Scared about breastfeeding

Joy - posted on 11/01/2008 ( 58 moms have responded )

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I am 7 months pregnant and the thing that scares me the most about my little girls arrival is breastfeeding. Many of my friends have not been successfull and I really want this to work. I am open to any advice or comforting thoughts.

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Paige - posted on 11/07/2008

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I know that La Leche League has been a lifesaver for many moms, but in my darkest hour, I couldn't find a consultant in Utah to help me. I looked up every number of every consultant and called them. I ran into people being out of the country, away from home, or just answering machines. I never had one single message returned to me, by any of the consultants, and I left many. I got by, with searching the internet, books my mom had given me, and my mom's support as she had nursed 6 babies. I just did not have the good experience with LLL that I had heard so much about.

Jamea - posted on 11/07/2008

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i have been breastfeeding for the past 9 months and it wasnt all that difficult, just uncomfortable in the beginning. the first few weeks are going to be hard but as soon as your milk comes in and you develope a routine it is very easy. i find breastfeeding so much easier than having to get up and make a bottle.

Kiyomi - posted on 11/07/2008

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All I can really say is there is alot of great advice here. I was so engorged when my little girl was born that I asked for a nipple shield to help her nurse, since my nipples were completely flat and the only way for her to be able to latch on was to expel some of the colostrum or use the shield. And since I didn't prepare my nipples for all the stress that was going to be put on them, I opted for the shield...it was a life saver. My baby also just loves to suck, so I gave her a pacifier soon after her first time nursing at the hospital (which was about an hour or two after she was born). So, I would say to try nursing her without aids, but if she just seems to be getting fussy and mad, ask for a nipple shield to help. My baby used one until she was a month old and then I worked our way off it (it also helped my nipples to not be too sore when she first latched on without the shield).

Jessa - posted on 11/07/2008

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To tell you the honest truth, breastfeeding is a wonderful blessing that you can share with your baby. My son is 15 months, and he still nurses 1X a day, just in the morning when he gets up. It is a nice thing that he still does it, because it is the only time of day that this busy toddler will stay still and cuddle with me!! So, aside from the obvious health benefits, it is wonderful bonding that only you can share with your little one. But no one told me how much work it would be, and I was totally shocked in the beginning about how exhausting, painful and demanding it was. Yeah, it is natural and beautiful, but it is also very draining, especially in the early days when baby is building up your milk supply and wants to nurse 24/7. I think it is important to let women know this aspect of breastfeeding too, not at all to discourage you, but just to prepare. I wanted to give it up so many times in the first few weeks, but I stuck with it, and I am so thankful. It takes about a month to 6 weeks to establish a good nursing rhythm with your baby. Things that helped me were supportive friends and family and a good lactation consultant. I think that people usually give up because no one knows how demanding it is. It is really normal for baby to want to feed, or just to suckle around the clock, and that can be really tiring. When I figured out how to feed him lying down, and snooze together, it really helped. In the end, whatever feels the most comfortable for you and your newborn will be the best. Good luck to you and your precious angel!! I hope you'll at least give it a try, and then at least you can be comforted knowing that you tried it. (BTW, it is also a total myth that formula will make baby sleep longer, or that putting cereal in the formula will magically make them sleep through the night-- I admit I tried both!!)

Laurie - posted on 11/07/2008

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Joy, Something to keep in mind is that if you find breast feeding painful, as mentioned in the other posts, that pumping for a few days can let your nipples heal. Once they get cracked and bleeding from a few bad latches, it hurts even if they do latch on properly. I had a horrible time at first and by the end on the third day in hospital after my C-section I was in such pain I was had a melt down. I was also exhausted which didn't help either. My son had to stay in the hospital for a few days after I was released so I got a breast pump and started pumping. That gave me a chance to heal up (and catch up on my sleep!) and it went a bit better after that. It was still quite painful as my son wouldn't latch properly most of the time even with lots of help from the public health nurse. The end result was I was pumping pretty much full time and trying to breast feed once a day or so so he wouldn't forget how. That actually worked fairly well and by the time he was a couple months old his latch was much better and I could feed him directly two or three times a day without too much discomfort. The public health nurse said it would get better as his mouth got bigger and it did. Now I can breast feed him and it doesn't hurt at all. I never had any problem with nipple confusion - he could go back and forth from the bottle to nipple and sometimes at the same feeding. One thing I did notice was that he tended to drink a lot more from the bottle so I tended to breast feed during the day and give him as much milk in a bottle as I could get him to drink just before bed - that way he slept for a really long time. He is almost eleven months old now and still gets an eight ounce bottle of breast milk first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. The rest of the time he gets cows milk and other solid food but I'd say it's still 2/3rds breast milk 1/3 cows milk over the course of the day.

