What would have liked to know about breastfeeding?(83 Posts)
I have 10-15mins tomorrow to talk to a group of expectant mums about breastfeeding...
What would you have liked to know about it prior to having your baby? What would have helped and what let you down?
That on night 2 they feed all night and this helps stimulate your milk to come through! I went to the NCT breastfeeding session and read a bit about breastfeeding - it was never mentioned!! I thought I was doing something wrong.
I think the information I received at breastfeeding workshops was all the nice stuff and information about the benefits. Nobody told me how it would be tough for the first few weeks (painful until latch was perfected, hours and hours spent feeding etc.) and there were times when I thought it was going badly or I was doing something wrong, when in fact it was all perfectly normal just not what I was expecting. I guess they don't want to put people off from trying to breastfeed, but actually I think if people were expecting certain teething issues then they would be more confident in breastfeeding when it came to it.
I agree with well. I remember thinking I was doing it wrong because I was up all night when actually she was just getting my milk in. I also would have liked to know about what helps for sore nipples. Things like shields, expressing when your boobs are engorged, nipple creams etc. Cluster feeding too.
I did the nct breastfeeding talks and they wouldn't talk about the negatives. I asked about breast pumps and they said they couldn't discuss it.
That it's not just about food/milk. And what the posters above said.
About 5 days for milk to come in after c section, babies howling as hungry but the more they are on breast quicker milk arrives.
Fore and after milk, fore quenches thirst, after has more fat in it and fills them up so keep on one side to ensure they get the whole meal.
Latch takes a while to get right
Learn about tongue and lip tie as lots of babies have it but are not checked for it, making a proper latch hard
dark green cabbage leaves, slightly bashed with rolling pin, stuffed down bra works wonders for mastitis
Put breast in basin of hot water and massage to clear blocked ducts, also massage from armpit/ body towards nipple while baby feeding to help unblock the duct
Pump after every feed to get enough for DH to do a night feed while you get sleep
Dream feed - 10pm feed while they are fast asleep, lift from cot and put to breast, they just feed while sleeping, no need to wind
Lansiloh cream great for sore nipples
Drink a pint of water at each feed
Put hot water bottle in crib so their bed is warm to snuggle back down in once fed
It's easy after a while and good way to rest and doze off while they are feeding
Change nappy half way through a feed
That it's really really tiring in the first weeks. That the crazy cluster feeding is totally normal and doesn't last forever and doesn't mean they're not getting enough. That not being able to express much is not necessarily an indicator of a low supply.
I too feel that antenatal classes etc gloss over the hard stuff to avoid putting people off but I would've appreciated being equipped with that knowledge beforehand.
As above really. No one told me about cluster feeding or how difficult it was in the early days or where to get help. I watched a lot of you tube videos regarding what a good latch looks like.
That the let down can be quite uncomfortable sometimes. And the after pains when feeding can be really bad. But don't go scaring them too much with my negativity! It's the most amazing thing I've ever done, feeding my child and keeping her alive all by myself! Oh also drink loads of water at beginning.
That it takes time for you and your baby to perfect the technique
When you get latch right it won't hurt but in first days/weeks it might because you need to get used to it and so does baby
If it's not working get help don't just agonise
You will spend a lot of time feeding - give into it
Eat well and drink loads - keep a bottle of water next to all the places you will feed so you don't find yourself stranded, thirsty Ang with no one to get you a drink
That 8-12 feeds sounds like a lot, but it will actually be more like 20 and this (along with cluster feeding) is normal and doesn't mean you don't have enough milk.
That the national bf helpline is excellent.
It hurts! Even when the latch is good, for the first few weeks it hurts. I only realised that it had stopped hurting at 5 weeks with DS1. But once you get through that it makes life so much easier than making bottles.
And as PPs said about cluster feeding (may as well get comfy and get used to it, though I used a dummy with DS2 and we didn't have it anything like as bad), and engorgement.
BFing past 6 months/a year/till 2 or beyond isn't weird or exclusively for the lentil-weavers.
