Is it difficult to start breastfeeding?

Amanda - posted on 10/15/2011 ( 200 moms have responded )

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I am having my 2nd baby and I am very interested in breastfeeding. Unfortunately I didn't breastfeed my first bay due to health issues. I just need some advice from other moms with experience breastfeeding. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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You've made the important first step of finding good support! Take it a step further and join your local LLL. http://www.llli.org/ It's leaders and members will be able to answer any questions you have and will help should problems arise.

Some random tips that helped me initiate breastfeeding: The best thing is skin to skin! Take off your top and bra and strip baby down to his/her diaper. Breastfeed as soon after giving birth as possible. Make sure the hospital staff knows that you are breastfeeding and you don't want them to give bottles. It may take several days for your milk to come in, but don't worry, your body is designed to make sure baby is getting enough colostrum. Breastfeed whenever baby wants. Don't time it. The more you breastfeed the more milk you will produce. If I can think of anything else, I'll post again.

Good luck, Mama!

Jenna - posted on 10/25/2011

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Plus, one quick note on milk supply: Newborns only need a tablespoon or so of colostrum for the first few days, so don't let anyone try to tell you that you need to supplement with formula until your milk comes in. Supplementing just reduces your supply even further! I know this is a bit off topic, but I just see it happening sooooo often, and it erks me!!!

Erin - posted on 10/15/2011

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Breastfeeding is different for every mother, and every baby. Many women have no issues initiating breastfeeding (I didn't) and others struggle for a few days to establish a good latch. You won't know until the time comes. So in the meantime, look into what resources are available to you. Find out if your hospital has a Lactation Consultant on staff. Look into LLL. Find some breastfeeding support groups online. Have a look at breastfeeding tutorials on YouTube.

Definitely try and put baby to the breast as soon after birth as possible. Insist the weighing/measuring etc be done after you have held and met your baby. Skin to skin is important, as Sara said. Many babies will go straight for the breast (mine did), but don't freak out if your baby seems disinterested at first. Sometimes they just want to rest!

Make sure the baby's mouth is opened wide and the bottom lip is turned down. This will ensure the baby gets all of your nipple in your mouth and will lessen any pain or damage to your nipples.

Hmm.. I think that's all for now.

Ellie - posted on 10/27/2011

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I had a great nurse who helped me catch on in the hospital plus a breast feeding class. Try different feeding positions to see what works best for you. I used the football hold for a long while. Pillows, pillows, and more pillows to make the both of you comfortable. What I did was when his mouth was big and wide (and smash my boob like your eating a sandwich to help get it in there cuz more boob the less it'll hurt.) hurry and put his mouth on. Someone also told me that if you can make it through the 1st 2 weeks your golden...and it was so true. There was pain and discomfort for 2 weeks then it was gone. I used a lot of lanolin cream to keep them protected and from drying out.

Carly - posted on 10/24/2011

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Stick with it! I found the first 3 weeks the toughest, it hurt like hell (don't listen to the people who tell you it doesn't hurt!), but once your nipples adjust it is a breeze and very easy and convenient for you and bubs. Just tough out those first 3 weeks and feed every 3 hours during the day (starting at about 7am) and the nights will sort themselves out. I wouldn't recommend demand feeding after those first few weeks, get a good system going (read Gina Ford) and stick with it as much as you can. It is impoprtant to establish a good sleep routine at the same time. Good on you for giving it a go!

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Melanie - posted on 11/07/2011

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Do your best to relax, the baby will know if you're nervous and may not latch as comfortably. Just remember that women have been doing it since the dawn of time, it can't be that complicated, lol.

Clarice - posted on 11/03/2011

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Well, there is really no easy, cut and dry answer to this question. It depends on you and the baby. Some babies latch on well from the beginning, some don't and will need some help from you and possibly a lactation consultant. So, there are many factors that could possibly make getting started difficult, but here are some tips so that you don't make it more difficult than it has to be for both of you. Read up on proper latching and positioning. If you get very sore nipples or they are actually blistering, bleeding, scabbing, the latch is not right. The latch is of the utmost importance for getting started. It ensures that baby is able to transfer enough milk from your breasts. AND try very very hard not to give baby any artificial nipples such as bottles and pacifiers until about weeks when breastfeeding is well established. Otherwise, baby might get confused and might get nipple confusion and/or bottle preference. It will take approx. 2-5 days for your milk supply to come in, so when you have the baby the baby will be getting small amounts of colostrum until then. Try to nurse baby as much as possible from the very beggining to encourage a good supply. Make sure that both breasts are getting equal time by alternating. In the beginning its a good idea to nurse10 min. on each side, and then when your milk comes in, start on one side and let baby finish that side first before offering the other side. These are my best tips on mistakes that you can avoid. I would strongly advise you to go to a couple La Leche League meetings or something similar. Ask your doc or midwife about available groups/resources in your area. There are many caring people that want to help you succeed with breastfeeding, so don't hesitate to reach out for help when you need it. Good luck to you, try to just be confident that you CAN do it, relax, and enjoy that baby!

