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Can I have your stories of perfectly ordinary BF experiences?

(95 Posts)
MrsHoratioNelson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:29:28

Inspired by another thread...

I'm 36+4 with my first and getting a bit antsy about BF. I've got flat nipples and have heard so many horror stories, even from those who would say that they had a positive experience. I'm not absolutely wedded to BF at all costs and quite prepared to accept that it might not work, for all sorts of reasons and that's fine. But I seem to hear nothing but "it was horrendous, I had mastitis for 7 years and then thrush" sometimes with "but I powered through and now I love it" tacked on for good measure.

So, tell me about your experiences please? You know, the ones where you both kind if just got on with it and then the baby was weaned and everyone lived happily ever after. I'm quite happy to hear about sore nipples and lost sleep, but I'd like to avoid the (hopefully less common in real life?) end of the spectrum.

BeCool Mon 09-Sep-13 13:50:38

I didn't have mastistis or any other complications.
DD2 was a lefty and didn't feed from the right unless the left was empty first. Shen would NEVER comfort feed from the right.
Babies are funny!

Seaweedy Mon 09-Sep-13 13:50:57

I won't go into my story, which didn't end well - for reasons unrelated to my flat nipples. But you are already in a good position, in that you know you have flat nipples. I didn't realise mine would be a problem until I had given birth and was trying to feed, and realised there was literally nothing there for my baby to latch onto.

Agree with whoever suggested nipple shields as a corrector for flat nipples - I used Medella ones. They come in at least two different sizes, so it might be worth checking out what works best for your breasts.

(My situation was very unusual. I have never met another person with the same issue, and the only other person I know who couldn't breastfeed was someone who was so seriously ill she almost died in late pregnancy. There's no reason at all to think you'll have anything other than a humdrum normal BF experience. Have the numbers for local BF groups and counsellors etc to hand in advance, and best of luck!)

CMOTDibbler Mon 09-Sep-13 13:51:05

DS was premature, so it took him a couple of days to get the hang of bfing as he came off tube feeds, but then we didn't have any trouble with bfing at all.

He loved feeding, I loved feeding him. He took a bottle of ebm fine, so I expressed at work and he bf until 23 months when he stopped of his own accord.

No mastitis, no pain, no inconvenience (I could bf and walk around with him in a sling). And because I could feed lying down, very little lost sleep.

LtEveDallas Mon 09-Sep-13 13:51:59

I didn't have any problems at all. Until I came onto MN I honestly thought that mums who didn't BF were being unreasonable. I didn't realise that many were unable, or got thrush, or got mastitis etc. I was horrified when I found out, and very ashamed of myself.

DD was prem and in scbu for a month. I wasn't allowed to BF when she was in, I had to express and bottle feed her. The SCBU provided me with special bottles/teats that were apparently designed for prem babies and once she came home I didn't have any difficulties latching her on and feeding.

She was the incredible non-sleeping constantly feeding baby, but it was ace. I had to feed her 2 hourly for a couple of months, but very quickly got into the habit of dozing/sleeping when she was.

Once she settled more, and went to 4 hourly (ish) feeds it was even easier. I demand fed, but she seemed to fall into a routine pretty much by herself.

I didn't worry about feeding to sleep - its worked for us and didn't cause any settling issues. We also ended up pretty much co-sleeping and DD was the master of lying down feeding - so much so quite often I'd fall asleep as she was feeding, and only wake up when she started rooting around again.

I didn't feel any 'let-down', I'm still not sure what is meant by that expression. The only way that I could tell she was actually getting anything out of me was the fact that she was a dribbler!

I only ever has one incident of 'cant you feed her in the toilet?' type stuff when out and I simply answered "No, I'm feeding my daughter and if you don't like it that is your problem not mine"

I understand that I am lucky that I found it so easy. Weaning wasn't as easy because as soon as I stopped BF (6 months) DD refused milk - formula and cows, and water. I spent a few months expressing and using Avent Bottles to get it in her, but in the end gave up and made sure she had a lot of calcium and vitamins in her diet. She drank smoothies like they were going out of fashion (recommended by the hosp) and always ate very well.

Considering that she was 3lb 3oz in the hospital and we were told to keep an eye on her lungs, eyes, hearing and development, she is now the tallest and fittest girl in her class. Hardly ever ill and doing brilliantly at school.

