Preparing for breastfeeding. WAS:BF MYTH: Breastfeeding comes naturally, doesn’t it? – Or does it?

[deleted account] ( 54 moms have responded )

This is long, but important!

So breastfeeding is natural. That means it just happens, right? Not necessarily. Since humankind began, new mothers watched and learned from their own mothers, sisters, and aunts, so breastfeeding was an assumed part of the process – it’s part of the reproductive cycle. As society changed, and increasingly did not support breastfeeding, the business of babies became largely hidden so that today's expectant parents are quite likely never to have even held a baby, let alone seen one being breastfed. As well as this, we have come to depend so much on technology that the art of breastfeeding has become difficult. We are so used to measuring, weighing, timing and planning that we have lost touch with our own bodies.



As the Australian Breastfeeding Association puts it “Learning about breastfeeding BEFORE baby is born (when you have more time to take in the information and seek answers to your questions) can really make all the difference. For some mums, it can be quite overwhelming to start learning the basics of breastfeeding during the period when both mother and baby are recovering from the birth.

http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/p...



PREPARATION FOR BREASTFEEDING



1.Get the facts. Find out all you can about how breastfeeding works, techniques, what problems may arise and how to deal with them. Find out about how a newborn baby acts.



• Surround yourself with breastfeeding mums: join a breastfeeding support group, such as La Leche League (http://www.llli.org/) or the Australian Breastfeeding Association (http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/) LLL is actually an international organisation – some mums may have had experience with it in other countries. Check to find a breastfeeding support group in your own country/area. Also, these CoM forums are part of surrounding yourself with supportive mums!

• Do a breastfeeding class – both of the above organisations run them, your local hospital probably does. A couples class is fantastic, if possible.

• Research, research, research (particularly if you can’t get to a class) There are some terrific websites around:

o http://www.kellymom.com/

o http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

o http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

o http://www.esdgp.org.au/PDF/7.13_Breast_... simplified but comprehensive



2. Get your man involved – perhaps he can help you with your research? Or ask him how he’d like to help.



3. Get used to handling your breasts. Your nipples don’t need to be tough ( I’ve heard horrible stories about mothers being told to use alcohol on their nipples!!!) Your nipples need to be flexible.



4. Check out your hospital (if you’re planning on giving birth in a hospital), check out local health professionals, check out lactation consultants – board certified of course.



5. Make sure you tell the hospital staff when you book in that you will be breastfeeding – you want no formula, no bottles, no dummies (pacifiers), you want to feed your baby immediately after birth, or at least as soon as possible. Write it down for them, tell your doctor, tell everybody, put a sign over your bed, whatever it takes! Room in if possible.



6.Bras – probably a separate topic on its own! Basically, during the pregnancy (and maybe in the very early days, just have a comfortable, supportive bra to accommodate your changing breasts. After your baby is born, do try and get fitted by a properly trained corsetiere. I know it’s not always possible, but maybe on your first trip to town after your baby’s born? There are sites where you can learn how to size yourself correctly. A correctly fitting bra is so important for your body. Please, no underwires!



BREASTFEEDING FACTS TO HOLD ON TO



• Breastfeeding is part of the reproductive cycle, not an add-on. The vast majority of women can lactate , that is, produce milk to feed their babies. The human race would not have survived for millions of years if this was not the case. “Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.” (World Health Organisation, http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/...



• The sooner you start to feed your baby, the more smoothly breastfeeding will go. I know it’s not always possible, particularly if labour was difficult, or you needed a C-section, but immediately after birth is best, if at all possible. .The sucking reflex is strongest in the first half hour after birth.



• Lactation is a supply and demand system - the more often you feed your baby, the more milk is produced



• Your body is a milk production factory, not a storage unit. (No, this is not original – I stole it from one of the mums who posted here, and I can’t remember her name to thank her! Hope she doesn’t mind my stealing this!)



• You don’t need a special diet to breastfeed - Milk supply is independent of mum’s diet (if anyone misses out because the mother’s diet is inadequate, it won’t be the baby!)



YOU AND YOUR NEWBORN



Correct latching is vital. Baby needs to get the milk in your breasts so that your body will make more milk. You need a correct latch so your nipples don’t get sore. Getting the positioning and latching correct from the start can help prevent your nipples getting too sore, and can ensure your baby gets all the milk he needs.



http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/a...

http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/s...





