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Probably ridiculous questions

(15 Posts)
VirtualPointyHat Wed 19-Nov-14 10:32:05

Ok, first I am not a troll, feel free to check I post on here way too much grin

These are probably really stupid questions, but no one in my life has ever breastfed so it seems I know nothing at all about it.

I see on here people talking about their milk coming in after a few days, what does that actually mean? If the milk doesn't come in before, what does baby eat?

I also see lots of mums saying how painful it is, what actually hurts? The nipple when baby sucks, the whole boob all the time?

And probably the most stupid question, where does the milk actually come out of? I have looked at my nipple, but no discernible hole IYSWIM?

TIA for helping me out

Honeybear30 Wed 19-Nov-14 10:37:33

No stupid questions at all! And Mumsnet is the perfect place for answers.

Before the milk comes in you will have colostrum, which is a thick yellowy creamy milk which is plenty for baby. Their tummys are tiny ti start with so they only need a few mls at a time. Then the suckling from baby will initiate your 'milk coming in', I.e you will start to produce proper breast milk and will most likely feel engorged and also hormonal!

For me the pain was the nipple, baby wasn't latched on properly so I got blisters and they became very sore. They hurt both during feeding and just all the time as they were sensitive. Took about a week for the bad pain to wear off and I reckon 6-7 weeks to be completely pain free.

Although you can't see them there are several holes in the end of your nipple. So imagine a shower effect? They are tiny, you probably can't see them at all.

Hope some of that helps!

bakingtins Wed 19-Nov-14 10:44:39

Immediately after birth you produce colostrum, a thick yellow liquid chock full of antibodies. Over a few days this gradually changes to mature breast milk, which is more liquid and bigger volumes. some women get very swollen boobs as their 'milk comes in' around day 3-5.
The milk comes out of tiny ducts in your nipple, I seem to have 5 or 6 on each. You can't see the holes!
If a baby is latched correctly they take a big mouthful of areola, the nipple is towards the back of their mouth and they are not 'sucking' they are massaging the breast tissue with their tongue and lower jaw to 'milk' it. It's a learning process for both parties and if latch is not good and nipples get sucked or cracked it's very sore. some women get a tingly 'let down' pain at the beginning of a feed as milk is released from the glandular tissue. Longer term it doesn't hurt, breastfeeding releases oxytocin so it feels nice, in a snuggly hormone way rather than a physical sensation way.

VirtualPointyHat Wed 19-Nov-14 10:45:49

Brilliant, thank you so much, that makes a lot more sense.

Wanted to start understanding these things early as I think there will be lot to take in when LO turns up!

bakingtins Wed 19-Nov-14 10:58:57

If you want a "idiot's guide to" The Food of Love by Kate Evans is v good.

Honeybear30 Wed 19-Nov-14 11:00:39

Also just read lots on this forum. I learnt loads!

Bellyrub1980 Wed 19-Nov-14 11:22:09

I had those same questions when I was pregnant. I have a few more still now that I'm breastfeeding.

Whilst I'm actually Breast feeding the nipples don't hurt. Thre is obviously the sensation of sucking but it doesn't sting and is not painful.

However the rest of the time my nipples sting constantly!! I'm only really 2 days into doing this (baby is 10 days old and I couldn't Breast feed initially). Does this sound normal? Ie for the nipple not to hurt when sucking but does hurt when not feeding....???

VirtualPointyHat Wed 19-Nov-14 12:34:41

bumping for you bellyrub

bakingtins Wed 19-Nov-14 14:38:14

bellyrub I'd try putting some nipple cream on after each feed - lansinoh is most recommended. Is your nipple a funny shape when baby comes off (like a lipstick?)

squizita Wed 19-Nov-14 16:50:39

Bellyrub I had this for the first week or 2. It shouldn't last over that time, but hormones etc can make then tender initially.
Try going bra free as much as poss, lansinoh and hot showers. If it persists do ring a helpline or find a local bf support group.

NorahBone Wed 19-Nov-14 17:57:43

On the first night back from the hospital my approx 2day old baby wanted to feed constantly all night. I was tired and my nipples were cracked and sore and I didn't understand why my colostrum wasn't satisfying the baby. The midwife explained the next morning that he was trying to stimulate the milk to come in (no one had told him that colostrum was enough to see him through the first days). Thought it worth mentioning because whilst it seems obvious now, at the time I was a bit of a wreck

Bellyrub1980 Thu 20-Nov-14 02:16:47

Thanks for that. I know people often recommend rubbing expressed milk in but I can't express milk by hand for love nor money. Not sure whether I feel a bit squeamish about it which holds me back.

I'm thinking of getting some Breast shells to wear between feeds and to stop rubbing on clothes, which I find hurts more than anything else. Anyone else find them beneficial?

ruth1104 Thu 20-Nov-14 03:46:55

bellyrub i havent tried breast shells but a friend was warned off them by her mw, they dont let air get to your nipples apparently. i used washable breast pads to begin with as they felt super sensitive on my bra etc, that helped. my mw also gave me some samples of compresses (sorry cant remember the brand) which were lovely

Bellyrub1980 Thu 20-Nov-14 12:08:25

Ok thankyou x

Justgotosleepnow Sun 23-Nov-14 14:02:20

There is a great Nct book with all the basics in it. You could also find your local bf support group, and go along whilst pregnant to meet the people and see babies latching on.
Well done you for researching!

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