Wow, what an essay blush, sorry. It's nice to be able to post good things for once smile

soapnuts Mon 09-Sep-13 13:53:13

I had one flat and one inverted nipple with DS1 - used nipple shields so it never hurt, no real dramas, fed for 6 months before he decided he preferred bottles. All pretty easy. DS2 still feeding at 8 months - used shields for first week then realised we didn't need them - DS2 has been even easier and is a total boob monster... and nipples aren't flat anymore! that's got to be a major plus! I say try it, if you hate it you'll be able to say you tried and hopefully have no guilt whichever way you end up going.

spiderlight Mon 09-Sep-13 13:53:21

I had a perfectly straightforward time BF too, despite being very, very scared about it beforehand. Home birth, midwife put DS on the boob to encourage a reluctant placenta to emerge, he latched on and away we went. Latching was sore for the first few days as the tissue behind the nipple has to stretch, but knowing what it was and that it would stop once the stretching was done made it totally bearable, and it was only a bit of an 'Ooooh!' for a few seconds anyway. DS fed like a pro for a very, very, very long time, gained weight brilliantly, slept brilliantly and we never had any problems apart from one tiny milk blister the day before his first birthday, which again was no more than one painful feed and a sore nip for a day or two! Lansinoh was fab stuff - I used it a fair bit in the very early days but didn't need it after about a week or ten days. I did find cluster feeds a bit of a shock at first but again that phase doesn't last very long and you can use it as an excuse to watch lots of telly and be brought cake.

I found this book very useful.

MummytoMog Mon 09-Sep-13 13:53:58

My first baby went to SCBU, had formula for the first 24 hours. I was worried she wouldn't take to the breast. She latched perfectly straight away and breastfed like a champion for the next five months. No mastitis, no sore nipples, nothing but slightly leaky boobs. She self-weaned onto the bottle after a bad cold (I bottle fed her during it because she found it easier). My second baby latched on during skin to skin straight after the birth and my milk came in so strong that I tried to persuade my eighteen month old to help out a bit as I had bowling ball boobs. The only problem I had with him was that he refused to take a bottle from about four months to about six months, but he cracked when I went back to work and he had no choice. I weaned him at nine months. I was a bit worried that I would find it tricky to breast feed as I have enormous knockers. This was foolish. I breastfed lying down, standing up, in the queue for the British Museum, at a restaurant, while doing the shop, while changing a nappy, in the cinema, in the theatre, at a wedding etc etc etc Mostly I breastfed in my living room while reading a good book, but it was super easy. I never had my latch checked.

Washable breast pads (the ones from Boots are the best IMO) are the only way to go, I had loads of them and used to either chuck them in whatever wash was going each day, or rinse at night if I was getting low. They did me for two babies, then did my pal as well.

teacher123 Mon 09-Sep-13 13:53:58

Delivered DS by ELCS, had to express the first few days as had problems with Over supply. Hired a pump from the NCT and expressed for the first fortnight until I managed to get him properly latched on at 2 weeks. Then he was ebf until 6mo, stopped feeding at 10mo. Had a bit of pain, never had mastitis, never had blocked ducts etc.

HopLittleFroggyHopHopHop Mon 09-Sep-13 13:54:01

DD was premature and tube fed expressed milk for the first 3 weeks. No trouble there except one day of 1 painful boob which settled down with extra expressing.
She was pretty much ebf until 9 months (due to prematurity more than bf I think) and have found it so easy, even in public it takes a few attempts then you get used to doing it discretely and can feed most places.
The first month or 2 for most people seems to involve sitting on the sofa breastfeeding the majority of it, but it's good to relax at first anyway! Get a good stock of dvds and enjoy it smile
DD is 11 months now and still bf and it makes life so much easier. If she cries it instantly calms her, same if she bumps herself, and it's something she will always eat if she's not feeling like solids so I don't need to panic if she refuses a meal.
Also I'm a huge faffer so it would take me about an hour to leave the house if I had to prepare bottles each time grin no chance of me forgetting boobs!

I think people like to talk about the harder bits to prepare people but the good side by far cancels out most initial problems IMO.

Bookwolf32 Mon 09-Sep-13 13:54:27

I'm breastfeeding my first, she's now 10 months. First couple of months were tricky - tongue-tie and just getting used to it, but then it was fine. I've never had mastitis, sore nipples were treated with lansinoh. I've always just fed wherever, even though I'm a bit shy about my body. In the begininning I would go into the 'feeding rooms' of shops, but then realised they're mostly yucky.
Best thing my Mum told me was the first 6 weeks were the hardest for her, so I told myself I would do 6 weeks and see how we were going. After that it was still a bit tricky, but when I saw how much faffing there was with bottles I decided that breastfeeding was still the easier option for me. I think it helps to give yourself a goal if you are finding it hard eg. 6 weeks, 3 months.

