Just chatting with a best friend this afternoon, and we were laughing about all the advice people give you (especially when a change in your life occurs) and how sometimes all the advice can even do more damage than good. And that is where you have to use your instinct or intuition, make a decision based on what you feel, and don’t look back! Here are a couple examples that I’ve noticed within my life recently:
1. Stretch Marks – hereditary or environmentally caused? With all of the opinions out there, I have come to the conclusion that we really don’t know, and that either way, I’m going to try and avoid them.
In regards to heredity, my mother admits that she has many horrible looking stretch marks. So does this mean I have to have them too? Keep in mind, that her mother doesn’t have any (or at least that’s what she has us believe). In contrast, one of my best friend’s mother has no stretch marks to report and had used Merle Norman’s Super Lube Moisturizer.
In hopes that environmental factors really do apply to stretch marks, I used the Super Lube during my first two pregnancies. I spotted my first stretch mark (as small as it was), above my belly button, 2 months after my eldest was born. Similar small marks appeared after my daughter was born.
By the the third pregnancy I was much more leery about skin products in general, and having done quite a bit of research on the benefits of coconut oil internally as well as externally, I chose to apply it to my bulging belly daily. Towards the end of the pregnancy, I was experiencing quite a bit of pain when my baby would push or stretch. My midwife recommended Christopher’s Complete Tissue and Bone. (click here for previous post on this product).
During a post partum visit yesterday, Richelle pronounced me stretch mark free! (Though i will have to wait a couple months for the jury’s final verdict), even the existing marks seem to be minimized.
2. Baby Weight– “feed your baby every two hours, wake them at all cost.” Wives tales, out-of-date information…who knows but I’m sure you’ve heard statements similar to this. Whether it be from your nurse, doctor, mother, neighbor, midwife… Yes, it is very important for newborns to get their needed nutrition and rest, but is it really worth stressing over?
My sister-in-law had her third beautiful daughter last month and the nurses gave her quite a scare that the baby was not getting enough milk, as she tried to breastfeed. They even took the baby out of her arms and were force-feeding her formula. After the initial shock, my sister-in-law decided to let them do what they thought was best, so they would release her and the baby, and get home as soon as possible so she could do what she felt was best. Smart decision, I thought. Once home, she noticed that the baby was having difficulty breathing through her nose. As unpleasant as it must have been for baby, the passage was cleared, and she began breastfeeding just as her mother knew she would.
Similarly, I have my own difficulties when it comes to breastfeeding. Blessed as I am to make more than enough milk, the engorgement makes it difficult for baby to properly latch, and extremely miserable for me. My babies tend to fall asleep while feeding, but just enough sucking to stimulate more milk…it’s a rough time for me. With my other two I spent months being in pain and uncomfortable. It seemed like my first was never getting enough milk, and without a nipple shield it was hopeless.
I had never used a pump until have way through breastfeeding my daughter, attending my super- lubing best friend’s wedding and getting miserably engorged. My other best friend, out for the wedding, came to my rescue, suggesting a pump. I’m all about natural, but i was desperate. Despite warnings from my mother, and others, I found that used properly, the pump was quite a life saver.
So here I am, milk coming in, and deja vu nightmares as they were, about to follow suit. As I thought and thought, listened to opinions, warnings, I felt the need to pump exclusively to diminish the engorgement so that i could resume natural breastfeeding with occasional pumping. My mother was not happy with my decision, and this was difficult for me, but my husband was at my side, and as she returned home, I felt better standing by my decision.
Once again, the jury is still not out, but I have felt better, able to breathe, and that there is an end in sight to this free-boobing nightmare. At the midwife visit yesterday, our baby weighed more than his birth-weight, and it hasn’t even been a week since his birth. She was happy, impressed, and said we were a “midwife’s dream birth.” I explained my decision on pumping (and letting him sleep longer than 2 hours between feeding). She offered some suggestions, a couple precautions, but supported my decision and said that I’d been wise about solving the problem.
So my challenge to myself, and to all ladies out there: no matter the situation, follow your heart, conscience, instinct, intuition…whatever you want to call it. Listen to the opinions, but make a decision for yourself that you feel good about. Stick by it, and enjoy the rewards!