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tips for successful BF

(6 Posts)
Helspopje Tue 28-May-13 21:48:13

My DC2 is 3 weeks and BF is going relatively well (happy baby, gaining weight) but I am confused about conflicting advice:
1 breast or both each feed?
how long for (Hv says 20mins then switch, others say feed til drops off and then think about boob#2 if looks keen)?
should i try to get some form of a gap between feeds?
the first x weeks are crutial - muck it up as the long term supply will be inadequate?
express to build up a bit of insurance for growth spurts or not?
MW suggested fenugreek but for how long and why if wt gain good?

I am concerned that it may all go wonky one day as BF DC#1 was a challenge (to put it mildly) and I am really keen that our good start translates into a positive experience going forwards. Have tried to clarify the above on various websites without much luck.

Thanks in advance.

Wigeon Tue 28-May-13 22:18:44

You start with one breast, then once the baby appears to have had enough of that one, try the other breast. Don't be despondent if the baby doesn't want the second breast.

Don't time feeds! That is really outdated advice. Different babies all take different times to feed. And the same baby might want more milk in the morning than at lunchtime on one day, and something different on another day. Or might want to feed little and often intially, but then for longer each time, but with bigger gaps later. Or all sorts of variations. Also, practically speaking, how on earth does your HV suggest you force a baby to feed for 20 mins if it clearly wants to stop after 10 mins? Or does she think you should pull the baby off if it's still going after 20 mins? I really don't understand how this advice (which is wrong) can work in practice in any case.

The most up to date advice is that you should feed as often as the baby appears to want it in the early days. And that you can't overfeed (or spoil) a newborn on breast milk.

Not sure what you mean by "the first x weeks are crucial - muck it up as the long term supply with be inadequate"? Your supply just depends on the baby taking the milk.

You definitely don't need to express to keep up with growth spurts. The baby will probably just feed more often when they need to. It's an amazing system which (in most normal cases) regulates itself to provide just the right amount of milk. If your baby seems extra hungry at any time, your breasts will be able to keep up as long as you keep feeding.

Fenugreek - why did your HV suggest this if you / she has no concerns about your supply or the baby's weight gain?

I think the number 1 advice is to trust your body - it sounds like you are doing really well and so is your baby - don't live by any rules - just feed!

The Kelly Mom website is full of really useful, down to earth, evidence-based information about everything you could think of to do with breastfeeding smile.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 28-May-13 22:35:07

I'd offer both sides at each feed and if Lo seems to want more you can start on side one again.

I've never timed a feed, I've always fed until they came off, then offered the other side.

There's no need to try to get a gap between feeds in the first few weeks, just try to keep your baby close and feed on demand. Feeds should start to space themselves out naturally.

The first few weeks are vital, but try not to worry about it, just feed your baby and try to accept any offers of help and be kind to yourself smile

Don't think you need to express for a growth spurt, unless you really want to. Think its much easier to just feed, feed and feed some more when they hit. If looking after dc1 and feeding dc2 is a worry there are some tips here.

Is there a particular reason mw suggested fenugreek? Normally its not needed. Was low supply an issue last time? Have you spoken to a BFC about your concerns?

Which websites have you been researching on? I tend to go for the evidence based ones like kellymom, la Leche league, ask moxie and the booby whisperer.

Hope that answers all of your questions. Some other things that may help are putting the bfing helpline numbers in your phone, find out where your local bfing groups are and go along while you are still pg, google kellymom what to expect in the early weeks, kellymom preparing to Breastfeeding and dr jack newman videos. You might also like the books Babycalming by Caroline Deacon and the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

Good luck thanks

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 28-May-13 22:37:06

X-posted with wigeon smile

Helspopje Wed 29-May-13 06:13:32

Thanks for that - partic the newborn/toddler link as I've been hunting for a sling I can feed in to reduce the risk of my toddler doing something daft to endager herself whilst I'm stuck feeding.

No idea either re fenugreek - undersupply never an issue (oversuppy last time as very refluxy baby kept feeding-vomming-feeding-vomming continuously around the clock so could've fed 6 infants probably. We made it to 10 months but it was a struggle.

The community midwife I saw at 1week was the one who told me not to do both sides saying 'we dont do swopsies' but I was so knackered I forgot to ask why. Back on offering second overnight and e had a much more restful nigh with a smaller number of longer and presumably larger feeds

Went to a BF cafe at about 10d and need to go back but the ones close to me are all lunchtime when toddler is asleep which is unlucky. May just have tonkeep her up ad go one time though as noone around who can help me with her hrough the week.

Thanks again

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 29-May-13 08:00:04

Glad you had a better night. Can't understand why you were told not to offer the other side and to do fenugreek. Offering one side only is the advice give to mothers with an over supply as it will reduce your supply. If oversupply isn't an issue this time, I'd keep on offering both sides, particularly as Lo seems more settled. Fenugreek is taken by mothers wishing to boost their supply, so it seems like you have had some conflicting advice.

If you are after a sling, some children's centres have some to loan out, it might be worth asking or try a slingmeet. There are some sling reviews on MN, which are useful.

If getting to the bfing groups is a pain, would dc1 sleep in the pushchair or car on the way?

If Lo is 3 weeks, you've already done the first growth spurt, how did that go? Was there a problem and that's why you are thinking of expressing?

Having read your post again, and your second post it sounds like you are doing brilliantly. Perhaps you just need to question the mw advice a bit more and ask us what we think when you've got an issue smile

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