Last night I came across the notebook I used when counseling mothers on the phone. Here are some of my notes from that first year:
May 21: Has breast infection w/104º fever. Dr. X had ordered nursing no oftener than every 4 hours, 5 min. on a side. Infection probably resulted from overfull breasts. For treatment, Dr. X advised no nursing because it would "hurt the baby."
June 14: Baby 6.5 months, nursing every hour. Mother reluctant to start solids, even though baby gobbled up banana and cereal.
June 16: Daughter, 8 mos., bit her.
June 23: Son, 7 mos., biting badly whenever breast is offered. Does not bite when he asks to nurse.
June 28: One-week-old son hospitalized with a fever. Hospital nurse insisting he should be on a 4-hour schedule. Nurse referred to him as an "older baby."
July 5: Baby 3 months. Mother forced to wean him because of her husband's jealousy. He said they were his breasts, not the baby's. He had refused to give his son any attention as long as he was breastfed.
August 8: Mom wonders if it's OK to nurse every 2.5 hours, which her baby wants. Hospital told her no more often than every 4 hours. Also, her teenage stepdaughter was thrown out of her own home and is arriving soon.
September 12: Interested in nursing an adopted baby.
September 30: Baby 3 wks. nursing well, but screams every evening when her father comes home. Husband is against breastfeeding, and attempts to discourage his wife.
November 11: Mother was put on a 1,000-calorie diet by Dr. X, and developed toxemia. She is frightened of hospitals, but the doctor admitted he—no treatment except for strict low-calorie diet. A friend made the call to me. We are concerned about protein deprivation, probably the cause of the toxemia in the first place.
December 1: Five-day-old baby. Dr. X wants her to give him sugar water between feedings.