to ask about breastfeeding?(140 Posts)
So, I am currently 20wks pregnant with my first baby and have been doing my research into breastfeeding. I'm asking this leaving aside whether bf is best for baby (which is difficult I know). All the information I can find from personal experiences of bf is making me feel it's really not for me. A lot of what I'm seeing is making me think it's far more difficult to get into a routine whilst bf and that it seems to take up a LOT of the day. Is this true?
Really, I would ask if some of you share the absolute basics with a complete novice please? I.e does it hurt at first, how long does it hurt for, how long does each feed take (different for different babies I know but from personal experiences), did anyone BF one and FF another- which was easier to get into routine, is it really difficult to get anything else done in the first few weeks of bf etc etc? I would value opinions from mums who bf and ff please!
I was intending to bf for at least the first 6 weeks but AIBU to consider not breastfeeding at all?
Don't ask this question here.
Take it swiftly to pregnancy!
I mean this with kindness. Good luck with whatever you choose.
I think YABU to consider writing off something that you've never tried before before you've given it a chance. There is no standard BF experience TBH - babies are all different, women are all different and depending on which combination of the two you are, it can be very easy or very hard.
I tried to BF DS1 and it was a nightmare. With hindsight he had a bad latch and I got no suppport so I stopped really quickly. ENTIRELY different with DS2 - he just did it! I found it really easy and convenient and am looking forward to doing it again. There were the growth spurts where he fed a LOT but we managed. I had a blocked duct once, which was painful but brief. He was a better sleeper than his FF brother.
You're going to get a really mixed response to this that isn't going to help YOU know what to do. The only answer to give you is that, IMO, you should give it a try and see what happens. There's no shame in saying it's not for you and FF instead. You can always move onto bottles, you won't always have breastmilk!
Yanbu your baby your choice
Loads and loads of great advice on breastfeeding and bottle feeding in feed the world section
You could ask mnhq to move this for you
I wouldn't dismiss anyone's personal choice.. But I BF and FF and I found it a lot more pleasant to spend my time BFing on the sofa with my feet up eating biscuits than I did washing and sterilising bottles and making up feeds!
Bf in a routine was piss easy with dd and she slept tgrough from 6 weeks. Not so with ds. It that turned out to be an undiagnosed lip tie.
My experience was:
takes up a lot of time in the first few weeks (but what else are you going to be doing?)
bit sore for the first week or so but never found it painful
feeds took up to an hour in the first few weeks, but I had a jaundiced/sleepy baby. Certainly by a month or so in it was more like 20 minutes, and after that 10-15 I suppose. Bedtime feed took longer though, more like 45 minutes but I would use the time to MN!
Couldn't be bothered with a routine in the first few months as I found the best thing about breastfeeding was you could just go anywhere and feed/sleep as and when without worrying about a routine! We did do a bedtime routine from about 3 months though. By 6 months we had more of a nap routine and then bfs and meals fell in around that.
Crikey you're brave posting that question here! Ask on the feeding section if you want an actual discussion rather than a fight
Fwiw I am bfing ds2 and he's a very routiney baby. Ds1 wasn't so much, but was also bf. your baby won't have read the routine rules so may not want to comply, about feeding or sleep or anything!
You absolutely can't have a calm and rational debate about BF on Mumsnet.
Someone will be along with a load of graphs and pie charts in a minute and then people will start banging on about Nestle and the WHO
It was only a pain in the arse for the first 3-4 weeks, after that it has been a complete piece of piss. My baby only took 5 minutes to feed from very early on.
With routine, it doesn't matter so much with a bfed baby. With a ffed baby you need to know when the next bottle is due, because you need to have the kit with you and ready. With a bfed baby, the kit is always with you and ready! You can leave the house at the drop of a hat, extend trips out to all day if you feel like it and you never have to worry that your baby will end up hungry.
I couldn't bottle feed, simply because I'm far too lazy and it seems too much like hard work.
