Monday, January 29, 2007
La Leche League
In an effort to get out of the house and meet other new mommies, I went to a local meeting of la leche league (www.laleche.org) yesterday morning. It was a short drive from home, making it a major milestone: my first solo drive with Ahuva. I was pretty calm, checking to make sure she was breathing at read lights only. I could see her purple fleece hat rising and falling as her little head moved - but not too much thanks to a super little head\neck pillow she got as a great gift from J.
When I arrived there was one other Mommy there. She was nursing a baby who was a week or two older than Ahuva - and not nearly as big or robust! There was a counselor and another woman - counselor in training? who never introduced ourselves. We introduced ourselves and had the chance to ask questions. I got one of my questions answered. What to do when I feel I'm becoming a human pacifier? That is, when sucking continues but feeding is done. Well it was sort of an answer. One option: so what? If she's happy who cares? Other option: so what? break the suction and remove her. Hmm. OK.
Then about half an hour into the meeting, another mother burst in. She was carrying a baby who turned out to be her FOURTH child. Before she set him down in his carseat carrier, the other mother said, "Are you coming to my house for coffee afterwards?". Hmpfh. Not that I wanted to join them but that was kind of rude, to say the least. New mother - who looked younger than me and in amazing shape for being the mother of four, the youngest also a week or two older than Ahuva (but again, much smaller! HA!) - totally dominated conversation. Without introducing herself either, she launched into animated tirades about all sorts of things. I listened, a little stunned.
Eventually (when new mother loudly answered a cell phone call) I got to sneak in my next question: is there a trick to pumping? Answer: yes! Pump in the morning when there's the most milk. Nurse on the other breast while you pump since cute baby sucking will stimulate the "let down reflex". I tried it this morning while watching "An Inconvenient Truth" and it worked! Well, pretty well. I got 100 ml, more than my previous pathetic yields. Enough to give me confidence to leave Ahuva with the wonderful sitter for a while while I came here to my favorite cafe to write this blog. Not bad.
The other useful thing I learned was that Ahuva's evening fussy, hungry period in the evenings has a name: cluster feeding. The idea is that she's getting high-calorie, denser milk to stock her up for the night. So our intuition - that it's worth 2-3 tough hours to get a good night's sleep - is true. What to do? One suggestion is to have a bottle ready to give her after nursing, to satisfy her hunger. Another theory is to get her to bed earlier. We tried that yesterday. So-so results.
I don't think I'll be going back to the meetings since I did not feel great so simpatico with the other women. But I came home feeling more confident. Even though the counselor "corrected" my nursing hold during the meeting, I came home quite sure that Ahuva and I are doing SOMETHING right given her healthy size.
OK, time to run home!