What advice would you give someone who didn't quite crack BFing the first time?(12 Posts)
DS2 due in a couple of months. To avoid drip feeding and to give a bit of context, DS1 was huge, and we had a traumatic labour and birth. He was too drowsy to latch / feed and was topped up with formula in hospital before he was 12 hours old. My milk took six days to come in. By this time my nipples were bleeding and had huge cracks. I cried through every feed, and switched to formula after a week or so (best decision at the time and I do not regret it for a second).
The reason for this post is that I really am desperate to BF for longer this time around. I'm looking into local support groups / BF cafes etc, stocking up on Lansinoh and reading up as much as possible in the weeks I have left before he arrives.
So, if you could give one piece of advice to someone who didn't get there the first time but is really, really keen to make it work for as long as possible with the second baby, what would it be? Thanks in advance.
Sounds like you're doing all your research. For me, most important was getting help on latch and positioning. I must have asked for advice on latching about 20 times across the hospital volunteers, midwives, and HVs. I got a lot of support because there is funding in my area and I had extra HV visits as I was in a bad place post birth. I also called the LLL helpline.
Oh also wet healing nipples was a life saver in those early painful days. It is a but controversial but worked for me.
Try not to put much pressure on yourself. Feeding my second was a dream but I really struggled with dc1.
Is there a breast feeding specialist at the hospital? I saw one and it helped a lot.
It might not be like the first time. I tried valiantly with DD1 but she never really latched and it hurt, etc, etc. So my milk never really came in and so she was about 60 BF / 40SMA and I really wish I'd started with the SMA sooner b/c she was just hungry and cross.
So I'd say be ready and happy to fill with formula. But also be ready for it all to go right and easily too. Before my second was born I told DH that if it wasn't going well I was going to switch to formula straight away. And of course then DD2 latched like a dream and aside from a few ml of SMA in hospital only ever BF.
I could have written your post. Struggled with bf DD, we lasted 6 days... Now I'm still feeding DS at 18 months.
Advice - get as much help as you can if you need it. Don't be afraid to ask. Friends, support groups, hv, bf advisors etc.. It really does help. If it's hard at the start it does take determination if you want to continue (lol more like bloody mindedness!). You will be much better equipped this time to make whatever decision is right for yous for feeding. Each baby is different, it may just click for you or it may not but enjoy that precious time as you'll never get it back. Good luck, fingers crossed for a joyously smooth easy time!
1. Get the cooling gel pads for breasts. You only need them for a short while but they really help in the first week when your boobs are sore and engorged. If they are very swollen use a warm flannel to aid let down a little bit and just release the pressure. (Or a warm shower for a short time)
2. Use a lanolin based product a month before due date and excessively once breast feeding has started.
3. Get people to check and recheck the position, but beware, even if it's right it can still really hurt at the beginning.
4. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, it's great if you can and want to but I've met too many women who beat themselves up about breastfeeding (including myself). Formula is not evil.
Breastfeeding can just be different second time around.
My first struggled to latch, never latched properly, was hard work to feed and it always hurt. I was a fool though and felt too pressured to give up, so struggled on for 7 bloody months.
My second fed about 40 minutes after arriving and just knew what to do. Still easy 6 months later.
Don't stress about it!!
We had similar issues at the start and dd's blood sugar dropped so she needed top ups, but we were offered donor milk as an alternative to formula.
Might be an option in your area too? We have since added formula once we were home and that works well for us with combi feeding, but The donor milk allowed us to delay the decision until we had had some sleep and could think things through more calmly and decide what worked for us. Up to you, obviously, but it helped us to buy some time whilst things calmed down.
Just try and relax a much as possible.
get some professional help with latch and positioning if you are in pain
VERY importantly, get someone to check for tongue tie - both the normal type and posterior.
DS had a posterior TT and it was freaking AGONY after a while. He was feeding every 1- 1.5 hours and falling asleep feeding as he was wearing himself out. Then waking up hungry and starting over again! Poor thing and poor me! Causing my nipples to be compressed wierdly and "blanching". OW!
After we had his TT snipped, he was like a different baby.
In your situation, try to imagine it is your first time and not worry about a repeat of those problems.they dont sound like they will happen twice so start with a clean slate
Be prepared with lanisoh cream after every feed. Expensive but worth it
Sit in a comfy place and relax your body (like the relax bit at the end of yoga classes) before feeds in the first few weeks. Ideally get someone else to hand you the baby. This is just "ideally" so you are as relaxed as pos
Offer the breast when baby starts to snuffle round. dont wait for crying. It stresses you both out
Dont let baby suckle for hours before milk comes in if it is damaging your nipples (that might go against bf recommendations in the uk but i was told it abroad. I followed their advice - no cracked nips, then later followed uk advice - horrendous cracked nips)
Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate the advice. I definitely agree with those who said not to put myself under too much pressure; I'm really aware of this and will be making sure I don't fall victim to that.
I think you're all right about the second time being totally different. I will also get the baby checked for tongue tie.
What is wet healing?
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