First time breastfeeding.

Ashley - posted on 05/10/2011 ( 168 moms have responded )

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My son isn't here yet, but i plan to breastfeed. What should i expect?

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[deleted account]

Ashley, congratulations on your pregnancy and congratulations on your decision to breastfeed.

There's lots of information around. The thing to bear in mind is that although breastfeeding is natural, it doesn't always come naturally, so ther thing to do is PREPARE yourself. Arm yourself with all the information you can find. There is some great information on Kellymom http://www.kellymom.com/
Their section on preparing for breastfeeding is particularly good:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/index.h...

This sit also has answers to various problems that might arise.

Many mums experience aproblems and cannot continue. Often, this can be because they receive inaccurate information. The best way to prevent this is to get all the information you can yourself.
Some things to bear in mind:

1. Breastfeed him as soon as possible after birth, when the sucking reflex is strongest. Ideally, straight from vagina to boob! I know that's not always possible, but's it's the ideal.

2. Newborn babies have TINY stomachs (about the size of a marble. Doesn't take much to fill it, empty it and be hungry again. So they'll want to feed OFTEN. You might feel you're breastfeeding all the time in the early days and this is as it should be! Don't let anyone try and put you and your newborn on to a schedule. And don't tell anyone you baby needs a "Top-up" with formula - he doesn't. Don't let a bottle anywhere near him.

3. Don't make yourself anxious about watching for signs that your milk has "Come in." It will come in when it's ready, and in the meantine all that beautiful colostrum or "pre-milk" is exactly what your little boy needs to get him started in life. It's precious, and is chock-full of carbohydrates, proteins and antibodies.Your milk WILL come in. It's part of the reproductive cycle.

4. Get the latch right. A baby who breastfeeds in the first few minutes of life will be able to sort this out for himself, but this doesn't always happen, so here's a video to help:

Here is a good article on baby-led attachment:
http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/b...

5. The important thing - the more often you feed, the better your supply will be. To check whether you baby is getting enough, count nappies - 6-8 wet nappies per day indicates he's getting plenty. He'll probably have more as a newborn!

All the best!

Lori - posted on 05/10/2011

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It can be challenging especially at first, but it gets easier and it's sooooo worth it. For you and baby both. Do you have a La Leche League near you. Meetings are always free and you get lots of good advice and help when you need it. Everyone experience is different but here's what I've experienced. I had very sore nipples day 2 after baby was born. Latch was good, but it just took a day to get used to. Happened with both my babies. (one is 3 years old now and my other one is almost 6 months). It can be very time consuming. Babies need to eat often every 2 to 3 hours or so and during growth spurts even more, maybe every hour.

The first few months I was soooo thirsty every time I fed my baby. I kept a water bottle next to my bed and next to my favorite chair in the living room.

I had more cravings for specific foods while nursing then I did while pregnant.

Breastfeeding has it's challenges, but it has sooooooo many rewards too. My kids are both sick much less often than many of my friends kids (formula babies). I have a built in way to comfort my baby no matter where we are. It's extremely convenient and it's inexpensive.

Make sure you have someone who supports you and your breastfeeding decision. Not all Dr's and hospitals are Breastfeeding friendly. A lactation consultant will be extremely helpful for questions as they arise

[deleted account]

1. Don't listen to anyone who tells you to schedule feedings at least 2-4 hours apart. Not some "expert" with a book, not your MIL, not anyone. Different women have different milk storage capacities, and different babies have different metabolisms.

2. Read everything at http://kellymom.com/. Not one thing written on that site has been false for me. I would have been lost without it.

I had a lot of help from the midwives at the hospital when my milk was first coming in, and I was ultimately successful with breastfeeding my son (now 8 months and still bf-ing), but I wish to God someone had told me those two things, so I wouldn't have fretted so much in the early months.

Jaime - posted on 05/23/2011

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indeed, I concur with Kathy. If you supplement, you are actually delaying the milk from coming in so if you hadn't you probably would not have had to wait 7 days. Most breastfeeding women are very unsure about their breastfeeding abilities because of the many factors in our culture sending the message that it isn't enough or that your body will fail you.... it's the same messages we receive regarding birth. The more you trust your body, the more successful you will be. If babies couldn't do ok on colustrum alone for a few days, the human race would not have survived well! Nature won't fail you, your body won't fail you. It's fairly rare, anyway. And no doctor will likely be able to help you! Learn this hard lesson now, doctors don't know JACK about breastfeeding! If you encounter problems or have a doctor telling you to start solids or formula for one reason or another, it's time for you to see a breastfeeding specialist before you do anything!

Dawne - posted on 05/23/2011

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And millions of babies have thrived on colustrum alone. It is plenty for your baby.

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Mia - posted on 12/22/2011

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Everything & nothing, go in with open mind. It's not easy at the start for your first but stick with it, it's the best thing you can do for yourself & your bub.

Delia - posted on 06/22/2011

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Expect the first 3 months to be incredibly hard, difficult, and frustrating. Be happy and pleasantly surprised if they're not.



Do not consider pain to be normal, and don't put up with it if you have sore nipples. Get help immediately so it doesn't progress. A well latched baby will not cause you pain.



If you have trouble, GET HELP. If you have more trouble, GET MORE HELP. Remember these words "Just keep going".