Friends and family breastfeeding experiences:
mum breastfed three to between 3 and 7 months without problems
sister found it really easy but swapped to bottles at 3 months so she could go out more/away for the weekend etc
friend found it really easy, continued til toddlerhood
another friend found it tough, stopped after about 5 months I think
another friend fed her first for a while but once she introduced the odd bottle her baby preferred it and stopped bfing, second baby she fed exclusively for a year
another friend had really poor advice about topping up with formula in hospital, kept up mix feeding for 3 months until she lost her supply
I agree with Nightmare. I had a pretty hard time getting breastfeeding established with DS as his tongue was tied. For for months I expressed all of his feeds. I was so glad when his tt was released and I could breastfeed as I no longer needed to worry about bottles and sterilising.
I found it very easy too - well I still do.
I knew I wanted to do it, had no idea it could be difficult really before I had my first baby so I just tried it and it worked.
I know now that some people have trouble but a lot of the time they get through it Ok, anyway.
It's worth a try and if it doesn't work then that's Ok too.
I'm bfing my third baby now and I would be stuffed if I had to use bottles. BF is so blooming simple and convenient when it works. I bf'd ds2 till he went to school.
Good luck x
I am writing this while bf-ing. From what I can tell bottle feeding involves 2 hands and concentration. bf-ing is for lazy slattern mothers who like sitting down, watching telly, eating biscuits, reading books and going on mumsnet.
I love bf-ing!
I'm breastfeeding a baby who is 21months old.
And have been doing since the very first day she was alive.
The thing is, when you are pregnant, you have so many worries and concerns, and questions and what-ifs.
when your baby arrives, you'll have so many people telling you what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.
they'll dictate to you what the baby should wear, how often they should feed, when they should sleep, what they should be doing.
but you know what (apart from any developmental problems), it really doesn't matter
the best advice I can give you is that your lifewill be turned upside down. you won't know what's hit you.
But, you are in charge of this tiny weeny thing, it wants and needs you for everything. It doesn't understand the clock, or routine, or even day from night in the early stages. It doesn't understand rules or anything - all it knows is it needs something and it's you who can provide it.
So, don't listen to the rules, don't do anything that anyone else tells you - listen to your baby. If the baby is hungry, feed it (and yes, sometimes that can be every hour for days on end! in the early days (and during growth spurts), if it's wet or soiled, change it. If it's crying, cuddle it (or all the other things that you need to check) but the biggest thing is go with it all stages will pass, and you'll both find your own best way.
FWIW, I really love the fact that I breastfeed DD, and I feel like I'm doing something really special that no one else can do.
And I don't care how much time it takes. And whenever I'm stressed, the only way I can calm down is to remind myself that nothing really matters.
And it does bloody hurt the first few weeks like someone's sucking the life-blood out of you! (but once she's latched and drinking, it stops)
and if it seems to be going tits-up <boom boom> take the baby to bed for the day and relax and start all over again.
My Experience was Trying to BF was a hundred times more painful that labour itself.
A good latch is critical.
Doing what is best for you and your baby also critical.
For me, the palaver of bottles and formula and sterilising and boiling and cooling and faffing was WAY harder than breastfeeding once it was established. With both DDs I had to give up BF at about 4 months to go on some medication. BF for me was way better and I cried the last time I did it. I really loved the bonding too.
If I were you I would at least try BF rather than deciding before the baby is born.... but sorry OP you are ultimately going to have to decide for yourself!
I have never had a baby and not breastfed it, but I doubt that using formula is going to make having a newborn a breeze.
I would let go of the whole "reality of bfing" thing for a minute and do some candid research into "reality of having a newborn"
You are being unreasonable if you think the first 6 weeks are about getting stuff done, getting into a routine etc. They should be about you recovering physically from pg/labour/csection, your baby gaining weight, and the two of you getting to know each other.
But although I think yabu, it's no more so than I was being having my first child. I didn't have a clue (thank god)
I tried to bf dd1 but because I wasn't expecting to face poor latch, hunger as milk came in, growth spurts and lack of family support I ended up mix then ff.