Stephanie - posted on 11/03/2011

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My one peace of advise that i haven't seen that i wish i knew when i was learning about breastfeeding is: "The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you breastfeeding beginning immediately after birth and preferably within 30 minutes. This is because your newborn has a very quiet, alert state of mind at this point where breastfeeding is imprinted on baby's brain very well. Skin-to-skin contact can really help facilitate this process. When mom and baby are needlessly separated during this period, it can have a detrimental effect on breastfeeding without cause."Earlier then that he/she might not be hungry or might be too tired and later then that he/she might be too hungry to try. But like others mentioned make sure to emphasize how much you want to breastfeed so the nurses don't give the bottle. Tell them specifically, that you want to breastfeed 30min after birth. I was also told that this is super key to starting breastfeeding. Good luck to you! Oh i got this info from about.com article called "Birth affects breastfeeding"

Carline - posted on 11/03/2011

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It is hard at first I have breastfed both of my children and with my first it is hard at first to trust your instincts with bottles you know how much they have had and when breast feeding you don't know how much for sure but you soon get used to knowing how full you feel I wish I didn't stress so much about how much she was getting after the first 4 wk I found it really easy and loved that connection I did try to introduce the bottle at about 4 months but I found that really hard work I fed both until 18 months I would say relax don't put pressure on your self all you can do is try good luck x

Rachel - posted on 11/02/2011

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Sometimes it can be hard, but it is SO worth it! For us, we had a lot of little things that added up to trouble for us at first. I broke some vertebrae a few years ago, one right where the nerves go for letdown, my husband was less than supportive at first, my daughter came out a bit crooked and it was painful for her until we had her adjusted, I had some postpartum depression issues... lots of things that made it hard for us. But I had decided to persevere through it all and we did! It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but it is SO worth it! my daughter and I have a bond that she and I have with nobody else, she is happy and healthy, hasn't been sick yet (at 17 months)... yep. Once we got over the bump, the road got so much smoother! If this is something you really want to do, go for it! Find your support system and just go forward. You'll be glad you did. (and sore nipples are normal, cracked and bleeding isn't. Talk to someone if that happens) (another note... For my PPD, we dehydrated the placenta and encapsulated it. It was awesome! It helped SO much! It's good for PPD, as well as helping the uterus get back to normal and getting your milk supply going.)

Amanda - posted on 11/02/2011

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When you deliver in the hospital, or where ever you choose, talk to a board certified lactation consaltant. Do not ask the nurses for help. The just go by the books, and its not always helpful. A consultant is specifically trained as a teacher for breastfeeding moms. And it is not as bad as some may say. I would suggest pumping and using a bottle with the breast feeding early on. My daughter is 2 months and will not take a bottle or pacifier to save her life. I hope this helped.

Marie Jayne - posted on 10/30/2011

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I was also told to NOT use Dummies for 1st few couple of months as studies show they DO affect how your baby feeds as its a totally different suction action for your baby.

Marie Jayne - posted on 10/30/2011

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I told hosp i wanted to breast feed and i had skin to skin contact as soon as i was stitched from ECS.I had trouble getting my LO to 'Latch On'. So when in hosp. each time i fed her i 'Asked for Help'. Refused to give up.All were more than willing to help (except 1 but thats another story) it did take a while to get it right but then again it was a new experience for her as well as me.But with help and perseverence we got there. Please dont give up, it is the best feeling in the world knowing you are giving your baby the best start. Plus there are so many health benefits for your baby AND for you too, As well as being 100% cheaper than formula.. lol I breast fed my LO til she was 2yr 3mth.. tho for the last 3or4 month it was only before bedtime. I also joined a breast feeding support group with our local Sure Start Group of which my midwife put in touch with the Breast feeding Support Cousellor (maybe your midwife when you see her next could put you in touch with one)which was great help and made some lovely friends too. And the more baby feeds the more you produce so Feed on Demand.All i can tell you is Ask midwife about support, Keep trying , PLEASE Dont give up, Patience and Perseverence,It will be tiring but its soooo worth it Just Look in to your babys eyes as they're feeding and tell me that isnt the best feeling in the whole world. and most of all ENJOY the experience with your baby.. Good Luck Amanda i wish you well love.

