Does breastfeeding get easier?

Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My first son I pumped for 4 months and gave a bottle of breast milk -- 14 months later with my new son, he is doing good with breastfeeding (using a nipple shield) but I have had mastisis (103 fever), clogged ducts and surface clogs (that had to be removed with a sterile needle). Do these early problems go away!!! It is just hard trying to juggle taking care of 2 in diapers and wanting to breastfeed. My son is gaingin weight great.....but I am constantly worrying if I am going to get a cogged duct or infection again...was hoping after the first 6 weeks maybe these early problems will get better -- is there hope that breastfeeding will get easier?

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Heather - posted on 09/14/2009

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Dear Jennifer, First, GOOD FOR YOU! I had two rounds of mastisis (in both breasts the first time!) with my first baby and it was TERRIBLE! I have had a second baby (17 months ago, still nursing) and yes, it does get better! Hang in there! If your ducts get clogged, try to nurse the baby more, or a hot shower with gentle message or a hot towel worked for me. I worried all the time too about another infection but I never got one in 17 months. As the baby gets older and starts eating food, he won't nurse as much and your ducts will not clog anymore. I know it is hard not to worry but you can do it. Just make sure that if you feel one of your ducts clogging, try to get it unclogged as soon as you can. I am sure you will do GREAT! Oh yes, both of my kids were in diapers too. My first born just fully potty trained a few months ago, so you can do it! GOOD LUCK! =) Heather

Amanda - posted on 09/13/2009

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I don't have any advice for you jennifer, but i just wanted to give you KUDOS!!! Good Job! & hang in there, you're awesome for for juggling all of that & still wanting to breastfeed. :)

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Jennifer - posted on 09/17/2009

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thank you so much for EVERYONE's encouragement and ideas---- I will let you all know how it goes :) This is such a wonderful forum!!! To bad I only get onto it occasionally -- 2 little ones and all :)

Nikki - posted on 09/14/2009

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Yes, breastfeeding gets easier, don't give up!! After a couple months, your body will be more regulated to how much he eats. Make sure to never skip a feeding (if you are away, pump) and alternate breasts each time. I agree that heat helps, especially right before you feed.

Stephanie - posted on 09/14/2009

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I had both mastitis and clogged ducts the first I think three weeks. My son is now 9 weeks old and everything is great, no pain at all, I am so glad I stuck with it, you should too! It should get better soon!

Cheryl - posted on 09/14/2009

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the longeer you can hang in there and not give up the easier it is gonna get, it's not alway fun but that is part of the joy. hang in there

Chloe - posted on 09/14/2009

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Yes breastfeeding gets so much easier .. my eldest is 23 months and she only feeds a couple of times a day now for about 2-3 minutes its more a comfort now. A couple of weeks ago she went 3 days without having any breastfeeds so keep at it :)

Rebecca - posted on 09/13/2009

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Absolutely breastfeeding gets easier! But it is a tough road to get there. Have you tried weening from the nipple shield? Try to latch him on with the shield and then take the shield off and then relatch baby on. You may have to do this a few times till he gets it. Also for relieving blocked ducts you want to massage the breast where the duct is blocked, point babys nose towards the blockage because that is the first quadrent emptied. As well as another mom mentioned lying down and feeding or even the football hold are great positions to try to reduce blocked ducts.

[deleted account]

Yes breastfeeding gets easier!!! I had one case of mastitis and what felt like a million clogged ducts. I was also using the shield (which some will say can cause clogged ducts). It took about 3 weeks but I got her off of the shield. When she was 3 months old my supply FINALLY regulated. She now eats every 3 hours and goes about 8-9 hours at night. I know how you feel, the first few months are very rough but it is so worth it. Hang in there!!!

Julia - posted on 09/13/2009

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How old is your second son now? And yes breastfeeding does get much easier. Breastfeeding just like parenting needs a manual. I didn't push my first son to nurse and so I gave up at 4 months. With my second I wanted nothing but for him and he put me through the ringer. Between wounds on my nipples, engorgement and clogged ducts I thought we'd never successfully breastfeed. He is now 19 months and still nursing. I don't know what techniques you have already tried but here are a few that worked for me.



