I am thinking about breastfeeding.

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010 ( 132 moms have responded )

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I am thinking about breastfeeding and wanted some advice from other moms. Has anyone relied just on pumping? Or did you do both? Or just feeding from your breasts? I need advice on how to go about this.

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Natasha - posted on 08/04/2010

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Do it do it do it do it!!! Lol. Get as much info as possible on how good it is for you and baby. There are videos on you tube and such about how to get your baby to latch on, etc. I am still bf my 9 month old and it is the BEST thing you can do for your baby. The first couple months are rough, but after that it is amazing. No buying formula or having to heat up bottles. I pumped quite a bit in the begining and would sometimes have my fiancé take over a night feeding because of not getting any sleep. But I had a good milk supply from the start. Definately go see a lactation consultant after baby is born. I saw one a few times because you and baby are both learning how in the begining. It's such a great bonding experience and your baby will mostlikely be healthier for it! Educate yourself as much as possible! Good luck :-)

[deleted account]

There are some useful posts in this community that might help:

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIRST-TIME EXPECTANT MUMS WHO PLAN TO BREASTFEED
*Edited*BREASTFEEDING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Sara has suggested some great internet resources. My favourite source of breastfeeding information is the Australian Breastfeeding Association:http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

Have a good read through these.

I think the key is preparation. Read everything you can. Go to breastfeeding classes, join a breastfeeding support group, surround yourself with breastfeeding mums. And of course, there's lots of support here!

You go girl! All the best for your pregnancy!

Tara - posted on 08/04/2010

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I tried to feed directly from my breasts with both children. My daughter just would not latch on and instead of spending my time with her being frustrated and struggling, I wanted to enjoy my time with her and decided to just pump and feed her. It was a lot of work but I wanted her to be able to have my milk as long as I could do it. Breastmilk is made especially for your baby. It is the best thing you can give your baby. She got my milk for about 3 months. I wish I would have done it longer. I was able to get my son to latch on using a nipple shield. once again, I didn't want to struggle with him and wanted to enjoy my time with him. So I kept up with the breastfeeding using the nipple shield as long as I could. He ended up wanting a bottle more than my breast after I went back to work. So I was doing a lot of pumping and feeding him and then he only wanted my breast at night. So I stopped when he was about 5 months. Whatever you decide to do, don't let anyone make you feel bad about it. If you can at least give the baby the colastrum that first comes out, that would be really good. I don't think I spelled that right. : ) Good luck to you!!

Kaete - posted on 08/04/2010

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The thing to remember about breastfed babies is that they often eat more often and wake more at night. However, they're much easier to put back to sleep (from what I've heard) because they'll often fall asleep nursing.

Kaete - posted on 08/04/2010

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Doooo iiiiiiit!!! :)

I was SO skeptical and unsure at first; I had been trying NOT to get pregnant in the first place, and no one I knew IRL had breast-fed. I thought it would be hard, inconvenient, and uncomfortable.

But the more I learned, the more I wanted to give it a try, so I did. We had some initial bumps in the road, but we successfully nursed for almost a year and a half before she weaned. :)

I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old, and I couldn't pump enough for her on my breaks (I got strict, short breaks, during which I had to try to pump in a public bathroom stall--it sucked, to say the least), so she ended up having formula at daycare, and we nursed at home. It worked for us.

It can be difficult and painful, but mostly just at first. With some patience and perseverance, by the end of the first couple weeks, you'll probably both have it down pat.

It's so much more convenient; I didn't have to carry bottles around or worry that I hadn't brought enough if errands ran longer than expected. I was always ready to feed her, it was always the right temperature, and I didn't even need a diaper bag; just the changing pad-velcro-thingee thrown in my purse with a couple diapers, wipes, and extra clothes.

The bonding is also amazing. I wouldn't trade it for the world. And remember--to each their own. If you try it and don't like it, you can always switch, but if you don't try it, you will never know. :)

Jennifer Ann Saunders - posted on 08/04/2010

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I am still BFing my ten month old, and have always done both nursing and pumping, and it has worked just fine for us. I have no problem with my supply decreasing at all. I would pump every morning after Henry nursed to build up a supply in the freezer (that was the time of day that I had the most milk since he was sleeping the longest then). Having a large supply of milk stored up makes goign back to work much easier.

