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2nd time round BF success stories please...

(16 Posts)
Warandpeas Wed 27-Jan-16 15:08:27

after trying and failing to BF DD1 for a number of reasons (traumatic delivery, severe postpartum health problems incurring long hospital stay) I would love to hear stories of overcoming BF problems with DC2 and tips on what to do better next time. DC2 is due in a few weeks so I want to give it a good go this time.

On reflection I think I have flat nipples and my boobs are enormous so I'm particularly keen for tips in this category - I.e. Do nipple formers and shields help?

All and any advice really appreciated!

Pyjamaramadrama Wed 27-Jan-16 16:11:08

Well, probably not what you want to hear, but I failed at bf ds1 and ds2, I seemed to have the same problem with both which was the latch, it got painful quite quickly. I've also got huge breasts and it just didn't seem to work with the babies tiny mouths.

But, what I will say is I really regret not carrying on, and actually, if I'd just got past all the fog of the newborn stage there were likely no problems that I couldn't have got past.

If I was having another now I'd go to as many breastfeeding workshops as I could before the birth.

I'd have everything I might need to hand, so nipple shields, breastpump, nipple cream, comfy nursing bras.

I'd find out about any local breastfeeding support groups and have numbers for helplines to hand.

I'd ask for help around the house and for help with older dc's.

Day 2 is supposed to be hard as it's a growth spurt day.

I'd get the baby checked for tongue tie.

I'd try to keep hold of the thought that it will get easier and it will be worth it.

I'd sleep when the baby slept and wouldn't let visitors stop me.

There's are lots of experienced bf mums on here who will be much more knowledgable.

Best of luck X

MrsBettany Wed 27-Jan-16 16:26:42

I gave up breastfeeding DC1 between 6-8 weeks and felt terrible about it (despite not having strong bf vs formula opinions before the birth - I blame hormones!). I breastfed DC2 until 18 months.

Main difference was I trusted my instincts and ignored the HVs I'm sorry to say.

I had a difficult first birth and felt v vulnerable and they just banged on about DC1s weight constantly making we so stressed. I never seemed to have enough milk (couldn't express anything) and spent hours logging how long feeds were etc.

With DC2 I was better prepared and when they started about DC2's weight (2nd centile) I was very firm that DC2 was thriving, alert, happy, wet nappies etc - just small, though putting on weight. I told them v clearly that if they had a specific concern re DC2's health I'd be happy to discuss it but I wasn't going to engage in endless weight conversations! They were slightly taken aback but I was polite and firm and they took it on board.

I was much more relaxed and just went with it, feeding on demand. It wan't all easy - the day 10 growth spurt was awful and we had a v late diagnosed tongue tie (16wks) which meant they always snacked and didn't latch 'properly' according to HVs. I did find an excellent bf support counsellor and a breastfeeding 'cafe' through sure start who offered amazing support and really supported me in what I wanted rather than telling me how to get it 'right'. Definitely find out about support in advance - go along while pregnant even to meet them and get comfortable.

It can be done. Saying that, I had also returned to my rational, non-hormonal influenced belief that formula is fine and if bf hadn't worked out I'd have switched without giving myself such a hard time second time round!

Potkettleblack2 Wed 27-Jan-16 16:35:00

I've no help but am really interested in this thread. I tried to BF DC1 for 10 weeks but it never once worked! I obviously had to express but before each feed would try to BF. I had loads of support but it just didn't work.

I had a great milk supply but have flat nipples and one of the BF specialists from the hospital (I had daily visits) eventually recommended nipple shields but they didn't work either. I found it the worst 10 weeks of my life.

I'm pregnant with DC2 now and really want it to work....but I won't go for 10 weeks again-that was too too difficult. I think I'll give it 3-4 weeks and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But I would love to BF this baby so really interested to hear advice!

(On a side note I get so upset when people say everyone can BF as I genuinely don't know what else I could have done-and if I'd continued trying past 10 weeks my mental health would have suffered)

Pyjamaramadrama Wed 27-Jan-16 16:49:24

What wasn't working potkettle? Was it painful or baby couldn't latch at all?

StitchesInTime Wed 27-Jan-16 16:58:11

Gah. Typed a long reply and my tablet has lost it angry

But in summary: tried and failed to BF DS1 for reasons that would take to long to type out again.

DS2 - early troubles with jaundice (on a sunbed for it before 48 hrs), but once that was treated, he was an absolute dream to BF. He knew exactly what to do with a breast and got straight on with it. He's still breastfeeding now at 28 months. The only thing I can put this BF success down to is pure luck in getting a baby that seemed to know how to BF without needing any help.

Definitely agree that finding out about support groups before baby arrives is a good idea, plus finding out how to contact breastfeeding counsellors / advisors if things are difficult. My local La Leche League branch has a FB page that's a great place for getting online support and advice.
If things are difficult or you're finding it painful, make sure to get baby checked for tongue tie.

Potkettleblack2 Wed 27-Jan-16 18:57:42

Pyjama it was the latch. He never once latched! He was tongue tied but even after having that snipped he still never fed from it. It was so frustrating and so hard! Fingers crossed next time will be different!

Warandpeas Wed 27-Jan-16 20:12:50

Pyjama that is a really good list of suggestions, and I'm on the case with a local support group - going down on Friday for a meet and greet. The only thing I can't change is the huge boobs/tiny baby mouth issue - all the BF mums I know around me seem to have small chests so I feel a bit like Dolly Parton in comparison!

