Getting out and about(18 Posts)
I really thought I'd be merrily feeding anywhere about now. My baby is just over two weeks old and we are pretty much confined to the house. I have popped out with him in the car and for quick walks but the thought of feeding anywhere else scares me a bit. It takes a while to latch on and we have to be either lying down or in a rugby ball hold and it's quite tricky to do discretely. Am I expecting too much too soon?
I am worried about taking him out, trying to feed and him not latching on and then being distressed until we get home.
Is this something that comes with time? Do I need to think about expressing? How do other people manage?
We don't have to go anywhere really but I am starting to feel a bit trapped and would like to feel I could get out more without all the worries.
You can practice feeding sitting up in front of a mirror or asking a friend to go with you to a Baby Cafe/BFing Drop-in group to have a go at feeding in public where no one will mind if they get a flash of boob. The more you do it the more confident you will be.
Also, rather than getting specialist clothes for bfing, get some cheap vest tops/camisoles (got to have stretchy straps not the rigid cotton kind)to wear under your normal clothes and pull the vest top under your breast when you unclip your bra and lift your top up. Vest covers your back/tum and top covers everything else. You can also wear cardigans and pull your top up as the cardigan covers your back/sides.
It definitely comes with time. Could you try somewhere "safe" for the first outing, like e.g. a friend's house who has breastfed before, and won't mind you nicking all the cushions(!) or a breastfeeding support group? Have you got any other breastfeeding friends with little babies who you could go for a coffee with in somewhere like starbucks or costa where they have big sofas and you can hole up in a corner? And get them to sit next to you while you latch on so you don't feel like you're flashing to everyone. Places like mothercare or john lewis often have feeding rooms as well with rocking chairs.
I sympathise as I found it impossible to feed sitting up for about the first three weeks! You can help make the transition by building a big slope with pillows in bed and start off lying down but shuffle up to sitting once he's attached. I also found a rocking chair helpful as DS would get all distressed at not being able to latch on but the movement calmed him down enough to.
Is your midwife/health visitor helpful? Or if you phone the LLL or NCT breastfeeding helpline they may have someone who can come to the house and help you out with the positioning. I remember my midwife was great and took ages helping me to get DS latched on while I was sitting up (I used a pillow to lie him on at first - you can buy inflatable ones for out and about. Or fold your coat on your lap as a makeshift pillow.) A big cardigan might help to drape around him if you're worried about being too exposed too. My midwife said something which made me smile - she said I know you won't believe this now, but in a few weeks you'll be able to feed him upside down hanging in a tree if you wanted to. I laughed at the time, but it's true, they get better at it and so do you. You'll get there
Something I did, which you might find useful, is to feed DS in the car. This then gave me the confidence that if we were out, and for whatever reason couldn't feed, I could at least go back to the car and feed him there. In fact I never needed to use this 'backup' but having it made my first few trips out a bit more relaxed.
I had to bf lying down for the first week or so as DD just couldn't stay on the latch any other way - she's tiny and my boobs are mahoosive! There was a look of fear in her eyes as this huge milk machine thrust itself in her face... 2 weeks is very early as their patterns are so unpredictable plus you have the 10 day/2 week growth spurt which is NOT a lot of fun. You might want to consider a dummy for when you're out and about just in case she needs to suck rather than feed. My DD gets really bad wind and the sucking really helps her release gas. Keep trying the other bf positions - they will come. She has to learn this new skill as well as you which takes time.
Good luck and hang in there. I hated when people said to me it will get better but I promise you it does.
It's such early days. The beginning has been equally hard both times in terms of getting out, the suddenly one day you realise that you are just doing it.
Then you go out, not having to plan ahead how many feeds/ bottles etc (ff), you can stay out longer if you want - not have to hurry home because you have used your last bottle etc.
Definitey feed in the car - before outing and before journey home. Have a coffee shop in mind where you can stop off.
In an emergency (weekdays - felt guilty if shops were busy), I would take a handful of clothes into a shop changing room and feed in there...
Bf is HARD in the beginning, but gets easier, in the end IMO ff is harder...
Ds2 is 6 weeks, it's getting easier now.
Yes it will come with time. I was just the same at first but it gets easier to feed in public when you and baby are more confident after the first few weeks or months. I started out feeding at a local bf support group to get used to the odd feeling of whipping them out in front of other people then did it in cages with other bf mums and now I am shameless quite happy feeding in most places.
