First Time Breastfeeding Questions

Erica - posted on 03/12/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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This is my second child and I chose to breastfeed this time around. I tried with my first and he would never latch for me. I had my baby on March 4th and she has only had one bottle of formula since and I will never giver her another cause she seemed to choke on it. I was wondering now that my milk has come in if i have to nurse on both sides at each feeding? I also cant get her to nurse more then 8-10 min on one side. I have tried what her doctor suggested by letting her nurse 5 min at a time on each side. That worked for about 24hrs then my nipples started to get really sore from having to stop her all the time. I have also nursed her out in public cover of course but get dirty looks from people. I know that this is best for my baby but I am getting a little discouraged about getting dirty looks and not being too sure on if i am doing it right or not. any advice or input would be great.

thanx

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Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2011

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PS- Have you thought- for every person giving you a dirty look, there MUST be at least one person who hasn't noticed, one who doesn't care, one who thinks it is really cool and one who is thinking fondly of her own nursing days. I find the most accepting people are elderly, because when they grew up everyone nursed and they saw it constantly.

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Don't worry about the length of time baby feeds on each breast. Let her nurse until she falls off on her own. If your breast feels softer and you can't easily squeeze milk out then you can offer the other side. She may or may not empty the second side. When you feed again start with the side you left off with (the second side). Here's some great info about switching breasts:
http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvsep...

Nursing for only 5 minutes a side will probably give her foremilk/hindmilk imbalance (explained in the article). So just follow her cues and let her nurse the first breast until she's done. When I nursed in public I just focused on my baby. That way if anyone was giving you dirty looks then you wouldn't notice. You're doing a great thing for your baby (and for you!). Good luck!!

Keara - posted on 03/13/2011

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i agree with Sara, just let baby tell you what she wants... don't try to break the latch, she'll let go on her own, and she'll tell you if she wants more too, look for the rooting, i'm sure you've seen brand new puppies kinda sniffing around until they find their mother and latch on, well human babies can do almost the same thing, my son will drain one side and then open mouth attack my shirt until i let the other side out... hes 6 mths now tho.... the only time i ever break the latch is when he falls asleep and i know he's not drinking anymore, he likes to use me as a pacifier.

as for the dirty looks, my MIL and mom have been awesome in helping me to learn to nurse but my father and FIL are grossed out by it... i kinda get why tho, but anyways, they are the ones who pissed me off enough about it that now when i go bf in public, or anywhere for that matter, i don't care who sees, i have a breastfeeding cover thing, but i hate it and don't use it... anyways, so the other day i'm sitting in the food court of the mall, feeding my boy, and everytime someone stared at me or gave me a dirty look, i either glare right back or if they are close enough, smile and say, nice day, or thats some crazy weather eh? and most people just either walked away or politely answered me... i got a few people who were totally scandalized about the whole deal but it was amusing to watch them. i feel i should mention that even tho i no longer use the cover i'm still very discreet, its not like i'm leaving my boob hang out...

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Katie - posted on 03/23/2011

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OMG!! Screw those who are giving you dirty looks for nourishing your child!!! Just pipe up next time you see it and say "hey if you have a problem with it don't look you pervert!" Don't be discouraged honey. What you are doing is a wonderful, WONDERFUL thing. When i was breast feeding i would let Kiera drain one boob and then let her have her fill on the other. So yes it is important to feed with both breasts. I know it totally sucks (lol) but if you don't one of your breasts supply will diminish. Maybe not alot but it will. So try this: when you feed her start with say your right boob. let her drain it... or most of it, and then let her have a go at the left boob. Then, the next time you feed her start her on the left boob and drain it and then let her have a go with the right boob. :) it worked for me but i understand that everyone is different.