Bf with dd2 I was way more relaxed and she was a dream I bf to 1 year.
My advice would be breastfeed at birth, relax about getting "stuff done and a routine" as ff doesn't guarantee you that! My dsis ff herdd2 and she was a colicky unputdownable nightmare. Just bf for each day for that day and you are suddenly past about the 8wk stage and bf becomes way more easy than ff.
BUT if you really get rundown don't tie yourself in knots of guilt about switching to bottle.
I believe rven if latch is right your nipples need to toughen up so you will feel pain until they do lanolin is your friend.
Prepare to sit on your ass and eat and bf for the first 4 wks everyone else should be doing to work.
Grt them out in public it really doesn't matter and noonecares. TTrying to hide away means you will not bf for long.
Expect weightloss for baby and ignore helpful family members /hv unless its a large (more yhsn 10% loss) and baby is not weeing.
Baby may not poo for a week dont panuc until 7 days.
Use the feeding forum here!
I think it's something you should try. <disclaimer: I BF and love it>
My experience: DD was quite small at birth (6lb 5oz) and although seemed to me to be bf well, she lost a lot of weight and we had to feed her every 2 hours (from the beginning of the feed, not the end), and I had to try to express as well to give her top-ups by syringe. We should really have gone back into hospital as she lost more than 12% of her birthweight but the MW miscalculated and thought it was 11%. DD had to feed for 10 mins or more on each side and we had to try to keep her awake and feeding - blowing on her face, tickling her toes, changing her nappy, taking her clothes off etc. This was all v hard, especially expressing when I didn't know what I was doing and the feeds were so frequent my milk didn't have time to build up.
After a week or so she started to gain weight, we went back to feeding on demand and stopped expressing, and it felt like a breeze by comparison. It does hurt at first - it takes time to get the latch right, plus I had a CS and some positions were uncomfortable at first.
Best advice I had was to give it 6 weeks for us both to learn how to do it. It didn't hurt for the whole 6 weeks - it was intermittent as DD would latch well or poorly and sometimes I would catch the poor latches and sometimes I wouldn't.
DD started cluster-feeding in the evenings for literally hours at about 2/3 weeks old. This was hard on my nipples, and on my patience! Tbh, I'm not sure I would stand for it now - I would get up when I wanted to and go for pee/have a break and hand the baby to DH, but at the time I thought I had to sit there and feed even when I was actually squirming with the need to pee or just to move around and not be pinned to the sofa. This phase didn't last that long, though, and her feeds gradually got shorter and shorter.
She's now 18 months and I'm still bf her. She loves it, I love it, and it is easy and flexible. I work 4 days a week and just feed her first/last thing. On my days off she feeds a lot throughout the day, and the milk supply just regulates itself. She also takes bottles of cow's milk. I'm too lazy to stop, and too worried about not being able to stop a tantrum in its tracks by offering a boob!
Give it a try, and be prepared for LOTS of feeding in the early weeks. If you're successful it does settle down, I'm told.
In answer to your question 'does it hurt' - it does for some and it doesn't for others. I found it agonisingly painful on so many levels and gave up after 4 weeks. I found out when DD was 4.5 months that she has a lip tie and a tongue tie. Knowing this, if I ever have another and find BF so hard again I will be far more assertive in getting lip and tongue tie checks.
My friend had a baby at the same time and BF came incredibly naturally to her.
So it really depends - but don't rule it out without trying it.
And see Kate and Nickelbabe for me it wasn't painful at all. Sometimes my boobs felt quite full and uncomfortable, and I certainly complained a LOT to DH, but not what I could in all conscience call painful.
Thank you all for your replies. I guess the whole package of producing a brand new person is a very scary prospect and it is very helpful to have specific questions answered rather than looking at a thread someone else has started about their difficulties/ questions/ etc. I know it will be different for everyone, it is just the unknown I am afraid of I suppose!
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