Paige - posted on 11/07/2008

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I can honestly say, that was the scariest part for me as well, but when my daughter was born, all my fears about breastfeeding were long gone. I was more scared about this little child I now had to take care of. And here I am 4 1/2 months later, getting along just fine. The breastfeeding was hard for the first couple weeks, because this was my first and I had to figure out her schedule, and the pain, but it goes away, and for me, is great bonding time. But, don't feel bad if you are not comfortable with it, if you forced yourself to do something you weren't ok with, it could probably do more harm than good. For me, the pacifier was not a problem in the slightest. They gave one to her, and she used it at the hospital, but wouldn't take it when we came home, she now sucks on her fingers all the time.

Jeana - posted on 11/07/2008

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I too was nervous and apprehensive about breast feeding my daughter. I took a class, which was helpful. When she was born she latched on great, but I got really really sore, and wanted to quit. But I got a shield and that helped a lot. I would also suggest investing in a good pump. Stay positive, and dont beat yourself up, if it doesnt work for you.

Lauri - posted on 11/07/2008

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Things that helped me:

1) The book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding http://www.amazon.com/Womanly-Art-Breast...



2) Breast cups... I had flat nipples, but they also helped because I could put lanolin on my nipples after nursing and it kept my bra off of them.



3) Lanolin applied after nursing.



4) Lipton iced tea bags. Steeped for just a second then placed on the nipples... very soothing, something about the tannins in the tea help. (I would do this, then put the lanolin on then the nipple sheilds).



5) A local Le Leche League support group... plus I met other moms with children close to my baby's age. You can find one in your area at: www.llli.org



6) The lactation specialist at the hospital.



7) Breathing... once I relaxed it made it much easier.



8) Best advice: baby's instinctively know how to eat, lay the baby on your naked chest and allow him/her to find their own way to which ever nipple they want. (It was amazing that my 3 day old daughter could move herself enough to get to the nipple - it took a while but she got it).



Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!!

Heather - posted on 11/07/2008

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Oh honey, don't be scared. This is the most natural thing in the world. Yes, it takes a bit of work at first. Get support from a lactation consultant, the nurses, and your family. It helps if you husband is behind you 100%. Take a class together so that you both understand the basics, if nothing else. My husband and I went to a class and it was a wonderful thing for both of us. And most of all nurse as quickly as you are able after she is born.



I remember being frustrated because I couldn’t get my son to latch on properly and the first several tries at nursing hurt a bit. We figured it out in the hospital with a lot of continual help. We hit a few rough patches at home at first but I would stop and evaluate his positioning or ask my husband if he looked right (this is where the class came in handy) and together all 3 of us would figure it out. We were also lucky enough to have a visiting nurse (RN and lactation specialist) from our County Health Dept. stop by for free.



All of my friends have nursed their kids but the best advice I received (from a mom of 3) was “after you nurse, express a little milk and rub it on your nipples then let them hang out and dry. If you put your breasts away wet your nipples are going to hurt – bad.” And while I followed this advice I guess I put them away wet a few times and yes they hurt. Once I started letting my breasts dry thoroughly all was well. You need to be very comfortable with this process as 1 to 2 minutes is not enough time for them to dry. Seriously, sit hold your precious baby for 10 minutes – and then and only then should you snap up the nursing bra. I haven’t used a drop of over the counter nipple cream in the 4 ½ months I have been nursing.



If I can offer any advice it is this:



Latching on correctly is the key and let your breast dry thoroughly after each nursing session.



One of my very good friends is nursing her son who is a week older than mine and she found these videos on-line and sent me the link. Maybe they will help you. I watched them several times after we came home from the hospital with my son on my lap.



This link is to some breast feeding videos: http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/...



This link will give you some information on breast feeding: http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/...



Wow - that felt like I'd written a novel. I hope this helps and best of luck.

Susan - posted on 11/07/2008

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It was quite fiddley and difficult, only because my mood was, tired and uncooperative, one of the most annoying things I found was in the sitting in bed position, I would keep slipping! And I couldn't reach my 2 pints of water which were behind me! But I continued (moaned a lot) and now I am still breast feeding at 18 months and all that I complained about are not even relative now, it is so natural and sooooo much easier than a bottle (what a load of fuss a bottle creates!)

Everyone kept telling me to perservere (which I didn't appreciate at the time) but guess what, it is the truth! Just keep at it! Moan & Groan but do it.....Congratulations by the way!

Amy - posted on 11/07/2008

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Congratulations on your pregnancy. I agree with many of the other women who mentioned getting support. Find a lactation consultand and/or go to La Leche League meetings. You can even start going to LLL meetings now before the baby comes. I think the second most important thing is to decide that you are going to breastfeed whatever it takes. I told myself that we couldn't afford formula so I had to make it work. I think it kept me going through the tough times.

Lindsay - posted on 11/07/2008

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I haven't had a chance to read through everything, so I hope I'm not repeating too much. Here's my advice:
1. Positive attitude and determination. You have these already it seems. Don't give p! If your babe is having trouble there are lots of options before you get to a bottle of formula. I had to cup feed my Little one with expressed breastmilk a few times to get some food into him. I was determined to nurse him.

