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what can i do to prepare for breast feeding?

(26 Posts)
addictediam Sun 23-Oct-11 19:31:47

I'm due dc2 in around 14 weeks, dd wasnt bf. I really wanted to give it a go this time round, as although i stick to my decision and know it was the right thing to do for dd and at the time, i still feel really guilty for not sad

my mum (who is hugely supportive) had to give up bf after around 4 months due to it being too painfull. she said taking rasbery leaf tablets up to birth and during bf helped massivley, but it still hurt. i have a breast pump but have been told by a friend this hurts more than bf itself and i shouldnt bother sad so what can i do to prepare? i know about cabbage leaves in the bra and lacintoch for sore and cracked nipples, but is there anything else i can do?

also i dont have a great support network around me my inlaws have made it very clear that i wont be allowed to bf in their house so will have to bring formula for the baby when we visit (hmm how about dh, dd, dc2 and i dont visit untill i am good and ready to stop, which is what dh is backing me up on)
dh although has been very supportive infront of his parents who have brainwashed him thinks after all that i went through with dds pg and this pg and with the health issues i have, it would be easier on me to bottle feed, although is now coming round to the idea i want to bf and bought me the breast pump (with out being asked) so he can help if i want him to shock. hes just worried about me putting too much pressure on myself and wants me to be happy, hes not anti bf, just concerned.
my mum is great but lives 1.5 hours away with a 4yo and 17mo dc's of her own, so it can be very difficult and rushed to have a conversation with her.
i was told of a great bf support group in my area, but when i called the councellor to talk to her and ask when where it was, i was told that dd (who will be 14mo) will not be welcome and although they do have some brothers and sisters attend the groups she cant because she wasnt bf, but she will be at the end of the phone if i ever need to talk hmm sad angry

coccyx Sun 23-Oct-11 19:34:04

Put pegs on nipples so the toe curling when first latch on for feed is not such a surprise!
Sorry not very helpful.
I loved BFeeding my 4 so hope it works out for you

latrucha Sun 23-Oct-11 19:42:11

That sounds very peculiar for a bf group, if you ask me. Who runs it?

Most pain associated with BF is to do with the position of the baby at the breast. If you have a god idea of this and what normal bf behaviour is for a newborn, you will be off to a good start.

Kellymom is a good website, if your local group really is so unhelpful. If you look up Jack Newman on you tube there are some videos of good latching. His website seems to be down at the moment.

Ask for help from midwives etc when baby is born.

DorcasB Sun 23-Oct-11 19:49:07

What was the reason you couldn't bf your first DD? Maybe working out that would be a good place to start. For example, my DD had a posterior Tongue tie which didn't get picked up till she was 3 weeks, by which point I had very painful, damaged nipples. I did keep bf and am still going strong today 9 months later but I was tempted to quit at times and if I am lucky enough to have another baby then it is something I want to plan for, ie line up someone who can diagnose and snip it sooner, if needs be. Anyway, that's just one example, but if you know what stopped you last time you can go into it more prepared. Maybe read more about it? The Food of Love is excellent, also The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I intend to reread as much info as I can next time as I only realised after she was born that bf was not, for me, as easy as I thought.
The bf counsellor you spoke to sounds rubbish, I am angry on your behalf. Was it LLL as I was under the impression that they are very welcoming of mums to be to their groups, including siblings, even non bf ones. I think finding a support network before the birth would definitely help you.
Am also angry about your in-laws. What is their problem with it? Very odd. I would definitely be saying to them that inthat case you won't be seeing me or my children for sometime!
Good luck, hope it all works out for you!

HumptyDumpty1 Sun 23-Oct-11 19:49:14

My breast pump was never painful. It was infact a relief when I got a cracked nipple due to bad latch!! plus if your inlaws wish to be so ridiculous you could always pump a feed to take round (and slowly give them the v's while dc takes it!)

