Can I have your stories of perfectly ordinary BF experiences?

(95 Posts)
MrsHoratioNelson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:29:28

Inspired by another thread...

I'm 36+4 with my first and getting a bit antsy about BF. I've got flat nipples and have heard so many horror stories, even from those who would say that they had a positive experience. I'm not absolutely wedded to BF at all costs and quite prepared to accept that it might not work, for all sorts of reasons and that's fine. But I seem to hear nothing but "it was horrendous, I had mastitis for 7 years and then thrush" sometimes with "but I powered through and now I love it" tacked on for good measure.

So, tell me about your experiences please? You know, the ones where you both kind if just got on with it and then the baby was weaned and everyone lived happily ever after. I'm quite happy to hear about sore nipples and lost sleep, but I'd like to avoid the (hopefully less common in real life?) end of the spectrum.

noblegiraffe Mon 09-Sep-13 13:33:11

I've ebf two babies and never had mastitis, thrush, or bleeding shredded nipples. It was a bit tricky getting latched on at the start, but with some excellent midwife help, hand expressing a few feeds into a syringe and trying different positions it all fell into place after a few days.

MrsHoratioNelson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:34:11

Noble that is brilliant - exactly what I wanted to hear smile

vaticancameo Mon 09-Sep-13 13:34:41

My bf experience has been completely humdrum. One natural birth, one cs. No difference in experience afterwards. Babies latched on by themselves an hour or so after birth. My nipples were like razorblades for the first couple of days, but that is normal until you get used to it (lansinoh and painkillers got me through). That settled and from then on, no problems at all. I fed dc1 for 16 months, going back to work at 10 months and then just feeding when I was home ( I didn't bother expressing at work). It was fine. Dc2 is 5 months now and has never had formula. I've never had mastitis, supply issues, blocked ducts etc. Honestly, I think my experience is more common - people come on forums when they're having problems that need fixing, but there's a lot of women out there who never have problems too.

My first baby was easy-peasy! She took to it straight away and I had no pain, no supply issues, nothing. One brief nursing strike that lasted a day at around 4 months old aside, it was great!

DS was a bit trickier but I won't go into that.

Never had mastitis or blocked ducts or anything with either of them.

milk Mon 09-Sep-13 13:39:15

I EBF both my children.

DS1 for 10 months.
DS2 for 6 months.

I think I found it so easy due to the huge support from my DH. While I was pregnant with DS1 he did huge amounts of research/watching videos. At first I thought DH was just being pervy, but at the hospital after DS1 was born he was so very helpful. During night feeds, DH would always get up with me and help the baby latch on.

LewisFan Mon 09-Sep-13 13:39:47

find out where you're nearest bf drop in is now so if you find you'd like some advice or support you know where to go before the hormones and tiredness kick in grin

Hello!

I've got one flat nipple and one normal one. It did cause a few problems initially as my babies have had to learn two different techniques for feeding. Sometimes in the early stages I had to use a breast pump on the flat side before either newborn could latch. After the first few weeks everything was fine.

I've breastfed my DD to 18months when she self weaned. My DS is 17 months now and still feeds 2-3 times a day (he's allergic to cow's milk and soya so I'm not in a rush to stop breastfeeding).

I recommend getting as much breastfeeding help as possible in the beginning - in hospital and once you are at home. The NCT helpline was very useful too.

Good luck!

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Mon 09-Sep-13 13:40:47

DS was a bit tricky to get started as his latch wasn't great, but by 6 weeks he fed beautifully and we kept going to almost 2 years. I asked for, and got, lots of support from HCPs in the early days, and a got sore nipples but nothing horrific.

DD latched on and fed in the delivery room and we've had no problems since.

That's it, really!

It

fuckwittery Mon 09-Sep-13 13:41:35

I've fed two very successfully. Had one tricky night in hospital with dd1 when no-one had told me to wake up her up every 3-4 hours for a feed and I'd let her sleep about 8 hours blush. She was then so hungry and distressed it was tricky to get her latched on, lots of screaming, but a lovely midwife helped me latch her on repeatedly all night. After that plain sailing, a bit of an OUCH with let down, nipples v sensitive for the first few minutes of the feed, but I think that had gone by about 10 days. My worst problem was spurting milk when I tried to feed in public or leaking if I'd forgotten to put breast pads on but that was sorted out rapidly when supply settled down, in the first few weeks definitely.
Within a few weeks it was sooooo easy, could feed when and where I wanted, no bottle faffage, lovely feeds in bed at night no having to get up.
DD2 was also a breeze, she had a slight tongue tie which made her a bit colicky, so took a while to wind after feeds and I had to work a bit on getting the latch right. No pain at all though, and second time round didn't need nipple cream or breast pads.

