Breastfeeding. How to?(13 Posts)
So I'm expecting dc2, and am wanting to try breastfeeding. I bottle fed dd from birth by choice, but as she got to about 3 months when it was too late I regretted not trying to breastfeed.
What I am asking is last time my milk didn't come in until about a week later because of a severe pph, would I have been able to breastfeed at that point or before? Is it possible to bottle feed in hospital if I have a pph again (possible because of lower iron again, though I am taking supplements) and then when milk comes in to breastfeed? Or does it not work like that?
You will have colostrum in your breasts before your milk comes in, its a thick sweet substance which is designed to nourish your baby in its first few days. Your baby's tummy will be tiny so they only need a tiny bit of colostrum. Them suckling will prompt your milk to come in. You can top up with formula but the more your baby breastfeeds the more milk your body makes in response to the demand.
(I know there are some women who can't make enough milk for various reasons but generally this is how it works.)
I know that some ladies bottle feed until their milk comes in as colostrum is viewed as 'dirty' milk.
So with that in mind I'd say that yes- you should be able to breastfeed still.
If that happens I would still put baby to the breast as much as possible even if bottle feeding.
Great thanks for your advice. I'm really keen to try it this time so I will take bottles into hospital just for back up in case something goes wrong again. Think I may ask the midwife about breastfeeding classes for pregnant people (hope they exist!)
See if La Leche League has groups near you. They will support you pre and post partum.
They will also probably encourage you to read 'the womanly art of breastfeeding '. I'm sure it's an amazing resource, but it's bloody massive and I didn't have the time or energy to read it when baby came along. Maybe if you borrow it from the library now you'd be able to pick out bits that are relevant? For me- it became a coaster
It is a terrific book if you can get past the airy fairy nonsense in the first chapter OP if you get it, read the bits on newborns and small babies - chapters 3 to 8 will tide you over for the first few months.
It is perfectly possible to combi feed with formula if needed then switch to exclusive breastfeeding. I recommend lots and lots of skin to skin and putting baby to breast as soon as you see any cues (in the first 2-3 weeks you may well feel as though all you do is breastfeed!). I believe you can take supplements such as fenugreek to help milk supply (not taken it personally) plus porridge oats and drinking lots of water can help too. Pumping regularly is also a way to encourage your milk - it can be quite hard work so definitely get recommendations from people who have pumped successfully. A midwife told me electric pumps can stimulate milk production faster than hand pumps and certainly caused over-supply issues for me so perhaps are a better choice if supply is a concern. You can also combi feed long-term; there are lots of bottles made with breastfeeding in mind these days to avoid nipple confusion and I know lots of people who have done / are doing this so it is definitely an option (probably what I will do if I have another baby to be honest as ebf is hard work!). Good luck!
my NHS trust certainly runs 'infant feeding' classes, which are mostly bf related
And noone's milk comes in the first few days- but their stomach is so small that colostrum is plenty. It certainly is not 'dirty' milk whatever PP means by that. I've heard it referred to as liquid gold which is probably actually fairer
@arbrighton it's definitely not what I believe either! I'm a massive bf advocate. I just wanted to let op know that it's possible to switch to ebf (or combi) if she becomes too ill to bf in the first few days again.
I probably should have said that some cultures view colostrum as 'dirty ' milk and don't feel it's good to give to baby.
I had a very tough time establishing bf and the lady in the next bed was trying to help me by explaining that she wouldn't give colostrum to her baby- but would bf when her milk came in.
I had an emcs then dd was drip fed initially then bottle in hospital (it was an horrendous birth we both barely survived).
But after we went home I was able with a very supportive midwife to switch from bottle to breastfeeding.
As pp have said milk doesn't come in for a few days anyway. With certain birth types can take longer I've learned.
I was given fenugreek tea in hospital to encourage milk production, no idea if it worked but didn't do any harm.
Took a wee while to get it established but I gather that's not unusual and once we settled into it, it worked well for us.
Unfortunately due to a medical condition my milk dried overnight when dd almost 9 months - that was an interesting day as I had NO bottle feeding bits in as wasn't expecting it and we'd moved house in that time.
Also hopefully no pph this time and it'll all go smoothly for you and the baby.
I understand that your milk usually comes in quicker with 2nd babies...
Thanks everyone for your advice and experiences. Funnily enough now you mention colostrum I remember mine coming in once I got home and woke up in the morning with yellow patches on my white sheets
Really relieved to hear that you can combi feed from birth or start bottle if needed and then swap to breast! Sort of takes the pressure off a bit x
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