2. Get prepared: go to a La Leche league meeting before your ahve the baby so that you're comfortable going to them for help later, read good books (Dr. JAck Newman's guide to breastfeeding, or The womanly art of breastfeeding by LaLecheLaegue are good ones to start with). Ensure your OB and hospital know you are hell-bent on breastfeeding. If your hospital is not breast-feeding friendly, I'd seriously consider finding a different hospital if at all possible.

3. Get support: Interview and hire a lactation consultant now - find someone you are comfortable with, so you know where to turn at 2 in the morning. Talk to other moms (you're already doing that) If there are people in your life who you think will not be supportive (MIL are the usual culprit here!) either go over your expectations with them beforehand, or arrange it so you are not exposed to them during the first week or so. The last thing you need when you're having trouble is someone telling you 'oh just give him the formula he'll be fine'

4. Start out right: Let the OB or Midwife know you want the baby placed on your chest immediately after delivery if everything is fine (they should be able to check her vitals from there, as long as she cried within few seconds of birth, there's no problem putting her on your chest). Tell them you want her skin-to-skin - no receiving blanket etc. and that you want to try breastfeeding right away. even if she doesn't latch on, give it a try. Ideally, have a doula or Lactation consultant there to help you in those first few hours. Remember - it's YOUR birth and YOUR baby - you are in charge, even if they make you feel like you're not. If the baby is pink and crying and healthy, the # 1 priority should be helping the two of you start your breastfeeding relationship in a positive way.

5. Avoid nipple confusion. 1 in 4 babies can get get nipple confusion, but there's no way to tell if that 1 will be your baby. DOn't give a pacifier or a bottle (even of breastmilk) for 4-6 weeks. If you feel like shes breastfeeding really well at 4 weeks, you could try a bottle if you want, but use your judgement. We gave my little one a pacifier at 5 weeks and he was fine, but that was cause he was nursing really well.

5. Take your time and try to relax.: the first few days are hardest (ppl say day 3-4 is crazy - it was for me - hour hormones are the most nuts at this point) and then it takes 6 weeks to really start to feel comfortable.

To paraphrase Dr. Jack Newman: What we do to new mothers is criminal - we tell them breast is the best way to feed their bay, and then we give them no support to do it.

Good luck! You can do it!

Cherise - posted on 11/06/2008

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I think the biggest thing too is going into it with a positive attitude. BF-ing is difficult in the beginning, but you can be successful if you prepare yourself. Read as much as you can on BF-ing and get in touch with your local lactation consultant. I BF my twins for 14 months and it was not easy for us in the beginning. I think these women gave you a lot of great advice and you should be just fine. Just don't give up if you struggle at first because it does get easier... I promise it will :-)

Jenna - posted on 11/06/2008

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I agree with all these great moms, you have to be prepared for how hard breastfeeding is and be committed to making it work for you and for your baby. I am one of the unlucky moms who had to teach my guy that the breast was best when he was 2 weeks old. He was given (with my permission) bottles in the hospital to suppliment until my milk came in and decided he liked the fast flowing bottles better so he refused me. I almost gave up at that point. Then I discovered the Breastflow bottles made by Learning Curve, they make baby work for the milk the same way they have to work on the breast and I truly believe they improved his latch and put him back on the breast. We've been breastfeeding for going on six months now.



A word of advice, be in touch with your breasts, no pun intended. I have never had mastitis and I credit that to my sister making sure I knew to feel for sore spots. A sore spot means a posssibility for a clogged duct, and for the most part you just feed on that side to fix the problem. If you let the baby drain one breast at a time and don't switch back and forth, you will be fine.

Jen - posted on 11/06/2008

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I was super worried with my second child. I didn't bf my first, and my milk never came in. I knew I wanted to bf the second time around but worried my milk wouldn't come in or for some reason it wouldn't work.

Relax! First and foremost, you need to relax for it to work. My ds had a paci right after birth, a bottle (low blood sugar) and when he was 1 week I had emergency surgery and couldn't bf for a week. He went from bottles back to the breast like a pro. Just remember that you can only give it your best shot. It doesn't work for everyone!

Katie - posted on 11/06/2008

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Yes so much good advice here and I'm just reiterating a lot of what has been said, but here's my experience:

I felt the same way about breastfeeding before my son was born in May. I read as much as I could, took classes, etc. and we still had a bumpy start. Everyone is different, but my best advice is just to stick with it. You may have no problems at all, or it may be the hardest thing you've ever done in your life and you will want to quit so bad (I know I did, but I refused to throw in the towel). I don't fault some mothers for giving up because it can be very, very challenging. Someone told me give it 4 weeks (which felt like an eternity at the time). Sure enough, by 4 weeks we were doing great.