Giving birth however I am not good at!

I won't bore you with my difficult beginnings. But I will say that the "lost sleep" didn't really exist for me. We side-car attached the cot to the bed so I barely had to wake for feeds. As DD didn't need the whole cot, I kept a night light, cake, squash, nappies and wipes at one end of the cot, and me and her at the other. Bfing releases hormones which help you get back to sleep, and because I didn't even need to get out of bed, it didn't really feel like a properly disturbed night.

Any difficulties for the first few weeks were wiped out by the ease of bfing for the remaining time I bf. You can leave the house with baby, nappy and wipes, so no need to take big bags, worry about warming milk, etc. Once you've cracked bfing, that's when you really can "just get on with it".

Forgot to add- no mastitis, no blocked ducts. I did have bleeding nipples during the first week but lansinoh is great stuff!

lucamom Mon 09-Sep-13 13:43:15

Bf three babies, 'teething problems' (not literally!) with first baby, for couple of days. Thereafter, once we got the hang of it it was easy, and was a doddle from the beginning for subsequent two. No mastitis/thrush or physical/health problems for me or babies.

There are other issues with breastfeeding which can cause a problem, such as clothing restrictions (I bf each for over a year, so couldn't wear a dress in all that time!), and 'cluster feeding' is a particular joy, but if it's important to you you'll manage fine. It doesn't have to be difficult for everyone, you'll hear horror stories but also success stories.

muckypuppy Mon 09-Sep-13 13:43:25

With DD1 (now 2) she took to it straight away but when my milk came in properly after a few days I was so engorged she couldn't latch on so my mw arranged for me to go back to the mw unit for the night to get milked like a cow (a tad embarrassing but such a relief) and to make sure DD was feeding ok again.

Went in that afternoon and was out the next lunchtime armed with some nipple shields as my lo seemed to latch on better using these:

www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-AVENT-SCF156-01-Protectors/dp/B000MMQO5Q

After a month we stopped using the shields as she was a bit bigger and had mastered her technique. She went on to feed happily until she was 19 months, a couple of months before DD2 (now 4.5 months) arrived.

DD2 latched on from the word go, no probs and feeding away happily.

Like you I accepted it may not happen but wanted to give it a shot for the health & money benefits and because I'm a lazy cow who can't be bothered faffing about making up and sterilizing bottles.

Give it a go and ask for help from your mw if you need it. They really are great and have so much experience of what problems you can face and how to work around them.

Good luck, not long to go!

nancerama Mon 09-Sep-13 13:44:50

We established breast feeding with no problem at all. I was struck down with mastitis a couple of times, but because breast feeding was going so well, I figured it was something I could work through, and it shifted with feeding in bed and antibiotics after a couple of days.

Once breastfeeding is established you can be so spontaneous. Friend invites you out with title notice? No problem, just pick up a couple of nappies and trot out the door. No need to dash back if baby is hungry or you can't find anywhere to warm a bottle.

Remember these simple rules:
It's breast feeding, not nipple feeding - make sure baby gets a deep mouth full
Skin to skin helps to bring everything into place
Line your baby up with your tummies touching so that they don't need to twist into an awkward angle
When your milk comes in, so does cluster feeding. It will feel like you're feeding all the time. You will worry that your milk has dried up. It's normal - your baby is training your body to increase supplies for their growing tummies. This will happen every 4 weeks or so.
What goes in, must come out. As long as you're getting wet and dirty nappies, you can be sure enough is going in. Don't get hung up on the length or frequency of feeds. Trust your baby to know what she does.

If you're unsure, or worried, NCT and BfN helplines are there for you. Anyone can use them and you don't need to be a member of their organisations. They will advise you over the phone, direct you to their nearest drop in, or arrange for a specialist to visit you at home. Please use them as many times as you think you need. They really don't mind!

Good luck

gussiegrips Mon 09-Sep-13 13:45:23

Me too - nips like sandpaper with the first one after attaching her myself and stupidly not wanting to bother the MW to check. Get your first few latching ons checked - that's my sage advice.

Also, get a job lot of lansinoh in - that stuff is magic made by fairies.

And, cheap breast pads don't work. Get ones with the sticky pad to hold them in place, or washable ones are great for when you are in the house - bit obvious if out and about in your LBD (like a VPL, a VBPL).

