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Breastfeeding: will it be the same again?

(25 Posts)
happysmellyfeet Sat 03-Sep-11 22:28:54

I am about to have dc2. I had an absolute nightmare breastfeeding dc1 and gave up after 6 weeks. I still feel terribly guilty about this decision. I would love to do a better job with dc2. To summarise my problems last time: dc1 would scream for ages (over half a hour) whilst trying to latch on - I am not convinced we ever really got the latch right, despite mw saying it was ok; he was a pretty big baby and was 'feeding' for sometimes 4 hours or more at a time - not sure how much he was actually taking in though; he cried for hours maybe due to colic. After 6 weeks my nipples were in such a state that I couldn't even wear a t shirt and I was in permanent agony. Also I didn't go out because I got in such a state if he needed feeding.
Am I destined to have the same experience this time? How can I improve my chances of successfully feeding dc2? Thanks for your thoughts, I am in a bit of a state about it tbh.

thisisyesterday Sat 03-Sep-11 22:34:10

i had similar situation, nightmare with number 1... but numbers 2 and 3 were SO much better.

my real top tip would b e to find a local breastfeeding group and start visiting while you are pregnant. there is a lot to be gained simply by watchihng other mums feed their babies and it gives you a port of call if things don't go right once baby is born.

our local baby cafe and LLL group saved breastfeeding for me.

the other thing is, be realistic about feeding. know what is normal. read up as much as you can... places like kellymom.com for example, have lots of good advice,.
keep posting here, there are tons of knowledgeable breastfeeding ladies here who can tell you how it all works and what's "normal" (if there is such a thing)

what area are you in?

RitaMorgan Sat 03-Sep-11 22:34:19

Sounds like you had shit support from a midwive who didn't know what she was doing! I'd try to find good, qualified support before you have the baby (maybe see if there's an NCT or La Leche League group near you?) - go along now and meet the counsellors.

Did anyone check your baby for tongue tie by the way?

happysmellyfeet Sat 03-Sep-11 22:41:07

I do not live in uk but I am in Europe so presumably I can access some support from LLL or equivalent. Good idea. Will have a google. Dc1 was in uk. I think I have better support here in this country's system (hope so!).

Meglet Sat 03-Sep-11 22:43:11

I had a shit time trying to bf DS. 3 miserable weeks to get him to latch on and we muddled through mixing bf, EBM and ff for 3 months before I gave up as I was sick to death of battling with him.

DD latched on straight away, I didn't get sore, she didn't feed non stop, she gained loads of weight, slept reasonably ok..... and I was whinging she wouldn't take EBM at 3 months blush. I was quite bossy with her really, I woke her to feed all the time in the early days. I was on MN second time round so felt more confident.

Totally different second time round. I knew what I was doing and DD seemed to get it a lot quicker.

happysmellyfeet Sat 03-Sep-11 22:45:16

Oh and he was never assessed for tongue tie and now lisps 's' quite badly and says 'w' for 'r' which I know can be due to tt but he is only 3 so I thought he might not have quite mastered the correct pronunciation yet??! But tt did cross my mind too.

girlsyearapart Sat 03-Sep-11 22:46:28

Good luck, I had an awful time bf ing dd1 and gave up in a crying heap after 2 weeks.
With dd2 I was ill after the birth and had a blood transfusion so that put paid to the feeding again..

But with dd3 it was a completely different story.

I decided to give myself a break just try my best and give her formula if she needed it or if I needed a rest.

We made it to 4months of mix feeding which isn't what evangelical bf supporters would class as a success but I was happy and actually enjoyed it for the first time.
I wish I'd been told that I could've given dd1 the occasional bottle of formula or ebm but was just advised it was one or the other..

Dd3 only stopped at 4m as she has bronchiolitis and had to be tube fed and was too poorly to latch but if it wasn't for that I would've carried on.

I'm currently 26 weeks with dc4 and hope to build on last times success but will try my best not to let it get me down if it doesn't work.

Yes everyone knows breast is best but a baby needs a happy Mum- I just remember those first weeks with dd1 as so, so hard all because I was beating myself up about the feeding.

NoGoodAtHousework Sat 03-Sep-11 22:46:34

When your nipples are sore, I found a combination of lansinoh, nipple shields and breast shells helped loads. I didn't get on with the shields personally long term but a friend has used them for ages and loves them. I only used them for 2 days and my nipples recovered to the point I could feed again. She's just stopped using them her he's fine.
I second the breast feeding group for definite!

happysmellyfeet Sat 03-Sep-11 22:48:56

So nice to hear some positive stories meglet and this is yesterday. Hoping I have one to tell in a few months!!

electra Sat 03-Sep-11 22:50:56

It can depend on the baby. My first two were great feeders and I bf them both til they were at least 2- I thought it was easy and had it sorted! Not so, dd3 ended up having formula...

RitaMorgan Sat 03-Sep-11 22:51:59

Definitely get the new baby checked for tongue tie - difficulty latching, endless feeding and mangled nipples are all signs. They run in families, my DP has one (unsnipped) and my DS did too (snipped at 3 weeks with no problems).

happysmellyfeet Sat 03-Sep-11 22:53:08

Whatever are breast shells?