If there are any GP surgeries/health centres near the places you normally go (in town, near the shops etc) they usually offer bf facilities. The surgery in my nearest town has a private bf room so that helped me in that I had somewhere to go if need be - was a security thing really as I never used it, but was nice to know it was there and I did go in and find out whereabouts it was etc.
Give it a bit longer if you're not confident about getting baby latched on and don't want to do that out and about yet - when you feel ready you could try going to a cafe with some other bf mums and all feeding together. I did that a few times and it was a great confidence builder. I feed without thinking twice now!
Don't worry redandyellowandpinkand green!
I rarely left the house for 3 months with DS1 as I was paranoid! He was a preemie so his head barely covered my nipple let alone my boobies!! However your confidence will grow I promise you! I was BFing DS2 when he was only 5 days old in a cafe only a couple of weeks ago!
The best advise I can give is buy a mamascarf - my mum bought me one at the NEC baby show and its brilliant. It looks like a normal fashion scarf but covers everything from the front and sides but only you can see you baby's mouth and booby. Invest in a couple of comfortable nursing tops or vests you can unclip, practice at home and you'll be fine honestly. Remember its winter so you have every excuse to wear lots of layers which always help.
Thank you - I love Mumsnet!!
The car! Why didn't I think of that? There is a breast feeding group too, I was going to go last week but couldn't get us both ready in time. Determined to make it this week as I do need a bit more support.
I do need to get some nursing tops too.
If you buy nursing tops (and I like them) it's worth trying a few styles to see what works for you. I'm quite big (40 DD) so cross over styles with small access holes don't work for me and I prefer the type which have a panel you lift from the bottom and has big slits in the under-top. I also feed while carrying my baby in a sling which is very discreet but needs a lot of practise. I can only do this with tops that open at the breast. Boob do a lift-flap type where the flap is just under the breast which I like.
I did what truthsweet says and always wore a vest for under the boob and looser top for over. I have fed all over the place and rarely shown any boob. 2 weeks is a bit early to be able to get a latch comfortably and discretely. Practise makes perfect, but timing is also key. Once you have a bit of a routine going you'll have a better idea of when to time trips out.
With dd2 I managed to use a front baby carrier and was able to feed her walking about with nobody any the wiser!
I don't think you need nursing tops, i always wore my normal tops and just pulled them up or down (depending on the style). If you're worried about showing too much flesh you can always drape a pashmina or shawl around your shoulders to cover yourself up.
It can be a bit daunting feeding in public for the first time but I really recommend getting out and trying it as soon as possibe. Agree with other posters that BF cafes and groups are a good place to start. Once you've fed in public once it does wonders for your confudence and you'll gradually feel more comfortable everytime you do it.
Its certainly something that comes with time, that you get to grips with. Wouldn't bother with nursing tops - have always found them more fiddly, and more exposing! Either get button down tops, or get some stretchy camisoles (a la Primark) and do top up / top down.
If you're going into town places like Mothercare, M&S, John Lewis, have feeding rooms. Or you can ask any shop to use one of their changing rooms.
You will get to the stage where you get your boob out without even stopping what you're doing with the other hand - honest .
Definitely get yourself to some breastfeeding support groups. If nothing else, seeing other women feeding will make you relax a bit more.
Best of luck
I also used the car and timed feeds so we leave home/car just after a feed. The first time in public was a busy lunchtime pizza express right by the window. Little choice at the time but to just get on with it - so we did and not even the teenage waiter seemed to notice. Torally lifted my confidence level and now at 12 weeks we feed everywhere. It really does get easier and quicker in time.
I found it harder work trying to be discreet getting a boob out. Much quicker to wop out and get baby on than faffing with muslins etc.
Practice makes perfect!! Two wks is early. You are both learning and getting to know each other.
Coat / jacket or big scarf have always worked for me.
For the first couple of weeks, I felt like everyone was looking at me but you quickly realise they're not. In fact, you can easily be so discrete that people don't realise you're BFing at all (until baby makes slurping noises...).
I also found that a baby in a blanket can be held in for a cuddle and a feed!
BTW my dd is 17 days and I'm not ready to bf anywhere and everywhere yet, despite being able to with ds. It's because she is still learning and a bit fussy. It's getting better and I am getting more confident every day.
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