It is tiring and hard to start off with, but the same as everything else you need to figure out with a newborn. and, once you've got it sussed, no sterilising, no buying formula, never running out of the stuff...

dufflefluffle Mon 09-Sep-13 13:46:17

BF both my children. My first was a dream - took to it immediately and I never had any problems. weaned her at 6 month of EBF. My second was a totally different story - I had smugly thought that I had domething to do with PFB's wonderful bf'ing. Apparently not. DC 2 was not terribly interested, didn't guzzle contentedly and just generally I felt that had he been my first I would have had a totally different attitude about bf'ing. I did introduce bottles (and formula) for one feed a day at about six weeks and this and his easy going attitude towards bf'ing meant that I kept it up for 18 months. I never had mastitis and the only real discomfort was when my milk came in on day 4 or whenever. I think that being relaxed and confident helped me to have a positive experience but ultimately it was DC#1's taking to bf'ing on day one that really helped.

nancerama Mon 09-Sep-13 13:46:27

And echoing Milk - your DH will be more than welcome at any clinics or drop ins. Having a supportive and understanding partner who can watch and remember and help you repeat a latch or hold at home is so valuable.

BeCool Mon 09-Sep-13 13:46:40

EBF 2 babies - I was an older Mum (1st at 40).

Women in my family never BF, but I always wanted to. I talked to wise women around me who had BF and received gentle amazing support from them.

I had nipple pain for about 2 weeks with both babies, but it passed. I just worked though it.

DD2 practically walked up to my boob after she was born and was feeding within minutes. smile

BF gave me a huge sense of freedom - I could get up and go when/where I wanted. With DD1 in particular I travelled, and lived an usual lifestyle for a while - all possible because I was EBF.

I brought 2 bottles before DD1 was born - they were never used.

the only person who ever said anything negative to me re BF was a 'friend' - it was easy to detach from her.

I fed everywhere and anywhere I needed to.

It was a lovely experience and I loved it.

I'm quite lazy & the thought of FF filled me with dread.

I absolutely loved the first few weeks/months lounging around with baby, BF, watching box sets, being up in the middle of the night etc. Loved it.

HaplessHousewife Mon 09-Sep-13 13:47:57

My two took to it really well, used to have to take DS off a couple of times each feed until he got the latch right as he was a bit keen and just used to suck like mad!

I had a couple of blocked ducts but managed to clear them myself so nothing major. Fed them both until about 14 months.

TheKnackeredChef Mon 09-Sep-13 13:48:53

I EBF my twins. No problems to speak of. Always felt a bit of a fraud when the HV waxed lyrical about how marvellous I was for doing it - truth was that for me it was easy and I was far too lazy to have to bother sterilising all those bottles!

NoToast Mon 09-Sep-13 13:48:57

It was hard-going the first few days (cracked nipples) and then fine for 2 years. I kept going partly because my mum told me it would be 'wonderful' once established and she was right.

Good luck!

MyNameIsAnAnagram Mon 09-Sep-13 13:50:21

I bf ds1 for 18m, and am 17wks into it with ds2. Apart from a dodgy 36 hours with ds1 at the start, I have had no issues whatsoever. No pain (sensitive nipples early in with both but that passes within two weeks), no thrush, no mastitis. I have loved bfing, it's convenient, easy and the ultimate in portable food!

GingerBlackAndOriental Mon 09-Sep-13 13:50:29

I have one daughter, she had a little feed after she was born while we were doing skin to skin. I now know that she probably didn't get anything at the time as I'd never BF before and didn't know how to do it properly.

She was taken to SCBU a few hours after birth with breathing difficulties. (all fine after tests) Her next feed was formula through a tube. I was given syringes and a photo of her and I went to hand express colostrum for her. Which I did for two days while we got the hang of breastfeeding. I just kept going to the SCBU unit and trying to get her to latch on and a wonderful midwife helped me.

On the 3rd day she was moved to my room in the hospital and we got better and better at BF (on demand). 48 hours after she left SCBU we went home. She lost a little weight but that's normal. When she was 6 days old my nipples were sore, one scabbed over. I didn't wear a bra and that helped a lot. I had a hot bath and the scab came off, I put lansinoh cream on them for a couple days and they were fine after that.

Never had a problem since. She's 18 months old and still BF a couple times a day and usually once in the night.

itsonlysubterfuge Mon 09-Sep-13 13:50:38

Started mixed feeding from pretty much birth, but by the time my DD first teeth started coming in, she wouldn't take a bottle and she was BF only from then until now and she is 14 month (with the exception of 'real food'). It is quite lovely when she runs up to me giggling shouting "boob!", not exactly perfectly normal, but one of my favorite things. Also, I've had thrush once and it was not a nightmare; it was pretty sore for a day or two and that was it, a bit of cream for me and goo for DD, and it was all better.

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