Anyone else enjoy breastfeeding? Positive stories?

(53 Posts)
mamushka Fri 01-Aug-14 15:02:32

I was only sore for the first week or so, and with a bit of Lansinoh even that wasn't too bad. I winced a little at times but never hated it.

I love breastfeeding my baby and I feel sorry for those who don't find it so easy. I do think there are far too many blogs, articles, etc. out there which just portray the difficulties of it. I know it's best to prepare new mums for difficulty but maybe the negativity is setting us up for failure.

Example: at the supermarket I was in the baby aisle and a heavily pregnant lady stopped by the formula milk and told her partner they needed to buy some to bring to the hospital in case breastfeeding was too hard. I just think its sad that this expectant mum wanted to breastfeed but had almost given up before she even started, due to the reputation of breastfeeding being difficult/unpleasant.

I don't want to start a BF/formula debate, I'm not a judgeypants and don't have any problem with formula feeding, but wanted to see if anyone else finds breastfeeding easy and has some positive stories - it just depresses me how many "breastfeeding sucks" stories there are out there!

(Similar with bad birth stories. Seems like you often only hear the scary ones. In the end birth was very hard for me but I always appreciated hearing the positive birth stories more than the scary ones!)

bumpiesonamission Fri 01-Aug-14 15:05:45

I agree, it does seem like there is more expectation that you will fail at it before you even get going.

I also love feeding my baby. The way he stares at me and the ease is awesome.

With birth stories, mine was horrific (30hrs, ambulance, emcs) but I felt empowered as well as I requested the emcs and got a beautiful boy from it.

grin

weebairn Fri 01-Aug-14 15:24:08

I never found it painful and never had any problems with supply. I expressed briefly at around 2 months but other than that I just fed, anywhere and everywhere, and when she got older she naturally reduced feeds. Night times were cuddly and easy. She slept well. I never really bought any "kit" for bf, I just wore normal clothes etc. I used to go out with baba in a sling, and just my usual bag with a muslin, an extra nappy and some wipes in, life was very low maintenance in the early days.

She ended up weaning at 21 months, I was pregnant and my supply had dropped. I would have fed for longer. It was a beautiful thing by that point.

I like to tell pregnant mums this to show it's not always difficult, though you have to say it carefully to make it encouraging rather than boastful. I was just fortunate, but like you say, it's not that unusual to have no problems.

I think a supportive peer group really helps- my mum and SIL had both bf several children and accepted everything to do with the feeding in the early days. No one tried to give me a bottle on the hard nights. People also accepted that I prioritised bf and they did other things with the baby in the early days - settling and winding and taking for walks and nappy changes. They gave me rest and sleep, but always brought her back for her feeds.

I had good breastfeeding support from my community midwives too, though I didn't really need it.

stargirl1701 Fri 01-Aug-14 15:28:27

I assumed it would be easy though and didn't do enough prep. It was and remains the most difficult thing I have ever done and the first thing in my life that I wanted to do but failed at.

I have done loads of prep this time so hoping for a better outcome! 2 weeks till DC2 grin

Writerwannabe83 Fri 01-Aug-14 15:32:18

I assumed it would be easy but it wasn't. I really wish someone had prepared me for how difficult it could be. I was convinced I was doing something wrong and that because I hadn't got the technique perfected it meant I was a failure. I spent a lot of time crying.

There is a fine line between setting people up to fail and educating them about how hard it * can* be. It doesn't come naturally to some women and these women need to know that their difficulties are normal and not a reason for giving up.

museumum Fri 01-Aug-14 15:41:15

I had read too much mumsnet and almost believed it was nearly impossible... because obviously people only post when they need help and those who are finding it ok don't need to post.

In the end, I got some support in hospital and once taught to feed lying down I found it easy in the first days with colostrum then had a bit of a tough time when my milk came in properly as ds was tongue tied but this was treated at 3weeks. In those first weeks I had to express and give some ebm in a bottle as well as bfing directly. But after the TT division it was fine.

At 3mo I had issues again as ds was easily distracted and tricky to feed but we persevered with some advice from my HV at the drop-in who suggested feeding as he woke from a nap while still sleepy. This technique worked and got us right through to weaning onto food at 6mo.

At about 4mo he stopped accepting ebm in a bottle so it was a bit stressful until he mastered the sippy cup (he went to nursery at 6mo so not taking a bottle was a worry).

He's now 11mo and bfs morning and night usually but can go without if necessary.