Each baby is different, each birth is different, and each breastfeeding experience will be different. You really can't predict.



Read breastfeeding books BEFORE the baby is born,take breastfeeding classes BEFORE the baby is born, have names and telephone numbers of lactation consultants,midwives, and your local chapter of WIC or La Leche BEFORE your baby is born. Attend a La Leche League meeting BEFORE your baby is born to establish a supportive network.



It's so worth it, and it will make your life so much easier!!!

Lucy - posted on 06/22/2011

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I've heard something said recently that I absolutely agree with. For the first 6 weeks of your baby's life, breastfeeding gets a 8/10 for effort required, and bottle feeding a 6/10. But after those 6 weeks when you've both got the hang of it, breastfeeding will drop to a 2/10 while bottle feeding will always be a 6/10... So keep at it through those tricky few weeks, and think of all those bottles you won't need to wash and sterilize, or heat up in the middle of the night, for months and months... Just bring out your boob and pop the baby on - what convenience!

Ralonda - posted on 06/20/2011

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I think It is a wonderful thing, but you will be tired lol and it hurts for a minute. But stick with because it is the best for your baby.

Jessica - posted on 06/20/2011

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From my experience. It really takes practice. Breastfeeding (especially discretely) is not something we are just born knowing how to do. If your hospital offers a breastfeeding class, I recommend taking it (I did with my first). Don't be afraid to ask a lactation consultant at the hospital for help. And if there is a La Leache League meeting in your area, they are helpful too. Online, I loved the www.kellymom.com site, very informative!

Not to scare you, but so you aren't surprised. If your child latches right, you should not get any sharp pains or major discomfort, but some women do find nursing uncomfortable or odd feeling at first, but you do get use to it. Part of why I recommend a lactation consultant is they can show you how to get your latch right so you don't end up more sore than you need to be.

Make sure you have water and snacks readily accessible where you will be nursing at home. And be prepared to spend a lot of time nursing at first, newborns nurse often.

Some supplies I found helpful: I liked Lansinoh breast pads and Lanolin supplies, but there are plenty of others on the market (the Lansinoh pads are disposable). For a breast pump, if you are going back to work or want someone else to feed your baby, I recommend investing in a good one. I had a Medela PIS Advanced and used it with both my kids.

I found Breastfeeding to be a wonderful experience, and I am sure you will too. Best of luck!

Rebecca - posted on 06/06/2011

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Well keep your nipples moist and dry and always clean , I had 6 kids and breastfed all., eat plenty of veggies and drink alot of water, Just take care of yourself. becky

Irina - posted on 06/04/2011

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Good for you that you decided to breast feed. I think it takes a lot of courage and perseverance as there is the discomfort, but think about all the benefits that will come out of that for you and the healthy food for your baby. As I skimmed through the posts I didn't see any one mention cramping in the abdomen as uterus contracts. It hurts a lot especially the first few weeks. But the good news is that not every one gets it. I didn't have that with my first son, but with 2nd and 3rd child I had the contractions as I started to breast feed. True that it is time consuming and a good excuse to sit and relax with your beautiful baby.

Keely - posted on 06/02/2011

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Have a good support group. La lache league is a good resource. Use the lactation consultant at the hospital. Look at your local WIC office for a breast-feeding group. Believe me, these people will help a lot.

Expect it to be painful for the beginning, your nipples will get sore and chapped. Get lanolin, it's not harmful to the baby and it will decrease the pain and chaffing a whole lot.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience. If you stick with it you will love the bonding experience with you and your lil man. It takes patience and the ability to relax.

Hope this helps!

Erin - posted on 05/28/2011

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Hi! Good for you in choosing to Breastfeed! It really is the best thing for you and for baby! BUT, it does not come naturally for everyone... including the babies. I have 3 children, ages: 7, 3, and 2 months. My first child did wonderful! She latched on no problem and I seemed to be able to do it well too, My second child did ok, he seemed to get the hang of it after a while and I seemed to understand it even better by then... My third child and I currently still nursing. He started out kind of rough. He wasn't latching on correctly and it gave me some discomfort and I felt like I wasn't producing enough milk... He is now doing wonderfully and things are going great. It's a learning process for you and for the baby. Some tips I have for you: Get your baby to open as wide as he can before you put him on your breast. You can do this by taking your nipple from his nose to lips or from his lips to chin. If he seems too sleepy when you are going to nurse him, you can either unwrap him if he's swaddled or lightly tickle his feet or back. This usually wakes them up. (My third one was a VERY sleepy little guy after he was born and these techniques were taught to me by a lactation consultatnt). As I mentioned, don't let him latch on until his mouth is open WIDE! You want your entire nipple and most of the areola (the dark part around your nipple) to be in his mouth (if you can... the more the better though b/c if he's not latched on correctly, it could cause some discomfort or pain and than it will most likely make you not want to nurse b/c of a bad experience). Anyway, once his mouth is open wide, bring HIM to your nipple not your nipple to him. I recommend getting a boppy! I have used my boppy for all 3 of mu children and it makes nursing super comfortable! I REALLY enjoy nursing my babies! There's nothing like it and it's such a special time for mom and baby! You may want to also get yourself some lansinoh cream. It's a special cream that you put on your nipples to keep them from getting sore or chapped... It's safe for your baby so you don't need to wash it off before you nurse. I usually put it on after feedings and after I shower. Bra pads are another great thing to get as well. It helps protect your clothes from leaks, If you have any which you probably will at one point or another and, it protects your clothes from the cream sticking to them. Anothr thing I've often been told is to not use soap on your breasts when showering. I believe they say this so your nipples to dry out, but I'm not 100% on that one... I just make sure that I don't do it. One of the BIGGEST bits of advice I can give you is to relax. Don't get upset or frustrated if you're not getting it right away. Don't give up and definitely talk with a lactation consultant in the hospital before you go home. They are FULL of information and can even help you get your baby to latch on correctly or can let you know if you're doing it correctly and they can answer any question for you. And, I think the final bit of advice I have would be to make sure you're NOT dieting, eat healthy foods high in protein (don't worry, breastfeeding helps you burn calories fast so you'll be losing weight while breastfeeding; great for everyone ;-) !!) and drink LOTS and LOTS of water!!!!! That is the absolute best thing you can drink with breastfeeding! Best wishes to you!!! If you have any questions, I'm happy to help! Congrats on your new baby when he gets here! :-)