Marie Jayne - posted on 10/30/2011

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I told hosp i wanted to breast feed and i had skin to skin contact as soon as i was stitched from ECS.I had trouble getting my LO to 'Latch On'. So when in hosp. each time i fed her i 'Asked for Help'. Refused to give up.All were more than willing to help (except 1 but thats another story) it did take a while to get it right but then again it was a new experience for her as well as me.But with help and perseverence we got there. Please dont give up, it is the best feeling in the world knowing you are giving your baby the best start. Plus there are so many health benefits for your baby AND for you too, As well as being 100% cheaper than formula.. lol I also joined a breast feeding support group with our local Sure Start Group of which my midwife put in touch with the Breast feeding Suport Cousellor (maybe your midwife when you see her next could put you in touch with one)which was great help and made some lovely friends too. And the more baby feeds the more you produce so Feed on Demand.All i can tell you is Ask midwife about support, Keep trying , PLEASE Dont give up, Patience and Perseverence,It will be tiring but its soooo worth it Just Look in to your babys eyes as they're feeding and tell me that isnt the best feeling in the whole world. and most of all ENJOY. Good Luck Amanda i wish you well love.

Patti - posted on 10/28/2011

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Hi,,I also had a 2nd baby who had health issues and I had to pump my breasts for the nurse to tube feed my son..your baby when introduced to the breast will naturally latch on the nipple..plenty of decent videos that show from start to finish on You Tube as well :)

Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2011

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I am a fist time mom (16) and I was completely clueless on breastfeeding but I heard that it was so much better for the baby then bottle feeding. I was worried about dong it wrong not being able to but to my suprise it was so easy! Your body just knows what to do...its natural!

Silvia - posted on 10/28/2011

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It is the best that you can do for your child, it will be a little sore at the beginning probably bleeding on your nipples but it is just for a little beat, the best advice that I received for nipples sore is to put your own milk, after you breastfeed your baby squeeze your breast and put the milk around your nipples and let it dry this was perfect ( they gave me other advices like tea bags etc but my own milk was the best), beside that you are giving the best nutrients and health wise is great for the baby, for me was the time that I was able to spend with each of my 2 girls it was perfect bonding, I was able to breastfeeding up to 13 months with each of them and I love it, just imagine the great thing that you are doing for your baby and it will help, find a perfect chair or even if is the bed, get a very comfortable position, don't let anybody to interrupt your time, also let the baby stay as much as he/she wants usually they say 20 minutes or 30 for breast I remember that I used to let them for 30 minutes in each breast and then put them back if they want more, you will see how happy the baby is going to be and just be happy with your baby, good luck!

Sarah - posted on 10/28/2011

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Persistance is key! Keep trying with your new one and start as soon as possible after delivery. You won't have any milk in yet, but having baby latch helps post delivery contractions and will help you pass the placenta. Make sure everyone knows you are breastfeeding at the hospital so they don't give bottles or even a pacifier (for now). If you have any trouble getting your baby to latch take her off the nipple and try again- make sure her lips are "pouty" to get the correct latch. There will come a point when you will be achy and maybe a little sore, but that will pass and if you keep with it you will both figure it out and breastfeeding will be a special and loving time for both of you.
Good luck

Mary - posted on 10/27/2011

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oh yes use different possitions such as football hold etc. that will help you to avoid mastitis:) good luck breastfeeding becomes so easy and such a great bonding time for you and your little one

Mary - posted on 10/27/2011

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if you can find a lactation consultant that would be my best advice for you! I can tell you that my experience was extremely painful for the first 2 weeks but i used "Soothies" (little gel pads tht are cooling) as well as vitamin E rubbed on the cracked sore areas. that helped tremendously...also sleeping without a bra or shirrt to let yourself air dry is a great thing to do! i can tell you even though it was painful for the first 2 weeks it is well worth breastfeeding cause of the health benifits and bonding!you will have moments you want to giv up but justkeep pushing you will not regret it! lactation consultant:)

Alena - posted on 10/27/2011

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I had a much easier time second time around. My post natal depression wasn't there, he just seemed to latch on easier and it didn't gross me out in the same way! I'm 6 months on and still breast feeding - it's different each time. I think it's partly down to how good the baby is naturally good at breastfeeding. The best advice I would give is use a pacifier from the start (studies show it doesn't effect latch on) and at about 4-6 weeks mix feed so it gives you some relief. Some days he would have like 4 bottles and I would just try harder the next day to have more breast feeds to make up. It kept me on track (Even some stubborn times when he wanted the bottle he eventually gave into the breast) now I'm feeding 90% of the time and it's pretty successful! Don't put pressure on yourself either. if it works it works if it doesn't no worries.