Another piece of advice I will give is, be prepared for the "second night." The second night after birth it is very normal for them to want to nurse all the time. Unfortunately the lactation consultant came and told me about this after a night of hell in the hospital where I nursed my son all night. I also refused pacifiers for a week so I was pretty much my son's pacifier - he needed to be sucking constantly it seemed (which a lot of babies do because it's comforting to them). This lead to me getting blisters then cracks... then my nipples were bleeding. Okay, not to freak you out, sorry! But our latch was good and we kept seeing a lactation consultant and eventually we got through. I did use a nipple shield for one week while my nipples healed which I would also recommend, if you need it. I would just prepare yourself for some challenges and some pain. Not everyone has pain, but I believe you can have a good latch, but still get sore nipples if you have a frequent/strong nurser. Just stick with it. They learn too and they grown, their mouths get bigger and it just gets easier. The first 2 weeks were challenging, but for us by 3 weeks it was great and by 4, smooth sailing! Get as much support as you can and just don't hesitate to keep going back to a lactation consultant if you have to. Although, be prepared for some conflicting information too. You will figure out what works best for you and your baby.

I was paranoid about nipple confusion from the start but my son had a pacifier at 1 week and a bottle at 2 (long story, but he lost 2 oz. so they made me pump and bottle feed which I was terrified would also undermine breastfeeding, but we made it through just fine) and we are still breastfeeding at 5 and a half months with no nipple confusion. I'm not saying don't worry about it, but just be open to pacifiers and bottles if your nipples need a break. When bottle feeding early on, I would either nurse my son briefly before or after the feeding and then had my husband give the bottle. Eventually we were back to exclusively breastfeeding after about a week.

Oh yes and the intial latch - even with a correct latch - can be a little intense/painful in the early days, but a tip I was given was to count to 10 as fast as you can when they first latch. By the time you get to 10 it shouldn't hurt, if it does, the latch is not right.

Oh and I highly recommend the My Brest Friend nursing pillow. Really helps for correct positioning and supports the baby.

If you stick with it you won't regret it. It will be challenging initially when you are sleep deprived and emotional, but you can get through. I am so glad I made it through. It's a wonderful experience. When I look at my baby and think that my body has nourished him from day one, I am truly amazed. I know that may sound silly, but you'll see... :) Good luck!

Cathi - posted on 11/06/2008

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Do not let what your friend have gone through effect you. Ia m a mom of three. My first was alergic to me breast milk, me second breastfed until he was 2 1/2 years old and now my 5mth old is good strong. Just do what feels right for you.Please, do not pressure yourself.

Laura - posted on 11/06/2008

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Also-- don't allow yourself to quit unless you first seek support from a lactation consultant. If you give yourself this rule it will force you to not quit. I am now nursing my second baby who is almost 6months old.

Laura - posted on 11/06/2008

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Buy The Breastfeeding Book by Dr. Sears. It is available at Babies R Us and on line. Be self confident in breasfeeding and parenting. Go with your gut and don't let others make you second guess yourself. Buy the book!!

Mary - posted on 11/06/2008

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If you are determined and willing to perservere through the difficult first month or so it will work. Once you get past the nerves and anxiety it's wonderful. I felt the same way and my first is now two months and I love breastfeeding him. We had an extremely rocky road at the beginning too. He got dehydrated because my milk didn't come in for six days. Just don't give in and give your baby formula no matter how much people try to convince you. It can mess up everything.

Suzanne - posted on 11/06/2008

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Joy, listen to what Laura Waters wrote! I am a mom of an almost 4 year old and a 7 month old. My son could not nurse for the first 3 weeks of life...it was a struggle, but I was determined and once we could do it and started...he took to it easy and never looked back. This tells you that bottle first is not the end of the world..no nipple confusion issues! I did only give him breastmilk though (I pumped for the nicu). Then my daughter came along...we got to nurse 1 hour after she was born! What a dream that was...she latched right on and has not looked back! Now with her, I was very sore and the best thing was nursing pads called Soothies! You get them in CVS and they are reusable for some time. The first 2-4 weeks can be hard since their little tongues can make you sore, but that goes away, esp. with the Soothies!

Enjoy every minute. Check your hospital and pediatrician for lactation consultants...they are very helpful for a wide aray of issues...even if nursing goes well.

Stephanie - posted on 11/06/2008

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congrats on your up coming arrival! i have to say that when i was in the hospital i had a lactation consultant who was crazy about nipple confusion she worried me so much about it. when my daughter was born there was complications and we had to get jetted to childrens long story short she had to get tooken off food for 5 days so she was just getting ivs nothing going into her tummy. so i pumped and pumped and all she had was a sootherthe hole time and the day she was allowed to breast feed she was great it took a little help from my husband b/c i have a large chest and it was all new to me but she new what to do even with the whole nipple confusion scare so i have to say just stick with it and you will be fine its a beautiful thing. good luck

Stephanie - posted on 11/06/2008

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My daughter had to spend a week in the NICU/Special Care nursery because I got an infection during labor. I didn't really try to breastfeed her until she was about 60 hours old, but I did start pumping about 10 hours after she was born. She had bottles and a pacifier while in the NICU. By 2 months old, she was refusing the bottle because I had stopped giving it to her very often (she would only sip out of it - not drink). She is now almost 11 months old and has not had formula since the first night I was home from the hospital (because I hadn't been able to pump enough to cover that first evening).