Tara - posted on 05/28/2011

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Stay relax when you breastfeed if you are stressed your baby will be so may not latch. Stay relax my girl I breastfeed and she latch 3 hours after being born and is now 4 months and 10 days old still just breastfeed. In hospital ask for the nurses to get a boob lady in they can do wonders also even if baby does latch right nipple may still be a little tender also nurses there to help to feel free to ring your bell and ask if babe is latch right I had a sister who has breastfeed her 3 boys and a doula they were also very helpful if you know a doula/midwife may want to get one to help with labour/breastfeeding after. I had a
c-section also find your own way to hold your son well breastfeeding so comfortable for of you milk can take 4 days to come in but that why you have colostrum first don't give up to fast also if you have a friend/family member that has breastfed there baby/babies ask them for help if you comfortable with that my siswter and doula that was also my friend were so very helpful to me. Also buy and bring nipple cream lansinoh it is a blessing in early days of breastfeeding safe for baby and you to you.

[deleted account]

Some great advice, but I would say - BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Feeding your baby is what breasts are for.

Jenny - posted on 05/27/2011

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breastfeeding is great as it ready at any time no dishes bottles etc..
I have three children, just had my third who 5 days old breastfeeding okay.. boobs are quite large as full off milk when the milks comes in about 75 days after birth they feel like footballs and cant be have abear hug.. will settled down as the you get establish with the amount a baby requires.. i breastfeed my other two kids for 18 months now 5 and 2 1/5.
the tip i found is that when you are in hospital ring the bell and get the midwifes to help you get attached so by the time you leave you have it undercontrol,, as it does take time for you and the baby to learn it.. baby do reach out for it.. and as soon as give birth put the baby on chest and offer the boob
it is rewarding and not suppose to hurt if baby got it the boob right in the mouth..
good luck jenny hope thats of some help

Vanessa - posted on 05/27/2011

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You know all those movies you see where the baby is born and the baby nurses right away, with the mother looking serene and peaceful? Yeah, get that image out of your head. I promise, eventually you get to that image, but not right at first. Your learning, you're baby is new and he's learning. It's like riding a bike. You don't just hop on and know what you're doing, but eventually you can ride circles as graceful as the rest of your friends.

The first six weeks is trying. You're tired. You're learning. Your baby is learning and growing. You get growth spurts, where it feels like the baby is constantly nursing.

Then, somewhere in the 4-6 weeks mark you look down and see your tiny baby nursing peacefully, and you get the serene feeling. Or he looks up at you and smiles, and goes back to nursing, and you just melt. You get to a place at that moment where you realize why you've been doing this.

So, expect there to be bumps. Do not expect perfection. Expect it to be challenging for a few weeks... then, expect it to be one of the most amazing experiences of your life.

Circle yourself with support.
Stock up on lansinoh.
Bookmark kellymom.com
Remind yourself in those first weeks that it gets better. You just have to get through the first few weeks.

Oh, and something i recommend, always-
Have a granola bar (or something like that) in your bag/close to you, along with a bottle of water or juice. Nursing will make you hungry, it's nice to have something close and handy to snack on.

Katie - posted on 05/26/2011

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Expect it to be hard! The nurses are usually very helpful but it's not the easiest thing to do. Your baby doesn't know what to do right away so it does take a little time! Once your milk comes in, be prepared with nursing pads! I was caught off guard in public right after I had my first baby and my shirt was soaked! It does hurt and you will have contraction feelings right after birth when you nurse but that will go away! It is a wonderful thing once all of that crazy stuff stops! I nursed my last baby until about 3 weeks ago (he just turned one!) and I agree with mandy, I still have that sad feeling and I do miss it! But its totally worth everything in the end because it's so good for you and your baby!

