I'm 22 weeks pregnant with my second child, and would like to breastfeed. It went horribly wrong with DS1 - ended up in hospital a week after birth because he'd lost too much weight, then he began refusing the breast, and I moved him onto bottles. Tried to exclusively express, but the sleep deprivation was killing me, and I moved to formula after 3 weeks.
I'm posting because I know that there were some things I could have done at the time to help, but because I was in such a state, I didn't. For one, I wasn't eating, sometimes getting by on an apple a day (not sure if this was something to do with the recovery from EMCS or the PND kicking in early). I didn't insist hard enough of getting help with the latch while in hospital, and I feel like I gave up too easily, though in reality if I'd carried on without help, the subsequent PND would have killed me (it almost did anyway). This time around, I want to make sure that I do everything in my power to get it right. Any tips would be much appreciated.
I would say do some research before like reading kellymom website which is a great resource. Also note down the phone nos of the helplines such as LLL and NCT as they are usually a better place to get help than mw or HV. Good luck
I want to try for a VBAC, because even though I recovered well from the CS, DS is very lively and I need to be able to keep up with him once DH returns to work. DH works 12 hour shifts but will be taking off a few weeks to help when I give birth.
I'm thinking I need to prepare some frozen meals before I have the baby, make sure the house is stocked with healthy snacks and schedule eating times so I don't have the excuse of having no time to eat. I'll get contact numbers for NCT and LLL, I heard LLL is especially good, and request help when in hospital to get the latch right. Plus skin to skin. Is there anything I'm missing?
Obviously there are things you can do like skin to skin, rest and getting more help with the latch.
Please try not to put yourself under too much pressure. I have struggled with all 3 of my DC despite some very good support and help - my DD (currently 12 weeks) just will not latch on and it is not for want of me trying.
The best advice I could have had was to just accept that it is the way it is and enjoy her without stressing about feeding. I would have loved to bf a baby and really wish more than anything I could have done, but I know it is not the be all and end all and being a mum (especially when I have 2 other beautiful DC who also need my attention) is about much more than how I feed. I spent weeks (possibly months) with DCs 1 and 2 being upset about not bf, and really tried this time to let it go sooner, as I didn't want to ruin my time with my baby.
Don't worry toooo much about eating, though obvs it matters somewhat. I was really poorly in bed when I had ds3, hardly eating anything really but trying to keep having fluids (had bronchitis)
He still fed fine
Have you watched the film about skin to skin, I will try and find the link. Remember this is natural to babies - they are born to do it. Ds3 was the slowest and least bothered of mine, but he got there with enough rest and patience, it didn't take too long for him to realise he was supposed to suckle
Mutley77, I'll be putting as little pressure on myself as possible, because I know that way madness lies. Thank you for sharing your experience, and congratulations on the birth of your little one!
Rooners, that video made me tear up. I'm a hormonal mess! It was beautiful to watch. I would have loved to do that with DS1, but after the CS it just wasn't possible.
Happydaze77, I'm planning to feed as much as possible at first, and then on demand. I'm glad DS1 managed to get the colostrum, even though it was mostly given by syringe. He would just not even attempt to latch onto my left breast, so my poor right one took a battering.
if DH is taking a few weeks off then that will be a great help. Talk it through with him, because his role will be to do absolutely everything, bar feeding the new baby, so you need to make sure he's on board with that.
Stocking up the freezer is a good idea.
Find where your local breastfeeding cafe is, I can't recommend these enough, the midwives are specialists, unlike the hospital ones where they can be hit and miss.
If you end up with a few days in hospital after the birth, try to make the most if it, see if they have a bf counsellor who could help you out.
Ask for the baby to be checked for tongue tie before leaving hospital, this is standard for our hospital (and for it to be dealt with very quickly) but I don't think it's always the norm.
Try different positions, don't feel you have to do this or that because other people find it easier (I hated feeding in bed and couldn't feed lying down and night feeds improved a lot when I gave that up!).
Main thing - every breast feed counts, whether it's s day's worth, or a year's.