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to ask about breastfeeding?

(140 Posts)
Thisismyfirsttime Thu 19-Sep-13 16:26:03

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?

Sunflower1985 Sat 21-Sep-13 18:02:18

I would advise reading up on positioning and latching before birth. I didn't and it made the first few days harder as I struggled to get support in hospital. By the time I did my ds was jaundiced and it wasn't the lovely natural process it should be.

I've had all the common problems (latch, thrush, cracked nipples and tongue tie) but at 7 weeks am still going as there's no better feeling than looking down at a milk drunk baby. Bliss.

Bubbles1066 Sat 21-Sep-13 16:42:14

If you FF buy an extra kettle, a cheap plastic cup and a cheap thermos flask. The kettle avoids people boiling the kettle again when you are cooling water. Use the thermos to heat bottles (pour water in the cup and put bottle in cup) or to make hot feeds when out or at night. Buy steri bottles from Boots (pre sterilised bottles that last for 24 hours after opening and come in packs of 5;) that along with a few cartons in your change bag/car will keep you going for 10+ hours if you are unexpectantly kept out longer than you thought. I made every feed fresh with hot water or with ready made using these things and managed to FF everywhere, including up hills as we all regularly go hill walking. I'm not saying this is easier than BF just that with a few tricks and some not very expensive things you can go out and about very easily with formula.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 21-Sep-13 13:30:02

Hello - we're just going to move this to the breast and bottle feeding topic.

Whereisegg Sat 21-Sep-13 10:28:50

I can't understand people saying that ff isn't more work than bf (and I switched at 8 weeks with my first so experienced both in relatively early days).

With bf you can stay out however long you want.
With ff you are really quite stuck especially as if you do decode you'd like to stay somewhere longer, you can pretty much guarantee dc won't take a full feed, leaving leftover milk redundant after a certain amount of time.

Sterilising itself isn't that much work but, again, you have a limit as to how long bottles stay sterile, so if you fall asleep (likely) you may well have to start again.

I found forgetting that the kettle was boiled for bottles, and then re-boiling to make a cuppa was an issue in a sleepy haze.

Having a baby wake up for the millionth time and having no real way to comfort them while waiting for a bottle to warm was awful, and they had screamed themselves awake by the time it was ready and then often too worked up to feed properly.

I also found that if my dp was doing a night feed, I was awake for the duration regardless.

The only positive I found, was knowing how much the baby had had. Not that this really 'helped' with anything though?!

I don't mean to sound like I'm bashing ff, I'm not.
But I did find it restricting and hard work.

BooCanary Sat 21-Sep-13 09:50:14

Pros and CONS.

BooCanary Sat 21-Sep-13 09:49:48

Pros and done ime.

BFing DC1 took up most of the first 2 m of her life. She would feed for 45minutes minimum, every couple of hours once we got some kind of routine. There were days when she was newborn when I was feeding for 18 hours a day! BUT I kept on bfing uh until DD was 12mo, and I was so sad when she self weaned. BFing in bed without getting up is a real benefit.

DC2 was bf too, but not a good feeder (opposite of DD who wanted to feed constantly). I got mastitis, and he had poor weight gain. I ended up mix feeding (bf with bottle top ups from 6wo), and tbh it was no easier. He was no more likely to drink formula than bf. Sterilising and greeting things ready quick enough was a giant pita.

If I could do it again, I would definitely bf, but I do think people should be more open about the pitfalls. I felt like I wasn't given a realistic view before having DC1, almost as though mws didn't want to admit it may be hard in case you decided not to bother.

LouiseD29 Sat 21-Sep-13 09:37:33

I'm a month in to bf DD1 and have been very lucky with it ever since she latched on by herself at 15 minutes old. I have been vigilant with the Lansinoh and although she took a tiny bit of skin off each nipple in the first ten days it was only a tiny bit sore, and they have now toughened up and don't hurt at all. She's also a really fast feeder so each feed tends to only take 5/10 minutes and she will often nap for 3 hours. I like that bf gives me flexibility though so if she does demand feeding more frequently (which happens quite a lot) I can just plonk her on, or haul her out of the Moses basket at night at a moment's notice.