This is a great video. Watch it often! There are many videos round for latching – it’s worth having a look at several. There are lots on YouTube, and Dr Jack Newman has done some marvellous research on latching and correct positioning:



http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_...



This is a great site for information on the first hours of your baby’s life

http://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/html/...



When does milk come in?



Your milk should "come in" 2-5 days after your baby is born. It may not “come in” till after you’re home from hospital. Don’t worry – nature has that covered! Colostrum is perfect for baby until her digestive system can cope with milk!



Colostrum



The small amount of colostrum (the sticky yellow fluid that comes out of the breast before the milk "comes in') is perfect for his newborn system to digest, and provides important antibodies. During the first 24 hours after birth, you usually produce about 37 ml of colostrum The baby will get 7-14ml at each feeding, 1/3 to 1/2 ounce each time you nurse. This special milk is yellow to orange in color and thick and sticky. It is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep your baby healthy. Colostrum is extremely easy to digest, and is therefore the perfect first food for your baby. It is low in volume (measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces), but high in concentrated nutrition for the newborn. Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice. http://www.llli.org/FAQ/colostrum.html)

Think of the colostrum as the rich, nutritious cream at the top of the milk. This is the part that gives your baby a hefty dose of protection - just what he or she needs to start life.



Weight



Don't be alarmed if your baby drops a little weight at first. Most babies typically lose up to 7% of their body weight in the first few days. However, A study by Glover and Sandilands showed that "Unsupplemented babies lost significantly less weight than babies supplemented with 5% glucose water http://www.lactationconsultant.info/neow...





How can I tell if my milk has “come in?”



After about 3-4 days of breastfeeding, your breasts will start to feel less soft and more firm as your milk comes in, and mixes with the colostrum to form a transitional milk. It’s considered mature milk at roughly 10-14 days.



Will my nipples be sore?



Your nipples might be tender at first, but correct latching should prevent any major soreness.



THINGS TO HOLD ON TO



• Your baby’s stomach is the size of a marble – it doesn’t take much to fill it up, so in the early days he’ll want to feed little and often.



• You don’t need to “top up” and don’t let the staff tell you have to. If there are medical issues and something extra is required, ask staff to help you finger feed your baby.



• Often your milk hasn’t come in by the time you leave hospital. Don’t worry – it will!



THINGS NOT TO BRING TO THE HOSPITAL



• Your watch – this is a time for getting to know your baby, not for clock-watching



• A breast pump – if circumstances arise when you really need a breast pump, the hospital will provide (check this first, of course.) You may need to pump later to prepare for returning to work, but now is not the time. Wait till your supply is settled.



• Bottles “just in case” – you’re not going to need those! Bottles in the early days are a big no-no if you're hoping to establish a happy breastfeeding relationship.



USEFUL WEBSITES



All the websites I've given in the body of this document are worth checking out. . Also:



http://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/sett...

http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/...

http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/...

http://www.thewomens.org.au/Breastfeedin... This is from the Royal Women’s hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and is particularly informative.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/ Kellymom’s section on Getting Started.



Again, I apologise for the length of this cocument, but preparing for breastfeeding and getting started are important for a happy breastfeeding relationship!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

Well my daughter was 2 weeks early and she was 5 lbs 8 ounces. Then she dropped down to 5 lbs on our last day at the hospital. So I am shocked to read Stephanie Days post that under 6 lbs you HAVE to give formula! That is not what my hospital told me! They didn't even tell me I needed to supplement with formula or water. In fact, they told me she was at a perfect weight and when she lost 8 ounces in 2 days they said it was normal (which I know is normal). I just practiced breastfeeding (no bottles, no formula) during my entire stay at the hospital. Never had any problems, and about the second day of being home my milk came in. You shouldn't worry about if your baby is getting enough milk in the first few days. Of course your not producing yet! But you are producing a tiny bit of clear stuff that is all your baby needs. It drives me crazy that every doctor on earth has different advice and different rules. It's all their own opinions! IMO. Why is every hospital different! I don't get it! You do need to realize that in order to produce enough milk for your baby you need to be breastfeeding ALL THE TIME at first. Even when nothing is coming out. This is what tells your body how much milk you need to produce. If at first you are supplementing with formula because your not producing yet then your breasts will be missing out on all that vigorous suckling that your baby is doing to a bottle when he should be doing it to your breast. Then when your body isn't getting enough suckling time it thinks it doesn't need that much milk. So then you will have problems with not producing enough, and that's when most people give up on breastfeeding; When they think they aren't producing enough.

