top tips for the first 7 days of breastfeeding(47 Posts)
Hope this post doesn't seem to vague but I am expecting my first and been reading up like mad about what to do, what to try and what to buy to aid that first week of having a new baby and trying to breastfeed. For those of you that have been through it what would your top tip be to someone about to have a baby and eager to be a bfing mum.
Feed on on demand ( you & baby)
Sleep on demand ( you and baby)
Eat, rest, eat, rest........
I pretty much lived on the bed for the first 2 weeks, feeding, dozing and reading. Dp bought me food and I got through bottles and bottles of Evian. I offered boob at every stirring.
Buy a good breast feeding cushion! and The best thing my community midwife showed me was how to safely feed in on my side in bed after she arrived to me in tears one morning coz I had dozed off sitting up whilst feeding at 4 in the morning after 3 days with about 2 hours sleep DS was fine butI was horrified! Although I'm not co sleeping I bring Ds with me for night feeds and its working brilliantly for us he's 11 weeks old now and Although it was really hard at first i found at about 6 weeks things just clicked and it got so much easier! Good luck!
Before you give birth read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
Put the Breastfeeding helpline numbers into your mobile.
Collect details of all the bf groups and bf cafes near you.
Buy some hydrogel pads and store them in your freezer.
And, all the best!
A bit of discomfort/pulling feeling = normal. Proper soreness / redness / bleeding = not normal and probably means a bad latch. Don't persevere through bleeding nipples hoping it will improve ... Get help from a midwife or breastfeeding counsellor.
Ask, ask and ask again for all the help you need....the helplines, LLL, your health visitor, NCT and if its not working, ask someone else. Of course, you may not need to, but I speak from bitter experience as someone who didn't get the right help soon enough and ended up in a bad place (not for this thread).
Best of luck...you are half way there already with your determination to do it.
Great advice given here already.
Another vote for using lansinoh from the first day.
What earnest said about the second night. Yowsers.
Definitely look up how to read your baby's cues. By default you often think they're crying from hunger when it could be wind, discomfort or tiredness. I found that the baby whisperer book had a few good tips about this.
BF babies still do require winding.
The document showing latch (linked by leedy) looked very good.
Agree with what noblegiraffe said, as it's very important to prevent dehydration. It can bring on jaundice, which isn't an uncommon thing (but may require phototherapy at hospital).
Be prepared to hear very conflicting advice. Seek clarification. Seek help with latch if you have difficulty or pain. Ask multiple people as sometimes it will just "click" with a different person telling/showing you.
When asked if latch is ok, you probably won't really know if how it feels is the way it SHOULD feel. If I were to describe the feeling of good comfortable BFing I'd say that it's a bit like having stitches after a local anaesthetic... you feel tugging but no pain.
Speaking of pain, I think most people experience a degree of pain/discomfort in the early days due to friction but it shouldn't be murderous pain.
It may take a couple of (a few) weeks before you realise that BFing isn't just another thing to be endured.
Congrats, good luck and hope all goes well!
Yes to Lansinoh! And to the second night of feed feed feed and won't be put down - both of mine have done exactly this.
The answer to "he/she can't be hungry again!?" is "oh yes he/she is!".
Make sure you have a drink with you when feeding.
There's more than one position to feed a baby in - laying down worked best for baby no2 for me.
Keep a bottle of water next to every place you could possibly sit as you'll be constantly thirsty
Snack , snack, snack -
Sleep when baby sleeps
Bring baby to nipple , not nipple to baby ( it kills your back!)
Have lots of cushions to support you & baby
Don't be afraid to ask for help
Don't let a newborn go more than 3 hours without a feed ( I wasn't told / didn't know this, only found out after my firstborn went 9 hours over night as he didnt wake or cry - midwife couldn't believe I'd not fed him! )
Oh and when your milk comes in (on day 3 ish) you will wake thinking someone has pumped up your boobs to bursting point with a bike pump & you will feel like every movement will make them explode!