Mandy - posted on 05/25/2011

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It hurts for a few weeks, but the pain does go away eventually. And then it's as easy and natural as brushing your teeth ;-) After a while you'll probably want to stop coz you'll feel like you want your body back, and then you'll cry for weeks because you miss it so much ;-)
That's what it was like for me, anyway :-P

[deleted account]

You can easily get frustrated before your milk actually comes in. Don't stress just keep trying. Just remember when you feel like giving up that it gets easier and your baby will learn. A lot of moms give their babies formula because they are worried that the baby isnt getting enough to eat. If you have to do that, thats fine but dont give up on breastfeeding because in the long run it is so much easier than constantly making bottles and washing them. I gave my son both breast and bottle for a long time and eventually he decided he didnt like the bottle anymore. Dont stress! :)

Rachel - posted on 05/24/2011

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Expect to have everyone tell you what is "right." :-)
I would recommend checking out La Leche League, Dr. Jack Newman, and investing in a few books: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, The Nursing Mother's Guide to Making More Milk and anything written by Dr. Sears or his wife, Dr. Newman, or listed on the La Leche League's website. Also, check out KellyMom.com.
I would also recommend talking to an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), any La Leche League leaders in your area, and any other moms you know who nursed their babes.
In the beginning, plan to do nothing but eat, drink and nurse. Bathroom breaks are few and far between sometimes. :-)
At first, it may be painful. A little pain is normal, as your breasts are doing something completely new. Cracking, bleeding, or excessive pain are NOT normal and you should talk to someone knowledgeable about it.
Expect to wake up during the night. It is NORMAL for babies to nurse AT LEAST 8 times in a 24 hour period.... usually more than this.
Expect to educate the people around you. They may know what they know, but they may not know what the current research is saying. Educate yourself first, then you can help others to know. And be sure to tell them your expectations. They may not know how to help you, unless you tell them.
Milk doesn't go "sour."....... just so you know... talk to that IBCLC and refer anyone to her.
Your baby will be beautiful! Your body is nurturing a miracle! Your body will be able to nurture that little miracle even after birth! Stay positive. You CAN do this!

Anna - posted on 05/24/2011

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Hi Ashley! How exciting that you are choosing the normal path of nourishing and loving your baby :) Congratulations on a good choice. I would say that you should expect to have to work at breastfeeding. Sometimes it just GELS, but often there are some obstacles to overcome, especially if you've had a c-section or have been separated from your baby for any reason right at birth, which is so commonly done STILL in the hospital. Insist on having the first hour to just be with your baby (as long as everything is normal) and THEN let them do what they need to do. They can APGAR and all that on your belly if they need to.. Expect that once you get iyour "routine" down and establish a good latch that it will be a rewarding and amazing experience to continue what you've been doing for the time of your pregnancy; Sustaining and mothering your baby with your body. It's wonderful and demanding and sometimes frustrating and upsetting. Like anything that is very rewarding it has the full spectrum of feelings and emotions attached to it because you have to be dedicated and TRUST yourself. DEFINITELY get in contact with la leche league- go to meetings now, if you can. OR just call a leader if you are too far from a meeting so that you can introduce yourself and have a familiar voice on the other end of the phone line when at 2am you use the la leche league resource and ask for help because something isn't going right.
Expect it to take a LONG time in the beginning! Those first few weeks feel like you just stopped nursing when it's time to nurse again! Sometimes a feeding takes an hour and the baby wants to feed every 2 hours-- Thats from beginning of feeding to beginning of feeding. some days are LIKE that. half the day is nursing and the other half is sleep!
Listen to your baby and keep him/her close to you. She or he will tell you exactly when they need and/or want to be fed. Expect to Be amazed by how much comfort you can offer by just giving of yourself in this way!
OKAY! tat's my feverish late night ramble :)
ENJOY! it goes so quickly. Cherish each day and SLEEP. OFTEN!

Jana - posted on 05/24/2011

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The three things no one told me that I wish I had known. 1) if it hurts either the baby isn't latched on right or you have an infection more than likely an improper latch. 2) It will hurt the first few days because when your baby latches on you will have contractions for your uterus to shrink back down. 3) never quit on a bad day because you will have them and even though it does get easier everyday it isn't the magical easy bonding commercials make it to be.

Stephanie - posted on 05/24/2011

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Expect to be so proud that you gave your child the 2nd greatest gift you can give. You can expect your child to be sick less often than bottle fed babies. Breast milk also changes with your baby, giving exactly the amount of protein etc. that your baby needs as he/she grows. Formula doesn't do that. There are no artificial sweeteners in your breast milk. There are so many rewards to breast feeding. In the beginning- it is not easy! You have to REALLY make your mind up that this is what you're going to do, no matter what. It's not a "try it out and see" kind of a thing. I thought, "well this will just come naturally, women have been doing it for thousands of years..." I was totally clueless, and I read all the books! I was blessed with a baby who seemed to know what to do and the nurses helped too. If you can't get the hang of it, keep ringing for help. Bug the heck out of those nurses if you have to. It's easier for them if you give up and go to bottle. Your baby may not be hungry right away, they'll be pretty worn out and still have nutrition from your womb. So don't worry if you think your baby can't get it. Your baby WILL get hungry and want that boobie! Again - the nurses want to get that baby full, so he will poop, so they can get you out of there. Oh- and expect it to be super painful! Your nipples will get so raw and red. It only lasted a couple of days for me, but I hung in there. I used these gel sticky things you can keep on all the time. When you take them off they get really cool and feel oh so good when you put them back on. They keep your nipples covered and moist which helps A LOT. If you don't keep them moist, they will get kinda scabbie and hurt more. I also got SO engorged when my milk came in. My boobs were like cantelopes, and just as hard. I freaked out. Thankfully the visiting nurse came by and said to pump to relieve the pressure, what a relief! And if you really, REALLY can't seem to stick to breastfeeding, you can pump so that your baby can have those wonderful nutrients only mom can give. There are very rare cases where a baby cannot tolerate moms milk, it happened to my grandma with one of her kids. Stuff happens sometimes. Of course, this is all my opinion and experience. You will have your own. Good luck and congratulations!

