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How can I prepare for BF? If poss?......

(23 Posts)
mum2oliver Tue 20-Feb-07 16:14:06

Is there a way I can prepare for Bf before baby arrives (due3weeks)?
I tried to BF with ds but failed miserably after trying for a week and a half with the most abrupt and unhelpful midwives you could come across.
It really upset me and made the first few weeks of being a new mum really awful.i cant bare to feel like that again.I dont think I will because Iv learnt from it.
Just wondering if there is a cream that can help my nipples be better prepared?

KathyMCMLXXII Tue 20-Feb-07 16:25:10

Hi Mum2Oliver.
I don't think there's much you can do to your nipples, though once you've started, Lansinoh is great to stop them drying out.

The best preparation you can do is probably to read as much as you can about breastfeeding (there is a good website called, you could get a book, or just read through a lot of the old bf threads on Mumsnet). Also equip yourself with the numbers for helplines so you'll have them to hand if you need them.

You will find lots of support on Mumsnet, both from other mothers who've been through it and qualified bf counsellors who really know their stuff.

gigglinggoblin Tue 20-Feb-07 16:32:49

my mum reckons you should stretch your nipples in advance so it isnt as much of a shock for them. whether or not it helps the whole nipple twiddling thing is worthwhile as its supposed to encourage labour aswell.

might sound stupid, but i have found having a sterilizer, bottles and a couple of cartons of formula at the ready helps me. i find if i plan for the worst case scenario it usually doesnt happen and it just takes the pressure off a bit. i dont thinks its recommended until bf is established but i like to know that if for some reason i cant do a feed (like when i got raging mastitis at 9pm on a sunday with ds2) the world isnt going to end!

good luck

determination Tue 20-Feb-07 16:45:08

You could get a set of Silverette If you have really sensitive nipples these can be used to prevent them form cracking and also used to help them heal if cracked..

Definately 2nd gigglinggoblin's suggestion about stretching the nipples and preparing them for feeding.

Elasticwoman Tue 20-Feb-07 16:46:15

Sorry you had such a bad time before. Not all mws know much about bf. Some auxiliary nurses know even less. The best way you can prepare is mentally and on your birth plan, what you are and aren't prepared to allow.

*Things that can help establishment of bf:*

FAITH on the part of the mother, in her own body. Things are usually easier second time round

delivering baby on to mother's stomach
(not whisking away soon as born)

putting new baby to the breast soon after birth, ideally within 2 hours (full feed not essential, just a quick latch on is enough)

mother putting baby to breast herself (ie 'hands off' approach from midwives)

feeding on demand (not by the clock)

*Things that can hinder establishment of bf*

forcing baby on to breast when baby not interested eg when asleep

introducing a bottle (of any liquid whatsoever)

baby being affected by drugs used during birth. Entonox (gas and air) doesn't affect the baby, but pethidine and epidural drugs do.

sweetheart Tue 20-Feb-07 16:51:17

I had trouble bf'fing my first but managed with my second after a difficult start due to a tounge tie. I would recommend reading up on the technique (breastfeeding is not something mothers instinctivly know how to do - it's a skill to be learnt)

Also find out if your hospital has a breast feeding clinic that you can go to. I went 3 times with my ds and spent about an hour there each time with the bf councellor making sure I was getting him latched on properly.

Make sure the midwives are aware of your wish to bf and your concerns and get them to help you with it whilst you are still in the labour ward.

Also speak to your midwife about your concerns so that when she comes to do your home visits once the baby arrives she can give you lots of help and support.


sparkymummy Tue 20-Feb-07 16:55:05

I borrowed loads of books from library, made sure I had bfeeding helpline no's handy, and then was a right pain with midwives asking for loads of help with latch. Not sure if they helped me really as they each say something different. The best person I found was the bfeeding councellor at my local clinic and the weekly bfeeding group where mums meet up, have a hot brew (something I didn't get many of in first few weeks) and have a moan at and get help from other mums. Def worth checking if there is one near you and force yourself to go and give it a try... I was worried it'd be a sort of AA type meeting but with women getting their boobs out but I really love it, and am now one of the mums with oldest babies there! I also found that an avent hand breast pump was a godsend in first weeks when boobs started to look like Jordans and were as hard as footballs. Hubby reserved it on Argos online at 3am when DS was a few days old and then was there at opening to collect it!!!! Good luck, I found it really hard in first weeks, and had one good midwife who said that if I could hold out for 2-3 weeks I would crack it, it took a bit longer than that but now its second nature!

hunkerlemonandsugarmunker Tue 20-Feb-07 17:01:13

Some good advice so far - just want to ask GigglingGoblin though - why couldn't you feed when you had mastitis?

