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Pregnant and looking for breastfeeding advice.

(10 Posts)
KatAndKit Wed 02-Jan-13 10:01:58

I go to my local BF group in the sure start centre which has been great. I also go to local La Leche League meetings which have also been a great support too - if you go to the LLL GB site you can find out about groups in your area. Nothing wrong with popping in a couple of times before the baby is here to check out the group - it will be hard to get out to a group in the first couple of weeks so I reckon going before the birth is helpful to get tips about the newborn weeks.

I like reading about stuff for advice and reassurance. I found The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Baby Led Breastfeeding very useful. I also read What to Expect when you are Breastfeeding but I would not recommend that one particularly. Books are often good for educating partners about what is normal at each stage.

As for the night feeds, in the early days I did them all but DP got the baby out of bed, changed his nappy, winded him when I had finished and got him back into the crib so although I did all the feeding, the workload was shared. He would also let DS sleep on him in the sofa while he watched tv in the evening so I could go up to bed for a couple of hours until the next feed. After a few weeks I started doing some expressing so that he could do a late evening feed and I could get a few hours unbroken sleep. Further down the line, early waking was the problem so I would feed DS when he woke at 5.30 and wouldn't go back to sleep and then DP would take him downstairs, get him back to sleep if needs be or just play with him so that I could sleep until he went to work. This made up for being up 2 or 3 times in the night.

peanutMD Wed 02-Jan-13 09:23:47

Thanks everyone smile

Thumbwitch good tip about the Fennel tea and colic, will bear it in mind (and pray that I don't need to touch it lol)

Elphaba I think DP will be understanding as he was great with DS as a baby... Even insisted on doing night feeds which I need to do this time! Will do some reading upon cluster feeding as some of the posts on here have terrified me about that, will also brief DP on the concept.

MrsHoarder Wed 02-Jan-13 08:48:05

It hurt me for the first 10 second of every feed for about 6 Weeks. I just gritted my teeth and waited for it to pass each time.

Aside from that, you need one-handed access to distractions during long feeds, lots of chocolate and lots of cold drinks (I use a water bottle with integrated straw so its easy to drink from).

Don't get discharged until you are feeding successfully and badger the midwives for help if you are struggling. Learning to fee lying down is invaluable, useful at 3 am and when you have back problems etc

I didn't read any books but have occasionally referred to Kellymum.

I haven't heard of that group, but my local bf group were great, greeted you with a cold drink and a biscuit and had independently certified bf counsellors as well as midwives dropping in to help when they could. Also useful fire practising feeding in public.

A 45 minute walk really shouldn't be a problem and presumably once you've dropped dd off you could stop on the way back so really only 20 mins you need to keep going for

Mandy21 Wed 02-Jan-13 08:21:33

1. I think it does hurt, at least to start with (but maybe I'm a wimp smile). I used to grit my teeth and count to 10, by which time the pain had passed. Perhaps it was just having a strong sucker / hungry baby which meant they were a little bit rough to start with / didn't latch properly to start with. Sorry, long winded way of saying it is painful (imo) but only for a few seconds to start with, its not unbearable and its just the nipple that hurts (sorry, too much information). Its usually caused by cracked nipples / too much use - 2nd the use of Lansinoh after every feed. If the pain seems to be coming from within the breast (I once had a blocked duct and that was a different type of pain) then thats different, shouldn't generally happen with normal feeding.

2. I also had school age children when I had DD2 - if you feed beforehand - maybe even a couple of short feeds - the baby should be able to last for 45 mins. I found that in the early days, a sling was much better (not for feeding, but to comfort the baby whilst we walked to school).

3. Haven't heard of that, think it must be a local group.

4. I didn't find any books useful, but thats just my personal experience.

Good luck!

nillynoon Wed 02-Jan-13 06:27:40

Read the La Leche Leahy book, the food of love and gill rapleys baby led breastfeeding - put them on your kindle so you can refer to them during the night.

I found my nipples needed time to toughen up - get lansinoh to put on them, it really, really helps.

Baby will usually be happy to feed whenever, so even if they aren't due a feed, if I'm going out, I will offer a breast to top up their tummies to keep them happy

EauRouge Tue 01-Jan-13 17:05:52

1. It can be sore to start with while you both figure it out but pain isn't inevitable and if it hurts so bad that you want to stop then that is definitely not normal! If it hurts then try calling one of the BF helplines, talking to a BF counsellor or your HV if she's any good.

2. A lot of second time mums find feeding in a sling useful. It does take a bit of practice but if you're on the move a lot then it might help. A sling might be a good idea anyway, your baby will probably just sleep for the whole 45 min journey. If you BF baby before you leave then 45 minutes between feeds should be easy enough.

3. Never heard of them, they are probably a local group. Can you give them a ring and find out who runs it? Pregnant women are usually very welcome at BF groups smile I bet the women that go would be happy to pass on tips. Is there an LLL group nearby? Also check with your PCT if they do ante-natal BF workshops, many of them do now.

4. Some books are good, some are really, really bad! If you do want a book then The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a good one. The Food of Love by Kate Evans is quite popular too, I've never read it though. Avoid anything by Clare Byam-Cook. There are loads of websites too- some brilliant and some absolutely crap. Kellymom is very reliable.