The moral of the story: it is possible to make breastfeeding work even if you don't start it on day 1! My little one will be 11 months old in 8 days, and we are still breastfeeding (the only other fluids she gets are about 4oz of water via sippy cup).

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Don't worry!!! Congratulations on having twins!!! I think some people are quick to give up trying. Remember newborns do not drink or need much milk...so it isn't a race and take your time. Have a lactation specialist visit you at the hospital before you leave to go home. Do this even if your girls do latch on because it is not uncoommon for them to regress for a little bit. They have sooooo many great tricks to get a baby to latch on. If you find yourself having a difficult time still then email me. I too have great tricks! However, I have no tricks for the immense amount of pain you will experience when your little ones latch on for the first couple of weeks!!! Owwwww! I can still remember that pain.

Leilani - posted on 11/06/2008

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The most important thing is to get support - family, friends and partner are so important, but as other moms said, you a visit from the Lactation Consultant in the hospital is generally a good idea. Also, the best advice I received when I had my first 5 1/2 years ago was to go to a La Leche League meeting BEFORE the baby arrived. This can introduce you to a circle of people going through the same thing and make it more comfortable for you if you'd like to reach out for help.



Also, please be careful of introducing the bottle too early . . . You really need to establish your milk supply and make sure the baby doesn't get to comfortable getting milk from the bottle (it is a lot easier than sucking from the breast). I'm not going to quote research, doctors or statistics, it's just that it really is the most common problem I see new moms with during our LLL meetings - they wind up pumping and bottle feeding because their 3 or 4 week old is refusing the breast. Everything will work out great - stay calm and enjoy it!!

Natasha - posted on 11/06/2008

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I am not sure if you are the kind of person that is helped by hearing some things, but, don't feel bad if you don't find breastfeeding to be the end all and be all of bonding experiences. I never really got that lovey dovey feeling from it at the beginning, and even now, although it's much better (and much faster) I still wouldn't say I relish the time. I only say it as everyone's experience is different, I am still doing it at 9 months, and will certainly do it again, but I was surprised to find I didn't feel the emotional bond I thought I would. As everyone else has said, stay strong and be determined, it is a skill that needs practice to learn for both, and if you are one of the unlucky that the cards don't fall into place at the start, keep trying, it all works out (and for some reason, 5 weeks seemed like a benchmark, that seemed to be the point that I was ready to throw in the towel but stuck to it, and that is the point where my friends who were breastfeeding and stopped did stop.) You can do it!

Angela - posted on 11/06/2008

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1) Definitely find a local lactation consultant before you give birth. I rented a hospital grade pump from mine, plus she was a savior when it came to getting my first child to latch on properly. Do not assume that the nurses at the hospital will be able to help; some might, but probably not many.

2) If you can get through the first 2 weeks you should be good. But those first two weeks can SUCK! You're exhausted, sore, the baby won't stop crying, and you're just positive that you don't have enough milk because your boobs feel empty. This will pass!! Just remember, the more you nurse the more milk you'll make.

3) www.kellymom is an awesome breastfeeding reference. It's a great place to search for answers at 2am when no one else is up.

4) try to relax and enjoy the snuggle time. Breastfeeding is very rewarding, for both you and the baby.

5) a great side effect to breastfeeding is you lose your baby weight much faster due to high caloric burn (~500 a day). If that isn't extra motivation I don't know what is!! lol

6) ....it's FREE!!! Paying for formula adds up quick.

Lorissa - posted on 11/06/2008

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I was so nervous about BFing too, but I found that all of the scary stories that might have been true for my friends, thankfully wasn't true for me. I had very little issues beginning to BF. The pain is minimal, and my best advice to you is to get/borrow a high-quality pump for when your milk comes in. Little babies may not be able to empty each breast as the milk comes in because their tummies are tiny. Good luck, and I'm sure you'll BF just fine! Also know that feeling overwhelmed is totally normal before and during BFing. Trust in yourself and your baby that you two will work together. Have patience with this process, and it will work itself out eventually :)

Melanie - posted on 11/06/2008

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don't be stressed out about it...i tried breastfeeding my 2 yr. old when she was born and it didn't work out...i pumped and bottlefed her..my 3 mos. old got it...the first few weeks are a little tricky bec. both of you are new at it (and yes it's ok to cry...hormones are going crazy anyways)...feed her as often at possible in the hospital so you don't become engourged...i think that's why my 1st daughter couldn't latch on...and talk to the lactation consultant while you're there...request they come...in my case they didn't come unless you ask...and another thing that really helped me was that there's a phone nr. that i could call or an office i could go to in case i had questions...so whatever it is...don't be afraid to ask!!! good luck and remember...don't get stressed out about it...what happens happens and she'll be ok either way!!!

