Yesterday we had our final “birthing” class in a series we took through my wife’s OB-GYN. The classes as a whole have been very educational, and they are taught by a quirky and funny lactation consultant/retired neonatal nurse. The class has been very fast paced; the teacher jams a ton of information and allegories into a short time. It has actually been overwhelming to attend this 3-4 hour class after working a full day and worrying about grad school and my business.
If you are considering taking one of these classes, I would definitely recommend it. Even if you’ve been through a pregnancy before. Talk to your partner about attending – dads were definitely welcome, and almost required in my class. You learn about supporting your partner throughout the birthing process. You have WAY more to do than the movies let you believe. It’s not just screaming push and telling her to breathe.
Anyway, on to the subject at hand: BOOBIES!
Everyone loves boobies, especially babies and dudes. It’s one of two things you’ll have in common with your newborn infant. What else do you have in common? You both love food. What better way to bond with your child than doing your two favorite things together.
We learned about Dr. Jack Newman’s compression method for breastfeeding in our class last night. It is a great way for you to help mommy start feeding the baby because you get to play with her funbags too!
But seriously, using the breastfeeding compression method is good for the mother and the baby. It helps to ensure the baby is getting enough food and that the breasts will continue to ramp up production. If the baby does not drain the breast of milk, it will not produce more, meaning your baby won’t get enough! We can use gentle compression at the base of the breast to encourage it to express more milk while the baby is feeding.
The method is simple, grab the breast between your thumb and your index/middle fingers several finger widths from the baby’s mouth. Gently but firmly squeeze the breast when the baby is sucking. Do not move your fingers. You are not milking your wife. You are simply building up some pressure in the milk glands to make it easier for the milk to come out with the baby’s suck.
Check out this terrible video to see what its all about.
Seems easy, right? So why aren’t you doing it? Make sure you help your wife with the breastfeeding during the first 3-5 days. It can be very challenging and difficult to get a newborn to feed. Make sure you talk to your hospital’s lactation consultant right after the birth; most good hospitals have at least one on staff.