I was luckily able to take H with me to work from age 3 weeks to 4 months and then he started daycare, which made nursing much easier. I would advise getting the baby used to a bottle so you have the option to do both. It has made life very easy for us, and allows my husband to help and allows me to be away from H without issues.

Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can give your child! It is healthy for both of you. Good luck!!!! =)

Yvonne - posted on 08/04/2010

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don't be discouraged! it's the most natural thing. i've been nursing for 20 months now. i did have a period when it hurt, but it got better and has not been a problem. i did not like pumping...only did it during the painful period to allow my nipple to heal. pumping is a pain in the ass--bottles and all that.
i have to say that it's a godsend as well, because my daughter is a picky eater and has food allergies. you never know what will come up and breast milk is a sort of cure all...like when baby is sick or has a bad reaction to food...
i highly recommend it :-)

Kirsten Veronica - posted on 08/04/2010

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ugh, the people who think you are doing something wrong because the baby eats all the time or "only" sleeps 4-5 hours at a time are the worst "boobie traps" out there.

Jessie, your story is a great illustration about how a solid support system can help a new mom and baby get past those first stumbling blocks.

Jessie - posted on 08/04/2010

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So I already posted on here but I am back... I really want to stress the importance of having a good support person(s) in your life to be there for the emotional roller coaster of being a new mommy and breastfeeding. I have always known I would breastfeed and never considered formula, that's just the way I am. It was stressful in the begining from lack of sleep and such and I did nurse my son practically 24/7 the first month or more. Several people discouraged me and tried to tell me I was doing something wrong and just to give him formula (because he ate so often and didn't sleep as much as they thought he should) The WORST person for this is my MOTHER. She has been trying to get me to quit for the last year. I had to tell her to back off or she would not be allowed to see us until she could keep her opinion to herself. I wouldnt have gotten this far (1 year old) without the support of my boyfriend and my best friend. My boyfriend is fully supportive and was like my personal servant in the begining while we learned to nurse. Bringing me sandwiches and juice while I nursed, rubbing my shoulders, actuallly helping me latch the baby to my breast (he hated to be swaddled but flailed his arms/legs around so much sometimes he couldnt latch well so daddy held him down until he started to suckle and the milk calmed him down). my best friend came over and helped me learn to pump and has always been there to support me. When she had her son I was the one to support her and go to the lactation specialist with her and her newborn (before I ever had a baby) so I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do for my children and she is my 'other rock' now with my child. Dont let people like my mother get to you. just know you are doing the best thing for your babe no matter what others think. good luck and happy mommy hood!

Kirsten Veronica - posted on 08/04/2010

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That's great news Sarah! Pumping is a good option if you need it (going back to work or traveling for a day or two) or if you have to for other reasons, but nothing, NOTHING, beats straight from the boobie. ;) Or if, like me, you want to be able to cook for your (older) baby without using cow's milk.

If you need help, there are a lot of resources available, but the best advice I've ever gotten, and can give, is, listen to your heart. If something sounds "wrong" to you, or if you're like me and the very thought of something makes you sick to your stomach, find what works. In the beginning I was told not to feed my daughter more than every 1 1/2 hours. She would scream and cry and I would cry and my breasts would leak and I would curl around my pain and wonder what I was doing wrong. When I figured out that I was supposed to be feeding her ALL THE TIME initially, and just stopped looking at the clock or my watch and started listening to my daughter, everything changed for the better. So listen to yourself and your baby and have fun. ♥

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010

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Thanks everyone! I think I am going to forget about the pumping unless I have to do it and at least give the breastfeeding a try.

Amanda - posted on 08/04/2010

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just make sure your nipple is on the back of your babies tongue or the latch will hurt. don't be afraid to pop him/her off and relatch if need be. if you've never done it before it's very much trial and error. I nursed all 3 of my babies and will nurse my little one as well. With my first it wasn't easy and we both had quite the learning curve, but we caught on fast and it was so worth it. I loved every minute with each child and cannot wait to nurse my newest child. good luck and don't forget, we're all here if you need support. make sure to use the support systems offered by a local lactation consultant as well, or your local LLL.

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010

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Oh, and, because I didn't know this and wished I did, consider the first six weeks a growth spurt. Baby will want to eat all the time. Miss Clara slowed way down after that.