Pamela - posted on 11/06/2008

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breastfeeding is an amazing experience and something I wouldn't have passed up for the world. Me and my daughter love it. If you are going to try my best advice is to know that it is frustrating at times and it may seem like she isn't getting enough but I have NEVER supplemented yet and mine is almost 7 months old. It is tiring sometimes when all you want to do is sleep and they want to eat but think of all the rewards.

When you start take your time and relax that is the best thing I can tell you. If you need help try to find a lactation consultant in your area. At the hospital where I delivered the lactation consultant came into my room to check her latch before we left. Make sure you are comfortable while feeding as well. Hope this helps a little.

It is both rewarding and comforting and easy and accessable. No bottles to make, heat up, wash, etc. It is free.

Heather - posted on 11/05/2008

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Check with the hospital or lactation consultant if they have a support group. Two of my children were born in Orlando & they had an awesome breastfeeding lunch group that met every week. There were lactation consultants at the lunch meeting. It was great to have their support & the support of other new nursing moms. I probably wouldn't have been able to stick with it if I didn't have that support group. It can be challenging at first, but it is so worth it if you can do it. Good luck!

Angela - posted on 11/05/2008

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I had many friends who struggled and for me it was easy. Although the committment piece takes adjustment and I could use the sleep. But my baby is healthy and very happy. I found that my friends who did not eat during the first 6 weeks for whatever reason, dieting, or pain meds (not being able to feel the intense hunger) were the ones who had trouble so listen to your body. Also if they supplement in the hospital for whatever reason then make sure you pump when baby eats. You will feel so proud for trying to what is best for your child. If it doesnt work then you tried your best and that is all a good mom can do.

Jana - posted on 11/05/2008

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My advice is to not give up too early. I think a lot of people just expect their baby to know what to do and that being the mom you should know what to do...both of you have to work together to get the hang of breast feeding. It will happen, just give it time. Before my daughter was born (Aug 07) I went in thinking "If the baby doesn't learn how to latch on then the worst that can happen is I will pump and the baby can drink breastmilk from a bottle" When Megan was born she latched on fine and I knew I worried for no reason. Good luck, enjoy your little one and all that comes with being a breast feeding mommy!

Heather - posted on 11/05/2008

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The best advice I can give you is to prepare yourself. The ladies have given you great advice and you've got 2 months left to prepare yourself. Read, Read, Read and then Read some more. Knowledge is power and by making yourself familiar with breastfeeding situations it will help you know what to expect. I suggest the following;



The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - The Le Leche League

The Nursing Mother's Companion - Kathleen Huggins

And if you're planning on working and nursing;

Nursing Mother, Working Mother- Kathleen Huggins



Don't be afraid to ask for help. Your hospital will have a lactation consultant and give you numbers that you can call day and night. If your hospital offers a class you can take that before your lo is here. Also, look for the La Leche League in your area- you can go to meetings in your area before your lo is born. Support is a very important thing and if you can find it with your family and other nursing moms it will give you a great headstart!



Above all, don't let anyone tell you that you CAN'T do it because you can. Don't give up- you may get frustrated at times, but it can be the most rewarding experience you'll ever have. Give it your all and if it doesn't work out at least you'll know that you gave 110%.



GOOD LUCK!

Jean - posted on 11/03/2008

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I was excited and anxious to start nursing w/ our first. I was really determined to make it work, no matter how hard it was. DD was born w/ jaundice and kept falling asleep when I tried to nurse her. On top of that, she would feed every 1hr to 1 1/2 hr. It gradually increased to 1 1/2 hr to 2 hrs. It hurt a lot in the beginning, but I learned that it shouldn't hurt. DD was not latching on correctly. I was desperate and hired a lactation consultant (be aware can run $100-$200 / hour). She showed me how to get DD to latch on correctly (and when DD did, it didn't hurt at all) Got a hosptial grade pump to get more milk to come in. Also had an active let down, so DD didn't like that and would stop nursing. She couldn't keep up w/ the let down. La Leche League is a good group to get questions answered and for support. They helped me in the first 3 months. W/ #2, I had no problems. And try to help my friends nurse when I can. Good luck and don't give up.

Joanie - posted on 11/02/2008

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I work with newborns and new moms as a nurse in the hospital everyday. The best thing I can tell you is to make the decision to give it your all, be dedicated to making it work. It's not always as easy as it should be, but 99% of the time you can work through whatever problems arise. That said, you also have to be willing to change your plans if something comes up. There are certain situations that require some supplementing with formula, and if that happens, it doesn't mean your breastfeeding is doomed. Also, if at any point you decide that you can't handle the breastfeeding or it's just not going to work for you, that's okay too. It's a personal decision and only you can know how much you can handle.



