Monday, September 28, 2009

Nursing Connor

Connor is my third child and my second son. He was born December 21, 2000. This post is about his early breastfeeding adventures. I had already successfully breastfed my older two children. I was confident that I would have minimal difficulties nursing Connor. Connor's delivery was fairly uneventful. I labored as long as I could at home and made it to the hospital in time. As soon as he was born and cleaned up a little bit I put him to the breast. He had no trouble figuring out what do. He was almost a pro from the get go. We went home and continued to enjoy a productive nursing experience for a day or two. Then I noticed I was getting more than sore. No matter what strategy I tried nothing helped. I looked up all kinds of information and read every book I could get my hands on to try to figure out what was wrong. Finally I discovered that Connor had an unusually high palette. The roof of his mouth was so high that he was always pulling unevenly when he nursed. I tried rotating him around for each feeding. I tried to give each side a rest periodically and alternate pumping. My only hope was for him to grow into his high palate. As his mouth got a little bit bigger his seal was more even and everything healed up and we had a good stretch nursing. All of this took about two weeks. When Connor was three weeks Christmas break was over and I had to go back to college. I was one semester from completing my associates degree. I found a daycare that would accept infants 3 weeks old. He was the only baby in his class so he got a lot of attention. I hated to leave him but I did not feel that I had much of a choice at the time. He did well switching from the breast to the bottle. None of my kids ever had the "cursed" nipple confusion. My supply was pretty well established. He usually had mostly breast milk in his bottles. Occasionally he had half formula and half breast milk in his bottles. I did not let this trouble me. I have always felt that any amount of breast milk is better than none. I was waiting for Connor to reach 6 weeks old so that I could move him to his brother and sister's daycare. They did not accept children till that age. It was a fairly decent daycare and I was comfortable having the kids attend. Right before Connor was set to move to his new daycare a new nursing dilemma arose. Connor had thrush. This is a yeast infection that invades mucus membranes such as the mouth. Well, during breastfeeding Connor transferred this infection to his mama. And so the cycle began. I figured I needed to be aggressive to break this cycle. Creams just didn't cut it. My doctor and Connor's doctor both prescribed us an oral anti-fungal medication, (fluconazole). We ended up having to take four doses to knock it out. By now Connor was 6 weeks old. My milk supply was steady. School was going well and Connor was thriving. He was a chubby little boy. I always tell moms to be and new moms that ask that it usually takes a good solid 6 weeks to get to know your nursing baby and establish a good breastfeeding relationship. Connor was my most challenging beginning nurser but we enjoyed a good run till he was 11 months old.

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