Diane - posted on 03/21/2011

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One thing that is important to remember is that if you need help with BF ask a Lactation consultant or a La Leche League leader intead of a doctor, most doctors don't have much education on breastfeeding and often give out advice that isn't really great. That being said, let her nurse as long as she wants on one side and then offer the second side, if she doesn't want it then offer it at the next feeding. The problem with making her stop and switch before she is done is that she will only be getting the foremilk that way and the hindmilk has more fat content than foremilk and she needs that to gain weight but also, if she isn't emptying the breast then it tells your body to make less milk, an empty breast is a signal to the brain to make more milk and your body will adjust to make the amount that she needs so if you are not empty then you will start to make a little less and if you need more your body will know because she will continue to suckle even after you are empty. If she only nurses for 8-10 minutes on a side it could just mean that she is very efficient at nursing and she is getting all that she needs but you want to make sure she is getting the hindmilk. You could join the leaky b@@b facebook page and there are hundreds of great experienced moms and LC on there who can answer any question you would ever have. Good Luck!

Rebecca - posted on 03/21/2011

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I just smile back as I am confident in what I am doing is best for bub. And I just think that everytime I do it in public it makes it more normal for the Mums that follow me.

LaLasha - posted on 03/20/2011

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I'm am sorry so many people are ill informed and give you dirty looks when you are feeding your child. As for the length of feeding new born have very tiny tummies so they don't eat for very long it's ok as she grows so will the length of her feedings

Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2011

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Good for you for nursing! Remember that you are the mom and they are your boobs. Anyone who doesn't want to see, doesn't have to look. I am rather careless, and sometimes when I was in a restaurant, my daughter would stop nursing to look around and I wouldn't notice right away! #&*! 'em if they can't take a joke! Try to get used to disapproving bystanders, this won't be the first parenting decision you will feel you have to defend. You will get dirty looks for how you handle a tantrum, what you feed your kid, how you talk, how they are dressed/groomed...it is endless.

Melissa - posted on 03/20/2011

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In the beginning I nursed 10-20 minutes per side. I have small breasts and my baby would empty them out and I had to produce more as she nursed. I used a hospital grade pump to increase my production and eventually was able to nurse 10-15 minutes per side.

Don't worry about the dirty looks. Nursing is natural and it is your right as a mother to fed your child. It is legal to nurse your child in public throughout the US. I always covered up for my own modesty but I still got dirty looks. Luckily, I didn't get looks like that very often and it usually came from some men.

You are doing what's best for your baby so don't pay mind to the discomfort or immaturity of those people. :)

Stuck-in-the-moment - posted on 03/20/2011

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At first my son would do the exact same thing! sometimes stopping their nursing will discourage them from staying latched on..I had two things suggested to me..1.) just feed from one side at each feeding 2.) feed for about 5 min on one side (just to nurse it down some) and then let them nurse as long as they want on the other side..which has worked well for us because you want to make sure that he/she is getting the right amount of hind milk..as for the bf in public..its purely a socitial thing..the more that people do it in public the less it will seem "out of place" I rarely if ever see people doing it now days..I feel like i'd rather nurse him in the car than get some of the looks that people send!

Samantha - posted on 03/20/2011

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My fav place to nurse in public was target... I would curl on the lawn furniture and nurse my son away from everyone. My own mom was the least supprtive of public nursing and would always throw blankets over me. I wore nursing shirt, but my son hated being covered... finally I said ,"would you want to eat with a blanket over your head!" She stopped pushing it after that. I just learned to ignore people. No one would say anything if you were holding a bottle and what you are giving your baby is even better!

Meaghan - posted on 03/20/2011

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LLL has a faq on nursing discreetly. A LLL meeting might help you out a lot because the moms can show you how they do it.
The clothing that you choose will make a difference. Horizontal slits are more discreet than vertical slits. Pulling a shirt up is actually pretty discreet. Some women like to wear a bella band or tank top to cover their belly. I like wearing the cardigans with the long tail - I could drape it over the baby and she wouldn't object (but she wouldn't let me use a nursing cover or blanket for some reason).
Practice in a mirror and you will get a good idea of what others see. They usually see so much less than you think. Small tweaks may take care of any issues that would bother people. And some of those dirty looks may be your perception...they may not even notice you. They just may be cranky :-)
I use to have people come up to me and tell me how cute my baby was sleeping in my arms. They would have no idea that I was nursing her!