Pumping is a good thing, but it can also be stressful to pump several times a day and wash all the equipment and everything. I wouldn't worry about pumping until the first week is over. Then it is a good idea to offer a bottle so baby knows how to take it if you ever have to be away from her. There aren't too many situations where you have to pump multiple times a day, so try and keep it simple. Hope this helps!

Heidi - posted on 11/02/2008

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You can do it!! I am a first time mom of a beautiful, healthy and happy breastfed four month old baby girl. That being said, here's our story: Everyone's situations are different.



I had a baby born with a medical condition at birth. I was determined to breastfeed (and made that known in my birth plan at the hospital...definitely do that!!!). Due to my daughter being in and out NICU/CT scans etc....we couldn't get it together at first. She nursed, but my milk didn't come in right away. I think that had a lot to do with her being taken for tests alot. We were in the hospital for 5 days. I never really got a let down until I got home and to be honest, was able to relax! They did have to suppliment a little bit of formula because she was losing weight. I insisted that they put my colostrum in the formula. She was also given a pacifier at the hospital.



So, the moral of this story is this: Let the hospital know you want to breastfeed. TALK to the lactation people and listen to them the most, because every nurse that walks in might have "their" way of doing things and their advice might conflict (my experience and was very confusing). Nursing is a natural thing between mommy and baby, but it takes a while for it to feel that way. If the hospital wants to supplement, it's usually only because they have your baby's best interest at heart, and I saw no ill-effects from a little bit of formula at the beginning. Breastmilk tastes better for them, so they will still nurse! Be patient and relaxed. It takes time and stress will only make it harder for your milk to let down. Get some advice on pumping while at the hospital. It will help you bring in your milk. Finally, I read a bit of research on the whole pacifier thing. Sucking is a natural thing for a baby and it's a calming mechanism. It makes them relax and feel good. A pacifier allows them to soothe themselves by doing what is natural to them, sucking. They build strength that way and also, later on in their development it is said that pacifiers help reduce the incidents of SIDS related death. After reading all that, and now that I've had a child, I think pacifiers are great!



Breastfeeding is the most wonderful time my daughter and I spend together. She looks up at me while feeding and stares right into my eyes as if to say, "I know you. You are taking care of me. Thankyou." I've had tears come to my eyes from the connection you get while spending time with your new little one! Trust me, stick to it and it is so worth it!

Kathy - posted on 11/02/2008

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Just be determined to make it your top priority and don't give up! You can do it!!!

Kara - posted on 11/02/2008

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My daughter had a pacifier when she was born and is almost 9 months and I am still breastfeeding. A lot of literature suggests breast feeding your baby immediately after giving birth. Helps with milk production and with baby latching on. This is what I did and have been successful ever since. It also takes a lot of patience but once you and baby get the hang of things you feel like you've been doing it your whole life!

Jackie - posted on 11/02/2008

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I pretty much agree with what everyone has said. I wont repeat them, just wanted to add that there is a local chapter of the La Leche League just about everywhere. They are non-profit (free) and will actually come to your house to help you if you need them after you leave the hospital. I had to have help with my 2nd child. My first was so easy (8lb2oz & came out hungry) my 2nd was not quite 6 lbs and had a horrible time latching on. I just had my fourth and each has been different, don't be afraid to ask for help. Some times it helps when you are in your home and its not a family member or friend. http://www.llli.org//
Congrats and good luck!

Angel - posted on 11/02/2008

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First off- congratulations on your upcoming arrival!! A word of advice from someone who bottle fed my 1st born and breast fed my 2nd child.... I was so determined to breast feed my first born-- but I tried and I tried- and it hurt so bad- like somone else mentioned-- my toes were curling in pain, because he did not latch on correctly. I had a lactation consultant who was pushy and very annoying in the fact that she would latch my son on my breast and then wonder why I couldn't do it without hurting... so I gave up and did formula. Let me tell you-- my son threw up all the time for the first year- i could never have nice clothes on as they would get ruined shortly after formula feeding him. Anyway- I strongly suggest you get comfortable with your LC- and if you're not- ask for another... So as much as I was determined to BF it just wasn't to be. My only regret is that I stopped even before I got home from the hospital.

Now, when I had my 2nd child- I was still in the hospital and nurses would come in and ask if I needed help with latching on etc... and I would say I was fine and just do it on my own... and I think without the pressure to do it the right way- and exploring on my own- doing what was natural- I was able to breast feed my daughter. I won't say it was beautiful and peaceful- it still hurt at times and I remember thinking I was feeding her too often etc etc...but everything worked itself out. And the best day in the world was when my milk supply came in- it's so much easier when you can actually feel your breasts full.

Sorry to ramble- I would just suggest to you (like everyone else has said) Don't give up!!!! Wait until your milk supply comes in and you'll love everything that breast feeding your baby has to offer!!!

