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Help with latching on advice needed.

(6 Posts)
nancy10 Sun 16-Jan-11 21:43:55

I'm expecting my 4th baby and plan to breast feed. I tried to breast feed my first ds and it was a complete disaster from the start. I had real trouble getting him to latch on and suffered very sore and bleeding nipples as a result. Tried for 3 miserable weeks and then switched to formula.
Then I had twins, for the two weeks they were in special care I borrowed a fantastic electric breast pump from the hospital and expressed. They were given my milk on top of the formula (tube fed as prem.) When they left hospital I switched to formula.
I need as much info as I can to help me succeed, I will ask the midwife but obviously she won't be there all the time. I feel that if I get the latching on part right I'll be half way there.

Are nipple shields useful? My nipples aren't inverted but they don't really stick out!

thisisyesterday Sun 16-Jan-11 21:46:01

best advice i can give is to find local breastfeedin support now.
they're generally more than happy for pregnant women to come along to groups, and it means you can get lots of good tips and knowledge of how breastfeeding works before baby even arrives
and afterwards you have a port of call should you have any difficulties.

nipple shields can help some people in some situations, but if you can avoid using them then do! much easier for you and baby if you can feed without them

what area are you in~?

mrsdavies85 Sun 16-Jan-11 21:49:36

Speak to your midwife and see if they offer a breastfeeding class in your area. I attended one before I had my daughter and was glad I did as they offer tips and explain in great detail. I found it very handy to refer to info i had been given and was succesful from the start

bumbums Sun 16-Jan-11 21:52:29

I would look up your local La Leche League meeting or the NCT breast feeding support group. Do it before baby arrives, those first 3 days are critical.
Be prepared to try many different feeding positions to get the a comfortable latch. Virtical, rugby ball, traditional cross over etc.
My DC2 took 9 weeks to get the latch right. It was excruciating up untill then. She just wouldn't open her mouth wide enough.
Good luck!

Misfitless Sun 16-Jan-11 22:41:14

HI nancy,

Apologies - this is long!

I hope I can help. I've exclusively BF each of my 4 DCs for varying lengths of time - at least for five months each time.

I think you're half way there already, nancy10.

In my experience talking to friends and other mums in hospital, what made them give up wasn that they were not been prepared for or expecting the discomfort, pain, difficulties and sheer frusrtration of BF.

It comes as such a shock - it is crap and kills for anything upto a month and beyond.

I think you're half way there already because you already know this and so are prepared - you are under no illusions and that's got to be a good thing.

Could you afford to buy the pump that they used in hospital? I know they are expensive, but it sounds like it really helped.

I would be money well spent if at all possible. I know a mum who asked family and friends for mothercare vouchers rather than endless babygrows that would never be used, and used the vouchers to buy one.

With the pump, your baby would never get to the starving hungry stage.

I'll be honest, i've never used a pump so don't know how you incorporate expressed milk into feeding routine but you already know how to do that.

As you know, the stress of a starving baby being unable to latch on is a nightmare so I'd do anything you can to avoid that - BUY THAT PUMP!.

I would advise that you start trying to feed the baby 20-30 minutes or so before you think he/she needs it in the early days/weeks rather than waiting till he/she's hungry, that way your baby can latch on before he's starving.

As you know it's not like FF where if they're not hungry they're just not interested - they always love to suckle and will love the cuddle too.

Other advice is to try and keep calm. I know this is almost impossible at times when baby is starving and screaming, you're in pain and knackered. Infact, forget that - is impossible!

Not sure how old your other DCs are, but for my middle two, I was BF and potty training at the same time.

If this is relevant to the ages of your twins, and unless you live in a flat invest in two potties - one for upstairs and one for downstairs so that no matter where in the house you/they are, they do not stand infront you wetting themselves because they can't get to the potty.

Actually - maybe you'll need four with twins (?)

Remember to take the phone off the hook whilst you are feeding - especially in the early weeks. Either that or you'll feel like throwing it out the window like I my friend did.

Re nipple shields - I've never used them so couldn't advise.

Make sure you're comfortable and have a drink to hand, and a healthy/unhealthy snack for you to eat once baby has latched on. Put your feet up and watch telly if you can (unlikely if you're twins are small, though).

I only ever did the snack thing with DC1 but it's still good advice, I think. THis is another good reson for starting feeding before your baby needs it - it gives you time to be prepared with a cup of tea.

Hope this helps. Can't really help with advice about latching on, but I would advise you to keep asking your midwives for support.

IF you are having a home birth ignore the following OP!

As you're determined to get this right I think you should think about staying in hospital as long as possible so the midwives are on call each time you feed.

As it's your DC4 they'll be trying to kick you out before you've delivered it if my experience is anything to go by. WIth my last 3DCs I actually said a big fat NO when they asked 'are you going home today?'

I had trouble BF DC3 in hospital and called the MW before I'd even started so they were there ready to help with the latching on each time.

Don't let them pressure you into leaving hsoptial before you've got the hang of it.

Don't tell anyone, but I used the fact that I'd had bad haemorrage (Sp?) with DC3 to bag a couple of extra days and nights in hospital. I pretended that everytime I got up I felt dizzy and faint but I didn't - desperate times, my friend! Also the extra sleep and rest will do you good, you deserve it and will get bugger all at home with three other DCs!

I did find that with my DC4 they offered a lot less support after the birth because they assumed I didn't need it.

Do ask, don't feel you should know everything just because you're not a first time mum.

When is your baby due?

nancy10 Sun 16-Jan-11 23:27:36

Thanks for your replies. I'm due end of April so a while to go but want to be best prepared. My twins will be 7 by the time this baby is born and my eldest is 11, so able to fend for themselves while I'm feeding (and at school anyway.) I will ask at the hospital about breast pumps, it was brilliant and would happily spend money on getting a good one.
I have found they do tend to think you do not need help fourth time around and that you know everything. The NHS website is quite helpful too, so fingers crossed this time will be more successful. I will ask my midwife about breast feeding clinics too. At least this time round I have mumsnet too, so if I'm desperate in the middle of the night, I'm sure someone will be online to give advice! grin

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