If you could compile a 'helpful hints' leaflet on breastfeeding...(53 Posts)
...what would it look like? My SIL is about to give birth to DC1 and I’d love to support her in breastfeeding but don’t want to come across as pushy/know-it-all.
I was thinking something like:
1. Feed on demand, all day and all night if required
2. Lie down in bed to feed, don’t even bother with cradle hold
3. If baby cries: boob
4. Feeding at night boosts supply
5. Baby needs to take a huge ‘bite’ in order to latch on
6. Don’t time/space feeds, this will happen naturally (eventually)
7. If none of the above is working, or breastfeeding is horrifically painful, get checked for tongue tie
8. Www.kellymom.com is the bible
It's one of the hardest things I've ever done but persevere because it does get better!!
Oh and lansinoh
If in doubt, eat the cake. There's a time for restraint. Breastfeeding a newborn is not one of those times.
Oh, and when at home, don't sit down for "a quick feed" without a drink, your phone and the remote control in teaching distance!
Responsive feeding not feed on demand. She needs to be aware of early feeding cues and respond to his needs rather than waiting for a strong "Demand".
Totally normal for there not to be significant amounts of milk for first several days. Baby will not starve but needs to feed frequently to "place the order". Baby (probably) doesn't need formula top ups whatever size they were born.
Focus more on what's coming out than trying to "measure" input. If baby is weeing, pooing, you can hear them swallowing and weigh-ins show weight gain you are doing fine.
I spent about a week doing the stupid "19 minutes on left boob at 3.43am" thing, what a waste of time and sanity that was.
Not encouraging maybe, but don't worry if it is still painful after a few weeks. I was sore for five weeks but it was so worth persevering with and it's so easy after a while. Still feeding at 15 months, it's too convenient to give up yet!
Also, don't be afraid to use nipple shields. Don't let anyone put you off using them. Without them, I couldn't have fed my daughter. She weaned off them at four months, of her own accord.
I could never master lying down feeding.
I think any prescriptiveness about positions is a recipe for disaster tbh. Better off emphasising it's possible for everyone to find a position to feed in that is comfortable for both them and baby, and that might take a little trial and error to find.
Don't listen to any midwives who tell you you have to feed in <set position>. They likely know fuck all about bf.
Don’t listen to “helpful” advice. You will get people tell you that maybe he’s hungry, your milk isn’t rich enough, how do you know he’s had enough, he should be going longer between feeds, if he’s not sleeping at night it must be your milk.
As well as the pushy give him a bottle because i want to feed him brigade, it’ll help others bond, you’re being selfish, it’ll give you a break, be easier...
Then the people who will concernedly ask of you would like more privacy, why don’t you feed in the toilet?
I'd add don't be surprised if at the start it hurts. I remember feeding DD1, and all the books said it didn't hurt. It bloody did. I had the whole world and his dog looking at my tits to see that I had got the latch right (I had) and it made me really stressed and anxious that I was doing it wrong.
Thankfully, my midwife said it can hurt (big boobs + small mouth can cause problems). That saved me. I was so close to giving up, because I thought I was doing it wrong. After a couple of weeks, we got into the swing of it, and I ended up breastfeeding DD1 until she was 18 months.
Make sure you eat and drink plenty; get someone to stock up on food you can eat with one hand and a water bottle
Find your support system before you encounter problems - whether r that's an Internet forum, breastfeeding support group, national helpline, or a helpful SIL who's been there before maybe include links to helpful websites (MN, kellymom, drugs in breastmilk info) and the helpline numbers as well as locations and times of local groups if you know them.
The more you feed the more you make. Empty breasts make milk faster, full breasts make milk slower. Boobs don't need time to refill. You always make milk on demand even if your breasts feel soft and deflated.
It's normal to experience a supply dip at around 3 months as this is your milk changing from hormone based to demand based supply. Some women get a gradual change and some experience a sharp difference but it's okay and not to worry about.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you decide to give a bottle evert now and again it's not an issue. Do what works for you. Supply can be regained. Do be aware of how supply and demand works and that your baby will want more milk when they are building up for a growth sport and your body is built to respond. So to protect breastfeeding keep bottles either consistent (using breast for fluctuating or changeable feed patterns) or just infrequent.
Not all hcps are trained in breastfeeding knowledge. Double check advice.
Pain in the beginning - 10 10 rule. Count to 10 seconds or 10 sucks and pain should subside, if it doesn't, seek help. This initial pain should last no longer than about 10 days, if you're still getting in tial pain on latching after this and it's not improving seek help. Pain isn't inevitable and you don't have to push through it. Lansinoh, free boob time, breastmilk can all help bleeding nipples heal.
I'm sure you'll ret loads of suggestions on here but I'd encourge you to keep the list short - 5 most useful points perhaps with directions on where to find further info. Anything longer makes bf feel scary and difficult to get right and you won't want to scan through all of it in a crisis.
Nipples Shields can indeed be a savour but I'd say not to use them as a preventative or to mask the normal 10 second 10 day pain, because their use can also cause issues. Fine if you're struggling big time and have issues anyway, less helpful if your current problems will abate with time.
Number one on the list should be CLUSTER FEEDING IS COMPLETELY NORMAL!
Seriously, I've heard so many women say they don't think they're producing enough as baby wants to constantly feed in the first few weeks. Plus a baby's stomach is tiny so it's natural for them to feed little and often. That's how you up your supply.
Breastfed babies can need winding. Was told by a (quite adamant) NCT breastfeeding counsellor that it was unnecessary, which made my DS very uncomfortable with wind in the first few days as I chose to believe her
Go into it with an open mind and can do attitude.
I disagree about feeding lying down and not bothering with the cradle hold totally - it's important to find the position you're comfortable with, not the one someone else liked! I breastfed 3 kids for over a year each but couldn't make feeding lying down work with newborns, only managed it with older babies of 5 months plus. Cross legged on sofa with back support and cushions was how I finally cracked breastfeeding dc1, and also found easier with subsequent newborns post caesarean section.
You can establish breast feeding after an emergency section, anyone who says you can't may have had a difficult experience themselves but even if so, they are incorrect to try to extrapolate from that to insist that's the norm. In fact a section makes positioning a bit awkward but otherwise is totally irrelevant to breast feeding.
Has she actually said she wants to breastfeed?
Oh, and what queen said! Same counsellor fondly spoke of cluster feeding as settling down with your partner for the evening with a DVD and a takeaway for 4 hours of feeding your newborn. Didn't quite prepare me for the 7pm-8am cluster feed my DS decided was necessary for his first growth spurt (about a week old).
If in doubt about what a baby is crying about, BF. It's like a reset button for babies. If they are hungry, cold, warm, sleepy, poorly, want affection, building up to a big poo, constipated (when older and weaning). BFing will sort all those issues. It's amazing.
I think it would be a bit strange to offer her a list of tips. Unless of course she's asked for one.
I wouldn't do a leaflet for her but let her know you're there for her
Wonder weeks app is apparently great, outlines all growth spurts.
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