Freeda - posted on 10/27/2011

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Amanda it will come to you naturally. I had some problems with my breast being very tender and sore in the beginning and everything else was smooth sailing from there. I believe that breast feeding is an Awesome experience! My son lached on right away the very first time. I would strongly advise working with a lactition specialist at your place of dellivery. Breast Feeding is such a great to develop and even stronger bond your with your baby and rediscover your body as well. Congrats to you and I wish you the best !

Juli - posted on 10/26/2011

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Well it can be hard at 1st. 1st baby took to it right away!! 2nd had a hard start but it is going well now. There is some pain at times but it is tolerable. Co sleeping is great when nursing otherwise you get next to no sleep some nights. And having a pump comes in handy!! when engorged, or going out or Having someone else give you a break. If you pump after baby eats it helps you build up you supply faster.

Janna - posted on 10/26/2011

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I think it is great that you are willing to give it a try. Keep in mind it isn't for everyone, and can come very naturally to some and is very difficult for some, with most being somewhere in the middle. I had a very hard time, despite all the professional help and gave it up a couple of weeks in. I don't regret trying, and I don't regret giving it up, as I spent more time worrying over feeding the baby than enjoying him. My advice: give it a try and don't stress too much. Do your best, but most importantly, enjoy your baby!

Kimberley - posted on 10/26/2011

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Hi Amanda, when my daughter (Amanda as well) had her first child, she had some trouble breastfeeding during the first few weeks. hired a lactation coach, and I think that it cost her a total of about $160.00. It was the best money that she ever spent. One of the first things that she learned was that breastfeeding does not necessarily come naturally to mothers or babies sometimes, but everyone can learn. My daughter was a pro at it in a matter of weeks. I hope that this helps, breastfeeding is definitely the way to go, so good for you and for baby. Best of luck. :)

Deata - posted on 10/26/2011

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Breastfeeding is very very painful for the first two weeks. I breastfed my baby and nobody told me how painful it would be. My midwife told me if I wanted my breasts to heal faster not to use a bra for the first week. After they heal it is very easy. I always made sure I had water, the phone and the remote handy because you can be occupied with your baby for a half hour or more. It is the very best for you and your baby. If you don't want to nurse too long, my sister suggested to cut the baby off around 4 months. I hope everyone's comments help.

Clarissa - posted on 10/26/2011

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I have one child and I breastfed him for 4 moths. It was wonderful. Skin to skin contact really helped. I also fed him as often as he wanted for as long as he wanted. Unfortunately I had to stop when he was 4 months old because he wasn't getting enough each feeding. It's a wonderful experience and it's so healthy for your baby and you. It helps with your bonding also. Sometimes it's hard because it seems like that is all your doing. Either feeding or pumping. Sometimes I wished I would just have given him the bottle, but it was just because I was tired. Make sure you pump as well so you give other people a chance to feed your baby and bond and you will get some sleep as well. It's a great experience and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Angelita - posted on 10/26/2011

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Don't give up. You shouldn't give your baby a pacifier in the beginning so the baby doesn't get nipple confusion.

JUNE - posted on 10/26/2011

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It is not easy and at times it was painful, as you have to learn how to latch the baby on to your nipple and swap breasts, as one emptys of milk the other fills up, I also used nipple cream which I helped, but it was worth it, as you form a special bond, I breast fed for 18 months for my 1st son and 10months with my 2nd, plus it was really easy at nights, no night feeds to make up, not all mums can breast feed, but give it a go, I did`nt think I could, but I did, and it was worth it. June

Charitty - posted on 10/26/2011

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Another website to check out is:
Www.kellymom.com
She has great information on her website.

Charitty - posted on 10/26/2011

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We are still breast feeding and my girl just turned one on Saturday and yes, she has SIX teeth.