A - posted on 05/24/2011

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Learn to trust and listen to your baby! Don't feed on a schedule. Don't use supplements (formula, bottles, solids, etc). Newborns can eat very often. My son nursed for about 45 minutes every two hours (so from beginning from one feeding to the next that was only an hour 15 minute break) and that was around the clock. Don't mistake frequent feedings for your baby not getting enough. Nearly all women are capable of having an ample milk supply. The best thing to do to ensure a good supply is letting your baby nurse whenever he/she is wants to (if you're not sure, offer). If they don't want to nurse they wont- they will turn their head away for example. But if they want to, they will latch on. Also, don't limit your baby's feedings (15 minutes, for example)- let them nurse as long as they want. If baby is having 5-6 wet disposable diapers a day he/she is getting enough.

It sounds exhausting, and it can be, but it gets better as baby gets older. The newborns stomach is the size of a marble- so they need small FREQUENT meals. Its completely normal for some babies to eat every hour. Again, as months go by baby will eat more at a time less often.

You will learn, over time to trust yourself and your body. You and baby will know what to do...don't listen to others or doctors who don't know what they are talking about. Go to Le Leche League meetings before baby gets here (not some crappy hospital meeting) but one with an acutal board certified lactation consultant.

Buy the book "The Womanly Art of breastfeeding" by Le Leche League. It has everything you need to know and more. If you only read one thing on breastfeeding, thats the one you want.

Monica - posted on 05/24/2011

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Breast feeding is the best thing I could ever do, in those beginning years, for my babies! But the very first thing you should know...patience! Colostrum is the first liquid to be present in your breasts for your baby, and you'll think your baby isn't getting any nourishment and that your milk will just never come in...but, you'll have this 'pre-milk' for aboutv3 days..then comes the milk! Sometimes it's painful, but that subsides after a couple weeks usually. Sometimes it's frustrating, but remember patience. And sometimes it's time consuming (though I've found pumping a great, great thing periodically). Just please remember, anything worth it's weight takes a little time, aggravation and patience!..lol...it's the best thing, specifically designed especially for YOUR baby. It's worth it. Stay with it. When it was time to wiene, i think it was more difficult for me then my babies!

Joy - posted on 05/24/2011

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Ashley,
Hey! Breastfeeding is a very natural and fulfilling way to keep your baby healthy both emotionally and physically. The closeness while feeding lends to closeness to the mother. Unfortunately, gaining this closeness to the father isn't quite as easy, but that's a different post altogether!

When I breastfed my daughter, we didn't seem to know what was going on. She would try to latch on, but for some reason, never really got my nipple far enough into her mouth which made it sort and raw all the time. Eventually, we got better at it. With my son, it was like bread and butter! He latched on perfectly the first time and never once got it wrong!

You just have to figure things out, but there are many, many, MANY resources out there. Someone mentioned La Leche League-awesome people! One resource that was not mentioned, that I can remember reading, is Mayo Clinic. They have an awesome guidebook that is all about the pregnancy, labor, delivery, issues that may arise, learning to breastfeed, and the baby's growth and development for the first year. I do not remember the exact title, but you can probably find it in your local Hastings Book store or other bookstore. You should check it out if you can!

Anyway, good luck with baby and I hope things work out well for you!
Joy

Cara - posted on 05/24/2011

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My biggest piece of advice is to not let anyone change your mind. It will most likely be frustrating at first, but it does get easier. My first son was only breast fed for about 3 months. He was a premie and the nurses at the hospital said he had to be supplemented because he was getting too tired and not eating enough. This ended up derailing my attempts and I just bottle fed him formula since I hate to pump. My younger son was also a premie and even had to spend two weeks in the NICU. This time the nurses were so supportive I think I would have felt guilty if I hadn't tried. I wanted to breastfed and with their support he was ONLY breastfed. After a few months he refused to take a bottle; I was lucky that I was a stay-at-home mom for his first year. It will be hard, but once the two of you get it figured out it will be worth it. ALSO if you do decide to stop breastfeeding, do not let anyone make you feel guilty. It is up to you and your baby; it doesn't work out for everyone.

Bridget - posted on 05/24/2011

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It is frustrating at first for alot of moms..my advice is relax :) get a boppy or a cuddle U pillow (it made bfing so much easier for me) enjoy the special time..the bonding that happens is AMAZING! I'm going to miss it when my little one gets too old but I still have awhile yet :) I personally can feel the "let down" when it happens its all tingly..my nipples got sore at first but after a week or two there shouldnt be any problems the only reason that happens is if your baby doesnt latch properly..just release him/her from your nipple and start again..get some nursing tanktops and bras beforehand I lived in them at first because my son wanted to eat so much :) most importantly there is a light at the end of the tunnel..if you think that you are having unfixable problems with it..your not :) it will get better and now its soo easy for me I dont have to help my son latch at all!! its great..no making a bottle at night..you always have it at the perfect temp everywhere lol. AND its FREEEE!!! :) plus even if you drink and smoke and then feed your wee one its still better for them than formula (which is aweful :P) Good for you for bfing!! :) Your already a good mamma making good choices!