(You're statistically less likely to bfeed if you do have formula in the house, but only you know if you are likely to give it under pressure).

Muminfife Tue 20-Feb-07 17:01:36

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Muminfife Tue 20-Feb-07 17:04:04

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KathyMCMLXXII Tue 20-Feb-07 18:11:48

If you do buy bottles, breastpump, nipple shields, or anything else in advance, make sure you don't take them out of the packet and keep the receipt so you can take them back if you don't use them.

mum2oliver Tue 20-Feb-07 19:16:34

Thanx guys this is all great though our hosp doessnt have the best maternity dept.I doubt they even read the birth plans!My dh knows how I feel and he is VERY assertive.

mum2oliver Tue 20-Feb-07 19:19:32

Thanku muminfife have just bid on this book on ebay.

Muminfife Tue 20-Feb-07 19:23:46

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Muminfife Tue 20-Feb-07 19:30:08

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Elasticwoman Tue 20-Feb-07 19:48:39

Birth plan isn't just for the hospital, it's for you and dh too.

mum2oliver Tue 20-Feb-07 20:04:49

Oh I realise that and I have filled it out really well and its all been discussed with dh as I suffer with spd too so I have those concerns as well.
Its the new book on ebay so thats good.x

gigglinggoblin Tue 20-Feb-07 20:12:38

lots of people have said it helps to feed more with mastitis, but i didnt realise what it was or that it was going to get so bad so put off going to docs and in the end couldnt touch my breasts at all, they were so painful. no way i could let a baby near them, couldnt even wear a bra or t shirt. i bf ds3 exclusively til he was 3 months, just the odd formula feed if i went out (rare!) then 2 or 3 feeds a day til he was about 1. so i dont feel the need to use formula cos its there, it was genuinely helpful to know i had a back up. have never been able to express more than an ounce for some reason, the milk must be there tho as ds3 is proof!

Muminfife Tue 20-Feb-07 20:16:48

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Olihan Tue 20-Feb-07 20:23:02

I didn't manage to bf ds1 or dd, this time I read masses on here, asked lots of questions, talked to an NCT bfc while I was still pg and just decided to give it my best shot.

The best advice I got was just to take it one day at a time. Whenever I've felt like it's all going wrong I've said I'll add in some formula tomorrow but by then it's got better. I'm now 7 weeks in and I'm nearly ready to say it's going well! Haven't had to resort to any formula either.

I would also contact a bfc as soon as you feel like it's not working very well. If it's a problem with your latch then you need to get it sorted asap and a bfc is properly trained to spot what's wrong, unlike most mws and hvs.

JodieG1 Tue 20-Feb-07 20:28:02

I remember reading that women who expect breastfeeding to work tend to succeed more than the ones who don't. Personally I wouldn't keep formula in the house or bottles as the temptation to give in and use it would be higher knowing there was another option.

I'm breastfeeding ds2 now and I also express which is working well. I've had mastitis a couple of weeks ago and felt like I was dying, very fluey and ill but the antibiotics made me feel better within a day or so. I did cary on feeding through the pain and it did hurt, almost had me in tears but I believe carrying on helped.

I think believing you can do it plays a big part and also reading and learning as much as you can. Hope it works for you

gigglinggoblin Tue 20-Feb-07 20:37:52

think i havent explained myself very well.. i dont mean keep formula in the house cos then its easier to give up bf if you want to, i have some in because then i am not the only one who can feed the baby and it just makes me feel like there is less pressure. a bottle every now and then didnt do any harm but did give me some very important time off. if i had to be the one feeding the baby all the time it would not make me feel good about it all, it would become a job that must be done, not an activity i chose because i enjoyed it. i dont want to force myself to bf against my will, so its not a matter of giving in to temptation and using the formula, its a case of using it if i want to. i find if i am relaxed at something then i am more likely to succeed, if i must do something i dont enjoy it and am more likely to fail.

i can see the point that others have made, so obviously my approach isnt for everyone, but i do think that 2 or 3 bf a day to the age of 1 is pretty successful! if i manage it this time round i will be very pleased with myself

JodieG1 Tue 20-Feb-07 21:13:13

I know what you mean about time off, could always express ahead of time though. I've been expressing once a day so there's always about 4-5ozs in the fridge or even 2 or 3 bags/bottles. Worth trying I think before the ff if possible and if you want to.

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