Breastfeeding? how many of you didn't find it difficult?(87 Posts)
I know that obviously this is the place to come for advice and support and therefore the threads are generally about problems with BFing, so I was genuinely wondering how many of you would say you didn't finf BFing "hard", particularly with your first baby.
Also, if you have breastfed several babies, was the experience very different each time and harder with some babies than with others?
vezzie I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes BFing so hard for me. Maybe it's the exhaustion, the lack of support (when I told MW and HVs that I struggle with BFing, all they did was agree that the latch was perfect!), sitting on the sofa most days just BFing, having to expose my body in public places, having to use my body to meet someone else's needs. Maybe it's the unrealistic expectations (I thought BFing is the easiest part of having a baby). I really don't know, it's all a bit depressing I feel guilty for saying all this, I love my DS so much and I know the above complaints are all about me, me, me. I should be able to put DS needs above mine.
It is getting better now that we have started DS on solids. I am not his only source of food, it feels like a huge responsibility is gradually being lifted off my shoulders.
Pekka, I totally get where you are coming from.
Don't feel guilty.
I didn't find it easy but I didn't find it difficult IYSWIM.
I didn't have any problems until about 6 months when DS started biting me (teething related) then 8 months I had some concerns following a D&V bug.
I put it down to sort of knowing how to breastfeed before we started as I've been around lots and lots of breast feeding mums.
OH and i had a talk recently and have decided we (as a family) we keep nursing DS until Nov/Dec and then see how we feel. I think we will probably go til 2.
DS1 complete car crash, had switched to formula by 10 days and am sure that was the start of nearly 2 years of crippling depression
DS2 no problems at was the easiest most natural thing I've ever done.
DS3 same as DS2 and managed 6 whole months of ebf.
DD staph infection, mastitis, dreadful sore nipples, you name it I've had it. Still going strong though at nearly 5 months old.
I found it quite easy - had a few problems at the start (tongue tie, jaundice, recurrent thrush) but actually the breastfeeding was fine and we continued for a year.
My sister is bfing her first with no problems too, and my mum breastfed three.
My breasfeeding experience was a real nightmare! It was painful all the time and the latch was really difficult as DD was moving so much when hungry... . I also got mastitis and some other complications while breastfeeding! That being said I was very happy to have done it for the time I could (5 months) and am sure it was very good for my DD too!
Never had any problems feeding Dd (2 today!) and ds (11 days old) apart from leaky boobs. Back in Leaksville now and getting through a box of lansinoh breastpads every few days.
I was totally expecting problems when Dd was born and I've noticed people generally say 'hopefully I'll be able to breastfeed' rather than taking it as a given, I wonder if that's always been so?
Brilliant thread OP!
I didn't find it difficult despite problems.
DD had tongue tie which was spotted after birth and corrected on day 5.
Damage to nipples because of TT went on till about day 9, and i got mastitis due to oversupply / reluctance to feed on one side due to pain in nipple (my fault, didn't realise consequence of missing feed on one side).
So despite all of that in the first 10 days, I did find it easy and so convenient.
I really felt that the benefits of breastfeeding made everything easy to me if that makes sense, in that there were no making up bottles in the middle of the night & the closeness I felt to DD was overpowering and overwhelming. The pride that I felt knowing i was 'growing' her with what my body was making was just amazing to me. I had IVF as my body failed to give me a baby naturally (egg donation) so BF to me personally, was and still is very special as my body can produce milk (something i worried about during pregnancy)
Saying all of that, I do understand why people choose formula when hit with some of the BF nasties in the beginning (sore nipples, engorgement, thrush, matistis etc), alongside exhaustion and a culture where support sounds like "giving a bottle won't hurt", it is normal for mothers to stop and switch to formula.
DD 3months "got it" straight away. Latched in during post birth skin to skin brilliantly and has been an efficient eater since day 1 - very rare to have a feed longer then 15 mins since birth. I've got a pretty fast and furious let down and still squirt from the side I'm not feeding from, and if she comes off during the letdown phase she will get a good squirt in the face until she latches back on!
Had a couple days of not pain but "ooh that feels a bit uncomfortable" but we got ourselves sorted pretty quick.
I enjoy it and love the feeling of her snuggled into me feeding. I've done a couple EBM bottles for her so I can get her used to me not always being there (mummy desperately needs her roots doing!) and even enjoy her cuddled into me and looking into her beautiful eyes while I feed! So I think any feeding can be a lovely bonding experience whether boob or bottle.
Both DDs were tongue tied, but only very slightly. Pediatrician (same lady) snipped both at 5 and 3 days on discharge from hospital. Never had any problems at all. I also (perhaps naievely) never expected that it would be difficult. That being said, DH fed both of them expressed milk after a couple of days, and they were mix fed from about 2 months due to me returning to work in DD1s case and us moving internationally in DD2s. But no feelings of guilt for that either. MIL was a bit about me not ebf for longer but I cheerfully ignored that, as I have done with most of the rest of her advice.
I had no problems at all. I get the impression this is fairly rare though! I actually felt a bit embarrassed that I found it so easy especially when friends talked about raw nipples etc, and tended to keep quiet in those conversations.
I also found it a bit odd when people congratulated me on bf-ing to 15 months when I had been doing it purely out of convenience - it seemed much easier than faffing about with bottles!
I fed two for two years each with no problems at all.