Potkettle your story really resonates with me too, well done for doing 10 weeks last time - I didn't manage that long and I also suffered with loads of guilt and then PND over formula (ridiculous now, DD thrived and it allowed me to get better after being very ill). When are you due? I hope things work out better for you next time.

Also my DH is 100% supportive of whatever choice I make but I'm worried if he seems me struggling again he'll encourage me to give up. He absolutely hated watching me breakdown over not being able to BF, so it could be tricky for him.

CottonSock Wed 27-Jan-16 20:18:08

I found medula breastfeeding shield things useful, seemed to help suck out flat nipple and reduce pain. They are available in 3 sizes.

Could you ask your midwife if there is any home support. Where I live you can arrange for home visits and there are clinics held across the city on different days

Pyjamaramadrama Wed 27-Jan-16 20:52:18

Oh that's really tough potkettle sorry to hear you struggled. No one should feel guilty it's easy to think breastfeeding will just come naturally but it doesn't always.

The other thing I wish I'd had is a good wrap type sling, ds2 just would not be put down or held by anyone and at least it would have allowed me to eat or make a drink.

I worried too much about the wrong things like having the house tidy for visitors when actually I wish I'd just taken that time out to rest.

Little things like having some vest tops that you can wear under your usual top for easy access when going out.

Just getting as prepared as possible really as you don't always have the capacity to think straight after birth! Or get to the shops to buy things you need.

BatMobile Thu 28-Jan-16 19:11:23

I failed miserably at BFing DS1. Was horrendous.

I'm now successfully feeding DS2 after doing a lot of pre-birth prep. I booked a lactation consultant to come to my home a week after the birth (she was wonderful and picked up a tongue tie which the hospital had missed). I stocked up on Lansinoh and multi-man compresses (AMAZING little things which saved my nips in the early days) and watched endless videos about latching on so I could get it right straight away. Asked for loads of help in hospital too.

My boobs are huge but once you get the positioning and latch right, it really makes no difference.

Good luck - if you are determined, prepared and have support around you then you will do just fine.

mrsnec Thu 28-Jan-16 19:35:27

Hi op,

I had a traumatic delivery last time and supply issues. I have decided to try again this time but to not beat myself up about it.

I saw dds peadiatrian this week and she gave me a bit of advice. First of all she seemed to think that because I am being monitored more closely this time and the doctors are taking more precautions then I'm unlikely to have another traumatic birth and will therefore have a better supply.

She said I should start using cream now and go without a bra sometimes both things to prepare the nipples.

She recommended those sheilds too and using them now but I didn't get on with them last time.

She also said try as soon as you possibly can after the birth and thinks my problems before could have been because I spent 8 hours in icu before I could feed dd so they'd already given her bottles.

I'm a bit reluctant to go to support groups etc because I know what I'm doing it was purely a supply issue for me. The advice I've had so far this time makes sense but she's also suggested doing a bit of both so feeding from one side then topping up with formula then alternating the other side with the next feed. Not sure I agree with that though.

My dd is only 16 months and can't feed herself yet and I'm nearly 36 weeks so I'll just be doing whatever is most convenient in the end.

Good luck!

cookiefiend Thu 28-Jan-16 19:50:34

I managed in the end to feed DD1, but it was a hard slog with endless problems that probably aren't too relevant to you (though difficult delivery and stuff the same as your first) and endless concern from various NHS professionals that she wasn't gaining weight. DD2 is now 10 weeks and it has been so much better this tole. Like a PP, the biggest thing has Ben having the confidence to shrug off the slow weight gain.

A specialist midwife in BF told me quite last time when DD1 was about three months that the growth chart used factors in all babies, including those who are formula fed who therefore gain faster and more consistently. DD1 was bright and alert and meeting all her milestones. She told me too look around the room at all the adukts- everyone was different shapes and sizes and they were all fine. It gave me the confidence I needed to step away from the scales and I have remembered that this time.

Also just knowing a bit about your own problems which will likely recur (my under supply did) and just knowing what can help. Start in day Jane instead of waiting for problems to arise if you can.

Good luck.

Warandpeas Thu 28-Jan-16 19:51:10

mrsnec that sounds like generally helpful advice from your consultant. DD was a forceps delivery which I think can affect feeding due to the positioning of the forceps - she never latched properly and even bottle feeding was tricky. She had a bit of torticollis too which might have affected sucking. Hopefully I can avoid a repeat scenario this time.

I have a strong aversion to pumping as I was told to double pump every four hours day and night after a couple of days of DD not being able to latch. I expressed so much milk I could have fed the whole ward! Eventually it broke me and my boobs and I couldn't face it any more (esp on top of health probs). I'm really reluctant to express again this time...

mrsnec Thu 28-Jan-16 20:05:52

Well I didn't even attempt to express and still feel the same about that this time too. I'm just thinking if I have the supply I'll use it if not no problem. Another thing they've said is to keep taking vitamins and I've been prescribed extra iron b vits and folic acid and they seem to think this will help as well.

LittleBearPad Thu 28-Jan-16 21:03:50

I utterly failed with DC1. She wouldn't latch on. I was utterly shell-shocked. It just didn't happen.

DC2 I decided I'd give it a go and see what happened. The birth was another induction but less intense than the first and so both he and I were in better shape. He latched on fine and once we cracked position and used a tube or two of lansinoh it was fine. I'm still feeding him at 14 months.

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