It was not an easy start for us but my stubbornness helped me to know I can do this. I always told myself one day, one day I can do this then before I knew it....we were at a week then a month to now....one year! I suffer from flat nipples and I had mastitis for a month as she was not emptying my breasts and we failed to not start on alternate breasts each time. Once we got that done we were on a roll!

Know that you can do this just educate yourself and seek help from either LLL or your WIC office or go back to the hospital for more help from a lactation specialist. I did and I am so thankful I did.



Invest in a good breast pump too. It will help your supply and should help your milk to come in as well. Good Luck!! Remember you can do this just trust the fact that your body was designed to do this.

Krista - posted on 10/26/2011

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@Melanie: I didn't necessarily mean you, so no apologies necessary. I've just seen a few comments on this thread, going on about how superior breast-fed babies are to formula-fed babies, and I don't think it contributes anything productive to the discussion.

Addie - posted on 10/26/2011

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Okay. From the start. I breastfed all five of my kids plus pumped for two babies in a hospital. So I know what I am talking about. And this is going to be a long missive.



Nursing your baby is based on supply and demand. The more the baby demands at feeding time, the more milk your breasts will produce for the next feeding.

The first time you put your baby to your breast, you are going to think that tiny little life you hold in your arms is trying to rip the breasts right off your body. It is going to hurt. I don't say this to discourage you, but to give you the truth. After the first couple of sucklings, the pain subsides and you look down at that precious life that just a few hours ago was inside of you. You carefully gave it life for nine months and now you get the chance to use your body again for the same purpose. All babies breath through their nose. You need to make sure that they can breath while nursing. Pressing down on the beast not only helps the milk to exit your breast, it allows the baby to breath.



The first couple of feedings will be of colostrum. And it is clear. You may have noticed that you were leaking this during the last weeks of your pregnancy. This is the best medicine you can give your child. It helps build their immunity system for the rest of their life. After about the third feeding the milk will start to come in. It will be bluish in color. "How can my bay survive on that?" Very well. As the baby continue to nurse, you will notice that your breast is starting to go flat,. Time to switch breasts. At first your baby, depending on his birth weight will feed for about five minutes on each breast. Once the milk comes in, the time will increase and that initial pain you felt the first time you put your baby to feed will be gone. When you put your baby to the second breast, if he falls asleep, wake him up with a couple of snaps on the bottom of the feet. It doesn't hurt. It startles them to the awake stage. Make them nurse until the second breast starts to be come flat. The next time you pick up your baby for the next feeding, you will notice that your breasts will start to fill up and even leak. Sometimes their crying will set your breasts off to filling up. All of my babies, the big and the small ones, automatically started on a four hour feeding schedule.



Some important notes. Make sure you keep you nipple clean and supple. Wash them before each feeding. And after each feeding wash them again and put a Vitamin C cream on them to keep them supple so they won't crack. Demand that the hospital provides you with the necessary equipment and cream for this. Your doctor or the hospital can recommend a cream for you. I always used "White's A&D Cream." It held me in good stead. It is so important that you wash your nipples before and after each feeding. You don't want to develop an abscess, (so common for nursing mothers).



Most mothers, if they are right handed will tend to nurse their baby of the right side longer than the left. And visa versa. Try to avoid doing this. Both breasts must be used at an equal length on time. Because the breast you use for the shorter time, will eventually stop producing enough milk for the baby, and you will be lopsided. I would suggest that you start the feeding on the opposite side you are 'handed.' Don't interrupt the feeding to change the baby. After will do just fine. And the stool movements for a nursing baby are yellowish and runny.



Nursing your baby is the most satisfying feeling you will ever have. It is a time for just you and your child. If your other child wants 'some' also, let them taste it. It is hot and very sweet. I guarantee they won't want a second taste.



My husband helped me nurse on weekends. I would turn on my side and sleep while he held the baby to my breast. It made him a part of the process. And I got a complete nights sleep for two days in a row. He got to sleep late the next morning as I took the six a.m. feeding. Your baby will probably not want to take a rubber nipple. Don't be surprised. They like the warmth and comfort of the breast. If they are getting enough breast milk, they usually won't need any other liquid such as water. Breast milk supplies them with everything they need. Talk to your doctor about your decision. This being your second child, you will notice that when your newborn is nursing, that your uterus is tightening. One of the side benefits of nursing. Your stomach returns to normal faster. And it help with the bleeding also. It will also affect your periods. Don't make the mistake of think that you can't get pregnant while you am nursing. Because you can!