All the HCPs I spoke to about bf were useful... though I was very lucky to give birth in a MLU so the MWs had time in the post-natal room as they weren't caring for women with high medical needs (no CS or instrument deliveries in the MLU).

squizita Fri 01-Aug-14 17:51:49

As someone who is preparing to feed a baby, the fact that I come up against a wall of fixed smiles (in RL from support via NCT etc') and "it's lovely - any talk of chapped nips/painful letdown/exhaustion is pro FF propaganda" really disconcerting TBH. The irony is, some of the people who organise support from one group have left me feeling hmm and unsupported.

I feel much better when I talk to average mums who say it has its good and bad sides but is better healthwise and cheaper...
My own mum for example found it 'very straightforward but your boobs might get chapped at first and you'll get terribly thirsty'.

I know it is an uphill struggle to promote BFing, but sometimes I wonder if some groups - not all - fail to prepare women (who are clued up enough to know when it's getting 'cover-up-y') by refusing all talk of tongue tie ("it's SO rare..."), exhaustion ("just hire a cleaner!" from your ivory tower ) etc' when we know they are real things many women need support with.

So then you go to find the solutions and in this internet age, you end up with extreme tales of woe, not average gripes and their solutions using a local group or helpline or HV... google horror stories on the other hand..!

squizita Fri 01-Aug-14 17:56:29

...and I have felt in RL there's an expectation that people like me will fail.

I don't wear the right clothes, have the right accent, have parenting philosophies (I do have lots of qualifications and expertise with children, but these are not trendy enough), have a designer sling. I don't recoil in horror at dummies or letting children watch TV.
I've been talked to slightly slowly by some volunteers and it's assumed no one in my family BFs or understands child rearing.

I don't want sympathy or assumptions: I want clear factual advice.

callamia Fri 01-Aug-14 18:01:42

I got some formula in before I had my son, and I'm glad I did because he ended up in nicu being ff (before we managed to make the change to ebf). It relieved my anxiety, and I ended up chucking two if the cartoons recently because they'd gone past their use-by date.

I am so glad that we made it, but it was bloody-mindedness through the tough times that got us here. I had no idea it would be so hard and painful. I didn't expect to cry do much. The pictures that useless NCT woman shower is were not representative of newborn feeding. It's only now DS is 9 months that I recognise some of the pictures we were shown. I am entirely grateful to the bf supporters and cafes, and I will train to be one myself in the autumn.

Reepits Fri 01-Aug-14 18:05:09

Yes I enjoyed it. If was not easy in the beginning, what is. Perseverance is needed n a lot of cases.

Minibagel Fri 01-Aug-14 18:36:46

I love hearing the positive easy experience stories. More please!

Highlove Fri 01-Aug-14 18:55:03

Another one who found it hard - probably among the hardest things I've ever done. But at five months we're still EBF and it's pretty easy now. Only in the lady month have I been able to say that.

I agree with a lot of PP - success stories help to a point. But there's a fine balance between positivity and being honest/realistic. And not making those who struggle feel like a failure - I certainly did until TT and thrush were diagnosed at 11 weeks. Until then, I was told by HCPs, NCT etc to just keep offering the breast, the implication being DD's failure to gain weight adequately was my fault for not letting her feed often/long enough.

So I guess my point is that it's important not to make those who struggle feel like they must be doing something wrong and so give up (unless they want to). Stories of people who've overcome a really tricky start are important, too, to show it can be done with perseverance/bloody-mindedness. That's what got me through.

Highlove Fri 01-Aug-14 18:55:32

*last month!

theborrower Fri 01-Aug-14 19:52:18

I've just had DD2. After a crappy time with DD1, I still managed to BF her twice a day and formula the rest of the time. Things got off to a good start with DD2 but started going wrong again so I switched to FF to avoid a repeat of last time's stresses. Before DD1 I never expected BFing to be easy, but I also never expected it to be so hard. I used to say that BFing was wonderful when it went well but a feckin nightmare when it doesn't.

However, I also knew that several of my friends have found BFing easy (baby that latches straight away, feeds well, no pain etc) damn them and that's why I tried again with DD2. Yes, we hear lots of negative stories - because people are posting because they need help and support -- but I agree that positive stories shouldn't be forgotten because we need a reminder that it's not always so hard.