Amber - posted on 11/02/2008

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I want to encourage you to stick to it for a minimum of 2 weeks. For me, the hardest part of breastfeeding was the 2 first weeks. For me after those initial 2 weeks it was much easier. I have breastfed 3 girls, for 18 months, 10 months & now going on 2 years! It is so much easier that bottles (did that too for my step-son), so much more rewarding, cheaper and healthier for baby!

Natasha - posted on 11/02/2008

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I had many co workers and friends give birth this year, and the biggest problem I have noticed is a lack of good help with consistent information. Bottom line, you have to be dedicated to it (which is really hard, as I had many problems too, I had flat nipples, then low milk supply, etc), and know that it may not be easy. For some women, it is, but most, it's not. The best website I found was by Dr Jack Newman in Toronto. You can even e-mail your concerns and questions and either himself or his staff will get back to you, often within an hour. Also, don't let anyone tell you because you can't pump that you have low milk, it simply isn't true. If you do have low milk, a Dr can prescribe you a drug called Domperidone (Dr Newman can e-mail an RX if he thinks it's a good fit). It's an anti nausea med for cancer patients, but has shown to increase milk supply by up to 30%, and I credit it with allowing me to breastfeed (9 months so far!)

Amanda - posted on 11/01/2008

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The best advice I can give is to not give up! It took me almost 2 months to establish breastfeeding with my son. I almost gave up so many times, but with lots of tears shed and frustrating moments we finally got it. You really have to get a good lactation nurse that you like and feel comfortable, and dont let anyone discourage you, no matter how much experience they have, ever woman is different and you need to do what you feel is right. Good luck ladies!

Michelle - posted on 11/01/2008

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Get to know your LC and just be positive. It is natural but it still takes work. The latch is the most important thing. By the end of the first week of nursing I was gritting my teeth and curling my toes in pain. I called my LC and went in to see her. After five minutes she had baby latching better and it was practically pain free. After that I was good to go. As far as nipple confusion, my LC recommended no pacis and no bottles until breastfeeding was well established. My ped. said he was pretty sure nipple confusion only happened in California. No offense to any of you from Ca. Not really sure why he used that as an example but the point is he didn't see it as an issue.



surround yourself with people who are pro breastfeeding. Ignore those that only offer negativity. My lo is 6 mos and breast feeding has made motherhood an awesome experience. Just knowing I am nourishing her is wonderful. There is nothing better than holding your little one in your arms and gazing into those big blue eyes while she eats her dinner. Its also a lot better than washing bottles and a heck of a lot cheaper than formula!!!

Emily - posted on 11/01/2008

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Be brave - nursing is the normal way to feed a baby and with some support you'll be fine. Get as much skin to skin time as you can at the beginning, this really helps. I completely agree with Laura about a lactation consultant - ours was wonderful. You can find one in your area at http://www.ilca.org/falc.html - I'd suggest finding one before your delivery so that you don't have to searching if you do need help during those first crazy days!
Dr. Jack Newman's book is also a great resource (it's called Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding - in Canada - and in the States it's called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers) - he gives great information and also great amunition and courage for dealing with any less-than-supportive health care practitioners you may run into! Good luck... the latch is the key - I've had virtually no pain (except for the very beginning) and I'm nursing a baby with a cleft!

Catherine - posted on 11/01/2008

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Jennifer- I am sorry but I am not just giving my opinion about nipple confusion, I have read numerous best selling books about babies/nursing and have also been given this information from all of my Dr.s ( 1 for Devon + 5 for Justin ) and I never had any problems from day one. So maybe you have just not heard of this before but if you like I can quote the books and authors for people to look into it themselves if they are interested.

Jennifer - posted on 11/01/2008

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Joy,

As a previous Neonatal ICU nurse I can tell you first hand that there is no such thing as nipple confusion. My son has taken a pacifier from day one and has been nursing for 8 months and still going strong. As far as supplementing I allowed my son to have one formula feeding each night I was in the hospital but requested that they only gave him half an ounce. This way he would not get used to large volumes from a bottle.

My advice is to take a breastfeeding class at your local hospital and bring your husband along (mine did not want to go but I begged him), although I had knowledge from being a rn I learned a lot and it also helped my husband realize how much his support meant to me.

I would also utilize the lactation consultants while in the hospital and after discharge. I found the nursing Liam took unlimited dedication and patience. It was a time for learning for both of us. The first 2 months were a challenge but we struggled through and now it is so easy!

Just try to hang in there and remember that no matter what, even if you end up not breastfeeding you will bond with and love your child.

Carrie - posted on 11/01/2008

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the best thing you can do it make some connections in real life with women who HAVE been successful. It makes all the difference to have a strong support system. I've found La Leche to be super helpful to me. You can attend meetings while you're pregnant, and get any questions you have answered in real lifeby the other moms and the leader. The meetings are free and really worthwhile. Check to see if there's one near you. Good luck!



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