And contact the Le Lech Society. They are worldwide. They have a plethora of information for you. Good luck with your decision to nurse your baby. You won't regret it.

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Breastfeeding came very naturally to us. When my son was born, I wouldn't let them cut the cord immediately. He was breastfeeding before the cord was cut..by his own choice. As soon as I lay him on my chest to say hello, he turned and started to feed. The first initial feeding didn't hurt at all...I was so jacked up on my own natural painkillers I didn't feel anything.
Within a day or two...I was starting to get pretty tender. I did have to throw one foot in the air and point my toes as soon as he latched on...but within seconds that was over and my leg could relax. LOL!
That ten seconds of discomfort was gone within a week, we never looked back. I loved breastfeeding! I loved the bond we made..I loved being responsible for his every whim. I loved being THAT important..I was my child's nourishment. I loved that the baby weight seemed to just fall off of me...my body turned my fat into his milk. The fat rolls melted away..within a year. Today mothers compare my child to their own..and are very surprised to see that my son weighs 10/15 lbs more than their child..is stronger than their child..is walking, talking, counting, recognizing letters...no health issues. Never even a common cold. The ONLY time my child has vomited..is after his vaccinations. He never gets sick. Ever.
It's a great idea..and it's VERY healthy for both you and your child. I suggest you read every little thing you can get your HANDS on...and lean on the Moms here, that's how we did this successfully.
BEST of luck to you..you CAN do this.

MELANIE - posted on 10/26/2011

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After rereading my post I now realize you were probably meaning the part about the lactation nurse breastfeeding her own child. I am truly sorry, I did not mean that to be negative. I was young when I had my first child and I had a consultant who had no idea what she was doing. She admitted to me she really had no idea how to breastfeed other than what she learned in school since she had no kids of her own and therefore didn't know what it was like to breastfeed. It was really hard for me and I had to find a different consultant from another town. My new consultant breastfed and she supplemented with formula when needed.

Rhiannon - posted on 10/26/2011

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I have had three kids. I didn't breastfeed the first two but I decided to this time around. I was either working or I felt bad about not breastfeeding my first child to breastfeed my second child. I decided not to feel bad and at least try it. Especially since I am not sure if we can have more kids. It was definitely worth trying. It was a new experience believe me. I thought it was the worst thing of my life right after my daughter was born. I was up 22 hours after I delivered trying to breastfeed her. I was like where's the bottle I think I might die. Now it's been two months today and I haven't quit. I don't pump at all. Sometimes I hand express which gets easier as you go. You can always tell if baby is full especially if they fall asleep on the breast. I have a cluster feeder meaning she feeds for hours at a time. Once I even had a cluster day meaning she just wouldn't stop feeding. Some days can be hard if they are cluster babies. You feel like you aren't making enough milk but you are. Always drink a cup of water after each feeding. If you are sleeping don't worry about it. Again it's an experience. Remember that babies have to learn to latch on too. You both are new at the start. I hope I could help.

MELANIE - posted on 10/26/2011

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Sorry, it wasn't my intention to come across as negative to bottle feeding. Each has to make their own choice that is best for them. I have plenty of friends how have bottle fed. I was meaning my mother, grandparents, aunts, and sisters have all nursed their babies because formula was to expensive for them to buy or in my grandparents case wasn't available. If breastfeeding wouldn't have worked out for me I would have bottle fed my babies without guilt.

Darla - posted on 10/26/2011

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I pumped and bottled fed breastmilk to my first son, but now am breastfeeding my second. It has not been easy, especially at the beginning but I encourage you to try it. Even if you can just keep thinking "Just one more day" it will eventually become easier. One big tip is to teach your older child how to play on their own because you will often be busy nursing and not be able to play with them.

Krista - posted on 10/26/2011

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Once again, I will ask all of you to avoid making negative comments about formula-feeding or formula-fed babies. This is not a debate comparing breastfed babies to formula-fed babies. This is simply a mother looking for help on starting breastfeeding.

Please remember that there are plenty of mothers on COM who have formula-fed and be sensitive.