Mary Renee - posted on 02/20/2011

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I think another thing mothers aren't prepared for before hand is the amount of time you will actually spend breastfeeding your baby in those first 8 weeks.



For me, my daughter was litterally ATTACHED to my breast practically 24/7! She would nurse for an hour, every hour and a half. Even now at 9 months, she nurses every two hours. I call her my little monkey, because primate babies in the wild have access to the breast constantly so they drink a little very often, instead of sitting down and eating "meals" three times a day, like adult humans.



I feel like everybody prepares you for labor pain, and birth - but NO BODY tells you what a MARATHON nursing is in those first few weeks. There were times I thought "This can't be right, something must be wrong, she just ate and she's hungry again?" but no - nope, it's normal, it's just hard at first. I thought I would give up a million times but I never gave in and now I love breastfeeding my daughter and get all choked up if I even THINK about the fact that one day she'll wean : (

Jennifer - posted on 03/31/2011

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I was really surprised that i absolutely hated breastfeeding. My mom was a lactation consultant who worked with Dr. Sears, so i knew the benefits. I even wrote a paper on in in highschool. I thought it would be so much more enjoyable.
It killed for at least the first four months. It didn't get easy until almost 7 or 8 months. I've only had one infection, and no sores, it was just damn painful, more painful than childbirth and i did that all natural...
HOWEVER, the benefits are so outstanding, there is no way i would give up on it.
Primarily, for brain development and immunity`

Cynthia - posted on 02/22/2012

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it did come natural for me and my son. it was easy. i put my boob in his month and he latched on and drinks his milk.. we've been going strong for 8 months now. i wish he would take a bottle sometime. my advise is to give him a bottle b4 4 months or he will never take one like my son.

Janice - posted on 02/01/2012

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Cassie every baby is different. With my daughter she would just refuse to latch because I had a strong let down and it took her 3 weeks to get the hang of it. My son who is now 9 weeks figured it out immediately and we havent had any issues.

The fact that you are more confident and have solutions for problems before the happen is great. Some tips - use lanolin on your nipples between every feed it can help prevent cracking. Once you become engorged express a bit before you latch your baby. Many babies have issues latching during the initial engorgement, and a bad latch can lead to sore nipples.

Also be wary of doctors who often give bad advice about breastfeeding - usually because it was not the norm for so long. I have personally been on antibiotics while breastfeeding so your doctor really should have prescribed a safe medicine instead of having you wean.



Good luck and Congrats Cassie!

54 Comments

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[deleted account]

How can women and the breastfeeding leagues, get it out how important it is for nurses to keep male visitors and some unwanted female guests out of the delivery room when a woman is trying to breastfeed her baby right after birth? This would really help those of us who have male visitors who think it is okay to walk right in without knocking, at this private bonding time between mother and baby.

Jean

Gina - posted on 07/12/2012

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Meme... This forum is not for Soliciting moms to purchase cheaply made knock offs from overseas countries' sweatshops. Kindly take your advertisements somewhere else.

Gina - posted on 06/29/2012

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Christy,

First, kudos on your choice to give nursing a try. Losing the nipple shields and having your baby "learn your body" sounds like a great first step. Im just going to spit out oe random things that helped me in the early weeks. Here goes...

Prepare for nipple soreness. This is NORMAL. HPA lanolin is a great barrier if you get chapped or scabbed. If you do crack or scab, apply lanolin before showers to keep water and soap off your nips... These are very drying and irritating to already sore nipples. Try to avoid bottles for the first few weeks till your little one gets her latch down pat. Obviously, don't let her go hungry; if she's not latching or acts hungry after a successful nursing on both sides, try to pump and bottle feed as a last resort. Use a little pure olive oil on the areola to decrease friction and "tugging" when pumping. Stimulating your nips, whether with baby or pump, every few hours will ensure an adequate milk supply, so don't worry about not having enough milk.

