thinking of breast-feeding: what do I need to know, what can I read?(67 Posts)
Will second Dr Jack Newman. The videos are particularly good for seeing how things should be, especially when you have a new baby to look after.
Hi Kat I naively thought it was a case of boob+baby=breastfeeding. It is for many but not for us. DS had an undiagnosed tongue tie which lead to bf failure at first. I was so determined to do it, we had the TT cut privately, he had other issues treated too and I expressed for 4 weeks before I got him on the boob. I only succeeded due to unfailing support from DH and a BF counsellor. THEN I realised the time it takes to feed and build a supply, there was NO WAY I could have got a routine going then, but that's probably just me. When it finally dawned on me that my new role and job was to
sit on the sofa, watch telly, eat flapjacks feed my baby it came a lot easier. Cluster feeding is demanding and can feel bewildering, but is totally normal. Do not give into the 'oh he must be hungry/not getting enough/give him formula advice from well meaning relatives! Lovely tiktok on here gives sage advice, you will always get reassurance and advice. Kellymom is an excellent resource I wish i had found in the early days. GOOD LUCK!
Oh and Gina Ford's routine would not go well with breastfeeding i'm afraid.
My advice would be to accept support from everyone who offers it - MW, HV, bf support workers, get all of them to observe a feed and check your latch etc. Oh, and I agree with the pp who said to use Lansinoh at every opportunity from day one, it's amazing stuff!
Like christmas my first had tongue tie. It would have helped me immensely if I'd known about it from the beginning. Don't be afraid to ask the MWs to check for tt and get it checked again if you still have issues. Its easy to miss.
If you google "milk matters tongue tie" some good information should come up. Unfortunately the link won't work for me tonight.
Oh don't be scared! Its your baby working to stimulate you to build up a supply. The greater the demand, the greater your supply. It can be time consuming but it doesn't last long. I thought we were doing it all wrong as i had no idea it happened, let alone that it was totally normal. Cherish the time cuddling and feeding your LO! My ds now is a super charged feeder, 5 mins at a time and he's done!
Don't get scared or overwhelmed, for many women it ends up being really easy and convenient.
Yes cluster feeding means that your baby may take lots of feeds in a short space of time and can happen if you bf or ff. like someone said up thread, its natures way of making you sit down, relax and get over being pg and the birth. Try not to look on it as baby being attached to your boob, its more of a time to chat to your DH or catch up on books or TV shows. Lots of people treat themselves to some box sets of their favourite shows.
Their is some info on cluster feeding here but I think its important to remember that not all babies do it and most that do grow out of it pretty quickly.
What to expect in the early weeks is a good article but again its important to remember that for most, it does get easier very quickly.
Thought you might also like to know that GF is on kellymoms list of books to avoid.
There not their. Think I really need some sleep!
The Breastfeeding Network run free workshops, there's a Feeding Choices workshop and a Breastfeeding workshop, check their website to see if they operate in your area. They're really interesting.
You really need to be able to devote the time to breast feeding...the growth spurts and cluster feeding will unlikely fit into any routine i'm afraid. Remember...your baby won't have read the book!
It is the best thing ever however...I look at my dd and feel proud that so far she is ebf and all the growing etc is entirely down to me providing what she needs.
Something my ff and bf friends have noticed is that they are both the same amount of work - but with bf all the effort is in the first few months, whereas ff it's spread over the 18+ months babies have bottles. So where i at 2 weeks was struggling with sore nipples and a baby stuck to me, now at 12.5 months it's on-feed for 10 minutes-done while my ff friends are still sterilising and faffing around.
Cluster feeds tend to be 2-3 hours of long feed, short sleep, long feed etc. Normally in the evening - ds's bedtime feed is still longer (15-20 minutes) than his breakfast one (5-10). Most babies (mine included and he wasn't a great sleeper!) then sleep 4-6 hours before the next feed. You can do things, but risk a crying baby while you do. Leaving a baby to cry while you take a 2 minute wee, or fetch a drink from another room (or even fetch a book/gadget to stop you going insane stuck on the sofa!) will do no harm. Prolonged, unattended crying of 10+ minutes might have an effect. Prolonged crying when you're trying to comfort them is not damaging, and often down to teeth if no other signs of illness.
The Continuum Concept
The Continuum Concept introduces the idea that in order to achieve optimal physical, mental and emotional development, human beings - especially babies - require the kind of instinctive nurturing as practiced by our ancient relatives. It is a true ‘back to basics’ approach to parenting.
I really enjoyed reading this book and think it improved my relationship with my babies.
