Thursday, May 26, 2011

Carnival of Breastfeeding - Nursing Styles Between Siblings

Welcome to June's Carnival of Breastfeeding.  Inspired by Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog again, I'm writing about nursing styles.  Specifically how the two girls compare (and contrast) to each other.

I thought on this topic for awhile before deciding to write on it.  I'm not sure that I remember Audrey's nursing style well, or that Annie has had much time to develop one.  Laying in bed feeding Annie last night I reflected on how Audrey and I nursed in the middle of the night and how I've had to learn different techniques for this one.

I have never taken any breastfeeding class. When pregnant with Audrey, we couldn't afford more than one class, and we decided that a birthing class was more important that a breastfeeding one.  I was praying that Audrey and I would take to it naturally.  And we did.  We had minor issues with a latch in the beginning.  Josh and I worked very hard at establishing a good latch in the hospital, and he continued that help when we got home.

When my milk came in I was so engorged after several hours (Audrey started sleeping through the night really early) that all Audrey had to do was stick out her tongue and it would drip into her mouth.  After a little bit of that, she was able to fully latch on and get some good hind milk.  When she started eating overnight again, I started to nurse her in the side-lying position.  Overnight, Audrey was very much a eat until I fall asleep kind of nurser.  Then she'd wake up in 20 minutes and be hungry.  She had many battles of, "I'm tired and hungry and I don't know which is more important."  Heck, now as a toddler she has the same battles.

She was rarely a comfort nurser.  Only when she had injuries, and that was rare.  She wouldn't nurse because she was teething.  She was a cuddler, though.  And she nursed to go to sleep.  Falling asleep nursing was the only way  I could get her to sleep.

Annie (who will be 6 months on 6/3) has some similar styles and some different style.  Annie figured out how to latch on really quickly.  We never had latch issues.  However I think some of that is me, and having had more experience.  The two hospital experiences were  completely different, but so were my deliveries.  I think that the drugs I was given with Annie had a direct correlation to her eating in the hospital.

When we got home we had a hard time getting any sleep.  She would wake up and need to eat almost instantly.  For about 4 weeks I slept on my back with her attached to me eating.  She would lay like that all night.  She couldn't figure out side-lying yet.  That was our FAVORITE nighttime nursing position.  If we were lucky and could sleep detached, I would physically sit up and nurse her in a cross cradle position.  But that was difficult while recovering from a c-section.

As time went on she got better at sleeping and no longer needed to nurse all night long.  One big distinction between the two girls is bedtime.  I could easily get Audrey to sleep by nursing her.  Annie very rarely falls asleep nursing. Now when she wakes up in the middle of the night we can do a side-lying position to nurse, but she doesn't like it much.  I don't know if it's because she can't see my face or can't find the nipple, but she really struggles with it.  She still prefers to lay on my chest with me on my back.  But she's just getting too big for that.

Like Audrey, Annie is not a comfort nurser.  She hasn't had any major accidents to speak of yet, so I can't address that aspect, but she doesn't nurse when she's teething.  She is also a big cuddler.  It's hard to tell when she's hungry because cuddling usually will calm her down significantly.  

On a slightly different but related topic, the girls use different pacifiers and bottles too.  We got lucky with Audrey that she took the first bottle we gave her.  She took any bottle we gave her.  She liked any pacifier too.  But Annie was tougher.  She wouldn't use the same type Audrey used, either bottle or pacifier.  We went through the different style pacifiers the hospital sent us to find one that she liked.  With bottles I had to go to Babies R Us the week before I went back to work to find a bottle that she tolerated.  We found a couple that she likes.  But what's even more curious than the bottle is who is feeding her.  She won't take a bottle from anyone accept me and daycare lady.  She won't take one from Josh or Kymi or a friend from church. It's odd that she lets me give her a bottle though.  I suppose it does help save the frozen milk if she is willing to hold out until I get home to feed her.

I look forward to seeing how the two girls vary their nursing style as Annie gets older.  I wonder if she'll be easily distracted by noises as she pays more attention to her surroundings.  Will she care about solids or will she just want the breastmilk?

Please go check out the other Carnival of Breastfeeding Posts by following the links below.

Breastfeeding the Second Time Around
Second Time's The Charm - (1/6/14 update: link removed due to redirect to inappropriate content.)
Seven reasons why breastfeeding is usually easier the second time around
Lessons Learned
Carnival of Breastfeeding the Second Time Around
Totally different and completely the same
Tandem Nursing
Once More With Feeling


Tamika said...

I found your blog by clicking the 'next blog' at the top of mine and became interested immediately! :)

I too had different nursing experiences with all 5 of my children. We never had latch issues with any, but we did find they all preferred different positions. My eldest was like yours - hungry? tired? which one first.

I loved each of my experiences in different ways and now wish I could go back to the ease of nursing my babes...but alas, they are all weaned.

caramelchica said...

I never took a class either and was very lucky to have great midwives and eager babies. I'm surprised to hear your 6mo isn't already a distracted nurser!
Great post.

Zoie @ TouchstoneZ said...

This is a great post for the Carnival. I think it is so interesting to hear about mothers' experiences with their nurslings. Each one really does have their own style and we learn to adapt to one another so well. Thank you for helping normalized breastfeeding by writing about it.

And on another note, I saw your facebook page and we're neighbors. I'm one town east of you. Rock on Tri Valley :)

Do you know about Tri Valley Natural Families?

Christine said...

Zoie - thanks for the link. I'll look into that.

Takisha said...

Hi Christine. It was nice reading your post,especially about their sleeping and nursing patterns. It brought back sweet memories of when my babies were newborns. :)

Jennifer McLaughlin said...

Just reporting a bad link. Check:

" Second Time's The Charm "

links to which is no longer a relevant site, in fact they even promote adult content...

Christine Roosa said...

Thanks for the heads up Jennifer. I removed the link; and I apologize for that.