Advice for a FTM to be(21 Posts)
I'm due with my first in a few months and I want to give my best attempt at breastfeeding my son, although will of course accept sometimes it isn't possible. What can I do whilst I am pg to prepare? I have plenty of time to read books etc.
I'm not in the UK and luckily there is good bf support locally- private bf counsellors, a free drop in advice clinic once a week etc but the few friends with children all bottle fed as did my mum so no one to give me advice.
Is there any chance you can go to the drop in clinic before you have your baby and talk to other mothers?
I had a talk from a bf counsellor (just me and another woman) when I was expecting DS1 and it gave me a huge amount of confidence to know how to go about it before I got to that point. I do remember my mother bf younger ones, but it was different to what I remember her doing.
The kelly mom website (kellymom.com) is really good-I got a lot of info off there when pregnant and it helped with specific queries when I had my baby too.
I would just be prepared to feed a lot, when they are newborn they are more on your boob than off and that's normal!
Do a lot of reading so you don't think perfectly normal things like cluster feeding are indications baby isn't getting enough milk. My mum bfed all of us so I grew up just thinking it was normal and easy and luckily for me it was - however looking back now I realise we experienced lots of things other people cited as reasons for stopping only I didn't see them as issues iyswim as I knew they were normal.
The Food of Love by Kate Evans is a really good book. Do as much research as you can (as a PP said the Kelly Mom website is also very good), know as much theory as you can, it will genuinely help.
MN is also really good, I remember MNers telling me ways to encourage a deeper latch, and how to feed lying down.
Thank you! I will definitely go along to the clinic beforehand, and will have a look at the book mentioned. I'd seen kellymom mentioned on other threads.
I've been having a read through the threads on here so I'm starting to get an idea about a few things I need to be mindful of, but I'm glad my hunch of preparing now is a good one.
Any advice on what to say to 'helpful' advice about how hard breastfeeding is? I know from reading on here that it is likely to hurt at the beginning but lots of women then turn a corner, but I genuinely want to try it but i don't want to offend anyone who has chosen to formula feed.
It may be hard in some ways but it's way easier in other ways. Whenever your baby is hungry you have safe milk, right there at the correct temperature. No faffing with making up/washing/sterilising bottles ever. It's totally the lazy option. Saves you a load of money too.
You could have a look at different breastfeeding positions, like these: www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html
I had never heard of, or seen, the laid back position until a midwife showed me it about a week after having my DD, and it was an absolute lifesaver. You can do it at less of a laid back angle too when out and about.
As for the helpful advice...nod and smile, nod and smile! I know everyone's experience is different but I was dreading breastfeeding from what I'd heard, but in the end it didn't hurt at all. Good luck and congrats on the upcoming baby!
What yolandafarthing said - I think it really helps to presume everything is fine and not even consider options other than breastfeeding. Just look forward to lolling around in your pjs feeding and cuddling your baby all day!
Ps. I breastfed with zero issues very happily but as yolandafarthing says when I heard other people saying why they stopped I realised it just hadn't occurred to me to think that feeding all the time was an issue, or that I couldn't move very far without the baby starting to grumble for a boob! I just fed in the ergo on the trot and carried on as per normal.
Lots of snacks and good box sets to keep you going ! YY to Kelly mom. Feeding lying down and co-sleeping were my saviour so may be something to consider
Lots of good advice but also, try and make sure your DP learns about BF and what normal BF looks like so he can be as supportive as possible and doesn't say daft things like 'he can't be hungry again'! Also that he understands you may well be pinned to the sofa for much of the day at first, that feeding the baby is your job- and that his job is to look after you.
Thank you! Some great advice on here, I will show my DH giraffe so he's on board with it.
Pass i have ordered all the Sky channels in anticipation
You could try hand expressing colostrum from about 36 weeks. They say it helps you not go overdue, and can help your milk supply come in quickly (both true for me anyway)! I also stored the colostrum in the freezer in case i had problems feeding initially. Can also donate these. Your midwife should be able to advise on storage and so forth
'The womanly art of breastfeeding ' is a great book to help you prepare and consult once the baby is here
Get a pillow! It massively helped and stopped me getting a dead arm. Some people use special ones. I just used an ordinary one.
Lots of brilliant advice and I totally agree with expecting it to be tough, being prepared for cluster feeding and sitting on the sofa feeding for hours on end.
I thought this video was brilliant to see how to latch baby, I didn't feel any other breastfeeding were anywhere nearly as good.
I second the advice of a pillow. I decided to try and manage with what I had in the house because so many women don't need one but with hindsight, I really with I had just invested in it before. The second I used it, her position and latch was so much better and my shoulders less tense as a result. Also, a good pillow allows handsfree breastfeeding so you can eat while you feed. There are lots and lots available but I personally like Thrupenny Bits best, beautiful and portable pillows.
I was advised not to take formula to hospital 'just in case' and not taking it or having any in the house did help me to keep going. (I'm sure there are others who will disagree and had to go searching for some in the middle of the night so do what you feel is right)
I did find it extremely tough and painful for the first 6-7 weeks but then the pain disappeared overnight and it is the easiest thing in the world now 4 months on and I am so glad I did persevere.
Get a comfy spot on the bed , get a lot of box sets and snacks and just camp in bed for the first few weeks where possible , research safe cosleeping and that helped me loads x
Clear your diary for weeks-months after you are due. Sounds obvious but if you are trying to do stuff/pop places it's difficult to respond properly to what baby needs and this will affect your supply. If you're doing well/once you have gained confidence feeding out you can always make last minute plans to do stuff then.
Mumsnet can be great but also very judgemental on this, so cherry pick the advice and support you need however things go. And be open-minded. Fed really is best.
I had always intended to bf (and did x 2 babies) but also gave birth to one of my DDs abroad and that is relevant. Find out from other mums who have given birth in the same place exactly what it will be like. The midwives did help me a lot in the first 48hrs and luckily I'm not massively shy, but I was a bit taken aback that when they saw how clueless I was, they would literally do the nipple flip for me. And that despite their pro-breastfeeding stance, they also insisted on formula top-ups the moment DD's weight started to drop. Also hospital stay can be longer abroad. So make sure you have what you need. Like a previous poster I found a normal pillow from home the best thing for comfort and support.
The one thing I didn't do that I wish I had, was watch close up videos of latch. I'd read about it loads but really didn't fully comprehend what it would look like. And I also wasn't prepared for it to take 5 full days for my milk to come in. Despite that need for formula top up I then went on to feed successfully, so don't feel like a failure if that happens.
And buy Lansinoh now. Get someone to send it if they don't have it or boots deliver where you are. Use it before you need to. First few days will hurt even if all going well just from friction but nips toughen up fast.
Read a little about tongue tie (including photos although it isn't always obvious). This can be a reason breastfeeding fails and midwives are generally not trained to check for it.
If baby is unsettled and having difficulty feeding with signs of tongue tie (mine could take colostrum but couldn't feed when my milk came in), if at all possible get a private tongue tie practitioner (there is a list) to check and snip if necessary. They will do this same day. NHS waiting lists are so long that most mums would have given up breast feeding by the appointment.
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