Oh, and I've also lost 12lbs of baby weight since coming out of hospital.

YANBU to feed in whichever way seems right for you, but as a previous poster said, you are more likely to read about bf problems on a bf forum, and for many people it works really well.

Good luck with your baby, whatever way you choose.

tattiehowker Sat 21-Sep-13 08:35:23

Wait til the baby is here before making any decisions. Right now you are just trying to weigh up options based on what has happened for other people. But this is your baby.

Personally I regard BF has much easier and more convenient than FF - that's my experience. I also can't begin to explain the magic of snuggling up with your baby in a dark, silent house and looking down at their little contented face as you breastfeed.

I found it painful when my milk came in - but this will happen whether or not you breastfeed. Apart from that there was the occasional twinge in the first few weeks til we got the latch established. Everyone is different. You will hear more stories about difficult experiences I imagine because they are more interesting!

Yes, breastfeeding is time consuming at first. But having a baby is time consuming what ever you do. It sounds a but like at the moment you are trying to imagine how to fit the baby into your life. But your life is going to change and you can't really plan for that now. Your baby is designed to tell you what it needs so listen to your instincts. You'll just go with it at the time and all will be well whatever choices you make.

Have to disagree with you on the idea that is is difficult to know that BF is best for the baby. It is definitely better for baby and Mum from a health point of view. Totally agree with nickelbabe on the relaxing effects of breastfeeding. It is a great instant stress relief!

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Faithless12 Sat 21-Sep-13 08:18:13

MrsTerryPratchett & CrispyFB I wish I'd thought of gaming before while BF. I spent the first three months sans phone/computer cuddling DS.Now I find out missed hours of gaming opportunities. grin

Viking1 Sat 21-Sep-13 08:17:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Faithless12 Sat 21-Sep-13 08:15:36

DS was always very quick to feed, at 4 weeks some older friends didn't believe that he took 5/10 mins to feed and didn't take both sides at a feed. When he clusterfed is the only time he stayed on for longer than 10 mins and he fed for an hour at the most. He has never stuck to a 4 hourly schedule as everyone suggested he should. He took to it amazingly well, it was achey to begin and the after pains were more pronounced while BFing but that was the first week during the evening feed normally.

Friends of ours who have a DC a similar age to DS also BF, their DC is very sleepy so had a routine from very early on but would take forever to feed as they were so sleepy.

beginnings Sat 21-Sep-13 07:42:34

I've just thought of another advantage, not getting out of bed at night. And nope, I didn't co-sleep. Lean out of bed. Retrieve child from Moses basket, latch, doze, wind, doze, place child back!

DH used to not wake up at all!!

YY to the fat eating too.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 21-Sep-13 00:12:36

No, I'm not you because I closed down CC in disgust after level 89 made me want to throw my phone across the room. Maybe we should give all first time Mums a copy of Civ instead of all that leafleting about BFing.

CrispyFB Sat 21-Sep-13 00:09:14

<looks suspiciously at MrsTerryPratchett> Are you me? I love a bit of Civ+breastfeeding too (Candy Crush is for short feeds, Civ is good for nursing to sleep!) Best excuse for playing computer games all day and sitting on my arse I ever had!

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 21-Sep-13 00:04:37

Not as bad as me, BigJessie. I tell everyone I BF because I was cheap, fat and lazy. It's free, they suck the fat right out of you and no bottles, washing, planning or sterilising.

Sod the 'perfect parent' bollocks, I like lying in the sofa playing Civilization and drinking tea, you know, while giving my baby the best start in life and all that.

TheBigJessie Fri 20-Sep-13 23:53:05

Ah. I suspect that if anything, I have short arms. I'm a shortarse in all respects! My hands would pass for a twelve year old's!

bumperella Fri 20-Sep-13 23:46:38

BigJessie - I had a teensy baby but freakishly long arms - that could be why one handed FF worked for me!
However, apparently I've big nipples and DD had teeny mouth - they used words like "disparity of size"....