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010

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There are two best things about exclusivly breastfeeding your baby: it's best for baby AND FREE!!! I was slightly aprehensive about breastfeeding in the beginning but was able to work through the pain with Soothie ice packs, breast shells, and motrin. 4 1/2 months and still going strong. It's also a great way to bond w/ baby. Keep in mind that it will be difficult in the beginning, but it is so worth it.

Helpful internet resourses:
http://www.llli.org/
http://www.drjacknewman.com/default.asp
http://www.kellymom.com/ (becoming my favorite)

I read What To Expect When Expecting and What To Expect The First Year. Both have extensive chapters about breastfeeding. My husband and I took a class as well. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, and helpful people (like us!). You'll do great!

Kirsten Veronica - posted on 08/04/2010

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Sarah, if you go in with some good intentions (i.e. I really want to do this!) and make sure you listen to only the advice that actually makes sense to you, and get help, and more help, you should do just fine. Ask if the lactation consultant you get in the hospital is internationally board certified though because I've heard horror stories about LC's being just as stupid as can be. If you have any problems in the beginning, which is normal, you're exhausted and a new mommy and everyone is throwing "advice" at you...Find an LLL (La Leche League) leader/meeting. Or even go to the LLLI.org online forums and trust me, you CAN do it. A very very very small percentage of women have any physiological problems breastfeeding (2-3%) and most of those can be overcome with help. Most people fail at breastfeeding because they didn't have the appropriate support and didn't listen to their baby and their body.

It sounds like you are well on your way to a good start!

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010

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To Tara Lee- I was thinking of exclusively breastfeeding because of the pain everyone was describing. I think I am going to give just regular old breastfeeding a try first though.

Kirsten Veronica - posted on 08/04/2010

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Breastfeeding NEVER hurt for me! NEVER. Don't let people scare you. You might have a delightful time of it without any problems what so ever. My daughter is going to be 1-year-old on Monday and we still breastfeed on demand. I had the lactation counselor come to my room TWICE when she was born and I attended La Leche League meetings. A good latch is the key to everything and you can get that with help if it "doesn't come naturally." Don't let anyone tell you pain is "normal." If you are uncomfortable, find someone to help you and your baby fix it. And please don't believe anyone who tells you you have to "toughen up" your nipples in order to breastfeed. Ugh.

I have pumped and have a freezer section full of milk, but since I'm a SAHM I rarely use it. Lately it's use is for cooking things for her that would normally have cow's milk in them, like rice pudding.

It is recommended that bottles not be introduced until after four weeks and there are bottles that help to reduce "nipple confusion" by being more "breast-like." It would also be a good idea to avoid pacifiers and let baby suckle whenever s/he wants to.

I highly recommend spending the first several days/weeks at home with your baby topless. Seriously. Let the boobies hang out, the baby hang on and you will have the best bonding start you can imagine. Plus you might leak, and being topless reduces the need to clean up or risk of getting thrush.

If you exclusively pump you run the risk of supply issues true, and as the previous posters stated, it sucks and is exhausting. Breastfeeding is easy, clean, convenient and always available. And nursing in public gets very easy as long as you are confident and aware of your rights as a mother to feed your baby where ever you are allowed to be.

I would also recommend a ring sling or wrap style carrier so you can learn how to breastfeed hands free.

Good luck! I hope this works for you and you get the amazing bonding experience and nourishment for your baby that your breasts were made for. ♥

Dora - posted on 08/04/2010

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You should definitely at least try breast feeding. It is one of the best things you could ever do for you baby. I did both because I had to go back to work after 12wks. I did start my son out on the breast and bottle within the first 24hrs he was born in order to let him get used to both and not get confused. He never had a problem taking from both. I have to admit I did like the fact that the more I fed my son from the breast ther less bottles I had to wash. Big plus.

Amy - posted on 08/04/2010

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The first few weeks it's going to hurt (even if they are latched on correctly) but it is so worth the pain. After my daughter was a couple days old he would take one of the night feedings so I could sleep, that and I wanted her to take a bottle when I returned to work. Now I'm back to work and pump for my lo, let me tell you how aggravating it is to come home and wash all my pumping stuff plus all of the bottles. On my days off I feed her right from the breast and it's so rewarding to walk into the kitchen knowing I don't have to wash any bottles.

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010

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I think I will give it a try and probably only pump if need be. Thanks everyone I really appreciate it :) Just have to get over my fear of any pain that may come my way. I'm sure it will be okay though.

