The pregnancy classes have officially started for me. First up, breastfeeding 101! I’ve gotta say, I’m about 30% less intimidated by the idea of breastfeeding than I was walking into the class this past Saturday. For two hours I learned all about the ins and outs of breastfeeding, such as the various ways to hold a baby during feedings (like “the football hold”), how many times a baby eats during the day and for how long, and of course – the color and consistency of the baby’s poop…you know, as an indicator of whether you’re doing it right. And now that I’m an expert, I feel I should impart some knowledge on you, dear readers, so you know how to do this when it’s your turn. I’ll just cover the major takeaways that stuck with this mom-to-be…
It takes HOW LONG to breastfeed a newborn?
I realize now that my existence in this world will soon be nothing more than a boob feeding milk factory. Well, at least for the first couple of weeks/months of my baby’s life. Apparently babies eat 8-12 times per day and it takes 20-40 minutes to breastfeed PER BOOB!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s do the math on that. If it takes 40 minutes per boob to feed, that’s 80 minutes for one feeding. Then if the baby feeds 10 times in a day that’s about 13.3 hours a day…oh my gawd. That’s almost like packing two traditional 8 hour work days into one day!! So I’m going to have two full time jobs just feeding my baby and then there’s the changing diapers piece…
You know what, my husband may not have boobs, but he certainly has hands that can be trained to wipe tiny poopy booties and he knows where the trash can is. I can’t have two full time jobs and get sleep and blog all in the same day. I’ve just decided that he’s going to be on sole pop patrol. Like breastfeeding will be my personal bonding time with my ‘lil girl, wiping her ass will be Jeff’s.
Baby could fall asleep on the boob and all that nursing time doesn’t count!
Breastfeeding and boob nuzzling apparently becomes so soothing for babies that they can often fall asleep just sucking away but never swallowing. So basically, I can’t zone out watching an episode of “True Blood” and risk missing the cues that she’s not eating. This could mean the past 40 minutes of feeding simply did not count. Sure, baby might go down for a nap, but she’s going to be up walling away for that food in much less time than she’s supposed to because she was never fully satisfied while I was swooning over muscley vampire abs.
Chart the poop color and consistency
Have you ever heard moms talk about how fascinating it is to discuss baby poop with other moms? I never understood that until now. Because for a newborn, the color and consistency of poop is an indicator of normalcy – and who doesn’t want their kid to be normal? Day one, poop should be yellow. Day two, poop should be white. I’m just kidding, I don’t remember what it is but I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be white. And if it is – that’s not normal. But I guess I don’t need to worry about charting the baby’s poop since Jeff is the only one who will ever see it. Thank God for boob-less husbands with hands made for changing diapers.
Renowned medical associations recommend breastfeeding for 12 months or LONGER!!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, but after that, they encourage you to continue breastfeeding with solid foods until 12 months or longer – if you and baby “are willing”. Now come on…mama is gonna want a margarita at some point – and maybe even get a lil tipsy for fun when I finally can! But hell, if I’m breastfeeding I have to walk a fine line with drinking alcohol and feeding the baby. Pump and dump. But isn’t that a pain to sit there and pump for an hour just to throw it away! What a waste! So anyway, we’ll just see how this whole thing goes. I’m really going to try and I hope the baby takes to the process. Hell, I hope I take to the process because to a newbie it does sound mildly – ok insanely – uncomfortable. The MOST exciting thing I’m looking forward to – that I hope is true based on what everyone says – is that breastfeeding will help me shed the baby weight faster. Here’s to hoping the fat comes off me like butter off a hot knife! (My real motivation rears its ugly head, oops!)