My advice would be:

1. prepare to feed a lot in the first few weeks and don't worry that it's not normal, it is! Someone in my la leche league group told me it only takes 1.5hrs to digest BM so that's why they feed a lot, and to establish supply.

2. Go with what your baby and your feelings are telling you, not what everyone else says, and trust yourself!

3. Make sure the latch is perfect from the beginning to minimise initial soreness

4. Join a la leche league group (the one I go to have older DCs at) if you can bring older DC, see if someone close could have them for an hour every now and then so you could go. It's nice to have the support of other bfding mums who are very open about problems/help.

5. Believe that if you find it hard it WILL get better! It took 6-8 weeks for me and after that it was a breeze, so convenient!

6. If inlaws are going to be pains, don't be shy to tell them that your milk is tailored for you baby and as you are the mum you get to decide how they are fed not anyone else!

Good luck, hope everything goes smoothly grin

Wormshuffler Sun 23-Oct-11 19:57:45

I wouldn't visit my in laws, it's their choice either accept you and your breastfed baby or not at all!!!
Sorry I have no advice, I came to look for tips too, as I didn't breastfeed DD and DS, but am determined to try with the one I am brewing up now.
My midwife gave me the link to a website with loads of helpful videos.
here The videos are down the left hand side.
Good luck!

addictediam Sun 23-Oct-11 20:02:35

last time it was my inlaws attitude mixed with a really bad pregnancy and ongoing health issues and the final straw was when she was born and the mw said she has tounge tie, we can snip it but it will take a few weeks, i just cried and asked them to bring me a bottle.

i'm not sure who runs the group, its held in a church so i dont know if its associated with the church or they just rent the hall. its the one the childrens centre promotes. i didnt realise there were diffrent bodies running groups blush i will google the lll and see if there are anymore in my area. i stupidly thought that would be it.

inlaws dont like bf as mil never did it, she had twins and didnt want to try and when dh came along her ds was 12 and asked herr not to as it was too embarrising for him hmm so i think jelousy is a part of it?

dd was allergic to cows milk and that took a huge fight with the dr, so i think this time, although nothing has improved health wise (although this pg has been much better) i want to avoid the fight with the drs when the baby is so small, i just want to enjoy the early days, not be in floods of tears because my baby is suffering and noone will listen to me.

MadameJ Sun 23-Oct-11 20:03:56

Just to add .. . . .sometimes it doesn't hurt at all, I had to stay in hospital for 9 days with DD so there was always a midwife poking checking so DD's latch was always good and therefore I never got sore and I am still feeding now 10 months later and have no plans to stop.
Also my FIL was very hmm about breastfeeding at the start and I just made it very clear that if it was a problem for him then me and DD would not visit however he was more than welcome to visit us (although I would feed if necessary), after a few weeks he realised that actually we were very discreet and I didn't actually whack my whole breast out and he is now absolutely fine with it. Good luck, I hope it works out for you x

poppygolucky Sun 23-Oct-11 20:13:08

It's great that your DH is supportive and as for your inlaws, I'd ask them to respect your wish to feed your DC as you choose and therefore not visit their home if they are making this, quite frankly, bizarre and unreasonable demand.

It also seems very odd that the BF counsellor has said your DD is not welcome. In fact, I'd question that further if I were you. Support groups are fantastic places to go to receive advice, share problems and watch other mothers feeding. Are there any other groups you could attend?

In terms of expressing, it isn't recommended until feeding is established (about 6 weeks) so initially it will be a case of just feed, feed, feed but that's totally normal. My best piece of advice is to get comfortable in the sofa or in bed, skin to skin, and feed as much as your LO wants to. And for any pain or discomfort, seek help as quickly as possible. BF has never caused me anything other than a bit of rawness on my nipples (solved by a bit of lansinoh) and I was a complete novice 17 weeks ago.

There are lots of posters in these boards who are very experienced and knowledgeable, so I'd use this as a point of reference too.