Jamie - posted on 08/03/2010

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I had zero pain when i began breastfeeding. Make sure you're educated about proper latch techniques and ask a lactation consultant if you're having problems with latch. Babies should always be latched to your areola, not your nipple and breastfeeding should be pain free.

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010

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I think the only thing holding me back from actually exclusively breastfeeding is people making it sound scary from how painful some people have said it is.

Luisa - posted on 08/03/2010

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Breastfeeding all the way! straight from the boob, it is a beautiful thing. When they get a bit older, they caress you and you hold them so close to you. I pumped and introduced the bottle after 4 months, just to make sure that he did not leave the boob. The boob is so much easier to feed them, no bottles to wash or pack, or warm up! I loved breastfeeding, but be prepared, it is alot more work! you pretty much give up on having a life or separating from them for a few months. If you are ready for this sacrifice, then you will love breastfeeding right from the boob.

Jennifer - posted on 08/03/2010

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i exclusively pump for my 8 month old and honestly, it sucks. it is at least twice the amount of work, and thats when you aren't having supply issues. when you are having supply issues, it is so beyond stressful. the last time my supply randomly decreased, i had to supplement with formula once a day because we used up the stash we had in the freezer and apparently my son does not tolerate formula because he was projectile vomiting...it was extremely scary and heartbreaking.

it can be extremely difficult to keep your supply up and requires tremendous amounts of effort at times. i wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and i wish every single day that we had worked harder to get my son to latch. i see women talking about being embarrassed about nursing in public, and rude things that they experience while nursing in public and i would trade my situation for that any day.

take breastfeeding classes, read books, and make sure you surround yourself with people that will support you. breastfeeding is difficult in the beginning but seeing your little baby flourish and thrive on the milk that your body made special for your babe is the greatest feeling in the world.

Jessie - posted on 08/03/2010

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I personally HATE pumping it is such an absolute hassle and it is time spent away from my son when I can just pick him up, snuggle him and feed him. I can even let him have a boob and take a little snooze these days. He just turned one and it is by the best thing I have ever done in my life. We had a rough start with an infection and some long sleepless periods but that is pretty normal with a newborn. You can do it. Take a breastfeeding class, read the books and have a good support person

Celeste - posted on 08/03/2010

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Pumping: You can exclusively pump but in my experience, it's more of a hassle-you have to wash bottles, along with pump parts. Plus, pumping isn't as efficient as baby.

Breastfeeding directly from breasts is easier than pumping. No bottles to wash, just put baby on.

A few things:
-Educate yourself, attend breastfeeding classes, read books. A few of my favorites is So That's What They're There For by Janet Tamaro. Some other good ones are Dr. Sears' Breastfeeding Book, Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by LLL.
-Surround yourself with support-moms who have breastfed, pediatricians, your husband

Sammie - posted on 08/03/2010

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Exclusive pumping is possible, but A LOT of work. Its so much easier to just put your baby to your breast.
Why wouldnt you just want to breastfeed?

Tara Lee - posted on 08/03/2010

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I breastfed my DD for 23months. I tried pumping and got a lot of milk but my DD refused to take the bottle, so I just stopped. It really depends on you and your situation on weather you pump, breast, or both. Although, the bonding experience of breast is the greatest thing... Good Luck!

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010

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I want to do it so bad because it is so much better for them then formula. I heard though that if you exclusively pump that you will stop producing milk.

Shannon - posted on 08/03/2010

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I pumped for the first month because I couldn't get my son to latch on properly and it was HURTING me (to say the least) Finally my lactation consultant and my aunt helped me, and it was a breeze for the next few months. I still did both because sometimes I needed to be away, So I would pump enough for my son to eat while I was gone... (I had to plan ahead cause sometimes I would only get an ounce or two at a time) After he got older and got teeth, he got a little rough with me and it was a little painful, and also he would freak out if I left the room! BUT The good thing about it is it's so good for your baby and the bonding is like no other! The down side to it is you basically have to be there all the time (unless u pump), sometimes it hurts and you have to be prepared for leaks and outings and so on. I did it for 11 months until my son weened himself and it was fine. I wouldn't say it was great, because for me, it wasn't. But I stuck through it and I'm glad I did because my son is so smart and healthy and happy! Some women enjoy it! So you should give it a shot and if you don't like it you can always switch to formula, but you can never switch from formula to breast milk... hope this helps you! Good luck!

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