Latch tips... The "boobie sandwich". Use your thumb and fingers (like you would hold a sandwich) to grab your boobie about an inch back from the areola. Gently squeeze the nip/areola and kind of flatten it. BRING BABY TO YOU. This will reinforce her to look for your breast. Guide the boobie sandwich as far into her mouth as possible, angling the nip towards the roof of her mouth. The more areola she takes into her mouth, the less chafing you'll experience. Sometimes newborn mouths simply are too small to get a good latch... This will lead to pain in the early weeks, but remember, your baby was born to nurse, and she WILL master it. It takes lots and lots of patience. Find a nursing position that you're both comfortable in, and stick with it!! Consistency is important until she gets the hang of how it works... We found the traditional cradle to work best for us.

I'm not a LC, but I had lots of trouble with my little one in the early weeks, and we've gone on to nurse 8+ months like pros. I hope this helps you! Please feel free to email me if you need more advice or support. It's ginamkriger@gmail.com. Good luck, mama!!

Merian - posted on 04/30/2012

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The idea of breastfeeding came naturally to me. I mean, I couldn't have imagined bottle feeding. Then it came to actually doing it. I have bf my son for 7 months now and it has not been without it's challenges! I think he has only had about 4 ounces total of formula in that time. Once we got past the first few weeks, it was much easier. We were both new at it and just needed practice and patience with each other. I had (HAVE) an amazing support system - including my parents, sisters, doctors, friends, lactation consultants, support groups and peer counselors. There has been some negativity along the way, but the MAJORITY of my support has been pro breastfeeding. I think support is essential. When exhaustion sets in (and stays) you need someone to remind you that you are doing a great job and even though your baby can't say it with words, he/she is thankful for what you are doing for them.

Jennifer - posted on 04/26/2012

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Usually they do. Lactation nurses are on call, Ask for one! And!!!! When you have a baby, it is VERY important you make a birthing plan. Inside of that plan write in BIG BOLD letters .. BREASTFEED ONLY! Tell your pediatrician you plan to solely breastfeed,he or she will than have that in your chart. If a nurse, (and yes they have done this! happened with my last baby) gives the baby a bottle after you had your pediatrician write a note in your chart stating you wanted to solely breastfeed, than you can sue that hospital. Believe it or not but the main reason so many babies don't take to the breast is NOT because they don't know how. Our babies were born to breastfeed, they know exactly how to latch on from the moment they are born. BUT as soon as we give birth they go with the nurse to get checked out, if that nurse gives your baby a bottle, its very hard to change it. That first contact with breast or bottle is what clicks in their brain as "This is my feeding object" and when you introduce something else they are like "What is this!?!?" ...With my baby boy i had to do what Stephanie Day did.. And it blew ... I was almost sure i wouldn't get to solely breastfeed, my son lost 3lbs,and weighed 5 1/2lbs after a week,and almost needed a feeding tube, but in the hospital when he was hospitalized, i yelled at the nurse and got my point across that he is a breast fed baby, so i breast fed and gave him syringes filled with formula, once he got the idea he was to breastfeed, he solely breastfed after we left the hospital and now he is a very healthy little two year old. :)

Gina - posted on 03/13/2012

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I was adamant about breast feeding even before I knew I was pregnant!! My little one was very eager from the start, which helped get things going. KEEPING it going was another story. I had a lot of pain with nursing in the early weeks... Everyone said it would get better but I suffered through it for nearly THREE months until we had "pain free" nursing sessions. Despite the pain, I was determined to continue nursing, and I am so glad I did. Every time I would cringe from nipple sensitivity or pain, I would just tell myself that I had to do it for my little Olivia, to give her the best start in life. You would be amazed at the things you are capable of doing once you have this beautiful little creature that depends on you for everything. Is breast feeding natural? Yes, of course. It's one of the most natural instincts a mother possesses. But it does require practice, patience, and most of all, PERSISTENCE. I can bet you won't be sorry if you choose to nurse, and remember there's lots of support and resources, so take advantage of them. Good luck!!

Dagmar - posted on 03/08/2012

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This is great, important information! Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but it DOESN'T come naturally to most moms, and I think it's important for moms to know that BEFORE the baby arrives.



