Will not staying in hospital affect bf?(24 Posts)
I really don't want to stay in hospital any longer than I have to (I realise I may feel differently after birth). I really want to bf but am anxious that it is going to be difficult. Do you think staying in hospital for an overnight or choosing not to will affect the chances of bf working? Midwife suggested I stay in as they can help establish bf but to be honest think I will just want to get home asap. Anyone have any thoughts or experiences?
I found staying in very very helpful in terms of establishing BF but I had had an epic (50hr) labour, forceps, lost blood etc etc - so DD and I were both absolutely knackered. I think had we had a more straightforward less exhausting birth it would have worked out much more quickly. In your shoes I would always be in favour of going home asap so you can settle in with your baby. The main thing I was surprised by (compared to what I'd learnt about BF beforehand) was how firmly I had to bring DD onto the boob. You can get loads of support on here if you are struggling, plus the MW will visit regularly afterwards. I'd go with your instinct and with necessity at the time. Good luck!
mothers who have homebirths often get BF off to a better start as they are relaxed and in their home environment. If you're definitely going to hospital, maybe you could go to a BF antenatal session (many LLL groups run them) and make sure you have plenty of support. Getting your DH/P onside will help as well and making sure he knows abouit good latch attachment in case you miss something. Also get the phone numbers of local BFCs and all the national helplines.
TBH From what I'veheard about a lot of hospital support it's very hit-and-miss anyway so a longer stay won't necessarily help.
I found not staying in helped with DD1. When I was there, a succession of people tried to shove my boob in her mouth. Left to our own devices and with the midwives checking on us, we did just fine. I'd say finding out about local breastfeeding support is often more valuable than what you get in hospital.
I think most of the problems I had bfing were caused by being in hospital tbh. Next baby I'm only staying in for the minimum amount of time necessary.
I'd keep an open mind for now, especially if it's your first.
You may find bfing really easy and be desperate to get home - fine.
You may have a hellish labour and be glad of having midwives oncall at the press of a button.
Don't decide now, wait and see how you feel.
Oh, and just to add, having a hellish labour doesn't necessarily preclude going home if that's right for you. I did with DD1 - forceps, loads of epidural. She was born in the early hours and I went home that evening. It was sheer force of will to prove I could walk and pee enough to be allowed out!
i think its more relaxing at home. lie on bed , tv on, cuppa and a biscuit...
I only stayed in for 8 hours after DD1 was born and DD2 was born at home. No problems with either one! As WoTmania said, BF support in hospitals can vary so it's definitely worth going to a BF group before your baby arrives.
I had no help or input from anyone regarding BF. If anything they were very unhelpful. They actually told me off for allowing her to sleep and not waking her for a feed. You will get all the help you need from your midwife in the first couple of weeks and any bf clinics/support groups so dont worry about leaving if that's what you want.
I had 2 nights in hospital with ds after a forceps delivery and a long lead up. It was by far the worst bit of the whole birth thing- it was hot, very busy, no body came when you rang the buzzer and I got no sleep despite having only 5 hours over the previous 3 days. HOWEVER I'm convinced the help I got bf there was the only reaon I managed to bf so successfully. My community midwife turned out to be totally clueless and literally undermined me at every turn. When she weighed ds and discovered he'd put on 7 oz in 5 days she literally couldn't hide her disappointment. If I'd had to rely on her to help me we would never have managed it.
But then I was in Edinburgh and they had lots of dedicated breastfeeding people on the ward so it depends on the hospital I suppose.
For me, staying in helped: dd was not very with it and I really doubt I could have established bf'ing without massive support at every feed. But then I am not one of those people who get majorly stressed by hospitals, and the problems were with dd's condition rather than mine.
Also, mine was a bf friendly hospital with very good support.
I found NOT staying in hospital actually helped BF. The postnatal ward was understaffed and full to capacity, although labour ward had been brilliant, top notch and full of helpful and available midwives. Also, it was a very hot August and the ward was like a desert, which doesn't help BF as I was sweating buckets - could not drink enough water to keep up. Once home, it was much easier and the community midwife who did the routine check could give BF advice and help with technique. (I asked for a same day discharge). There is a community midwifery service that you can either call for telephone advice or ask for a home visit who are often helpful with getting your technique right (but arrange for them to see you in the morning or at least early afternoon, don't wait till after 4pm or night time to call), many health visitor or maternity services run a free community breastfeeding clinic/cafe/group where you drop in with other mums present to get some support. And finally, it does cost a little bit (it's either a 0870 or 0845 number) but NCT has a breastfeeding helpline if you can't get hold of the other two. Ask your GP or midwife at your GP surgery or hospital midwife to get you contact details of all these before you give birth!