MrsHoratioNelson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:55:15

Thank you all so much, these stories are so encouraging. Having been a MNer for a while before I got pg I had been almost militantly pro choice about BF (and I still am as far as anyone else's choices are concerned) so it was a bit of a shock to find that I want it to work as much as I do - mostly for the reasons muckypuppy and a few others have outlined wink

I am very keen on the idea of late night cake on standby. Who wouldn't want that?!

I have laid in a couple of bottles and some ready made formula just in case my poor nipples I want a break one day or if the time I decide its not working is at 3am, but this has given me lots of useful advice and positivity smile

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 09-Sep-13 13:56:57

The only problems I had in the beginning were when DS used to flail his arms about right in the damn way - all newborns seem to have this amazingly irritating habit! Luckily you can solve it by swaddling them smile

The other problem I had was that I first learnt to latch him on lying down, and then couldn't latch him on sitting up, for about four days. That was it, honestly. We had a problem, it seemed like the end of the world, in reality it lasted four days and everything was fine again.

He self weaned about 8 months ago, no issues, just spread feeds out further and further until he stopped completely.

IceBeing Mon 09-Sep-13 14:02:49

This is an excellent idea for a thread!

DD got herself latched before I had come around from the general anaesthetic and never really looked back.

I had sore nipples for about 3 days and have been fine otherwise. Well actually I had one blocked duct incident only a few months ago, but otherwise fine.

We are now 2 years and 4 months down the line and I am thinking of trying to wind up the BF...but every time DD has 'fridge' milk I can't help wondering what the point is given she could still have BM.

Well I am leaving it up to her to choose and move on when she wants to.

DipMeInChocolate Mon 09-Sep-13 14:05:20

I found it straight forward from birth. Did a little research beforehand so I was prepared. Watched an old show of the baby whisperer where she showed how to latch on. Its hard to explain without pictures but I'll try:
1. grip nipple just out side areola at the top and bottom of it with first finger and thumb,
2.brush babys top lip with nipple should make them open their mouth wide.
3. Push nipple in to the top and back of their mouth ensuring all of the areola is in.
4. Get in a comfy position and chill out for a bit until they unlatch themselves
5. switch breasts and repeat step 4.

It doesn't come naturally to everyone but after a few days/weeks, it will feel natural. Enjoy your new baby thanks

Tournesol Mon 09-Sep-13 14:07:20

I bf all three of my DC for a year. They all took it up really easily and I had no problems despite having the world's smallest boobs.

If you can manage it it makes life so much easier not having to lug around bottles etc just boobs.

Rainbowshine Mon 09-Sep-13 14:08:00

I only had two issues to overcome:

Latching on - solved by going to children's centre where a lovely kind adviser spent an hour with me and DS helping me improve our latching as it was a bit hit and miss. I also got one of these to help:

Second problem was staying awake during night feeds and when very tired. Rope in any help you can for other care, e.g. DH did all nappies and baths so I could have naps, and fed and watered me so I didn't starve.
Once DS started having longer gaps between feeds this got a lot easier and then he started sleeping through which was bliss.

Once I got a bit more confident I went to places I felt comfortable to try feeding when out and about. After about 3 months I realised I was feeding DS without really thinking about it, and now enjoy our cosy cuddly feeding times.

I realise I am fortunate it worked but that was due to some tenacity to get through latching issues and tiredness, as well as not being shy to ask for help. Having a very supportive DH was also a major factor as he did a lot for me and when I was struggling was good at reminding me it was just a new skill me and DS were learning. HTH and good luck with the baby.

StyleManual Mon 09-Sep-13 14:08:48

I found BF straight forward too. It was painful to start with and I needed a bit of help from breastfeeding support, and had a few niggles along the way (over supply and a blocked duct), but they weren't a big issue. I knew I wanted to breast feed and I knew it wouldn't just be easy peasy. If your expectations are low, you'll be fine! My DD found it easy to learn too. She kind of self-weaned at 9 months. She just lost interest as she was so keen on real food and couldn't be bothered to feed. Oh, and if you're looking that far ahead, we did BLW and it was as easy as falling off a log for all involved.