Have your support group and a lot of information available before the baby comes, and I also suggest going to a La Leche League meeting before so you can meet other moms and hear their concerns and struggles.



http://dagmarbleasdale.com/breastfeeding...

Robyn - posted on 02/22/2012

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Hi! My start to breast feeding 3 weeks ago was a little daunting and I felt a failure... But after some wonderful support from midwives who took time with me and showed me tips and reminded me I'm human be easy on yourself... Things got better! Now I feel confident my little girl is feeding fine and I'm a lot happier all around. Don't give up! But don't ever feel bad if things don't work either :-)

Cassie - posted on 01/31/2012

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I am pregnant with my 2nd child. And am worried about breast feeding. With my 1st son it hurt so bad I was putting off feeding him, until the midwife came in and had a go at me. (fair enough). They also got me a breast pump to give my nipples a chance to heal, and they used laser and ultrasound (i think).on my boobs to help healing. so I kept trying between expressing and bfeding but expressing takes a lot of time, well it did for me. At 3weeks I got an infection and needed antibiotics and my doc said don't feed my milk to the baby. With that I decided no point expressing and putting it down the drain so we went to bottle feeding.



But I would soooo love to breast feed this baby, I have nipple shields just Incase and my expresser, I would prefer not to use them but if it helps relieve my breasts then u do what u need to.



Any tips to prepare ur nipples so they don't get so sore with feeding?

Cassie - posted on 01/27/2012

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Natural? In the beginning, not so much... (my lactation consultants kept telling me, don't worry, he'll eat when he's hungry. I was freaking out but they were right. He figured it out when he was hungry enough!) :) but once you get the hang of it, and you and baby are in a groove, then it is the most natural and wonderful thing in the world! I love it :)

Mia - posted on 12/22/2011

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Oh my where was this when I had my first! No it doesn't come naturally, especially when it's your first so you & bub both don't know what your doing!

Janice - posted on 11/05/2011

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Jennifer, good point! Babies are born naturally knowing what to do. Its our current culture that is an issue. So few women get to see and therefore learn how to breastfeed. We were brought up seeing bottles and although reading about breastfeeding is helpful its not as good.

Jennifer - posted on 11/05/2011

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It is natural. The baby (born healthy ane no complications) is born knowing how to open their mouth to latch on and suck. We mothers however need to re-learn a few tricks to "trigger the feeding instict". It took a bit of support and knowledge for me to get it right. If you wait too long to feed your baby latch on is hard because they want the milk NOW. Then some are picky. My daughter wants me to bring the breast to her so I have to lean forward for her then bring her closer and sit back. At night she likes to lay flat so the football hold is needed. Remember ladies, it's natural for the baby and natural for us...we just have to learn our baby's likes and dislikes in this.

Uchelives - posted on 10/24/2011

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The info was timely. I breastfeed two kids exclusively for 2 years each and still learning new things about it. Now I am 8wks into my third child thanks.

Sabrina - posted on 09/15/2011

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For me, it honestly came naturally. My mother nursed me but for a short 6 weeks since she had to return to work. When I had my first daughter, 20 years ago, I was not living close to my mom. The minute my gorgeous daughter came out, he asked if I would nurse and I excitedly answered YES! He handed me my daughter, who latched one instantly and we bonded for life! She only nursed for a short 11 months, compared to my 2 other children who nursed for 26 months and 20 months. It was something that was never a second guess for me, nursing OF COURSE!!!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/13/2011

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Oh I know that. But if you had seen this baby eat I thought I would've gone home with a 6 pounder. She was only 5lbs 10oz at birth. I felt like I was putting my older daughter's baby doll in the carseat

[deleted account]

Most neonates lose weight soon after birth, though there seems to be no definite answer to the question of why this happens (many theories, of course!) It's usually 5 - 10%.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/12/2011

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Breast feeding wasn't easy for my first baby and my ex husband was next to no help at all. Even though the hospital was helpful. It didn't work very well and I was under too much stress to get help/ Plus I'm adopted so my mom couldn't really help either.

My 2nd baby (6 months old now) latched right away and has been doing quite well since birth. I was honestly shocked that she'd dropped 7 ounces in the hosiptal because when she was 2 days old she did a marathon nursing session of nearly 6hrs to bring in the milk.