TheBigJessie Fri 20-Sep-13 23:40:08

I'm afraid I could never work out how to support and feed with the same arm. It was one to support head and one to hold the bottle in the right place. Maybe I needed to wait for the babies to get bigger?

As it was, I was lucky enough to find that breastfeeding was a realistic choice for me, so I went for the road that I knew could deliver hands-free feeding. Sounds a bit like a mobile phone ad.

Possibly not the kind of thing you're meant to admit to in public? "Oh I chose breastfeeding for Jack for the hands-free option, which enabled me to carry on my pre-baby lifestyle of spending too much time on the computer." instead of "I was concerned about health risks". grin But meh, they say the Truth will set you free!

beginnings Fri 20-Sep-13 23:36:09

Gah! Bloody phone.

I know someone who formula fed and her baby fed little and often for the first few weeks. She was washing, sterilising and prepping over a dozen bottles a day!
I EBF and it was much easier! Yes I had to wince as she latched for the first ten days but then it was much easier.
You will not necessarily get a routine out of a formula fed baby and you won't necessarily not from a bf one. DD has slept 7 til 7 since 13 wks.

Give it a whirl!

beginnings Fri 20-Sep-13 23:31:53

I know someone who form

bumperella Fri 20-Sep-13 23:26:58

I absolutely agree that breast milk is best.
But I cannot agree that it's easier. Surely you have one arm free when you're formula feeding? I found it easy to have baby in crook of right arm, hold bottle in the right hand, and therefore have left hand free. But I never got beyond the strategically-positioned cushions, SNS, sticky-plasters, palaver of failed BF. For (nearly) 3 months.
OP, for all the people who say one is easy, their'll be another 100 who says it's really difficult.
Routine and teensy babies don't go together.

DashingRedhead Fri 20-Sep-13 23:23:23

OP, just wait until the baby arrives and see what happens.

CrispyFB Fri 20-Sep-13 23:22:04

Candy Crush and breastfeeding are an excellent combination! Take it from me.. grin

TheBigJessie Fri 20-Sep-13 23:19:29

I had to mix-feed with formula at the beginning, before I managed to switch to exclusive breast-feeding.

Breast-feeding is easier. You can knit, type, play computer games, and read while breast-feeding up to two babies. However, I needed both hands to bottlefeed one newborn at a time. You can also wander around shopping centres with one baby discreetly feeding in a sling. (People would occasionally come and talk to the breastfeeding baby to do coochie-coo noises, without ever noticing what the baby was doing! grin )

In my opinion, the last thing you need with a new baby is more washing-up, considering the sheer volume of laundry that is going to be entering your life! Formula-feeding was a huge faff at 3am.

I also liked the fact that breast-feeding released sleep-hormones that meant I went to sleep immediately after feeds, instead of lying awake for two hours and then dropping off half an hour before the baby wakes up again!

bumperella Fri 20-Sep-13 22:56:47

I tried to BF for about 10 wks. The closest we got was via nipple-shields whilst using a Supplemental Nursing System filled with expressed breast milk. I would never EVER recommend ANYONE persue that line, it's madness, pointless and completely futile. I expressed every 3 hrs, which could take an hour or more. DO NOT DO THIS. You will loose your mind. It was a miserable, lonely, demoralising experience; I really struggled with the "decision" to stop trying.

In many situations is HUGELY embarrassing to get a bottle out in public (esp posh toddler groups, etc). I'd not let embarrassment over boobs/bottle influence your decision.

FF isn't the faff that people tell you. Really, it isn't. Formula lasts (in a sterile bottle in the fridge for around an hour). For night feeds single-use cartons are fine.

Formula will not kill your child. It's not as good as breast-milk, but sadly most people won't be "perfect" parents and there are worse things that most parents end up doing than formula feeding.

Lots of people will tell you that BF is the right answer, but the reality is that feeding is only a part of the picture.

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