The Dim-Post

October 16, 2011

Day 8

Filed under: personal — danylmc @ 11:03 am

Tempted to call the midwife and pretend baby’s swallowed drain-cleaner, broken glass and a live scorpion, just to test if her advice is still ‘Mum should keep breastfeeding’.


  1. Second Chef seems to recall doing little other than sitting on the floor breast-feeding around… three months?

    So the answer is likely to be “Yes”.

    Comment by che tibby — October 16, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  2. Answer will almost certainly be yes.

    (based on recent experience – 8 month old and 3.5 year old).

    I found it awkward, painful, and funny… and I’m the one without breasts!

    Comment by TBWood — October 16, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  3. There may be a second line of questioning “is baby happy in herself?”

    Comment by little_stevie — October 16, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  4. As long as she’s not still getting that advice in 5 years.

    Comment by Richard — October 16, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  5. Watching the ongoing nightmare of trying to get breastfeeding to work properly from the familiar father’s position of standing about like a spare prick at a wedding led me to wonder how exactly homo sapiens survived this long. Didn’t look any fun whatsoever.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 16, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  6. Overheard in maternity ward. (many years ago)

    “But Doctor, how will I know it’s the right temperature?”

    Young NCEA grade mother on receiving professional advice to breast feed.

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — October 16, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  7. @Adolf: Can’t have been ‘many years ago’ if they were NCEA level….

    Comment by max — October 16, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  8. What would Shelley do?

    Comment by mjl — October 16, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  9. gave breast feeding a very concerted effort for the first month, then mixed bottle and breast for another 2 months – eventually abandoning it by 3 months was the best thing we’d done for baby and mother.
    i understand why there’s a lot of encouragement to breastfeed, but it doesn’t work out for everyone and i think sometimes that encouragement becomes dysfunctional pressure. i wish we’d done it a lot sooner. also nice for dad to be able to feed baby.

    Comment by the sprout — October 16, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  10. ‘Hello dear, what are you up to?’

    ‘Just discussing your breasts with strangers on the internet.’

    Comment by sammy — October 16, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

  11. fya, re the comment by the sprout…

    We didnt find out till their first dental visit, but our twins both had a slightly deformed palate. The nett effect was that breast-feeding was very, very painful for Mrs E. The distressing thing for me was the impression that some women gave off, that my wife was a failure as a mum, because she couldn’t breast-feed. This included some (not all) midwifes, maternity nurses and doctors.

    So listen to all the advice, but make up your own mind 😉

    Comment by martin — October 16, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

  12. I started with bottle and breast mix, then moved to exclusive breastfeeding once I got the hang of it. Problem is no one will help you work out the bottle thing with a newborn; hospital staff have no resources and are not allowed to encourage it. I had to send my sister in law out to buy bottles, teats, sterilising gear and then show me how it worked. Meanwhile, I learned to express and bottle-fed breast milk (as well as formula). That way, I knew baby got enough milk plus I was gently eased into the physical demands of breastfeeding – a breast pump is much gentler than a baby!

    Everyone has to find what works for them. Make sure midwife knows you need help. I found crying worked wonders in terms of getting the professionals to take me seriously 🙂

    Comment by MeToo — October 16, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  13. Breast feeding might be natural but it doesn’t come naturally to all mothers and babies.

    It’s a little late for you but for others – maternity services are now funded to enable all women who choose to breast feed to stay in the maternity home until breast feeding is established. That way a trained professional is on call when mother and baby need it at any hour of the day or night.

    If you are happy with your midwife keep asking her/him to come and help. If not find someone else who can – La Leche, Plunket, Parents Centre, family,friends. . . ?

    Also keep on remembering it will get better and in the spirit of that, congratulations on your new baby, may you have joy, wonder – and enough sleep.

    Comment by homepaddock — October 16, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  14. Those first few days and weeks at home with your first baby are so very, very difficult, physically, and emotionally. Probably the most difficult thing we have ever done. Lots of support helps. Also eating takeaways, sleeping whenever possible, saying yes to offers of help (ask people to cook a freezer meal for you, or to bake a batch of muffins which can go into the freezer for quick snacks).

    What MeToo and Ele (Homepaddock) are saying sounds about right to me.

