There are so many sweet things to say about nursing. First of all, I am really glad to have made it this far. There were times in the beginning when I feared June would reject the breast and I am so glad we made it through. I am thankful that I got past the initial pain from poor latching and the early battles with thrush and colic.
In all this time, nursing in bed has been the strong preference. From three months of age June was way too distracted to nurse with any stimulus around. So we would slip away and then she would take her time. She is still very easily distracted but sometimes will nurse in the middle of a hubbub, and I appreciate it every time. It lets me know she enjoys it.
Nowadays June is very forward about nursing requests. She puts her hands up my shirt, down my shirt, or just pats the front and says, "miu." If she really wants to nurse this may include a little meltdown if I am not quick enough in responding. We generally nurse with her sitting up in my lap, facing me, her short little legs around my waist. That or we nurse in bed, to sleep. We've phased out walking to sleep in the Ergo, which we used to do nightly and which worked like a charm. I'd nurse and walk and she'd be out. But as she got heavier, and as she gets older we're trying to slowly modify our sleep routine. The eventual goal is to have her sleep in the toddler bed we got her, which sits in our room. She'll have her own room when we get a bigger house!
All of this is well and good, but I really wanted to write about June's techniques for making the milk come out. Sometimes she'll go through her whole litany in one session, until she is rewarded with letdown. Other moms may know very well how one of those little surprising rushes of love will achieve letdown in a heartbeat. Another thing I do is breathe deeply, and often on the third exhalation my milk will let down. Other times I wait and wait and feel as though she is getting nothing.
Here are some of her techniques:
(1) From about 3 months, if we were nursing in bed she would roll away from me and then roll back. The gentle tug on my nipple often did the trick. She still does this sometimes, and always rolls away off to sleep when I break the latch.
(2) She will "talk" while nursing. I don't know why, but this often works. I love to hear the little sounds she hums out.
(3) She'll give the boob some little encouraging pats.
(4) She has tried biting, but has learned that that does not help.
(5) Looking into my eyes.
(6) Doing something playful, like blowing raspberries on me. This often succeeds in the "love rush" way.
(7) Giving in to frustration and letting go with some cries. This is rare, and getting even more infrequent. Now if she cries while nursing it is usually just because she is tired and needs to let off steam.
Well, this is it for now.