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Breastfeeding - anything you wish you'd known before?

(99 Posts)
hotfuzzra Thu 16-Apr-15 19:30:53

Hi all
I'm going to an antenatal breastfeeding workshop to give mums- (and dads)-to-be my experiences.
I am happy to give my story and specifically spread the message about undiagnosed tongue tie, 6 weeks of shredded nipples, thanks DD! but wondered if you lovely MNers could tell me if there is anything you wish you'd known about breastfeeding before you gave birth?
Thanks in advance flowers

Orangedaisy Thu 16-Apr-15 19:36:04

It is basically a full time job. For a long time. I spent more than 9 hrs a day breastfeeding for first 6 weeks, then dd was still on about 10 feeds on 24 hrs up to more than 9 months. When I accepted how long it took I was much happier.

Also forgot about the existence of iplayer. So ended up listening to bbc world service at 4 am (documentary about Iranian mosques, anyone?). When I remembered I could download shite off iplayer instead it was like all my Christmases had come at once.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Thu 16-Apr-15 19:37:05

Cluster feeding.
The need to buy vest tops and a loose top layer.

Lanaandmaria2014 Thu 16-Apr-15 19:41:13

Importance of good latch, aim nipple towards the top of the mouth. I also had sore nipples/tongue tie, had to top up with FF. If you have problems ask for help - it's out there.

trilbydoll Thu 16-Apr-15 19:44:55

That every midwife / hv will have a different opinion, there isn't a hard and fast set of rules that guarantee success. And babies haven't necessarily read the instructions.

MadgeMak Thu 16-Apr-15 19:45:41

I think it's important to stress that different people will have different experiences. No offence to you, orangedaisy, as it being a full time job was your own experience but my experience was very different to that. Both my babies were fast and efficient feeders so even in the early weeks breastfeeding didn't feel like a full time job to me.

I think people sometimes focus in on the negative stories they hear, and may decide to not even give breastfeeding a go based on these. A mixture of positive and negative experiences should be shared, and emphasis given to the fact that these are people's individual stories of what breastfeeding was like for them personally.

Micah Thu 16-Apr-15 19:47:15

I was pretty glad I was ignorant.

I knew nothing about babies, bottle or breast fed. So when dd came along, I just went with it. If she cried, I fed her. I was probably lucky in that I had little pain, but I had no preconceived ideas of what was or wasn't normal. I had no worries about supply, milk coming in, I just fed if she cried!

When my mum came up to visit she did start with all the "maybe your milk isn't rich enough" crap when she realised I didn't have a strict 4 hour feeding schedule (70's bottle feeder), but by then I was confident enough to ignore her. I think if she'd have been around in the first weeks telling me feeding often "wasn't normal", and all the other misconceptions I might have felt it wasn't going so well.


isittheweekendyet Thu 16-Apr-15 19:48:52

That 99% of the general public either don't notice you breastfeeding or don't care about you breastfeeding, so take a muslin to cover that baby's head and stop worrying about feeding out in public.

Blarblarblar Thu 16-Apr-15 19:51:27

It might hurts to begin with even if you don't have any "issues" its sore. With my first I just thought its natural it's what we are meant to do but Jesus did it hurt for the first couple of weeks just toughening up my nipples. Second has been a horrific tale of nipple wo that continues sad

zen1 Thu 16-Apr-15 19:51:46

That it's really, really painful in the beginning (or was for me with all 3 of my DC).

beth1987 Thu 16-Apr-15 20:14:27

That it is uncomfortable to start with but it should pass just keep smothering
cream on (about 3 weeks for me). If you do get sore put the cream on cos I didn't always realise until I saw scabs sloughing off. They heal soooooooo quickly with cream
Get decent breast pads, boots ones are crap, lanso (whatever it is called same as the cream) are good.
you can get nice nursing bras look at hotmilk ones they do good i think they are called a frame which are good for feeding in public.
you can feed in bed which is great
I lost my belly wait at about 6 weeks!
Ask for help if there is a problem

PuppyMummy Thu 16-Apr-15 20:53:45

that babies don't always know how to latch on. you need to help them.

helping a baby latch on properly can be stressful until you get the hang of it.

milk spraying everywhere due to fast let down is normal

your milk supply will sort itself out.

you need to give it 6 weeks until you and the baby know what you are doing and you feel confident doing it.

you dont need to worry about foremilk or hind milk or how long they feed for once they get the hang of it.