Thank you,

Krista
WTCOM Moderator

MELANIE - posted on 10/26/2011

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Call your hospital and ask if they have a lactation consultant in staff to help you and if they do ask if they have nursed their own child. I have nursed all foue of my children and the hardest thing was getting help from a lactation specialist and nurses who had never nursed a baby themselves. It does make a big difference. I called our county health office and they had a wonderful lactation specialist on staff who came to my house to help me. She was wonderful and very knowledgeable about a lot of stuff concerning breastfeeding and was very patient. Breastfeeding her own children played a big part in how she helped and she also goes to seminars concerning breastfeeding to get new info.
For me breastfeeding my children was always a top priority. I never planned to not nurse them because no one in my family had bottle fed their babies. It does hurt at first but quickly goes away at least it did for me. I loved that time with my babies and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Ruby - posted on 10/26/2011

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Hi its not difficult to start breast feeding but is difficult to continue my top tip is to persevere and express and store milk if you have enough also invest in breast shields and or some nipple cream as they can become sore very quickly good luck i hope this helps x x

Carol Jane - posted on 10/26/2011

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I had great nurses willing and able to help me get started, especially the older women, But there was one who just didn't want to be bothered. If ANYONE, even your doctor tells you that you can't nurse, produce enough milk or anything else that might stand in the way, immediately ask for a trained Lactation Consultant or call (yes, right from the hospital) your local LLL and in must cases, someone will come to you, even in the hospital if you want them to. LLL and lactation consultants are the ones who know the most and can be of the best help.

It sounds like you're really wanting to do it, so you'll probably do really well.

Malkie - posted on 10/25/2011

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i sugest if ur health is okay to try breast feeding but not all babies take to it. it might feel uncomfortable to you at first but over time it will feel natrule.

Erica - posted on 10/25/2011

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Just depends on the litte one, some babies latch good. Others not so much. When my son was born he quickly latched on with no problem what so ever, but I coudnt take the pain. It hurt, they say it will for a couple days or weeks until your nipple can handle the pain. I did it for a week then was done.

Melissa - posted on 10/25/2011

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It takes a commitment but once you have been doing it for a few weeks it really just becomes second nature. I think sometimes it is much easier. . . my daughter is hungry during the middle of the night and I just take her out of the bassinet and nurse. There is no going to the kitchen, mixing up formula and heating up. You don't even have to leave the bed. =) Its great for you and the baby, but you have to stay focused. Goodluck!

Talieeya - posted on 10/25/2011

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While i was recovering from a c-section in the hospital, the lactation consultant was very helpful. The hospital also offered breastfeeding classes so maybe you can start there. I think one of our biggest challenges was the baby properly latching on and sore nipples. But don't be discouraged. It's a beautiful thing once you and the baby get the hang of it. Good luck to you !

Veronica - posted on 10/25/2011

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Amanda, I read everything I could on breastfeeding while I was pregnant and even, afterwards. No one I knew breastfed. It did hurt some in the beginning, but I read that the more you breastfeed, the pain would go away. It did. It didn't last long. The nurse will give you some cream that helps some, too. So, apply that in between nursings. Also, drink lots of fluids and stay away from chocolate and caffeine. My babies were all fussy and wanted to nurse whenever I had either of those. Also, nursing lying down, especially at night or when you are tired is great. You will get alot more rest that way. Also, get a blanket big enough to cover you and your baby while nursing or get a sling. I recommend one from mammasmilk.com. Breastfed babies want to nurse all the time in the beginning. Dont give up and try not to use any bottles. It makes them fussier when you try to nurse them. Oh,and try not to use any bottles in the beginning. That just makes it hard for both of you to learn and get the hang of breastfeeding. I have been breastfeeding for over 20 years! omg! I just realized this! Anyway, it is definitely, worth it. Hang in there when it gets tough. There will be times when your baby will seem to want to nurse around the clock. Most likely it's a growth spurt or they have a cold or fighting some virus. I noticed my babies did that. Like right now. My Eileen is nursing almost constantly. She is teething and has a cold. Well, good luck and congrats on the new baby you will have.

Kate - posted on 10/25/2011

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The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a good book, and kellymom.com is another great breastfeeding resource. I also saw a lactation consultant for assistance. What I wish people had told me is how hard it would be! Please don't let this discourage you as breastfeeding is so good for baby, and is wonderful after you both get the hang of it, but it's really hard! It took me and my son about 8 weeks to really get it down, and for the pain to dissipate. I had latching problems and used a shield for about 5 weeks which helped initially but then I was SO sore when I stopped using it. Now (he's almost 6 mo) it doesn't hurt at all- even the initial latch (some say it hurts for a few seconds but it doesn't any more for me). I used All Purpose Nipple Ointment when I was so sore and it was miraculous. Get it if you find that lanolin isn't helping (prescription only). At first I felt like all I was doing was breastfeeding and he still now eats about every 2 hours but it's not a big deal anymore. At first he ate for about 45 minutes each time, but now it's maybe 20. It gets easier, is worth it, and get support if you're having a difficult time!