It bloody hurts, it's not easy but totally worth it if you stick in there. Also just feed your baby when s/he's hungry. Even if you think they can't possibly need more. Your baby knows how much they need and will self regulate.
The Food of Love by Kate Evans - get off Amazon, read and it'll tell you all you need to know
Agree with Lansinoh after every feed, shower, etc, from day 1, do not wait to get sore.
While it can hurt for some I think its important to remember that it doesn't hurt for everyone and if you do decide to bf and it is hurting, please seek some help before a little niggle turns into a big problem. Put the bfing helpline numbers in your phone, find out where your local bfing support groups are and we are always here
...and let's not remember, it doesn't always hurt.
Apart from Food of Love ( --and check out her pregnancy and birth book coming soon!), and womanly art of breastfeeding, I also liked Babyled breastfeeding by Gill Rapley and for motherhood in general- what Mothers do, even when it looks like nothing by Naomi Stadlen.
I should have qualified my comment, for me it hurt at first but once I had got the hang of it,and after help from wonderfully supportive hubby, family and bf counsellors, it was easy as pie and I did it for a year.
This board, and lansinoh saved the day for me, still going strong now at nearly 10 months.
Cluster feeding is great as it gives an excuse to watch DVD box sets and eat chocolates and drink tea
Kellymom also very good
Isis website for sleep info including specific to bf babies
Yes to reiterate pp - after a few weeks it really did become easy for me and I love it. Is hard work at the beginning though but remember it gets easier with time
I found it difficult - with DC1 I gave up after a few weeks and felt terrible. With DC2 I decided I wasn't going to put myself under pressure but that I would see how things went.
I decided that if I bf for one day I would be happy, if I managed a week I would be delighted. I gave myself permission to stop whenever I wanted - and I decided to stop about eight times - always 'I'm stopping next Monday' Invariably, next Monday came and whatever problem had sorted itself out. I bf until DC was 21months!
I will add to the accolades for kellymom and the bf threads here. Sanity savers.
I quite missed the cluster feeding when it stopped as it was a great excuse to sit and veg in front of the tv. I even managed to crochet a hat for DD while feeding!
greige very impressive! Intrigued how you did that ( knowing nothing about crochet but would imagine you need both hands?)
this is what you need to know:
breastfeeding is not like a meal, its like breathing. babies do it lots. expect some sucking every 20 minutes round the clock with a newborn and beyond. in fact, you might not notice any break in the suckling. though baby will be fast asleep and you won't know it. especially if s/he keeps his/her eyes open.
your baby is part of you like your arm or leg. don't expect him/her to have a separate existence for a long, long time.
there is no such thing as routine for a baby. there is only baby and mummy. whoever gina ford is, she has no place in your relationship with your newborn!
put four pillows on your lap and rest your arm and newborn on them. that will put him/her high enough to latch and suck without pulling, so you won't get sore. as baby gets bigger and you're more used to breastfeeding, you need fewer pillows. but invest now in extra pillows, floor cushions (to support you in bed) and all the fancy pregnancy cushions. and a long sleeved sweatshirt. you'll value that on cold winter nights.
it will feel funny to be sucked, and to be touched 24/7. but you'll get used to it and then you'll love it and you'll love having done it for the rest of your life.
watch for the ears wiggling. a good latch is demonstrated by wiggly ears.
if your nipples do get sore, numb them with ice before latching. keep them exposed to the air as much as possible. notice how much better they look after a feed than before. keep feeding.
if you get mastitis (which you won't if you're 'feeding as breathing') do use cabbage leaves in the bra, as it works.
learn how to express with fingers and don't invest in any pumps or other equipment. make a circle with finger and thumb. place the join of finger and thumb at the point of the nipple. slide finger and thumb back up the breast. when about half way, gently press down and slide finger and thumb towards the nipple. you may only get one drop the first time, but when you relax, you'll be able to fill a small bottle if you need to. and shoot daddy with milk from a distance of fourteen feet or so. expressing only exists to give you confidence in your power to produce milk.
breastfeeding is natural. both you and your baby have the instincts to make it work. keep others at bay and learn from each other.
have faith. if it feels good and right, its good and right.
i breastfed my only child for four years and three months. her baby is currently 25 months and breastfed, no sign of giving up. i was a breastfeeding counsellor for twelve years.
re books - the womanly art is ok but a bit prissy even when i read it 32 years ago. read jean liedloff's the continuum concept. breast is best was ok. no idea what's around today. except that breasts are basically what they used to be, and so are babies.
Join the discussion
Please login first.