Raena - posted on 07/11/2011

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I have 3 kids and when my first one came I thought for sure all those movie scenes were it! So easy and special and certainly not painful! WRONG! lol. I spent the first few weeks secretly crying and biting my lip in pain. Then I it started to become natural and i went for about 18 months when my son basically weened himself. Three years later I knew what to expect and it wasn't that bad. After an 8 year break I just had another child in March of this year and it was the worst ever! I don't know where I would be without those Hydrogel patches by Medela. They were a total lifesaver! Nursing is not easy but it's worth it! I am glad I stuck with it for so many reasons.

Melanie - posted on 06/30/2011

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when i first decided i wanted to nurse i bought as many books as i could and one told the story of a gorilla born in captivity that had a baby die because she didnt know how to nurse it. so the zoo she was at had the la leche league send a few mothers down to nurse in front of her (behind glass of course) so she could learn how during her second pregnancy. it seened to work and the second baby lived.

Janice - posted on 06/24/2011

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Tina, I like the 2 answers you got. To breastfeed you need to be personally committed and well supported. With that you can overcome almost any breastfeeding obstacle. After the hospital I never consulted a LLL or a Dr. all my support was through here. I breastfed my daughter for 17 months.

Ginny - posted on 05/23/2011

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Depends partly on the baby. My first child wanted nothing to do with the breast. I tried and tried so hard to get him to latch on and nurse, but he wasn't having it. Being the young, inexperienced, scared mother than I was, I gave up and started pumping and feeding him breastmilk from bottles. My second child latched on immediately and was a power nurser until he decided he didn't want to nurse anymore, around 10 months. My youngest, my little girl, she latched on immediately too and was a fantastic nurser. I had an emergency appendectomy for a ruptured appendix a week after her birth that put me in the hospital for 9 days on heavy antibiotics and painkillers, but I pumped and dumped in the hope that once I was back home she'd start nursing again, and she did without hesitation. She's almost 20 months old and still nursing several times a day. So I'd have to say that for some babies it comes naturally, for others, not so much. It's really worth the effort though if you can encourage baby to finally nurse.

Merry - posted on 05/01/2011

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Way to go Syl ie! That's a great example of how hospitals can fail new moms, but it's awesome you were able to continue as long as you did. And now with your second it just shows how much we can accomplish when we have the right info :)

Sylvie - posted on 05/01/2011

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My first was born 1month early, he was 5lbs 1oz. Even though he was breathing fine and good color, the only let me hold him for a few minutes, not even long enough to nurse. They took him, one hour later brought him back, apgar score being as perfect as can be. He ended up staying in the hospital for 8days, but thank goodness I could stay and they had a room for me to stay in. But took 5 days before my milk came in. I felt so bombarded by the nurses trying to squeeze my nipple into his mouth, instead of letting it happen naturally. It was so discouraging. I had never seen anyone breastfeed before, and no one in my family had breastfed. He lost a bit of weight, had low blood sugar, made me feed him formula by tube attatched to my nipple. The thing was, the hospital was so stressfull. As soon as we got home, everything was so nice and relaxed that all went perfect until the 3months growth spurt that I had no clue about. Even though I had and overactive letdown and over supply, I still didn't trust that he was getting enough. So my husband started giving a bottle a day, then went to 2, then my son started refusing. We were weaning and thought of it being fine, but when we were at 1 breastfeed a day, I started missing our time together, but my supply had started to get very low. I started to relactate by pumping 4-5x/day. I was able to pump at least 8ozs a day plus he was still taking his morning feed by breast. No matter how I tried, he would refuse all other breastfeeds. So finally it ended the day before he turned 8months.

With my second child, I made sure to tell the staff at the hospital that I wanted to keep my baby for as long as I could and nurse right away. I was so afraid they would forget that I remined them a few times. As soon as she was born, I held her near the breast, within a minute, she was latched and we never had any problem. I was able to keep her for about an hour before they did the weighing and so on. She was born at 39 weeks and also small, 5lbs 6ozs, I guess I don't make big babies. She's now 32months and still nursing :)
I've become so passionate about breastfeeding, that I would love to help other moms succeed. I got my sister, that used to roll eyes at me for breastfeeding my daughter past 6months, to breastfeed her daughter that will turn one in less than 2 weeks. She's made me proud :)

I'm also hoping to be a future LC :)

OhJessie - posted on 04/30/2011

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Terrific advice; I only wish it had been widely available when I was a new mom. Hospitals tended to underminine (and apparently they still do) true EBF at every turn.