Nicole - posted on 10/25/2011

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In my experience, it difinetely took the full 6 weeks to get used to breastfeeding. So, don't give up early. I found that I had a lot of soreness, cracks, bleeding, and a yeast infection. I had to keep telling myself to give it the full 6 weeks, and that's what it took. The begining can be tough, but you and your baby will be learning together, so just don't give up early. :)

Elizabeth - posted on 10/25/2011

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I say give it 6 wks minimum. I had the worst pain for 5wks with both of mine. I know people say that with a proper latch you shouldn't have pain. This is not true across the board. Every mother and baby is different and every one of your children will be different in their breastfeeding experience.
Not breastfeeding your first will not affect this one. Be sure to ask questions and try to find your local LLL.
(I had my latch checked by my midwife and a nurse nothing wrong there. Midwife says my nipples are just more sensitive than most other peoples.)

[deleted account]

Latasha, I have every right to comment on your post, regardless of if I have breastfed or not. Making a blanket comment that breastfed babies are smarter was irresponsible. Had you stated that there are studies showing breastfeeding can lead to a higher IQ, there would be no problem.

Jamie - posted on 10/25/2011

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I only have one child and from the start I wanted to breastfeed. However, when she popped out it was a huge struggle. It took a painstaking 2 weeks before we were fully breastfeeding. There was some bad information I was told and some bad information I found, but here goes:



I got some bad information about nipple shields. The information I got was not to use them or I'd have to use them forever. So, I refused to use them at the start - huge mistake!!!! We left the hospital and we finally thought we were breastfeeding. We got home and it became impossible: she was crying and I was upset. We tried everything but nothing worked. We ended up using a bottle for a little while (a very short while), while still trying. After consulting with a lactation consultant she told us to get a nipple shield immediately. My husband ran out to Babies-R-Us and I was using it by that evening. She took the nipple shield quickly. If you follow the directions on how to use a nipple shield it doesn't take long before you are bare breast. I also found information on suck training because she was slightly tongue tied. The suck training really helped her get a better latch and keep it. The next bad advice was: "Don't let your baby nurse to sleep" - false. In fact, it's the natural way to do it. Although, for this one it really depends on how dedicated you are. I was exclusively breastfeeding, which means no bottles. So, if you aren't planning on exclusively breast feeding then this one might not be very important. The last bad piece of advice that I read everywhere is: "when you are nursing there should be no pain, and if there is your little one isn't latched on right". That's false also. Your breasts need time to get comfortable and once they do the pain should go away within a few weeks. I always made sure the breast was emptying and my child seemed satisfied - those are good signs the latch is good. Plus if they aren't being fed it's really easy to tell by the crying and the fact the child might even refuse the nipple if it's not working.





Good luck to you, it's a wonderful experience!!!! It's worth the fight :)



Jamie



P.S.

Take care of your breasts. I used the Lanolin ointment and it really help the soreness. I never had cracking or any kind of damage. Another thing I was told not to do was wash my breasts with soap, it dries them out. Also, do run hot water on them if you have an over-supply or engorgement, it makes the problem worse.

Mayra - posted on 10/25/2011

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First of all, I think it's wonderful you're giving this a try, I simply loved it! I think that an important thing to keep in mind is that your baby needs very little milk on the first couple of days of his/her life, so please don't get upset if you don't have as much milk supply as you'd thought, keep trying and trying, practice makes perfect!! good luck and enjoy!

Latasha - posted on 10/25/2011

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Kathy King, Your comment was unesscesary and not needed because the question was is breastfeeding difffucult to start breastfeeding. Coming from a mother who never breastfeed you should have never commented! My comment about babies being smarter was not made for your judgement nor approval you simply could have read it and kept moving and it isnt stupid!

Jenna - posted on 10/25/2011

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Both of you are correct - to some extent. Breastfeeding has been shown to boost babies IQs, but it is only a single factor in their development. A breastfed baby could have completely unresponsive parents and turn out slower, just as a formula fed infant could have very responsive and engaging parents, and turn out as a genius. So yes, breastfeeding has been shown to raise IQ levels, but yes, formula fed babies can be smarter than breastfed babies.

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