BF babies can get wind

All just in my particular experience anyway! smile

Happening Thu 16-Apr-15 20:55:25

That if it is uncomfortable you aren't necessarily doing it wrong (& it will become more comfortable over time)

Honeybear30 Thu 16-Apr-15 21:01:09

That you have to eat and drink a LOT. To fuel you and to produce good milk. Tired/hungry/thirsty mummy = shit milk = sad baby. This was a revelation to me after about five days of not really eating because I was 'too busy feeding the baby'. In the end I was even eating through the night, and now I drink nearly a litre of water overnight and DS is nearly 8 months (still bf)!

There's some great advice on this thread.

Windsorwag Thu 16-Apr-15 21:05:29

How to stop breast feeding when you have made the decision to do this. There is absolutely no information on this, and at some point we all have to do it. I found it incredibly hard and had no idea of the hormonal response I would have to stopping! More info on this from HVs would be welcome.

EmilyCHN Thu 16-Apr-15 21:10:54

Buy the nicest nursing tops/dresses you can afford so you feel like you look good, and that the "goods" ate still easily accessible. Nothing more frustrating than being in public with crying baby, trying to unhook nursing bra and establish a feed whilst fumbling through layers of tops!

MrsNuckyThompson Thu 16-Apr-15 21:10:55

Cluster feeding - that it is hard but does end

The signs of thrush. We battled it for weeks at the start and I nearly gave up. Hell on earth, far more painful than mastitis, much harder to treat and GPs are often ignorant about it.

The fact that at the start (esp if you're dealing with tt, thrush, bad latch etc etc) it is definitely NOT going to feel like the most natural thing in the world

The rubbish level of support and that if you need help you may have to seek it out or even pay for it.

Oh, and that it is the most wonderful, beautiful, rewarding, satisfying, lovely, gratifying, pride-inducing thing you'll ever do.

RugBugs Thu 16-Apr-15 21:10:55

That cluster feeding can be an absolute bitch but is normal and no you don't have to top-up (and in fact it won't help them go longer between feeds).

blacktreaclecat Thu 16-Apr-15 21:16:39

Some babies just can't do it and it isn't mums fault. Early babies particularly - DS just wanted to sleep and had no instinct or anything to latch. We knew he'd be early so could have been better prepared. No one mentioned expressing which could have been an option. I wish beforehand we had been set up with how to source a hospital grade pump and in hospital given info and help on this as an option. I had a visit from the infant feeding coordinator pre birth and she was as much use as a chocolate teapot (Airedale hospital). Hopefully she has been sacked now and replaced by someone with a bit of sense.
Also a lot more info and help on bottle feeding as this was barely mentioned until we had to do it and were made to feel like 2nd class citizens even though it was no ones fault and poor DS needed it. What bottles, different teats, help on formula prep, positioning, how to get baby to take the bottle (we had to force his mouth open and stuff teat in- it was a 4 handed job!). Where to source emotional support on feelings of failure.

Wigeon Thu 16-Apr-15 21:16:50

Do night feeds lying on your side in bed, and then you won't get awful shoulder pain from poor posture sitting up in bed atnighrt (figured this out with DD2).

Actually, feeding lying down in the day is also good!

Evening cluster feeds = normal.

You never know, it might actually go well! I'd read so many horror stories on here that I was sure it would be excruciating, my nipples would be torn to shreds etc, so I was pleasantly surprised to find neither of those things were true for me!

BucketFullOfDinosaurs Thu 16-Apr-15 22:29:13

I was totally unprepared for cluster feeds. If I'd known to expect them, I think I'd have grabbed some snacks and books and gone to bed with DS for the first few weeks. Instead, I ran round all over the place, had a ton of visitors and was so exhausted I just wanted to cry. Next time round I will make much more time to rest and feed and not much else.

WeAllHaveWings Thu 16-Apr-15 22:34:51

Lanisohl (?). Never heard of the stuff until I found mumsnet. Was a godsend, wish I'd found it 3 weeks earlier as it would have saved a lot of pain and tears.

Happening Thu 16-Apr-15 23:10:14

That if it is uncomfortable you aren't necessarily doing it wrong (& it will become more comfortable over time)

westcountrywoman Thu 16-Apr-15 23:16:48

That it can hurt in the first few days, and that doesn't mean that anything is wrong.
Lanisinoh is your friend!

NorahBone Thu 16-Apr-15 23:18:57

I totally agree with the posters who said it might hurt. All the info I'd been given pre birth said that if it hurts you're doing it wrong. When the 5th or 6th professional says the latch looks fine but the pain is still excruciating it would be nice to know that it could get easier and soon!

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