Congratulations and good luck smile

PenguinArmy Sun 23-Oct-11 20:16:56

I found being around BFers very useful through the NCT bumps and babies group. Just listening to them talk and ask questions myself as and when. I started visiting them at 7 month. It helped to normalise it and familarise myself some normal things e.g cluster feeding and just actually watching people BF (I've found in these groups people tend to be less discrete which was great for me grin).

I also read loads of MN threads, but mostly in the first few weeks DD was here.

In the hospital we had some trouble with getting her to latch, but they got me handexpressing into a syringe and fed her that way for the first day. Afterwards I buzzed and got help with EVERY SINGLE FEED and also didn't leave until I felt BF was going well i.e. got her on by myself a few times. They tend to ask do you want to/feel ready to go home but it feels like a loaded question with the correct answer being yes. Well I said no. I was there 3 days.

Sorry about the BF cafe, the ones around here actually have volunteers to look to after toddlers and never even asked how she was fed.

Hope you find some good local support.

crikeybadger Sun 23-Oct-11 20:36:16

I think that tongue ties

crikeybadger Sun 23-Oct-11 20:50:27

..bugger, sorry I shouldn't be trying to type and watch X factor at the same time blush

I was going to say that tongue ties can be hereditary so, if your new LO has one, then make sure you demand it gets snipped as soon as possible. There is no reason why it should take a couple of weeks.

I cannot believe the attitude of this so called breastfeeding counsellor, that has made me so mad. I would seriously suggest you find out who runs it and put in a complaint about this- you should not be discriminated against because your dd was not bf. angry

In terms of tips (we'll get there eventually)-
I would say have a look at the biological nurturing website. It's great. smile

Another vote for the Food of Love, Womanly Art of breastfeeding as well as for great evidence based articles.

and finally, consider responsive or baby led breastfeeding where you use your babies cues to decide when to offer the breast as oppose to watching the clock. Forget feeding every three hours or even four, chuck out the clock and watch your baby.

Good luck with everything and stay in touch on here, you'll get bucket loads of help, support and general cheer leading if you need it.

stopgap Sun 23-Oct-11 22:20:16

If you wish to pump, introduce the bottle when bf'ing is established, but do so at week two or three. My doula/midwife/paediatrician all said as much, and I'm glad I ignored the whole "nipple confusion" thing and didn't wait too long. Now I pump 3-4oz every morning, which I either freeze and use at a later date, or keep in the fridge and use within four days if I want to pop out for a run/let DH do a feed while I nap. Total godsend. Make sure you use a slow flow nipple to avoid baby developing a lazy latch when you feed. We use the Playtex bottles with the drop-in inserts.

For cracked nipples, I was told to squeeze a tiny bit of breast milk out and smear over nipples, letting them air dry. Cheaper than Lansinoh and arguably more effective.

tiktok Sun 23-Oct-11 23:23:59

OP, your inlaws are rude and do not need indulging. Time for your dh to put his foot down - sounds as if he is doing so.

As for the bf group - some only take young babies and keep toddlers out because of safety/space reasons. They would not discriminate against toddlers who had not been bf, I am pretty sure. It is possible they would be ok with a toddler who had been to the group as a 'member' from babyhood rather than turn them away. You could check on this - I really think you may have misunderstood.

lilham Mon 24-Oct-11 00:20:12

Basically confirming what tiktok says about toddlers. My local NCT bumps and babies group is a toddler free zone because of safety. however the bf counsellor sees people in a private room so if a mum with a toddler needs help, I'm sure it could be accommodated if you all stay in the room. But as someone else pointed out, there are groups that welcome toddlers. Find out where they are before your LO arrives.

BTW it never hurts for me either.

Vagazzled Mon 24-Oct-11 00:27:57

I was told (maybe incorrect) by a fellow
Mum at our group not to use cabbage leaves in bra, as although they bring relief they can lower your supply? Am fully prepared to be told this isn't true though! smile

BertieBotts Mon 24-Oct-11 00:35:40

Sometimes bf groups are for children under the age of 1 only, in order to keep it safer for the younger babies. One of our local ones is like this and my friend is quite cross she can't help out because her DS is over one but she can't leave him just for a volunteer group.