Gwen - posted on 03/20/2011

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breast feeding is great and worth it, it can be very difficult i was in pain for 4 months but it got beta and i was just determined for her. dont worry about the looks it your right as a woman and if anyone wants to look at you then they can but they cant do anything about it. i used to feed both side but only when she wanted it, if you get along time on one side and leave it for half an hr or so she will probably take the second side then they dont take alot at first cause there tummies are so small and they are getting used to it, keep going it will be well worth it and you wont regret it. goodluck

Rachael - posted on 03/20/2011

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agree ignore those bad looks from others, just watch bub. If you cant see them, then it wont bother you. Or smile happily when you do. That will throw them off and hopefully embarrass them! Keep it up. It does get much easier as bub gets bigger. I found feeding in the baby change rooms was easier when bub very little as easier to get in to position etc. I used a baby blanket/wrap to cover myself when I felt I wanted to. As bub got bigger and I got more confident, I fed anywhere and did not bother with the cover (even walking around while shopping with a girl friend) sometimes the covers make the whole thing harder. Definitely find a lactation consultant or your local Breast Feeding Association/ La Leche League. They are wonderful help!

Mia - posted on 03/20/2011

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My best advice, find yourself a good lactation nurse you can see for advice and support. I found one and she was awesome. I do remember saying feed off one boob, then offer the other. Not all bubs will feed off both, depends on how much milk you have etc but you need to make sure they getting all the goodness from the milk for each feed, like for the fore and the hind milk. About feeding in public, as long as you're not slinging your boobies around what does it matter (which I'm sure you weren't!). Don't watch if it bothers people that much honestly, sometimes you haven't got a parents room to go to and even then that might not work for you and your bub. I wouldn't let them put you off, it certainly doesn't bother me they can just bugger off!

Stephanie - posted on 03/19/2011

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Firstly, congratulations in being able to nurse your 2nd baby! I think breastfeeding is such a wonderful experience (it might not seem like it now, but when the baby gets older, you can see that they enjoy and are truely comforted by bf).

In the first 4-5 months, I only fed one breast at a time. I have quite a bit of milk in the early months, and one breast was all my baby needed per feed. Try feeding your baby until he/she decides to finish. Give them a burp, and then offer the 2nd breast. They may have a few sucks and then not want anymore, or they may not even want any. Let your baby guide you. But always offer the second breast. Block feeding (feeding from only 1 side at a time) also help regulate your milk especially if you have an oversupply problem later on.

Like Jaquelin said, draining one breast at a time also allows your baby to get your hindmilk which contains all the lovely fats to help them in their brain development, as well as to help them build some fat in the early months. By switching your baby back and forth, they only drink foremilk, which mainly consists of water. They get hungrier faster if you just let them drink foremilk.

I was reading in the Robin Barker book 'Baby Love' that in the early months, try feeding from your breast at least 6 times a day (ie. could be 3 times on right breast and 3 times on left breast) in order to upkeep your milk supply.

Personally, I found as the baby got older and their appetite increases to drink more, that is when they start needing the milk from both breasts. I think I was feeding one side per feed until around 5-6 months. It was then that my baby needed the milk from both sides during a feed.

As for feeding in public, I found buying a proper nursing cover like Bebe Au Lait's nursing covers really helped me. See: http://www.nursingangel.com.au/p/1021690... These nursing covers really cover you well, and most people just think you have a nice scarf on and don't even know you are nursing!!!

Its perfectly legal in Australia to breastfeed in public. Just be brave and choose an environment that you feel comfortable in to nurse whilst you are out. Most shopping centres now have private nursing rooms with curtains. They are great for those early days when you are still trying to work things out, and they are also quieter too!