Merry - posted on 04/29/2011

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Cynthia, it is a bit scary to thunk about it all. But in the end the best thing I can say is, no matter what hard things come up, your body is able to overcome it all. Don't let anything go un addressed. Many moms will have a problem and think there's no way to fix it, sorbet quit and go to formula. But remember every problem has a solution and your body is able to fix it if you know how.
So you don't Ned to be scared, just be bound and determined to succeed and don't be afraid to look for solutions to anything that comes up.
Not every woman faces all the challenges, usually it's just one here and there and it works out easily, but it's good to know that even if it seems too hard, you can get through it. And there is such a great reward for getting the hang of it! Breastfeeding is such an amazing thing, it's my favorite part of being a mom!

Cynthia - posted on 04/29/2011

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thanks kathy. i just worry now that i know that so much can go wrong. i just thought it would be simple... knowing that the doctors will push the bottle on us makes me a little mad. i believe it will be something to get used to and to give up before the milk even comes in would be a sad defeat to me.

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No need to be scared, Cynthia - now you have some knowledge you have the power to do things your way! You now know a lot more than a lot of doctors and health professionals!

I would encourage you to do lots of research so you know what's happening to your body!

All the best!

Cynthia - posted on 04/28/2011

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i am 33 weeks pregnant but i had no idea there was so much to breast feeding. thank you all for this info. now i'm scared out of my mind but atleats i'm not naive...

Merry - posted on 04/23/2011

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Randie I wish every woman could read your post :) really that's exactly what the drs need to tell them and yet somehow only a few women ever get the correct information!

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In the early days when you think "nothing" is coming out, your baby is getting all that lovely colostrom which he/she needs!

Alicia - posted on 04/02/2011

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I am 30 and have just had my 4th child. I have a 2 girls and 2 boys. I have luckily been able to BF all of them for a year with no formula. My MIL did buy formula for my daughter because she did not think BFing would satisfy and fill a baby. However, my daughter refused it, lol. My mom and husband were very supportive and my husband never minded thawing milk and giving her a bottle while I worked. Without his help I don't think it would have been as successful for as long since I did have to work with all of them.
I was 17 when I had my first child and knew from the beginning I wanted to BF. I did not think to do any research, but luckily my daughter just latched on and ate. I am so blessed that this was my experience with all 4. I do agree that it seems like the first few weeks all a new mother does is BF but the benefits are soooo worth it. Between all of my children I have only had to deal with one double ear infection and one single ear infection. My third child has never had one and neither has my new 2 1/2 month old.
Thanks for such an informative article so more new moms can be successful at BFing.

Lindsy - posted on 03/31/2011

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I was 19 when I had my first and still lived with my mom who breatfed all her kids when it was reeeally unpopular so she helped and encouraged me a lot. BFing was really painfull and I had latching issues with my daughter but we made it 6 months and I (and she) was happy with that. Now I have 2 more boys and no it's not easy at first with any of them. The first several weeks are just plain hard, but if you keep at it the rewards are well worth it.

Karen - posted on 03/24/2011

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I breastfed my first till 1 and my 2nd is only 14 weeks and doing really well.
The thing i found with my first was every midwife/nurse had a different way of helping me to get baby latched on, by end of 1st day in hospital i gave my daughter bottles as i was sore and VERY confused. On way home from hopital went to shop bought bottles, milk, stetiliser, teats everything. I made my first bottle at home and realised its too much hassle making the bottles so i asked for help and after that first bottle of formula my daughter went on to breastfeed successfully for a year and had no more formula.
Its wasnt easy for me as i had never seen anyone breastfeed and i was 27 when i had my 1st.