Pointlessfan Fri 01-Aug-14 20:01:44

I expected it to be an ordeal and I was terrified about doing it in public but it's one of the best things I've ever done! Lots of lanisoh helped and I prob couldn't have done it if DH wasn't so supportive, he is now very pro breastfeeding himself! I don't think I could be arsed with having to sterilize bottles etc and it's definitely easier to go out.
I'd set myself the target of making it to 3 months and am now well on my way to 6 months and unless something goes very wrong I expect I'll carry on after that. Appreciate I was lucky not to have any problems other than a bit of soreness.

josephine1986 Fri 01-Aug-14 20:34:20

I found it easy. I know i was lucky.
Dd latched well from the beginning, only every had the initial pain but gone in a week, no mastitis, chapped nips etc. I have loved it and will go on feeding as long as possible.
So convenient, hassle free for us.

bakingtins Fri 01-Aug-14 20:47:10

I'm on my 3rd BF baby and I've had a different set of problems with each one, but have persevered because I know how brilliant it can be once you are in the swing of it (and it's easy and I'm lazy!)
16m Ds1, >2 yrs Ds2, 10 weeks and counting with DD....
I think expectant mums need to be aware that problems are mostly short term and fixable with support - there are not many people I've spoken to who have had it easy from day1.

Layl77 Fri 01-Aug-14 21:00:05

I love it! Having a baby is hard work the breastfeeding itself is the easy bit (for me) whack them on to soothe tiredness/hunger/crankiness/pain
I think a lot of it is down to knowledge and expectations. If we all knew everything about bf and normal newborn behaviour (like needing to be with mum all the time and sleep with mum feed at night lots) and weren't so concerned with amounts baby has and feeding in public it would e easier. Obviously there are always exceptions but I think education is very important not just giving a leaflet out.

jimijack Fri 01-Aug-14 21:08:09

I love it too. 18 months in and we are still loving it.

It's comfortable, comforting, easy and fits in really well.

Love it!

I think it's because I had such an awful time starting BFing (shredded nipples, thrush, mastitis x 7, no break at all due to a bottle-refusing, sleep-refusing baby) that it became the best thing I have ever done, hands down. I am prouder of having been able to BF my son exclusively, without formula and without ever using bottles, than anything I've ever done in my life. I probably wouldn't think it was such a big deal, and not be so determined to do the same with my imminently due DC2, had it not been such a triumph over adversity the first time around.

whereisshe Fri 01-Aug-14 21:21:40

My biggest problem with breastfeeding was all the rules. Nose to nipple this, timing feeds that, blah blah blah. I did find it to be quite a natural and easy process overall, but the advice is terrible - far too much focus on complicated how-to things, far too little focus on outcomes ie how you know it's working. Because much like childbirth there are lots of perfectly acceptable ways of doing it - you don't need to know how to do it you need to know the signs that show you it's working (baby not wheezing air in but tightly latched, gulping throat to show letdown has happened, etc). Then you can make it up as you go along.

I have breastfed both my children. It is hard work. Sorry, but it is, especially with your first child when you have mo idea as to how frequent it will be and that you can't share feeds. Once established, the. It's easy, quick. Convenient and cheap. But please don't undermine those that find it hard, or have babies with tongue tie, or have little milk.

I say let women make their choice, and don't be judged.

Cannotbelieveit Fri 01-Aug-14 21:37:50

We are 3 months in. Loving it, no problems with latch/supply etc can express but don't need to. DS2 feeds about 6-7 times a day and sleeps well most nights 7-10 hours.

I couldn't feed DS1 due to a couple reasons beyond our control so this time so happy it's all gone well! Had to mix feed him and expressed til he was 4 months old, then I was pregnant with DS2

catherinemm Fri 01-Aug-14 21:41:56

I found it pretty easy too. Had 2/3 days of worry at first when he wouldn't latch in hospital and midwives wanted me to stay til I had fed him but it was like an oven on the ward so I escaped! After a good sleep at home he latched on fine and then we didn't look back for 2 years. He weaned relatively easily at just over 2, when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. Am now 36 weeks and hoping it all goes well again - I have to say am now quite looking forward to feeding again.

I know it can be hard but I think bad advice is a lot to blame for this. I too got freaked about the rules for those 2 days in hospital. When I came home, I watched something on you tube about needing to relax to feed and sounding much less stringent about the rules and I think that had an effect. I also decided there and then to ditch the Clare byam cook Book and bought the food of love. Though feeding was going well by the time it arrived I think the advice to basically just feed helped me to carry on. I also think seeing a friend feed and being aware via her and the food of love that newborns feed all the bloody time told me what to expect. Many people say to be they gave up or it was hard because their baby always wanted to feed - if you know this is normal and expect it it's easier. In fact I hardly found it a chore.

I loved it. BF my oldest until he was 4. BF my twins until they were appox 20 months.
BF is the very best part of being a mother and it is all down hill after that
smile

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