Sarah - posted on 05/24/2011

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I would say to buy plenty of pads for your bra and at least one all cotton bra (no wire) to keep them in at night in case you leak. A feeding journal is also good in the beginning to keep track of when they need to be fed, especially if your little one only wants one breast per feeding. Also, if they start to fuss/cry while feeding it may just be that the flow is too much for them just yet and try leaning back a little to lessen it.

Ralonda - posted on 05/24/2011

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I breasfeed my children and not only is it good for them, but it's convenient. And my kids rarely got sick from colds or fevers. With my first time it hurt for like a week and you are really tired but it was worth it. And you can pump if your spouse wants to help.

Ashlie - posted on 05/24/2011

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You can drink 1 dark beer to help your milk come in after you have the baby (this is a trick my midwife told me, it's the yeast) or mother's milk tea will help as well. It can take several days for your milk to come in which will account for your baby needing to nurse really often to get the supply in. I hear a lot of people say they didn't have enough milk to fill the baby but that is why they nurse so much, to get the milk in and supply up to what they need. If they are nursing more often than expected, that's okay. Your body will figure out how much to make depending on how much the baby nurses. You might have too much or too little but your body will level out and things will calm down. Try not to get discouraged and don't let those little cries intimidate you too much. My son would get so upset that I would have to hold him in the football hold to calm him down enough to latch on. Make sure the baby's lips are flared open wide; just pull that bottom lip down and don't let the baby suck his/her lip in. There should be no sucking noises. You'll want a steady suck suck swallow pattern. The hardest part is the first couple of months but mainly the first couple of weeks and if you can make it through all of that, you're good to go! It's not easy for everybody but you'll be a pro in no time. Just really focus on trying not to get a bad latch on cause they hurt. I made it through a bad latch on and it makes it very painful. If you get a soar spot from a clogged duct, use a hot wash cloth on it and massage and nurse a lot until gone. You don't want an infection! Your baby will teach you what he/she needs and how they need it. It's your job to figure out how to read him/her and you'll realize that in the beginning it's your child teaching you how to be a mother custom made to your baby's specifications. Good luck and remember to ask for help or a break. We all get frustrated and overwhelmed. It just takes some time for things to level out..

Shelly - posted on 05/24/2011

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It's frustrating, at first but it's the best thing for your baby. Always let the baby feed when he ever wants to, Don't worry if you don't have enough milk at the start, It's on demand, so the more your baby suckles the more your body will provide! I have done breastfeeding for a year with my daughter, I would have gone even further but i'm expecting another baby soon! It really is the best, my daughter only had a cold once in winter time, and that's it! She's also very bright. Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits, for you and the babe. Hang in there! Best of luck ♥

Christina - posted on 05/24/2011

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You should read "So That's What They're For" and "The Breastfeeding Book". My biggest piece of advice is that you can run into a variety of issues, but you can overcome all of them. You just have to be determined. Most of the time when a women says, "I'm going to try to breastfeed", she ends up using formula at some point. I'm not being negative towards anyone, but if you don't want to use formula, commit to that. For me, there was no other option. I was not going to use formula, end of story. With my daughter, we ran into a few issues. She was early and had a hard time staying awake to nurse. Plus, she didn't gain very quickly. We worked through all of the issues and I nursed her until she was 29 months. With my 3 month old son, he latched perfectly from the beginning. He was a nursing champ. Around 3 weeks old, he started getting "colicky" and it only got worse until he was screaming almost all day. I figured out that he had an intolerance to dairy in my diet. Since clearing all diary out, he has been the happiest baby. It's not always easy, but it's more than worth it.

Ignore doctors that think a baby has to have a bottle or doesn't support breastfeeding past a certain point. Ignore family members when they say you should bottlefeed, so that they can feed the baby. Fathers, grandparents, aunts & uncles, etc can bond with the baby in other ways. The mother is built to feed the baby. Dad's can do bath time, story time or just snuggle time. Sometimes it's hard to take the criticism from "well meaning" family members, but remember that you are doing what is best for your baby and they will get over it. :)

Cynthia - posted on 05/24/2011

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Read, read, read! Even if you don't enjoy reading, this is definitely the time that you should be prepared. And don't let negative comments from people scare you. It can be difficult for some people in the beginning, but if you have support it's often not that bad. In the beginning I had a somewhat inverted nipple that was very painful to nurse from, toe-curling pain. I called the lactation consultant at the hospital I delivered at and she got me on the right track pretty quickly. Also, like other people have mentioned get in touch with La Leche League. Not only does it help with breastfeeding but that is where I met most of my mom friends. And it's so helpful to have other mom friends who are going through the same thing as you are. There is nothing more hindering to breastfeeding then being surrounded by non-supportive people. Good luck!

Rachel - posted on 05/24/2011

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Expect it to take some time to catch on. You are both new to it. If he latches right away, great! If not, don't be discouraged! You're milk will take a few days to come in. There is NO NEED to supplement. The colostrum he gets the first few days is all he needs and has a ton of antibodies in it! Have a certified lactation consultant's number or a local La Leche League leader ready to call if you need help. That's what they are their for. It will probably hurt a little. Your nipples need to get used to it. If it's toe curling pain, call a lactation consultant or LLL leader. If you have a local La Leche league that meets near you, I recommend going as often as possible before the baby comes.

