Recently I received a call from a woman who has been a baby nurse for decades. When I told her I did not refer to baby nurses as we had postpartum doulas instead, she and I chatted for a while. It was interesting the information I received.
Did you know that the word nurse is just used without meaning actual nurse? I know, weird, right? She is not a licensed nurse in any way. She said most are not women who have nursing degrees at all. I was a bit aghast and told her I thought the use of the title nurse may be a bit misleading to new parents. Their website states, “Our Newborn Care Specialists work to ensure that those first weeks with your baby are low-stress and enjoyable. We help with feeding and sleeping schedules, breastfeeding, and adjustment issues for both Mom and baby. ”
I told her we do not do any feed scheduling or sleep training for a newborn who is breastfeeding as it is essential to not do so in order for the mom’s milk supply to be well established. She was a bit dismayed at my response. She said she fully supported breastfeeding but then went on to say that the mom pumps during the day, they offer breastmilk bottles and also give bottles at night while the mom slept. I understand how breastmilk supplies are established having been a La Leche League leader for over a decade and having been a certificed lactation educator for more than a decade. If a mom is pumping her body thinks she had more babies than she had- so it causes her to over produce- over producing can cause breast infections and engorgement issues in the first few weeks. And if she sleeps during the night and her baby gets a bottle, her body thinks she has a baby who is not needing milk during the night and there is a reduction in milk supply. She told me the moms woke full in the morning and had no such issues. I then asked the proverbial question, did her moms nurse their babies for any length of time or were they usually over breastfeeding in the first few months and were they doing both bottle feeding and breastfeeding pretty much from the start. She admitted most do not nurse past three months and most only breastfed some and bottle fed some…. hmmmm. I see. And I did not even get into the nipple confusion issues that can occur in the first few weeks with bottles and pacifiers. Continue reading »