Had some really good advice before having my Twins, was told that baby's ear,
like a 24 hour buffet, also that their stomachs are only as big as their fists, so need little and often.
It really helped.
Also I found eating lots of cereal and milk kept me from the hunger pangs.
At first my DS needed a LOT of winding. I wasn't expecting that.
Drink a glass of water every time you feed to avoid dehydration.
Listen to your body's needs re food. If you feel like you need cake, or cheese, or whatever, then eat it. I started drinking milk in my tea when breastfeeding for the first time ever.
Try out different positions if you're not comfy at first. Midwives showed me lying down positions as well as "rugby holds" and others. DS and I both had cannulas in our left hands so found it difficult to get comfy on that side.
Try to relax & enjoy the bonding if you can.
Reminder at first it may be small quantities of colostrum - that's all your baby needs as their tummy is very small! You can express & syringe feed if you're struggling.
Don't let other people's embarrassment put you off. My FIL would always leave the room while I fed. He was supportive but felt awkward being there. I felt more awkward & under pressure because I felt I had to try to feed quickly so he could come back! But I figured it was his choice so just got on with it.
Bottles of water next to every seat. You get so thirsty. Also babies always feed loads at night to begin with as this is when your prolactin levels are naturally high, this is the hormone needed to stimulate milk production. So baby feeding at night stimulates prolactin levels thus increasing milk supply. So it's completely normal to be up all night- sorry.
Make sure you have a comfy chair. I wished I had brought I proper supportive nursing chair- a expense but I didn't really appreciate how much time you spend sitting down feeding.
Good luck and enjoy you baby, they are all snugly and gorgeous.
Wow Lansinoh is very popular! I know it's good stuff,however, just wanted to add that -
some women are allergic to it
some women don't actually need it
no need to use it before the baby is born
and you may find that you can get away with using the sachets that the mws often hand out in the hospital. You only need a teeny bit otherwise the baby will slip even more on the nipple.
Dr Colson's website Biological Nurturing is really good to read as it talks about a baby's reflexes to feed and how to 'awaken' them. She advocates the 'laid back breastfeeding' approach which takes away the need for any rules about holds and having everything in the right place.
Get as much hands-on help as possible. MN and the phone lines are good but the best most practical help is a midwife or BF counsellor literally manhandling you and baby to help you get it right. Keep asking for help if you know it's not right. But bear in mind too that for some people it can be easy/problem free so don't worry too much right now!
This thread has just saved my sanity!! Stuck on a special care ward with my beautiful 3 day old son in floods of tears because he's woken up on the hour since 10pm demanding feeding, my nipples are sore from new milk coming in today, and just feeling like a total failure for not "filling him up"!!!
But from the looks of all your advice this is something normal that I just need to ride out... Will persevere and hope for the best!
It's so, so hard at first, but it's entirely normal for your DS to want feeding non-stop. Just be prepared for a few weeks in your PHD, doing little apart from feeding, drinking water and eating cake.
Bfing makes you so hungry and you really do need the extra calories- my DS is 20 weeks now, and I'm half a stone lighter than before I was pregnant, despite eating cake most days.
This milk monster stage is so tough, but doesn't last long. Now, DS drains each side in five minutes and then he's full for three hours or so. Just put him to the breast as much as you can in these early days, as if he looks,hungry
...oops! If he looks hungry, he probably is!
Good luck and enjoy. You're not a failure, that's the hormones talking! Sounds like you're doing brilliantly.
Erm, and,that should have said days in your PJs,not PhD. bloody autocorrect...
Figure out how to read a book while BFing! I did that on the second night of constant feeding pain and reading while doing it made the really long feeds in those early weeks much easier.
Read up Co sleeping guidelines and if you're tired at least colie whilst the baby feeds.
And this is the hardest time whilst lo adjusts and you recover. Now I know that whatever is wrong with ds I have something that comforts and nurishes instantly available and very healthy.
Find and go to local bf support group as soon as you feel comfortable to leave the house-even if you think all is fine. Chances are high that latch can always be improved and you can get tons of other great advice there. Good luck!!
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