Liha - posted on 05/24/2011

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Just know that there is a TON of support out there, and don't be surprised if you need it. La Leche League has groups and phone support: 1-877-452-5324 There are lactations specialists available all over the place also. Good luck!!!

Isabel - posted on 05/24/2011

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It will hurt for a while in the begining but as long as you stick to it you will suceed. It helps to thing that it is best for your baby and that the pain you just gotta deal with it. once you both learn how to position and latch on then it will be a breeze. Your nipples may bleed but it's ok. make sure you buy some of the nipple cream to keep them moist or they may dry up and crack and cause scabs. This really hurts when the baby eats. If you're luck you wont have to deal with this and you and your baby will have a great bond right away. either way it is a great experiencce and great bond between you and baby. I breastfed my son for 3 months and still going with my 5 month old daughter :) good luck. and congrats :)

Jillian - posted on 05/24/2011

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The best advice I can give any woman wanting to breastfeed is this: You need to really do your homework! It is different for everyone, but some truths are universal. The book I found most useful in learning how to nurse my first baby was "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding". Check it out from the library, and learn about the different things that can come up. I also follow "Baby Wise", and there are some great things about breastfeeding in that book, too. I had lots of problems as I nursed my first baby - including open wounds that took 3 months to heal. But I was absolutely determined to breastfeed, and I have never regretted it! I now have 3 children, all breastfed!

JAMEE - posted on 05/24/2011

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Stay relaxed and be patient. My first daughter had a hard time and we ended up having to go to formula. But I think most of the problem was I was way uptight and scared and stressed. With my second daughter I learned all I could. watched videos, read books and just was determined to stay relaxed. I had no problems. she was a natural. I also think the timing of the first feeding is very important. first baby it was at least 3 hr before I got to try for the first time. with the second I made them let me try within 20 mins. Huge difference!!!

Sarah - posted on 05/24/2011

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Nothing too bad. Watch out for yeast (thrush) in his mouth and you will probably get it but it's easy to cure. Use yogurt. Other than that, breast feeding is pretty easy. Don't let your dr push you into giving him a bottle though. They pressured me into giving my son one so I did and he didn't breastfeed for long at all. So be careful. Good luck! :) If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

PS your boobs will be sore, but if you feed him constantly, you won't be sore for long. :)

Jaime - posted on 05/24/2011

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in response to the mom complaining about breast tissue... pregnancy does that, not breastfeeding. this is a myth!!! I have three kids and breastfed just fine... takes a whole lot more time to make a bottle that to just stick a baby on the breast! Get a breastfeeding friendly baby carrier (moby, ring sling, etc) so you can be hands free if you need to get something done or you need to breastfeed while out. Don't let ignorant people discourage you! While you're out you'll get a variation of reactions, but society has some hang ups about the breast that a lot of use breastfeeders are trying to change, but what matters most here? It's baby... If you don't spend enough time with baby to breastfeed them, you need to re-evalutate your priorities... might be harsh, but parenting is the most important thing you will do on this earth and if you can't put them first then you aren't ready for it yet... breastfeeding is not about anyone but the baby... sometimes we must do some selfless things and make sacrifices because our children deserve the best.

If you have issues breastfeeding re: supply, SEE SOMEONE! And never supplement, it's a sabatagor! I recommend doing some research on the Virgin Gut, and try sparing that as well. What's also awesome is if you EBF (exclusively breastfeed, nothing but breastmilk), don't sleep train your baby, in fact, sleep WITH baby, delay solids (6 months or longer) then you will likely keep your cycle away as well. Breastfeeding helps keep PPD to a minimum. Breast milk poo smells like yogurt and looks like mustard, so it's not offensive! How great is that?! Baby's burps and spit up don't smell bad either, in fact, the average breastfed baby doesn't spit up as much, doesn't suffer from constipation or other digestive issues as so many on formula do. Formula poo stinks to high heaven, let me tell you! There are so many health benefits for you and for your baby... After the first few weeks of soreness and and engorgement pass, you'll be comfortable again, have a great looking pair of boobs, and probably have the happiest baby you know!

My baby was also born at home but I do know there are a lot of boobie traps at the hospital. REFUSE the free formula if they still hand it out. Create a birth plan that details the fact that you are adament on breastfeeding, that you "DO NOT consent to the use of bottles or artificial foods (formula), that no pacifiers are to be given to your baby, and no sugar water." Yes, hospitals will do this without saying a thing to you, so either keep that baby at your side at all times, or make sure a little sign goes with your baby to the nursery. I have even seen onsies that say "No artificial nipples".

The breast is the ultimate tool in raising a baby! It solves every single problem your baby has! In fact, I can say I don't really hear any crying with my nursling, I use the breast to calm her for everything. There's even evidence to suggest breastfeeding is a natural pain reliever. Sometimes it's hard if you want to get something done etc., but remember these tiny baby moments are so fleeting! Next thing you know they'll be running away from you and you'll miss these tender moments when they needed you so and wanted to curl up on your lap and nurse, look up at you, smile, and drift off.... and you feel like the most awesome person in the world to that baby because only you can do that... no one else... it's amazing! The female body is just amazing!