    Comment by Deborah — October 16, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  15. Breast & bottle feed. The breast feeding evengelists will say this is not possible, but I did it will all 3 of mine. Try breast first then a small top up bottle. Baby finally has a full stomach & will go to sleep so Mum gets some sleep & her breasts get a few hours to recover. If baby is topped up a couple of times a day things should settle down. Midwives & hospital staff won’t tell you this. Good luck!

    Comment by Manukau Mum — October 16, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

  16. I bet you’re glad you read all those Shelley Bridgeman parenting advice columns earlier this year!

    Comment by JB — October 17, 2011 @ 8:41 am

  17. Congratulations on the new arrival. I think it was around this time when our little one had to go back to hospital with an infected navel (not fun) and Nicki was coached by a ‘lactation consultant’ which sorted out the feeding problems for her. Worth a try in my opinion.

    Comment by Conrad — October 17, 2011 @ 9:24 am

  18. We had a lot of difficulty with breastfeeding, and the hospital people weren’t much use at all, and nor was Plunket, but we got a lactation consultant and they were great and got us onto the right track.


    Comment by Antoine — October 17, 2011 @ 9:52 am

  19. Manukau Mum – we had the same experience. What a great feeling of relief when baby finally got a decent feed! And the top up could then be phased out later


    Comment by Antoine — October 17, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  20. Be aware Danyl that if you don’t continue with breastfeeding, The MoH and Plunket will report you to CYFS, declare you both unfit parents and revoke Maggies permit to have boobs.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 17, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

  21. Congratulations on doing you’re bit for the country with developing those clean-up skills. Meconium and HFO look to have a similar consistancy.

    Comment by NeilM — October 17, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  22. Congrats Danyl.

    I agree with the sprout – breastfeeding is important and you guys should do your best to make a go of it, but if there are inherent issues that no one can solve, don’t be afraid to try other options. There is a lot of pressure from so many people about so many issues re raising babies, and the thing I learned pretty quickly was that when I followed my instincts, things were great. When I followed to other people’s advice, things weren’t so great. You and your wife know your baby better than anyone else so you are best placed to make the decisions. Listen to what other people (esp professionals) have to say, and then do what feels right.

    Breastfeeding has worked great for me – my son is 11 months old and we are still happily breastfeeding. The first couple of months are definitely the hardest, and if you want to make it work you really have to let the baby feed as often as they want. They have heaps of growth spurts in the first couple of months and will need to increase mum’s milk supply by cluster feeding constantly. I remember one of my baby’s growth spurts in the first couple of weeks he latched on and pretty much didn’t let go for 24 hours – he worked out early on how to feed while asleep. I think my partner felt a bit useless but I wouldn’t have survived it without him bringing me endless glasses of water, cups of tea, food etc. Anyway, it all worked out fine. I ended up with plenty of milk and my son put on 200g in the first week and an average of 400g per week for the next few weeks after that. Breastfeeding may seem hard at first, but personally I think it’s a lot easier than worrying about sterilising bottles etc. Another upside to breastfeeding is that it works kind of like a drug for the baby. If you manage to keep going till they’re crawling and standing up, it’s easy comfort when they start to fall over every 5 seconds. My son won’t even cry if I latch him on quick enough after a fall.

    Good luck with it all, and don’t expect the sleep deprivation to stop anytime soon. We kept expecting that it would get better soon, but every baby is different. We have friends that have done everything pretty much the same as we have, and some have had their babies sleeping through the night by a couple of months old, others not till a couple of years old. Our boy is still feeding a few times during the night at 11 months, but he’s so healthy and happy all the time that I can’t imagine wanting to do anything differently. Once again – do what’s right for you, and don’t listen to plunket when they start telling you where your baby should be at at each visit.

    Comment by rocky — October 17, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  23. Ahh Meconium.

    That darkest and stinkiest of elements.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 17, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  24. well… read the post, read most of the comments and their complete irrelevance to the post, and declare this another great foray into the dysfunctional world of the blogoshphere.

    hope it’s going well danyl.

    Comment by che tibby — October 17, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  25. Spaniel’s ears. That relevant enough for you, che?