I had quite hefty afterpains while BF my second in the early days and with both of them I found the twiddling phase a bit trying but apart from that it was just plug-and-go!
Tried breastfeeding all 3, and found it a nightmare each time and ended up switching to formula.
Between the 3 of them had - tongue tie, bad advice, lacerated nipples, thrush, mastitis, nipple vasospasm, upper lip tie, baby in nicu, jaundice, lack of sucking reflex, no milk until day 5, and reflux.
I think I may be unlucky!
I found it pretty easy with both DDs, I've never had any pain or problems with latching. The worst part for me was the exhaustion in the early days and weeks with DD1. I did struggle with that a bit.
x-post Banana - yes I think I was very lucky not to encounter any problems. With my first especially the support wasn't there - My only source of sensible advice was a book - LLL's Womanly art of breastfeeding. If I had encountered any problems I don't know if I'd have managed to keep BF.
I must add to my post above that my nipples did hurt but it passed.
I think it helped that I have the least sensitive nipples in the world, practically no feeling in them at all. That bit in 50 Shades of Grey when she has an orgasm from him stroking her nipples - incredulous snort from this direction.
DS was born at 31+5 but just seemed to have the knack for breastfeeding.
I had a good supply from early on, and bar a small bout of thrush on about day 5 (just me, and cleared up very quickly thanks to some great support from my MW in getting me treated ASAP), we have had no problems at all.
Doesn't mean I have loved BFing - in fact I bloody hated it for a couple of weeks early on. Now I mostly enjoy it, but there are times when I think "hmmm if DS was ff I wouldn't have to do all the night feeds and my boobs could go back to being mine" (am rather sick of nursing bras and having to wear easy access clothing). But then again, I really like the convenience of breastfeeding, and that is the main thing for me.
But we are at 4 months now, and I am intending to carry on until at least 1 year, and hopefully two, depending on how things go.
I am in total admiration of the women who soldier on despite getting everything thrown at them - there are several ladies on my postnatal thread who are still persevering despite great pain. But I also admire mums who say "you know what, this isn't working for me, and it is important that I am happy".
Thank you everyone for your replies and sorry I went AWOL. (The laptop run out of battery and then wouldn't charge again).
Good to see that BFing doesn't necessarily need to be a struggle and that even people who had some problems during the first couple of weeks wouldn't describe it as a difficult experience overall.
As I suspected, an easy ride with your first one doesn't guarantee the same again for other babies. It seems that tongue tie is a more common than I thought as well, and that the small price to pay for babies who are good at latching and sucking from day 1 may be oversupply issues, which makes sense really.
For everyone who is still BFing or going to start to soon, I wish you all a continued "easy ride".
I have also found it v v easy (did laugh at the comment about getting them to stop though!)
I am v lazy too and it seemed so much easier than faffing about with bottles. Plus it's what all my friends / family / mum had done so it was kind of the norm for me really.
Oh and I had fairly big babies (for my size, anyway) - the eldest 2 were well over 9lb - and they both put on weight well. So whenever I hear stories about people being told they'll never sustain bigger babies, I get pretty annoyed.
The biggest reason I've come across for stopping is babies not putting on quite enough to stick to centiles, a bottle getting introduced, and then a whole cycle begins. I wish HVs (and well meaning relations) would differentiate better between the fact babies aren't robots, and so can have good weeks / bad weeks at putting on weight, and babies who are actually having a real problem putting on weight.
I have found it easy, the hardest part was getting premature babies breastfeeding. With my second daughter it was easy, she was so rooty they had to call me down from the ward at 7am the next day! I did all her day feeds after that and took over the night when we were moved to the same ward.
My eldest took to it really well too, she had one feed a day from a week old, increased to two about 16 days old and at 17 days we were put together and she decided to scream if they put milk in her nose until she was put on the breast.
My youngest was the hardest because they gave her formula which made her sick and it took a long time before she was well enough to be able to feed herself. Once she was better and strong enough she breastfed fine.
Feeding ds1 was easy in retrospect. Apart from when he was about 6 weeks old when it got painful. I saw a great bf counsellor, who corrected the latch, and I fed him until he was 1. Ds2 has seemed a little harder. Not the feeding itself, but concerns over weightgain at the beginning, and tongue tie. He's now 8 months, and I want to continue feeding him for a couple more months, but we'll have to see how we go, he's got very bitey, which isn't a lot of fun.
found it painful and relentless for the first few weeks with DS - he fed 20 hours out of 24, and my nipples were unimpressed! but after about 8 weeks the pain went, and although still relentless, it was pretty easy. still feeding him at 2.11.
DD (10.5 weeks) was so easy - she sleeps between feeds, and once i got hher latch perfected at a week old, it's all been straightforward.
my mum bfed 4 children, and found 3 very easy, but her 2nd was incredibly hard, so I knew it might get harder with DC2, but have been lucky!
The only problem I had was the staff in the maternity ward telling me I was "doing it wrong" but not helping, and then when I had no fight left due to exhaustion giving formula. However, once I realised I was doing it right it was fine - DD is 7 months and still breast fed.
I found it easy DD1 was a great feeder despite having a tongue tie which didn't get corrected she piled the pounds on and didn't have anything but me till we started weaning at 6 mo carried on bf till I went back to work at 9 mo. DD2 has also been fine she's 5 mo and ebf had a few niggles this time but mainly due to the fact I've less time on my hands to sit feeding as DD1 is only 2!!
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