I would look up the local LLL group if you can, as they normally have lots of toddlers attending. Also look here to see if you have a baby cafe nearby. And it is worth going to the one your HV mentioned anyway - just turn up and act innocent, I doubt they would turn you away, even if DD is too old, they would probably just say not to bring her another time. Or you could phone the church and ask?

timewastingaway Mon 24-Oct-11 06:59:01

This will be my first time breastfeeding when dc3 arrives in the next few weeks.I was already very nervous at the thought of having to go to a group for support with the view that people might discriminate against me or make comments about my previous choices.
What you have said about this Breastfeeding councillor has got me really worried.
Can anyone reassure that this is not a common thing?
I was looking at the local sure start group run by a company called real baby milk....

timewastingaway Mon 24-Oct-11 06:59:31

ps.sorry to hijack your thread blush

addictediam Mon 24-Oct-11 08:33:11

There are no lll groups in my area (worcestershire), but maybe there are others out there. Today I am going to google and look at all of the links posted here.

Vag I will also Google the use of cabbage leaves.

I mentioned to the organiser about dd and she said, 'oh so your an old pro. We'd love to have you and dd at the group, you can tell all the mothers how great bf is.' then I admitted to not bf dd and she suddenly changed on me, was very unfriendly and said it wouldn't be helpful to let vunerable mothers know there is another option. I said I wasn't ashamed of ff and it was the right decision at the time for us, to which she said dd wouldnt be welcome.sad I think I will find out who runs it and make a complaint, I just thought all groups would have that attitude.

Wormshuffler Mon 24-Oct-11 08:52:44

That's ridiculous! Surely the fact that you have now seen the benefits of trying to bf should be something to congratulate you on!

lilham Mon 24-Oct-11 08:56:52

I think she's being horrible honestly. Everyone knows about formula and I dont think most pick to ff because they dont want to bf. The support in this country is very lacking. Even if you do choose to ff last time, what it matters now is you want to bf your new baby and would like to get support, and meet other bf mums.

FYI the NCT bumps and babies group I go to have both bf and ff mums. It's basically a babies group run by a bf counsellor.

crikeybadger Mon 24-Oct-11 09:16:43

addicted, that really is a shocking attitude from the organiser. I can see why toddlers wouldn't be permitted to some groups (for h and s), but she was so blatantly banning your dd because she was ff. How awful.

In my area, the groups are run at the Children's Centre by the NHS and toddlers are actively welcomed are catered for. If they get a bit wild, we just cordon off an area where only babies and mums can be.

timewastingaway- I've never come across this type of thing before happily. I think you'll be alright with a surestart group. I've seen a really good publication by realbabymilk and the information was brilliant. Best to pop along before you give birth then you can make some contacts and recognise a few faces before you go with your baby.

Here is the list of groups from the ABM website. The rest of the site is also very good and worth a read.

Animol Mon 24-Oct-11 09:23:35

Hope all goes well
sad about your inlaws - if your baby is breastfed it is breastfed and if they won't allow it to be fed in their house perhaps it would be better if they came over to you

wish I'd known:
lanolin is brilliant for sore nipple
A bit of a crisis is completely normal at 6 weeks - just keep taking it a day at a time and it will get better
the 'Big Mac Mouth' is what I learnt with DC3 (imagine someones mouth when they're about to take a huge bite out of a Big Mac - that's what baby should be doing as it latches on grin)
that it was alright to totally ignore all the older generation who thought you should have 4 hours between feeds etc etc etc etc
that when it's all settled down and you're both sorted it's one of the most wonderful experiences in the world. Looking down at your little baby while it suckles is just ........awwwww! Also you'll feel so proud of yourself and rightly so when you see your baby getting bigger and you know it's all sown to you - go for it!

Animol Mon 24-Oct-11 10:10:12

down not sown!

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