Thanks everyone for your responses.It all seems so varied. Was particularly interested in your experience paddy as I am in Edinburgh too. Great advice about going to a bf support group beforehand. Will try and do that when I start mat leave. Thanks again x
We were out in less than 24 hours and it was far too soon for BF. We thought we had things established but we really didn't and DS ended up back in hospital with weight loss.
If you are going to leave early then I would suggest you also speak to your community midwives or whoever will be supporting after the birth. I wish our community midwives had seen us feed after we got home because then maybe someone would have told us there was an issue.
I stayed in hospital for two days this time, but I don't think that has made any difference to me breast feeding. The midwives were pretty helpful, but there was a lot of trying to shove my boob/nipple into my baby's mouth, especially when she was just born, when I luckily had the sense to basically tell them to shove off and let me get on with it myself.
What I found did help (I am only 19 days in, but will absolutely carry on, I 'gave up' at 10 days, 3 days and 3 weeks respectively with my first 3 DC, with hindsight due to lack of information) was getting as much information as possible before the birth, by reading forums such as this one and by reading up on the LLL website and similar. I prepared myself for pretty much having baby attached 24/7 and not being able to do much except feed in the first 6 weeks or so, I expected some discomfort (midwives kept telling me it shouldn't hurt if the latch was correct etc, but I knew it could). In reality it hasn't been anywhere near as 'bad' as I expected it to be, I am ucky in my baby has decent gaps between feeds for example, but anything 'better' than what I expected is a bonus.
I agree that going to a group beforehand would be helpful too.
When establishing Bfing, I was mostly naked from the waist up for a good few days after. I had a homebirth, so was able to stay in my own bed and not worry about people pulling curtains back/other people's visitors etc. I am not sure how well DD and I would have managed in hospital. I do have friends who had to stay in for a few days, and found Bfing hard due to lack of consistent advice and tiredness from not being able to block out lights/noise etc. Obviously, many women stay in hopsital and get on fine with BFing, but I really wouldn't say that going home is necessarily a detrimental factor. Good luck!!
I wanted to get home asap but wished I'd stayed in overnight. First time bfeeder I found myself completely in over my head with a screaming baby at 3am and not a proper idea how to feed her properly - and I ended up with a cracked nipple. Next time I'm staying in until I know I've definitely cracked it with that DC
Extra support in hospital is obviously great if available but I wouldn't say we had breastfeeding established properly for 2 weeks! Visiting midwives helped a bit and phone calls to an experienced friend as well but patience and perserverence seemed to be the main requirements - two attributes I wasn't aware I had much of until then!
Find out if your midwives visit, join a group, list any friends with recent experience so you have a bit of a support ready.
I found the hospital MWs totally unhelpful with bfing, the only 'help' was far too hands on at the start of the first feed and just made me and DS1 stressed. They refused to let me out until they'd seen DS feed but when I rang the buzzer no-one arrived until after he'd finished, I wasn't told that the length of time between feeds or the fact he fed for less than 10 minutes was a problem. Eventually someone arrived in time to see him take a couple of sucks and I was discharged.
The community midwife who came round the next day was totally appalled that DS was feeding so little, she got us setting a timer to wake him up and suggested skin to skin for feeds, as well as a bit of expressing and syringe feeding to give DS enough energy to get started properly (he was v sleepy).
I was lucky that I had an abundant supply from the start and DS was a keen feeder once he got going, without that I think staying in hospital would have caused us serious bfing problems.
Being in helped with dd1. We had great midwives and I called every time I latched on the first night. They gave me several phrases that I could recall (even in deepest sleep dep!) that helped with positioning and by the time I went home I felt confident to feed. I was in overnight with dc3 recently and heard the same patient advice being given to a new mum. I realise this isn't true in all places but I am hugely grateful for my early experience. I would have been nervous to call anyone if at home but because they were along the corridor it felt fine and I'd been encouraged to do so. But you do have to call. The lady opposite had great advice when she asked but it was hard to listen to her struggling for a whole night with a crying baby and not being able to latch him on properly when I knew how readily the help was there. The midwives do check on you but push the button at other times.
I don't think being in hospital made that much difference to success in the early days. But I had an easy labour and DD latched on straight after birth. Bear in mind that for the first few days the baby is often dozy and not especially hungry and they mainly want to feed in order to be close to you. We didn't have any problems until day 5 when my milk came in and DD was ravenous.
So on the hospital thing I'd play it by ear. I self-discharged because the baby in the next bed was an absolute screamer and I decided I needed sleep more than I needed hospital care. But if you are somewhere pleasant and conducive to recovery than hang on until they kick you out!
What will make a difference is the support around afterwards. It takes 6-8 weeks to really establish breastfeeding and in that time you need tlc, and the number of any local breastfeeding supporters or counsellors who can come and help troubleshoot. You also need the confidence to ask for help early and often.
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