1. If it's getting close to feeding time throw a wet towel in the dryer. Wait for it to get borderline hot. Put that directly on to your breasts. If your nipples won't tolerate that direct contact you could put a breast pad on before you put the towel on. Leave the towel there for about 5 minutes and then nurse.

2. Positioning during feeding makes a difference too. I discovered when my son was 4 months old a way to get rid of clogged ducts. It worked every time for me. Hope it could do the same for you. We laid down on the bed and if it was my left breast with the clogged duct I would have that side up and just turn my body until I was halfway to my stomach. And that was the side I would have him nurse from. Gravity helped drain the duct. And it would be similar for the right. Right side up, turn, nurse.

3. And of course there's the massaging, hot showers, and frequent breastfeeding/pumping. Number 1 & 2 are the only ones that worked right away for me though.



I haven't had a clogged duct since Wyatt was 7 months old now. Keep your chin up, breastfeeding does get better. Good luck.

Nikki - posted on 09/14/2009

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Yes, breastfeeding gets easier, don't give up!! After a couple months, your body will be more regulated to how much he eats. Make sure to never skip a feeding (if you are away, pump) and alternate breasts each time. I agree that heat helps, especially right before you feed.

Chloe - posted on 09/14/2009

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15

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Yes breastfeeding gets so much easier .. my eldest is 23 months and she only feeds a couple of times a day now for about 2-3 minutes its more a comfort now. A couple of weeks ago she went 3 days without having any breastfeeds so keep at it :)

Rebecca - posted on 09/13/2009

595

37

74

Absolutely breastfeeding gets easier! But it is a tough road to get there. Have you tried weening from the nipple shield? Try to latch him on with the shield and then take the shield off and then relatch baby on. You may have to do this a few times till he gets it. Also for relieving blocked ducts you want to massage the breast where the duct is blocked, point babys nose towards the blockage because that is the first quadrent emptied. As well as another mom mentioned lying down and feeding or even the football hold are great positions to try to reduce blocked ducts.

[deleted account]

Yes breastfeeding gets easier!!! I had one case of mastitis and what felt like a million clogged ducts. I was also using the shield (which some will say can cause clogged ducts). It took about 3 weeks but I got her off of the shield. When she was 3 months old my supply FINALLY regulated. She now eats every 3 hours and goes about 8-9 hours at night. I know how you feel, the first few months are very rough but it is so worth it. Hang in there!!!

Julia - posted on 09/13/2009

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41

4

How old is your second son now? And yes breastfeeding does get much easier. Breastfeeding just like parenting needs a manual. I didn't push my first son to nurse and so I gave up at 4 months. With my second I wanted nothing but for him and he put me through the ringer. Between wounds on my nipples, engorgement and clogged ducts I thought we'd never successfully breastfeed. He is now 19 months and still nursing. I don't know what techniques you have already tried but here are a few that worked for me.



1. If it's getting close to feeding time throw a wet towel in the dryer. Wait for it to get borderline hot. Put that directly on to your breasts. If your nipples won't tolerate that direct contact you could put a breast pad on before you put the towel on. Leave the towel there for about 5 minutes and then nurse.

2. Positioning during feeding makes a difference too. I discovered when my son was 4 months old a way to get rid of clogged ducts. It worked every time for me. Hope it could do the same for you. We laid down on the bed and if it was my left breast with the clogged duct I would have that side up and just turn my body until I was halfway to my stomach. And that was the side I would have him nurse from. Gravity helped drain the duct. And it would be similar for the right. Right side up, turn, nurse.

3. And of course there's the massaging, hot showers, and frequent breastfeeding/pumping. Number 1 & 2 are the only ones that worked right away for me though.



I haven't had a clogged duct since Wyatt was 7 months old now. Keep your chin up, breastfeeding does get better. Good luck.

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