Phew! I think I'm done!

Kaytee - posted on 05/24/2011

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You can't try or think about breastfeeding.... you have to do it. Some doctors/ nurses will say " oh the baby's not taking to you, we need to give him some formula. " my son was born at home with a midwife, they understand that a newborn will spit up clear fluid for several hours, my son it was for a whole day... it was like force breastfeeding. For the first 3 days you'll produce colostrum, then your milk comes in. Babies naturally want to take to their mother, they have no choice when a bottle is shoved in their mouth. If you really want to breastfeed do it. As long as you've been healthy you'll be able to breastfeed, just don't let anyone tell you, you can't. BTW it makes feeding time so much easier. Baby cries give him a tit... stops the crying in a snap! Good luck to you!

Lisa - posted on 05/24/2011

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You are a smart girl to check it out before the baby arives. You'll do well if you dedicate yourself to it. After a little while, it is a piece of cake.

Lisa - posted on 05/24/2011

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Find a local ABA (that's Australian Breastfeeding Association) or La Leche group. Depending where you live obviously. Breastfeeding is a skill with predictable and solveable issues that need to be dealt with. It is not natural and easy at first. But very valuable in so many ways, one cannot explain. Please find support to get you through any issues that may or may not arise for you. You only have about 48 hrs to get it right before panic and the bottle sets in.

Monica - posted on 05/24/2011

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Ashley, Do yourself a favour and get the book," Womanly Art of Breastfeeding". Also join your local La Leche League group. You will have other ladies and mommies assisting you through the ups and downs of breastfeeding. Just remember ONE thing... It's the best you can do for yourself and for your baby. It's extremely rewarding and it will certainly give your baby a huge advantage to life! Find your local LLL by going onto the website: http://www.llli.org
Best of luck... from a mommy that is currently breastfeeding 2 kiddies... a girl 2 years and 6 months and a boy of 10 months.

Rachel - posted on 05/24/2011

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oh p.s. when you stop breastfeeding becareful, if you don't slowly stop, you get clog ducts. rachel johnson

Rachel - posted on 05/24/2011

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well with my first he didnt latch very well and i dried up. But he was fine on formula, got a little chubby. with my daughter i breast feed till 21/2 months. i stopped because it was hard to take care of her when my son would be hungry. its good to breast feed to connect better is what they say, but it really just depends how much time you spend with them. ( i wished i hadnt now because i lost a lot of breast, i know that sounds selfish but, trying to breastfeed when sometimes she wouldnt; you get really irratated. rachel johnson

Sarah - posted on 05/24/2011

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Awesome decision! Hopefully it is a piece of cake for you, but if it isn't, USE YOUR LOCAL LACTATION CONSULTANT! I remember calling mine in tears(postpartum) they are so helpful(better than the pediatrician! My pediatrician kept trying to force formula on me. I changed docs after that...Most of all trust yourself as a new mom with mommy instincts..and good luck:)

CHRISTIE - posted on 05/23/2011

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First I want to say God bless you for at least giving it a try!!! There is NOTHING else like breastfeeding!!! It will give you a very close bond with your little one and it's the best thing for them!!! I have to say it will have to be something you really want. For the first couple of weeks your nipples will be very sore!! But don't give up, that will pass. And if they are latching on very well it's not that bad!!! All of my kids had very small mouths so it was a little hard to get them to latch really well. But I didn't give up and it was the best experience!!!! Just enjoy every moment you can!!! They grow up really fast!!!

Marcia - posted on 05/23/2011

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it can be hard at first, especially if you lack support. i had problems getting my DD to latch and they pushed bottles on me at the hospital so we ended up with nipple confusion issues and it took a good 3 weeks to work it all out with practically no sleep and a lot of tears. But she went on to nurse until she was 14 months.

Remember that the way to tell if your LO is getting enough is by the number of wet/dirty diapers. There is no way to really measure how much your LO is getting so this is what you go by. Breastfed babies nurse a LOT in the beginning, much more frequently than bottle fed babies need to eat. This doesn;t mean they are starving, they are simply stimulating you to produce more milk which is what is supposed to happen. It may feel like they want to eat constantly...literally. This is normal. Especially when they go through growth spurts. When this happens you might feel "empty" but you are NOT. again, go by whether or not your LO has enough wet/dirty diapers and is gaining, not how full or empty you think your breasts are, or whether or not your LO is fussy. Babies are fussy for many reasons.

See a lactation consultant asap if you have any issues at all, and find your local LLL group!

Good luck and congrats on your coming LO!

Stephanie - posted on 05/23/2011

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Expect to need advice and help. It would seem logical that you and your baby should just instinctively know how it works...but you won't. Unless you are really lucky to have a very knowledgeable newborn. (or just _very_ hungry at first) your breasts may be tender because they've never had to do this kind of work before, my right brest never did like to accept my child, and that is still the case. (almost 2 years later) just remember that you will have to be stubborn and resist all the adds for formula and all that jazz. But you make the perfect food for your child! And it re-formulates itself to your infant's needs!

Jessica - posted on 05/23/2011

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If you have a La Leche League in your area I highly recommended going to one of those meetings before you deliver because I did and it totally helped to hear real-life momma's tell it how it was for them. And you will have a support circle for when your little bundle is here :)

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