DoudousDoor Mon 09-Sep-13 14:15:51

My BF experience was/is very straightforward. DH was amazed that as soon as I held newborn DS he immediately started rooting and "knew what to do".

I had one painful night when my milk came in, had oversupply the first few months until I learnt how to reduce my supply and after that it was plain sailing.

Started mix feeding at 5 months when I went back to work and DS is nearly 2 years old now and still feeding in the evening.

I've used Lasinoh when a bit sore but never had thrush or a blocked duct or anything.

I would like to stop now to be honest as I'm pregnant with DC2 and do not want to tandom feed but will try to encourage DS to stop gently. It is lovely though when I sit in our "feeding chair" (a particular corner of the sofa) and DS giggles and gets all excited when I take my bra off so he can latch on.

I found BF so convenient. Could stay out as long as we wanted, and also to my amazement my supply really does respond to needs. So DS is down to one feed a day but when we went on holiday this summer he didn't eat a lot of normal food but I could feed him lots in the evening, a bit at night and in the morning so he wasn't hungry. I was so pleased to be able to do that for him, especially as our room had no fridge so normal milk wouldn't have been possible!

gonerogue Mon 09-Sep-13 14:16:30

I EBF my two until 6 months each. Both were EMCS and with both had BF down pat within in a day.
No thrush, no mastitis, did have shredded nipples for about a week with DD but nothing with DS, I had lansinoh from day 1 with DS, (lesson learnt from DD)

With the shredded nipples, I used nipple shields but not for feeding. They were great for allowing air in without my bra/shirt/whatever I was wearing irritating the nipples.

I was very lucky that it all worked out for me. Good luck and I hope you get what you want.

NightLark Mon 09-Sep-13 14:16:41

I bf my 3 babies, all for around 2 years. It was (and is - I'm still feeding DC3) a lovely experience.

I always had loads of milk, and leaked a lot. If this is you too, Lansinoh breast pads are streets ahead of any other brand for proper, full on leaking.

My babies were big, fat and hungry and have grown to be lean, tall and hungry.

I never fed to schedule, always on demand. My boobs would feel full, the baby would seem hungry, baby + boob, all sorted.

The littlest talks a lot, and is very happy to explain how much she loves bm, and how my breasts are actually hers. All hers. She looks at them with propriatorial delight. Which makes me laugh.

I never lost any weight bf, but I ate ALL the cakes. Which was nice.

tumbletumble Mon 09-Sep-13 14:17:46

I have 3 DC and bf them all for between 9 and 12 months. I was lucky and bfing was easy for me. I never had mastitis, engorged boobs or thrush. Just a few problems getting DC1 to latch on initially and I did finally get sore nipples with DC3 (I think he had a stronger suck than the other two) - I though I'd escaped them!

SleepyCatOnTheMat Mon 09-Sep-13 14:24:48

It's like everything to do with pregnancy and birth - it could be very easy or it could be very painful and you have to try and be prepared for all eventualities. I expected it to be relatively easy because I hadn't heard any horror stories but it wasn't and that came as a big shock. In my case it just really hurt to start with. Nothing to do with positioning (the midwives said that was fine), my breasts just ached. That lasted 7 or 8 weeks and I don't think there's anything I could have done about it.

My top breastfeeding tip is rather than waiting for your nipples to get sore and then putting cream on, put cream on as a preventative measure, specifically Kamillosan cream as it's edible and safe for baby i.e. you don't have to wash it off before feeds (which negates the point). And have some formula in the cupboard (and bottles and a steriliser) so if breastfeeding does become totally miserable for some reason you've got something to feed the baby with.

BTW I breastfed for 6 months in the end (and yes, it was a case of powering through, often in tears, but ending up loving it).

Skang Mon 09-Sep-13 14:32:07

My dd had a tongue tie which had to be cut, but other than that we have had no problems. I've never had so much as a sore nipple.

nancerama Mon 09-Sep-13 14:49:01

Speak to your midwife about lansinoh. Most get sent heaps of free samples. Stock up on the sachets - a little goes a long way.

dubstarr73 Mon 09-Sep-13 14:53:30

I bf 5 of mine,never had any problems with latch or supply.Had normal things like nipples being sore or being bitten by baby.Otherwise it was very boring.
Did get mastitis once when ds2 was a year old.Thats it though.

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