While baby came early, breastfeeding took its time
Natallia’s baby arrived by emergency C-section at 36 weeks, throwing all her feeding plans into a tailspin. With a tiny, little mouth, the latch wasn’t happening, and Natallia was losing hope. When the latch happened (whoo hoo!) at one month postpartum, smiles were seen for days. Lactation Consultant and Bobbie Medical Advisor, Jadah Parks Chatterjee, helps us understand why babies born early may take more time to acclimate.
Jadah: I loved hearing that you had a blueprint feeding plan. Knowing what you want and having flexibility regarding your plan is very open minded and good for you and your baby. It’s not uncommon for babies born before 37 weeks to have a slower orientation at the breast, and decreased interest in latching is a common concern for babies this age. It’s not you! All babies take their time becoming acclimated and interested in the extrauterine life, babies born at 36 weeks take an extra amount of time.
I feel like I should just give up and switch to bottle feeding all together.Natallia
Jadah: A latch at one month is a milestone. Let’s do a ‘mama is the badass dance’ and celebrate it. Your love and dedication to feeding your baby has paid off!! You will be able to share this story, your feeding journey with her, she will know what unconditional love is from your determination, and reflect on how awesome you are!
Your baby was born at 36 weeks gestation, if she were still in utero, she would be closer to 40 weeks gestation. Your baby has grown so much in the last four weeks, including her interest in the world (she’s likely looking around and start making feeding cues), her stomach size has increased (she can hold more volume of milk), her eyesight has also gotten better (things are a bit blurry the first few weeks of life), all things that support your feeding journey.
RELAX! Whatever you think the problem is, it’s solve-able!Natallia
Jadah: You came through the tunnel! I would place your message on a billboard if I could! Parenting is not easy. You can read every book, attend every class, attend all the support groups to have access to resources for informed decisions to be made. Your pregnancy and feeding journey is an adventure, and you’re traveling with a new person. It takes time, effort (a LOT of both), and it’s normal to not get it right on the first or second attempt. As long as the parent and the baby are mentally and physically healthy, we keep attempting to figure it out. Reaching out for support as needed along the way, sometimes seeking support from many experts (OB, Pediatrician, MCH Nurse, Lactation Specialist / Consultant) will help you to identify what is going to work best.
To support you through your feeding journey (and to drown out the sound of the pump), we’re bringing parents a first of its kind guided meditation with our partners at Mindful Mamas. If Natallia’s story resonates with you, we suggest listening to ‘Becoming Present While Breastfeeding’. Open the app below: Click Guided > Feeding Baby > Becoming Present While Breastfeeding. This content is brought to you free by the team at Bobbie through November 30th, 2021.