Krystal - posted on 03/11/2011

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all my babies were under 6lbs and i breatfed but it didnt last long with my first two my third is 5 months and loves it lol

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Hi Jaime, underwire bras are not recommended because of the pressure the wire exerts on the breast. Pressure on the lactating breast and milk-producing tissue can causes all sorts of problems, such as blocked ducts or mastitis. According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association:

"Many women prefer underwire fashion bras and are confused when told these are not recommended during pregnancy or lactation. The reason for this is, once again, your changing breast shape. When breastfeeding, the breasts can increase and decrease in size during the day, as milk is produced and removed. Retained fluid in late pregnancy can also cause the breast to swell. Although only a slight change in size is occurring, a rigid underwire may put pressure on the breast when it is fuller. Such pressure can lead to blocked milk ducts or mastitis and it is for this reason inflexible underwire bras are not recommended. However, there are now nursing bras available that have a flexible plastic support, similar to an underwire, designed to flex and change position with your changing shape. These are less likely to cause problems."
http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/b...

Dr Sears says:
"Avoid underwires, especially in the early postpartum weeks. If you do choose an underwire bra, be very particular about the fit. The breast's milk-producing tissue extends all the way back to your rib cage and up into your armpit. An underwire may obstruct the milk ducts in this area--besides poking and annoying you. (Underwire bras can be miserable to wear during pregnancy. The wires dig into your upward-expanding abdomen whenever you sit down.)"
http://askdrsears.com/html/2/T025200.asp


Naturally, no-one wants to spend more money than they have to - perhaps you can keep your underwire bras for going out? Or keep them until breastfeeding is established and your breasts have settled down? You can get bras with a more flexible plastic support to accommodate your changing shape. All the best.

Jaime - posted on 03/11/2011

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Very, very informative, thank you! I breastfeed my daughter for 5 months successfully until I stopped by choice (unfortunately). I plan to try and do it for a year this time around. Can I ask a question? Why are underwire bras bad? I have a couple nursing underwires from last time that I used. Thanks :)

Janice - posted on 03/02/2011

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I hope every expecting mother sees this post! I especially loved the initial explanation of why breastfeeding no longer "comes naturally." It is amazing how the nurses know so little about breastfeeding and ruin many breastfeeding opportunities. I did some research on BF but not very much. I was lucky in that I was able to BF my daughter only an hour after my c-sec. (breech) and that I was sooo persistent. The nurses constantly offered bottles because I was having latch issues. The first 2 weeks were rough and people told me to give up every day. I'm soo glad I didn't. Once we figured it out it was so easy and now at 16 mo. my daughter just went down to only 1 feed at bed time.
I hear from so many people how they "HAD" to stop for whatever reason all which were problems related to lack of info. Anyways, Thank you for putting up this great post.

Hannah - posted on 02/23/2011

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I had a c-section last June and I was separated from my little boy for over nine hours. When I finally was able to see him he had no idea how to latch on. I had to use a special shield to help him. I was very sore for the first two weeks of BF. At two months old my son rejected the shield and latched on with no trouble. I was sore again for about two more weeks and since then we haven't had any trouble. He is eight and a half months old now and we are still going strong.

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Absolutely! I found what helped me was visualising this tiny stomach the size of a marble - doesn't take much to fill it, empty it, fill it again and so on!

Merry - posted on 02/12/2011

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Awesome info Kathy!
I wasn't well prepared, thankfully my stubbornness got us through the tough start and we struggled through until it became natural.
I say, it's natural to talk, but it still has to be taught, encouraged, practiced, and patiently understood!

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Stephanie, congrats on trying so hard! And for learning not to judge.
It really helps to read up on everything, doesn't it?

Stephanie - posted on 02/12/2011

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I thought breast feeding would come naturally and did not read up or anything on it when I was pregnant. My daughter was born 2 weeks early and weighed 5 lb 10 oz. The nurse said since she was under 6 pounds, I HAD to give her a bottle. So I did what they told me I had to do and I told them I wanted to breast feed. So after that first feeding we did tubal feedings, so she was getting formula through a tube, but still attached to me and she would pull off and suck the tube like a straw. Nurse said she had never seen a new born do that before. I tried and tried till she was 4 months old. I nursed, gave bottle then pumped. She would just kind of suck on me 20 min each side and then down a bottle in no time. Very frustrating! But it taught me not to judge other mothers, b/c before I got pregnant I thought badly of moms who chose to bottle feed. You cannot say I did not try and my second child I knew to tell the doctors no (she was 6 lb 1 oz 1 month early) so I did not need to and she nursed till she was 18 months old.

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