All the best!!

Jaquelin - posted on 03/19/2011

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Ignore those silly people who give you dirty looks. They are either ignorant or jealous ;) . There are so many theories on how to breastfeed. I say - go with what feels the most pleasurable for you. What worked for me was to let my baby drink and drain one breast during a feed and then alternate for the next feed. This gives them an opportunity to benefit from the hind milk. Just remember which breast to feed from the next feed.

Mary - posted on 03/19/2011

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Ya, the nursing both breasts, and time limits etc. are just guidelines, they are not a necessity. If it doesn't work for you and baby you can nurse just one side each feeding for the next 2 years if you want! Some moms have faster milk dispensing, some babies have faster sucking tecniques, some slower. We are all so amazingly, incredibly different. I have very fast milk, and when I tried to do the both sides thing baby got very fussy and colicky and unhappy (from too much formilk). When I went to just one side a feeding, it still only took 5-7 min. to fill baby up but she was much happier. At about 3-5 months I started switching sides and she transitioned beautifully to nursing both sides, which was a relief cause I was starting to look bigger on whatever side was next for nursing! After learning these coping tricks they worked very well on all my other babies as well. :) Don't try so hard for it in a "mould" that someone else has made for you. You just have to figure out your own mould and keep you and baby happy and healthy. :)

Jennifer Ann Saunders - posted on 03/19/2011

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If you got sore from stopping her, it may be b/c you weren't getting her to unlatch well? You can stick your finger inside of her mouth instead of pulling her off. I always fed on both sides and if he wouldn't eat both, I would pump the otherside to keep my supply up. Keep it up. Every child is different. Don't get discouraged.

Aicha - posted on 03/15/2011

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Coagulations on Breastfeeding keep up the good work and ignore the dirty looks from people . what I found works great for breastfeeding in public is using a maya sling and no one can tell baby is nursing unless you have a very vocal nurser that gulps and slurps .

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You got your info on the nursing, so I'll just add my bit on the bf in public. It took weeks for me to dare to take my baby out and I remember how incredibly vulnerable, self-contious and judged I felt. That feeling will pass! One day I went into a coffee shop and wasn't served. I think they just wanted to give me a bit of privacy or that I had just come in to nurse my baby, but in my head they were judging me and I had to fight hard to hold back the tears. I won't even tell you about my first time in a shopping centre when she was five weeks old... The best you can do is simply to focus on your LO. If you do get dirty looks, you won't even notice. But most people are ok with it, some might just be a little awkward and not know if they should look or not. You are doing a great job!

Cassie - posted on 03/13/2011

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Oh and the dirty looks.. just ignore them the best u can.. clearly there uneducated people that see a womans breast as a sexual object and not as a babies food source :)

Cassie - posted on 03/13/2011

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I never did that on boob for so long then the next boob for so long.. i just let my daughter feed from one breast each feed.. and were coming up to our 11th month of breastfeeding.. its worth a try! you have to do what ur baby prefers not what other people say :)

Ania - posted on 03/13/2011

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Sore nipples are normal at first mine hurt for about 10 days. It is ok if she nurses on one side each feeding and for a short period of time as long as she is gaining weight. My son was like that too 5 min on one side was enough for him, but he would eat very often every 1-1.5. Try not to introduce a pacifier until feeding is well established...few weeks
As for dirty looks, why do you care? You just do the most natural thning in the world and the best for your baby. I would be proud!
Good luck there are many challenges to breastfeeding, but it gives you the best feeling in the world especially when bigger baby comes to you and snuggles up to get some magic drink from you :)
As for dirty looks

Erica - posted on 03/13/2011

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i have read the link that you posted and it makes sense to me now. thanx so much for your feed back. i was told by several people that i have to do both breast at every feeding for pump from the one that she did not feed on. i am going to try this method and see how it goes. again thanx so much for the information it was much helpful.

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