Good luck! The first couple of weeks might seem relentless but once you get into the swing of things it'll become so easy and feeds will become further apart.

HopAndSkip Tue 01-Jan-13 15:03:31

1. Personally i didn't find it hurt, except when i got blocked ducts in 1 breast. This was agony for about 12 hours, but if you persist and feed as much as possible on that side then it does get better. Also a hot compress/hot bath helps ease the pain. and I've never had it since so don't let it put you off if you do get it at any point. A way to help avoid this is making sure you feed from each breast a similar amount, and massaging your boob for the first few days before you feed while your milk "comes in".

2. You could feed on the bus (you can put a muslin square over your shoulder and his head once he's latched on if you feel self conscious feeding in public). And try to wake him up by changing his nappy just before you go, then putting him on the breast to feed, and if you gently squeeze either side of your breast each time he gets sleepy and stops feeding while latched on, it helps encourage him to carry on feeding until he's full, so he shouldn't need one for a bit.

3. I've not heard of it, but talk to your midwife she should know about the groups, or be able to contact a health visitor to ask about them for you. Also see if theres a prenatal breastfeeding class maybe?

4. I've never used books, but i found the internet helpful when i got questions (google everything!! smile) and my health visitor was also very helpful.

Good luck! remember it gets so much easier, and it becomes a really lovely experience.

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 01-Jan-13 13:33:17

Hopefully you have a good DP to look after your other DC for the first few weeks as newborns seem to feed more often than they don't, so you will need to be spending several weeks parked on the sofa. If you've just fed, and they start whimpering again less than ten minutes later, you will undoubtedly think, 'but you can't possibly be hungry again!' Yes. Yes, they can! (Especially in the evenings - do yourself a favour and read up on cluster feeding. That's the number one thing I wish someone had told me about!)

Thumbwitch Tue 01-Jan-13 11:25:14

Not silly at all! Can't answer all questions but here's my experience.

1. Yes it can hurt - if it hurts a LOT, then get the baby checked for tongue tie as this is quite common and can affect latch, making it more painful than necessary. Both my boys had tongue tie - one fed very slowly (and it hurt like buggery) and the other fed very fast but took in a lot of air and therefore had a lot of reflux (and it hurt like buggery). Both had the TT snipped which improved latch.
There isn't much you can do to combat it in late pg, but get a good nipple balm to use as soon as you start feeding. Lansinoh is pretty good; for my first I had a natural balm made up for me by my herbalist friend which was beeswax with chamomile and calendula - that was very good as well. You need something like this to stop your nipples drying out and cracking.

2. Even demand fed babies should be able to go 45 mins without a feed. Feed them before you go; or if the timing isn't working well for you then perhaps express and take a bottle with you. Failing that, you could just use a dummy; or even a clean finger will do in a pinch! DS1 had to have an op when he was 7wo and was without food from 7am until he went down for the op at 2pm - the only option I had was finger-sucking. (DS2 wouldn't fall for that though, he gives up on the finger very quickly, where DS1 was quite happy)

3. Can't help you with that one, sorry.

4. I never used a book. Doesn't mean that there aren't useful ones out there but I wouldn't know. And remember, just because it is suggested that you do XYZ, doesn't mean you have to - do what you feel comfortable with. I was quite cagey about feeding DS1 in public, but had to a few times; DS2 I'm a lot less bothered (but am also in a different country and it's more acceptable to BF in public here). I even had to stop halfway round Sydney Aquarium the other day and feed DS2 because it was so crowded and we weren't going to get to a restaurant/ stop area before he kicked off massively!

Good luck - try to stay relaxed about it all, and drink fennel tea if you can stand it - it helps with supply and may help reduce colic in the baby (if they get it). Plus remember to drink lots as you'll be giving out a fair amount of liquid. smile

peanutMD Tue 01-Jan-13 11:11:42

Hi all smile

I'm 30 weeks pregnant with DC2 and will be a first time BF (I will do it! wink) and would like to gather some advice and tips beforehand to ensure that I'm as ready as I can be for any issues I might encounter.

I do have a few questions that I've been worrying about, probably silly little things really but I'd be grateful if anyone could answer these or add any tips which kept you sane whilst BF as I don't know anyone in RL who has successfully BF.

Okay so here are my 'concerns':

1. Does it hurt to start with and is there anything I could do in late pregnancy to try combat this?

2. I have a 6YO who I walk/bus with to school everyday and back (about 45 minutes out the house), is there any way to avoid or settle DC2 if they expect a feed at this time as there is nowhere I could stop off to sit down and I'm not sure about the logistics of feeding on the go?

3. After a bit of research I have found that there is one group in my area for BF called B.R.A.G, does anyone know if this is a local named group or if it's an established group and if so is it any good? I am thinking of taking a trip along before birth to have a chat with some of the ladies there to prepare myself but I'm not the most out going person and I'm a bit worried about looking like a weirdo hanging around at BF groups with no baby hmmgrin

4. Lastly, are books useful? I have noticed a few in my local library and was thinking of borrowing a few to see if I can get anything useful out of them but didn't want to end up with a scary one that tells me that I must walk around with norks out at all times to comfort my poor baby grin

Sorry for wittering on and thank you for listening to anxious old me

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