    Comment by Dizzy — October 17, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  26. Well, I’d think if you want the midwife’s advice to become “DON’T keep breastfeeding” then you change the message from “baby’s swallowed drain-cleaner” to “Maggie’s swallowed drain cleaner”….

    Comment by MeToo — October 17, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  27. DO what works. You;re happy, kid’s happy, end of story.

    PS bottle feeding is great from a Dad’s point of view too- nothing nicer to experience. Enjoy

    Comment by insider — October 17, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  28. Our two boys both where 4.5kg (approx 10 pound) at birth – Mum just couldn’t keep up so we mixed all three – breast, bottle and expressed breast milk by bottle – I mixed 100ml bottle on each baby’s first day, both drank over 50ml (so much for the chart on the wall saying a newborn stomach holds 10ml).

    My advice is do what works. Breast feed or at minimum express milk at least some of the time as that transfers important antibodies and a few other things not in formula, but don’t get hung up on it. As a dad you can help a lot by giving the new mum a longer nap by bottle feeding once during the day and maybe one of your ‘turns’ at night.

    Our kids both had teeth fairly early so they swapped to entirely bottles with expressed milk/formula early as they kept biting – including chew a good number of bottle teats.

    Comment by Stephen Baird — October 18, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  29. >Problem is no one will help you work out the bottle thing with a newborn; hospital staff have no resources and are not allowed to encourage it.

    I was only able to get out of NICU after 6 weeks, because we forced the hospital to give us a lactation consultant, who showed us the Habermann bottle, and how to feed the baby with a nasal gastric tube. The tube was out within a few days of getting home, and the baby learned sucking from the Habermann to the point where he was able to take the breast, which he then did for 8 months. Use your own judgement about what’s best, Danyl and Maggie. The biggest concern with mixing the two together is that the breast produces to demand. To keep the supply up, if the baby isn’t taking it, it needs to be pumped off (which is not really much fun), or mum dries up.

    Worth remembering that before bottles, nature ensured children knew how to suck by killing the ones that couldn’t.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 18, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  30. I like the way this baby has stopped everyone on here bickering and has brought peace and harmony across the political spectrum.

    Like some sort of messiah or something….

    C’mon everybody get together and love one another right now.

    Comment by rich (the other one) — October 18, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  31. Come on Danyl, you are either committed to your newborn child or this blog. Which is it?

    Comment by DT — October 18, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

  32. Danyl’s just realising the truism that one never lacks for advice when one has a baby. Both natural lactation and being bottle fed work out OK. We’ve had both. The Memsahib reckoned that she’d been a friesian in a fomer life while with the daughter in law it was not so, so was on the bottle. The only difference being convenience (you don’t have to heat the breast in a saucepan)

    Comment by Leopold — October 18, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  33. That’s not to say you couldn’t heat a breast in a saucepan though.

    Probably uneccessary given Summer is on its way.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 19, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  34. Congratulations, and hang in there.

    As for the feeding, good luck with whichever option you choose, the baby will be just fine with either approach, babies being the adaptable things they are. The only thing you have to watch out for is inappropriate, impolite, unsolicited opinions from people who temporarily lose their senses in the presence of new parents.

    Reminding them of appropriate boundaries – and they’re usually the type who know what “boundaries” means, tends to settle them down a bit.

    Best wishes

    Comment by annie — October 23, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  35. (fumes) I’m glad I didn’t pay a subscription for this service!

    But i bet you’re not blogging because you’re too tired: you’re not blogging because you own a digital camera and the cutest baby in the world.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 26, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  36. lazy bastard

    Comment by reg — October 27, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  37. Wow, labour release compulsory super and a raise to the retirement age and you don’t react?

    Children must be hard work!

    Comment by Chris Bull — October 28, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  38. What about your other childreeeeeen????

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 28, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  39. The ones like you Sancy deserve to be put in a plastic drum and rolled to Invercargill.

    Comment by little_stevie — October 28, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

  40. Such a hater little_stevie.

    Can’t we all just…get along?

    Comment by Gregor W — October 28, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

  41. Crickey. Who woke up the gimp?

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 28, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

  42. “Can’t we all just…get along?”

    He started it!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 31, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

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