Also, BFing and working can be ok, it was possible to pump and give BM exclusively till after 6 months and then to mix-feed afterward. Work needn't limit the decision to BF.
Oh, just seen another PPs comment on after pains. Had none with DS1 so possibly not relevant to your talk but with DS2 it was like labour all over again. Woah!
And once you can confidently latch on discreetly, BFing out and about is a lot less faff than making/taking bottles.
That your supply may seem to drop slightly at about 8 weeks but it's just your body self-regulating and no cause for alarm.
That it's not (necessarily) quite as free as you might think. A br-feeding mum might spend a small fortune on feeding bras (you need several as they get drenched and smelly), night bras (again, you need a few), breast pads, pump and bottles, washing wet bed sheets and clothes, buying suitable clothes if your existing ones didn't really work with br-feeding.
Yup, that it's really hard work at first.... but it does get easier and is so worth persevering with as it's so much less faff than bottles etc!
That the foremilk/hindmilk thing is often misunderstood and you don't need to try and engineer feeds to get to the hindmilk. (As long as you're feeding on demand).
Definitely mention after pains, they were an unpleasant surprise.
That all the work with breastfeeding is front loaded, it's a lot of work to begin with but gets easier and easier.
OP, careful you don't put your expectant mums off the idea of br-feeding
I would have wanted to have known about cluster feeding
That breastfeeding can cause afterpains that reduce the size of the uterus.
Signs of mastitis (or leaflet about it)
Explain that with breast pumps, anyone with boobs bigger than a D cup will require a bigger sized thing that you put your boob into (the name has left me)
That it can be so painful for the first couple of weeks, but that the pain will stop so don't give up too soon if you find it tough in the early stages.
Everything I had read told me that if you are breastfeeding properly then it won't be painful. This is just not true!
That it gives you an ace way to comfort your baby. Having BF two I can't imagine not having breast feeding as a way to comfort them when they have to have jabs etc. It's not exclusively about food.
That you really need a supportive partner or a fricken superwoman cape to BF. There is no schedule no rhyme or reason with on demand feeding. Someone has to bring you food/water while you sit on the sofa with your boobs out. There can be no expectations of routine in the early weeks.
That it would mean putting my older child a far second for a good couple of weeks because I had to do the feeding. But it did make for a closer relationship between DH and DC1.
If it you crack and bleed INSIST someone else checks for tongue tie/lip tie. If the latch it sorted it really should hurt.
That after you get going for a few months it get MUCH easier.
That there are very good health reasons to BF. Sometimes these seem to be minimised to make FF mums feel better. But it ain't the same for health outcomes. So when you are cracked and bleeding you remember why the hell you are doing this!
Thank you everyone! I'm speaking at a class with others who will talk about different aspects of baby rearing, I only have a small slot so I don't think I'll focus on too many of the negatives but definitely things like cluster feeding/waiting for milk to come on etc will help. I didn't know any of that and thought my DD wasn't getting enough.
Definitely cluster feeding and the fact that the number of feeds and length of feed doesn't matter, just to keep feeding.
Also that co-sleeping and BF lying down is the way to get the most sleep!
To be aware of the resources and groups available to help you in your area. I was refused any help in the hospital and the midwife who visited me was too busy. If it hadn't been for the breast feeding groups, La Leche league/NCT and a private lactation consultant I would never have managed it.
Definitely cluster feeding but put a positive light on it - to be prepared, have a comfortable spot in front of the tv with lots of box sets and drinks and food to hand. It is a lovely time with baby if you aren't expecting each feed to be the last and thinking of all the other things you want to do
That it is really painful, even with a good latch - and that pain lasts for 3-4 weeks. I was constantly told that if going well, there should be no pain and was so worried when I was still in pain at 4 weeks but it was totally normal.
...But somewhere between 5 and 7 weeks, you will turn a corner and it will become the easiest thing ever. So convenient not to worry about bottles, sterilising etc. So easy to leave the house too.
And a major positive - you loose all your pregnancy weight so quickly when breastfeeding. Was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans at 4 weeks (despite eating like a horse)
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