing them to tucker out while feeding.
- Position your baby tummy to tummy, perpendicular to your body up high on your chest. Hold the head at the nape of the neck, NOT the back of the head. This will start the process of optimal positioning.
- Position the babies chin to your breast and nose at the nipple. “Scoop” them into your breast. Ensuring the the nipple is pointing towards the roof of their mouth.
- Lean back to allow gravity to open their mouth for a deeper latch
- Watch for large sucks and swallows. You want to look for 3 sucks to every 1 swallow.
- Massage your breast when you are feeding to encourage constant milk flow. This will help baby stay alert and awake.
- Feed baby on 1 side for 10 minutes. Burp. Switch sides and feed for 10 minutes. Burp. Switch sides and feed for 5 mins. Burp. Switch sides and feed for 5 mins. This is a full feed for a newborn. If you follow this, cluster feeding should be eliminated during the day for the most part.
- Keep baby awake at all costs. Tickle feet, undress baby, cold cloth on neck, etc.
I know it’s hard, it’s so, so hard!! These tips and tricks should set you up for a successful journey.