JoyceBarnaby Sat 03-Sep-11 22:55:47

You are absolutely NOT destined for the sane experience this time and, if you want to, you have every chance of BFing successfully this time round. A very good friend of mine struggled dreadfully with her DS1 and gave up feeding after 4 weeks. IMO, she had no reason to feel guilty but she did. When it came to DS2, she definitely found it easier and she made a point of seeking good BFing support. She fed her DS2 for 9 months, which is exactly what she wanted to do.

I'm just trying to say that things can be different second time around and all babies are different, too. Look into what BFing support is available in your area - in my town there is a whole new support group that's been created in the last 3 years. It wasn't about when I had DS, but with DD, it's been really useful. If you can prepare your support network now, you'll hopefully feel more confident when the time comes.

There are a lot of very knowledgeable people here on MN, so you'll probably get better advice from others. I wish you the very best of luck with BFing and your new baby x

SeniorWrangler Sat 03-Sep-11 23:00:41

I've fed 4 and each of them was completely different.
Investment in a posh pump is a great emergency insurance policy in case of sore nipples early on.

stillsurvinghols Sat 03-Sep-11 23:06:32

We had problems with first child as she was tongue tied but what really helped more than anything was being shown the correct latch. If you really want to feed try and get the support groups set up before hand so you can get down there for encouragement and guidance. Best of luck and hopefully some happy feeding times ahead x

happysmellyfeet Sat 03-Sep-11 23:07:00

Thanks everyone for your good advice and positive vibes. I hadn't discovered mumsnet when dc1 was born. Senior: I do have a good breastpump but was going to leave it for a bit this time as my sister said it makes you produce too much foremilk and that can make it hard for baby to latch on. Is there any truth in this?

RitaMorgan Sat 03-Sep-11 23:11:56

Foremilk is really just the name for the more watery milk at the beginning of a feed - as the breast empties the milk gets fattier, so a baby feeding from a empty breast gets more fat. There's only 1 kind of milk being produced.

Pumping a lot/early on can mess up your supply though and mean you produce more than the baby needs - this can leave your breasts engorged which can make it harder for the baby to latch (and leaves you open to mastitis). Best to avoid expressing until breastfeeding is well established.

SeniorWrangler Sat 03-Sep-11 23:12:40

That is less of a problem than good nipple care, tbh. Breast care has to be paramount otherwise nothing else will work in the medium term. A bit of extra foremilk isn't an issue, especially if most of what you are doing is feeding without a bottle and only reverting to pumping to save your nipples a bit in emergencies.

SeniorWrangler Sat 03-Sep-11 23:14:15

I think it's good to express a bit while you get to grips with latching and so on, to avoid cracked nipples and mastitis if you are finding things hard.

SeniorWrangler Sat 03-Sep-11 23:15:28

Even if the latch is good, sometimes nipples can get sore if you are not careful with them. Later they toughen up a bit.

organiccarrotcake Sun 04-Sep-11 09:21:46

OP, if your first child had a tongue tie, your second is more likely to have it (compared to there being no family history) so it's worth being prepared. You might consider getting Milk Matters to look at your son's tongue (they do a service by email here: milkmatters.org.uk/international-service-tongue-tie-talk/).

If your son does have a tongue tie you can consider what to do - whether to have it released - and also be prepared for it possibly happening this time round, too. Can you find out locally who can reliably diagnose and snip tongue ties just in case?

Best of luck smile

JoyceBarnaby Sun 04-Sep-11 10:31:27

I'd just like to pick up on one thing you said - that you hadn't discovered MN last time. Well, MN isn't the only thing you'll have discovered since last time. BFing might not have gone according to plan, but don't underestimate how much you've learnt about babies, BFing and being a mum. From being prepared for sleepless nights to knowing where to get the right advice and help, you ARE more prepared this time and you have experience that you just can't have first time round. Every baby is different and you are very wise to ask for advice prior to the birth, but try to have some confidence in yourself, too. I found it easier to follow my instincts with DC2 and that's invaluable.

startail Sun 04-Sep-11 10:46:01

No! DD1 was a nightmare to feed hadn't a clue, was never really exclusively BF and we gave up even mixed feeding at 5 months. She would throw a bigger tantrum at being offered breast milk than she ever dis as a toddler.
DD2 was a delight. The second time I offered her a feed it was clear she knew exactly what to do. Yes I got sore breasts and mastitis, but she feed through them no bother. BF is just utterly instinctive to her. She knew how to feed when she got teeth, what age to stop night feeds to keep mum sane, only to ask in private when she was bigger and how to not feed for a few days but return before the milk ran out. She feed well past school age. Of course being her sisters opposite, she would throw tantrums at the sight of a bottle and never Leary to use one.

startail Sun 04-Sep-11 10:46:55

Learnt blush

happysmellyfeet Sun 04-Sep-11 13:09:15

Gosh - THANK YOU EVERYONE! Just got a bit teary with all this sympathy and helpful comments.
My new mw thinks it might have had a lot to do with the birth last time (v high dose oxytocin for over 12 hours then emcs) but I am trying not to get too hung up on that pov as who knows what is going to happen this time round!

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