Looking ahead and looking back(4 Posts)
Pregnant with dc2 and trying to decide whether to give bf a go this time round. I know things may be different this time but I'd like to try and better understand what went wrong last time.
So I tried with dc1 but only lasted 4 weeks due to the fact that he just wouldn't stay latched on - within a few seconds to a minute of latching on he would pull off the breast and cry and this didn't get any better throughout the 4 weeks. He didn't have tongue tie and there were no problems with the latch... except keeping him on the breast.
I am also concerned I didn't have enough milk. I know this is rare so I'm not sure if that was the problem but basically, my milk never came in the way you're told it will - I never felt "full up", was never sore and never experienced let down or even leaked. When I stopped bf after 4 weeks my milk dried up completely within 3 days and again, in these 3 days I never became engorged or needed to express to relieve it.
So can anyone shed any light on the problems I had with dc1 and advise how I may be able to avoid or manage them this time around?
I feel I need to be really prepared to bf if I am going to try it again as it took a lot out of me emotionally and I don't know at the moment if I want to go through all that again.
I didn't have a very successful breastfeeding experience with dc1, due to not building up a good supply. I did feed her for 3 months, but combination fed most of the time due to pressure from the midwives after she lost weight. Like you, I never felt my milk come in or experienced leaking. My problem was different to yours in that (despite attending NCT breastfeeding classes!) I really didn't understand how often a newborn needs to feed - she was really sleepy the first few days and I didn't wake her enough. Also I sometimes assumed she couldn't be hungry when she cried because she'd just been fed. DD also had reflux which didn't help.
Feeding regularly really seems to be the key to a good supply. I literally fed DC2 every time she opened her mouth. There were problems (more reflux and a tongue tie) but I still built up a good supply of milk and continued to feed her until 19 months.
It sounds like you may not have built up a good supply because your DC1 didn't feed for very long. This could have been a latch problem, although it also sounds a bit like my experience feeding refluxers - the milk hurt so they would come off and cry. It's hard to diagnose exactly what might have been wrong. However, I would strongly recommend getting as much support as you can from breastfeeding groups etc. Do you have a La Leche league meeting near you? I didn't have one but phoned the telephone helpline and received good support (I didn't have latch issues though). If possible, get a breastfeeding counsellor to visit you and help you with positioning.
Remember that each baby is different. Your new baby may take to breastfeeding easily. I found that DC1 preferred a bottle but DC2 was a boob monster. And at the end of the day, you just do your best and formula is always there as an option. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.
Thanks gracegrape, I'll find some breastfeeding groups and do some more research.
At the hospital they kept insisting I give ds formula (or rather that they give ds formula - they wouldn't let us feed him ourselves for some reason which led to dh making a complaint!) because they said ds was going too long without a feed but it wasn't through lack of trying, he just kept pulling off or falling asleep. It was all so stressful and I don't want a repeat of that.
The groups saved me. I'd advise going along to them fir sensible advice and calm confidence building. It was the first time that anyone had time to look at how we were feeding, and think of strategies to improve things.
I hope that things are smoother for you this time around. Your hospital should have done kind of breastfeeding advisor or infant feeding coordinator, and if you find yourself feeling in trouble in hospital, you might ask for them to come and see you.
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