BRINGING THE BEST OF THE ZOO TO EARTH – PART FOUR

KNOW WHEN TO VISIT EARTH – HARSH REALITIES

EARTH IS NOT THE ZOO – AND THAT’S A GOOD THING!

Life in the Alien Zoo is not without its harsh realities!

Babies have only three feeding options: successfully breastfeed, wet nurse, or perish.

And the lack of medical treatment means that some moms and babies will not survive.

Even with Alien Zoo care, many babies would fail to thrive without Earth based feeding support:

  • Babies born early
  • Sick babies
  • Poorly latching/ineffective suckling babies
  • Sick babies, babies with health concerns.
  • Other health concerns
  • Maternal milk supply issues

Not getting enough food and failing to thrive can start insidiously, and some babies are already failing to thrive before anyone discovers there is a problem. This sets in motion a vicious cycle.

On Earth, because of our emphasis on a by-the-numbers approach (which is admittedly a double edged sword), we catch babies before they fall too deeply into this cycle.

So while moms and babies (the ones who survive) are happier and feed better in the zoo, I’m glad we’re on Earth, even with our brilliant, hyper-educated, overcomplicating Earth humans.

EARTH TOOLS

It isn’t that Earth tools are bad for moms and babies, rather it is the misuse of Earth tools that has had a negative impact on moms and babies.

Every tool has its place. Babies at risk for failing to thrive are well supported by a blend of Alien Zoo care and the right combination of Earth tools.

Remember Important Zookeeper Tip – #2 When in doubt, ask why!

PUMPS

Hands work great and you always have them with you! Jane Morton’s Hand Expression video.

Many moms find that an electric breastpump is more viable for ongoing, longer term pumping.

In fact, taking the best from both worlds, using a combination of electric pumping and hand expression produces the greatest volumes of milk. Maximizing Milk Production.

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FORMULA

On Earth, babies do not die for lack of food. This is a good thing!

I say this not to scare people, but because I would hate to mislead anyone. Most moms produce enough milk for their babies. But the harsh reality is that some babies need more food than can be obtained from their mom’s breasts.

In the Alien zoo, moms have wet nurses.

Here on Earth, sometimes we have access to donor milk. But when we don’t, we have formula.

Formula isn’t breastmilk, but it isn’t poison. It’s food.

Formula is not bad Earth technology, it is just Earth technology that has historically been overused and misused.

NIPPLE SHIELDS

Can be a very helpful tool for certain latch issues. They are not the right solution to all struggles, but when they are, they can make the difference between succeeding, and not succeeding.

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BOTTLES (and other alternative feeding methods)

There are several alternative feeding methods – finger feeding, supplemental nurser systems, syringe feeding, cup feeding and bottle feeding.

Each has a time and a place. Including the much maligned bottle.

My recommendation – choose the alternate feeding method that is a fit for you and your baby.

Feeding should not be frustrating, unpleasant, or exhausting for anyone, most especially a struggling baby. Choose the method that allows baby to eat without stress and don’t worry what the name of the method is.

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EARTH’S BY THE NUMBERS

Healthy, term babies feed well in the zoo environment. However, outside the zoo, we need a safety net to catch babies that are failing to feed well due to their non-zoo environment.

  • Feeding at least 8 times every 24hrs (Yes, it’s a number and assumes the use of a clock, but as a gauge to ensure baby is not failing to communicate his hunger needs due to time spent in a bassinet/car seat, and/or an underlying and undiagnosed health concern, it has a place.)
  • Peeing and pooping – increasing over first few days, stools transitioning to yellow
  • Swallowing – occasionally at first, then increasing to 1 swallow every 1-2 sucks with occasional pauses within first few days
  • Weight loss no more than 10%
  • Gestation > 38 weeks
  • Red flags – warrants further assessment:
    • Black tarry stools on day 5
    • Feeding <8 times every 24 hours by the 2nd – 3rd day of life
    • Not swallowing regularly by 3rd to 4th day
    • Weight loss >10%
    • Gestation <38 weeks – may need feeding plan

Sometimes, the safety net will prompt a need for using a pump, a nipple shield, an alternate feeding device, and even alternate food substance.

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So, how do you make sense of it all?

When deciding whether to use, or not to use, an Earth technology, ask yourself this question:

Zookeeper tip #2 Ask why! “Why do I want to use, not use, that technology?” “Why are you recommending this for my baby?”

This should help you guide yourself to the answer that’s right for you and your family.

Remember the zookeeper tips!

Tip #1 – Skin to skin/babywearing

Tip #2 – When in doubt, ask why!

Tip #3 – when in doubt, hand express!

These three tips will see you through a good majority of breastfeeding hurdles!

Feed and nurture your baby like you are in the zoo, but avail yourself of the safety net of Earth.