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What can I do to increase chances of successful breast feeding second time round?

(7 Posts)
VacheEspanol Tue 04-Feb-14 21:54:15

Hello. I'm looking for some advice. I really struggled with breast feeding first time round - in fact pretty much never successfully fed at all. A myriad of problems - flat nipples, reduced supply, never properly latched on, complicated birth, etc. I tried loads of things - fenugreek, home visits from lactation consultant, loads of skin to skin, cranial osteopathy etc...I ended up expressing for a really long time and it nearly sent me over the edge.

I'm keen to avoid this feeling of hopelessness this time. I want to give it a proper go but also know that Im likely to give up sooner this time.

I asked my midwife today for some additional support and was met with a let's wait and see attitude. She was v dismissive of my worries.

So is there anything I can do to try to increase my chances of successful breast feeding? I'm 37 weeks.


crikeybadger Tue 04-Feb-14 22:15:02

Well it certainly sounds like you tried a lot of things last time so you will know so much more second time around.

The skin to skin is great to do and for a lot of the time post birth not just for the odd ten minutes.
You may find that your birth is better this time and this leads to easier breastfeeding.
You could also discuss ante natal hand expression with your mw so that you have some colostrum put by.
Finally, I've never used one but a post natal doula may be helpful.

Hope things go wellsmile

Munxx Tue 04-Feb-14 22:42:38

Is there a local breastfeeding group/club? I went antenatally to meet the peer supporters.

I know how you feel. My bf experience was a disaster with DC1. I am still feeding DC2 and he is 17 months! I was so worried about bf second time round and wanted to be prepared just like you sound you want to be.

Kellymom, breastfeeding basics and the NCT websites are good. Use the helplines. Ask for help and keep asking.

Good luck!

easterbaby Tue 04-Feb-14 23:09:30

I'm 10 weeks in with DC2, after struggling for 3 weeks with DC1.

This time, I decided to relax and take each feed one at a time, rather than setting any goals. And while it hasn't been plain sailing (I've ended up being prescribed pain relieving meds) this attitude has given me the strength to plough on. I'm still taking each day as it comes and have enjoyed my bf experience so much more this time! If it gets too painful I'm ready to move onto bottles. I think I'll be ok with accepting that.

I'd encourage you to relax, accept whatever happens and simply enjoy your little one, without expectations or regrets. Babyhood goes by so quickly! Good luck with it all. x

BadPenny Tue 04-Feb-14 23:41:05

I can really relate to this post. Everything spiralled hopelessly out of control with my first baby and I was left crying for months in sheer disbelief that support could be so poor and help so hard to come by.

With my second it started off just as bad but I was more prepared for it so ended up exclusively feeding till 6 months.

What helped: joining LLL and going to meetings while pregnant; reading a very lovely book "Breastfeeding Take Two"; having the local IBCLC on speed dial

What didn't help: family members (could just be me!)

Stay positive! At one point I started thinking, oh no - this is all going wrong in exactly the same way as last time... Then I thought, no - I know what's wrong and how to deal with it. Stress is really bad for my let-down so just realising I was dealing with the problems helped make them go away.

Rhuba Tue 04-Feb-14 23:43:43

Definitely keep the NCT and La Leche League phone numbers handy. Might be worth giving them a call in advance to talk through your concerns.

browneyesblue Wed 05-Feb-14 00:04:32

Wow - you had a lot to deal with the first time round! I'm amazed you managed to try so many different things.

I struggled (for different reasons - tongue tie) with DS1, but was lucky to finally get my problems sorted at 3 months. Those 3 months were awful though, and I felt so alone and helpless. When I was pregnant with DS2, I worried and dreaded facing the same issues again. It became more of an issue for me than I would like to admit.

A big part of the problem is/was that once you have your gorgeous newborn, you are far too tired, busy and thinly spread to demand the help that you need. "Wait and see" is the last thing you want to hear. Preparation really is the key.

I agree with the previous poster - get advice and help in place now, before you need it. I did, and it really helped. LLL etc are very helpful (I'm sure other groups are too), and speaking to them now means that you are prepared mentally, and that you have a support network waiting for you when/if you need it. If you have all the info and phone numbers ready, you will save yourself a whole lot of time and effort once you have your baby.

I actually found that the person who helped me most was the infant feeding co-ordinator at the hospital I delivered in. I contacted her by email quite early on (I told you I was worried!) to find out what help and support she and the hospital could offer. She was very reassuring and was a great source of information. She also told me to ask for her when DS2 was born, so that she could check us. I did this, and she came quickly. She was so supportive, diagnosed DS2, offered practical help and a diagnosis/plan of action for my (clueless) GP. I don't know if all Infant Feeding Co-ordinators are so amazing, but the second time around was a much easier experience mostly because of her.

I hope you find things easier this time round. x

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