Breastfeeding Anxiety(10 Posts)
This is hard to explain so please bare with me. When I had my DD I found the thought and process of breastfeeding her uncomfortable and I only managed to do it twice before successfully expressing milk for her for 6 months. Before I had her I had never been around or known anyone that had breast fed.
Now many years later I am expecting my second child and I am determined to breast feed this time. In the interim years I have been surrounded by friends who have breast fed and I feel more comfortable about the idea but I am still very anxious about it.
I am hoping to go on a workshop and I have spoken to friends about their experiences but I wondered if anyone else had had these anxieties and went on to feed successfully or if there was anything else I could do to prepare?
The main thing is getting the latch right straight away if possible, if the baby latches wrong then its going to hurt after that. If you're having a hospital birth then each feed get a midwife to check the position of the baby at every feed, and maybe go to a breast feeding group (like a la leche one) as soon as possible and get them to double check it.
Also I'd recommend buying some lansinoh nipple cream (it comes in a purple tube) and applying it before and after every feed.
Go to a breastfeeding support group now. It was part of my ante-natal care, and i found it really useful to be familiar with where to go and who to speak to. Round here they're in children's centres but your mw will know.
I was quite squeamish at the thought of somebody sucking my nipples, then i got my head on straight - breasts are for feeding babies, men find them attractive as part of the urge to procreate. Our society has taken that a step too far and sexualised breasts to the point where their primary function is seen as degrading. I'm now quite militant about feeding, especially in public, and am hoping someone someday challenges me (9 1/2 months and going strong)
That said, it is tiring and uncomfortable to start with. Formula is not the end of the world, nor is mixed feeding. Make sure you drink a lot of water, and get 500 extra calories a day. If you can make that be proper food then you're a better person than me!
Oats are meant to be good for milk, so porridge with fruit is a fab breakfast. Dp got in the habit of making it for me and bringing it up to bed first thing as i was ravenous. Get a travel mug because your tea will go cold when you're feeding on the side the table is on. And don't be surprised when it takes for
fucking ever to feed!
Thank you so much for your kind words and advice. I have been reading The Food of Love so that I have a book to hand with loads of advice and I am also hoping to attend a couple of sessions at the NCT breast feed support group and hopefully a LLL meeting too. Frustratingly though all the meetings take place when I am at work so I am going to try and organise some time off to attend.
I am also putting together an essential supplies list including:
Healthy snack stock pile
Sports water bottle
Batch cooking in the freezer
Ok some of them are more essential that others however I thought if I had everything to hand then I could focus my energies on feeding. What else should I add?
A pint glass might be better than a sports bottle. I get a weird physical thirst when feeding and end up gulping down loads of cold water.
I just wanted to say to you for being so determined to give your dc bm. You were amazingly dedicated with your expressing!
I would say you are very well kitted out! Couple of things to add:
The food of love book is very good. The womanly art of bf is another amazing book - the LLL book and is really handy as its very comprehensive.
Going to your LLL meeting while you're pg is a great idea.
Try to make a list of all bf drop ins and the days they happen plus tel numbers of local LLL leaders, so if anything crops up you have ready made support.
Write on your birth plan that you will be bf and want to bf in the first hour after birth
Consider having a bf knowledgeable doula at the birth
Try to give birth in a Unicef baby friendly hospital if there is one near you - will help with the start of bf
Forgot the most important thing I wanted to tell you. I know so many people who has challenges with bf dc number 1, but bf as long as they wanted with dc 2. One of these ladies had her new baby this week and is happily bf away - it sounds as though you are very well prepared!
Can you work out what the anxiety is linked to? I was very anxious about feeding in front of anyone - even DH, but told myself I would ebf for at least 6 months... I just did because I told myself I would but I still felt very uncomfortable feeding in front of anyone, and never fed any of my babies in the same room as close family/friends despite ebf 3 babies for 7 months each.
I did hypnobirthing so really believed in telling myself what I wanted to happen and believing that it would work out the way I wanted to.
It is good to hear that previously anxious people have gone on to successfully breastfeed.
My anxiety comes from the views of people around me when I was growing up leading me to feel that breastfeeding would be strange and unpleasant. When I had my daughter even though her first two feeds went well with a good latch and no discomfort I just felt really uncomfortable about the thought of it all.
I am very lucky now to have a number of close friends who have or are breast feeding and being around them and their babies has helped to change my thoughts and I am determined to feed my baby if I can. There is just still a part of me that feels slightly uncomfortable about the thought of it so I want to make sure I am prepared as I can be.
Thank you all for your suggestions, I was unsure how my concerns would be viewed and I am grateful for the support. It is helping my confidence even more.
Romily, how lovely that bf friends have helped you feel more comfortable about bf.
One final thought - it may be worth calling one of the bf helplines at this point if there is anything you would like to ask or clear up before your baby is born in the confidence of complete anonymity. Any of the advisers would be very happy to help you.
In surveys, most bf mothers say after two weeks that they find bf actively enjoyable. The first few weeks are an adjustment process with often a few niggles as you will have read in the food of love, but after that bf can be amazing and so cosy - it has always been lovely for me since around 14 days in. Hopefully you will be posting an update on here in due course to say you feel the same
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