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Looking for some breast feeding advice(15 Posts)
Just looking for any experienced breast feeders out there. I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant with my second baby. My son is 14 months old and I didn't have the best breast feeding experience with him. I really wanted to but due to a tongue tie and struggling to express my confidence was knocked so I switched to formula, which at the time was the right decision. I never saw any colostrum/milk despite lots of help with hand expressing so maybe I had a low supply.
I had really good support from the NHS, although I did find that having a different person helping me each time was confusing as they often gave conflicting advice.
This time I really want to make it work, although I'm going to try and be open minded and not get stressed if it doesn't.
I have decided to do as much as I can to help this time:
- Drinking a lot of water (I think I was dehydrated after birth last time resulting in an UTI)
- Eating porridge oats
- I have booked a lactation consultant to support (who can also detect tongue tie)
- I'll take fenugreek capusals
- I'll try Neuners nursing tea (advised by the lactation consultant)
- I might try expressing from 37 weeks as advised by my midwife
Is there anything anyone else can recommend to ensure milk supply? I'm not crazy, I'm just trying to do as much as I can to make it work and if it doesn't at least I've tried my best.
Many thanks xx
Being relaxed will help, I’m saying this with kindness in my heart for you. I struggled with dd1, but dd2 was much better, she was hungry baby and she sucked much better. I think I was more relaxed about it though as I felt I had a bit of an idea of what to expect.
My mum says ‘every baby should be a second baby’ ie often the second one is easier.
Getting tongue tie checked out, getting some advice on latch and positioning and just feeding really frequently from both breasts - 10-12+ times a day at first.
Switch feeding can help boost your supply.
I doubt oats, teas or supplements will make much difference but they won't do any harm either, so if they make you feel more confident then go for it.
I would agree with Downudderer, I struggled to bf my DD and put so much pressure on myself, it was painful and a very unpleasant time. I decided not to breastfeed DS based on my experience with DD but he was a preemie, I was given a lot of support and he had a perfect latch and we are still bfeeding a year on. I put far less pressure on myself and took a more 'what will be will be' attitude. Plus the difference between bfeeding a tongue tied baby (DD) Vs one without (DS) has been as different as night and day. Good luck
there is actually no scientific evidence for either oats or fenugreek and there has been some anecdotal evidence that fenugreek can actually lower supply for some people
Like a PP says, in all honesty relaxing a bit may help you. You sound really well prepped, and although oats/fenugreek/tea etc won't hurt, they're really not necessary. Women globally with hugely diverse diets and in famine zones successfully BF.
The biggest factor that influences supply is a) whether the baby can efficiently transfer milk, and b) whether you restrict access to your breasts. Most new mums actually have oversupply, hence the giant rock boobs of the first few weeks. Obviously I wasn't there with your first and I don't know what the issues were, but many women who think they have low supply either have a baby who isn't transferring properly (tongue tie, bad latch) or are misinterpreting the normal behaviour of a bf baby and are actually fine.
It's definitely good to drink plenty and have a phone number for a good laxtation consultant to troubleshoot any issues. I'd also encourage you to link up with local bf support groups, just so you have some moral support and people who can reassure you about normal behaviour of a bf baby which doesn't necessarily indicate any supply problems.
Thanks so much all.
Totally agree everyone should have a second baby!!
I agree there’s no or little eveidence that supplements/tea make any difference however I don’t have much to lose by trying them apart from a bit of money which is fine. The tea I’ve looked at has excellent reviews on Amazon so I thought why not.
My main worry if that last time I had no sign my son was feeding. No wet nappies, never satisfied after a feed despite the health visitors saying he was latching perfectly. I also never felt full or sore and when I stopped it didn’t cause any problems. That mixed with never seeing anything hand or pump expressed made me doubt my supply, but I could be wrong and it might be different this time.
Will definitely go along to some BF groups and remain open minded. Part of me is thinking why no just formula feed, especially with the added challenge of two under two!!
I would add - loads and loads of skin to skin. Straight after the birth - on the ward and when you get home. Keep the baby on you and let them root! Eat and drink loads and just spend as long as you need sitting on the sofa cuddling your baby and feeding as often as possible. I wish I had done this with DS but he was my first so I was following instructions. Luckily bf still worked out very well and we are still going 7 months later. Congratulations!
Part of me is thinking why no just formula feed, especially with the added challenge of two under two!!
Because once established, breastfeeding will be much easier
Definitely easier if it can work, however the guilt of it not working is massive.
Hoping I can spend a lot of time on the sofa but also have to consider my one year old!
Good luck and I think the consultant is a good idea. Personally I've never hand expressed and don't think I'd get anything if I tried! Have you looked into a Haakaa? It might not help with colostrom but once your milk comes in it might.
How old was your son when you switched to formula?
We gave him some formula when he was a week old but at the same time trying to express and feed and gradually moved to all formula. I can’t rememwber when I decide to stop feeling.
I hadn’t heard of Haakaa but just goodled it and seen it’s a breast pump. I had the Madela one.
I would strongly recommend a book I read and used as a guide when breast feeding my three, now all adults. Breast is Best, by Penny and Andrew Stanaway. I’ve just checked and you can still get it, though not sure if it has been updated.
It explains how breast feeding works and how to overcome problems, in fact much better advice than I ever received from health care professionals.
You can take from it what you want but you will be well prepared and feel so much more confident, especially when we’ll meaning people try to give you advice!
I’m not sure if it’s helpful but I struggled so much with mixed feeding my first and now I’m 12 weeks into EBF DS2 and loving it. My saviours have been drinking lots of chocolate oatly (I love it, plain is fine too ), eating regularly, persevering because I know it won’t be hard forever, just taking it one day or even one feed at a time. Not caring about “snapping back” and nourishing my own body instead. Snacking often enough. I also bought anything lansinoh I could get my hands on! The therapearl hot/cold rings are honestly a life saver. Combined with lansinoh nipple cream it’s definitely made sure I’ve been able to continue EBF this time round and have enough milk. And water as you say. I drink 3 litres a day plus tea etc. Thirsty work!
Congratulations in advance and best of luck xx
Hope things are going well in the run up to the birth thebloodycatwontstop
In terms of what evidence there is, around getting your milk to come in and enough of it:
*drinking water - it is good to be hydrated and respond to your sense of thirst but the evidence shows (there is a systematic review on this) that specifically trying to drink "extra" to make more milk, isn't beneficial. so just as usual, responding to your awareness of what your body needs, is probably right
*Oats - no evidence I'm aware of. but unlikely to be harmful if you generally eat them anyway. good source of nutrition apparently
*LC - good plan!
*fenugreek: no good evidence (that i know of anyway). definitely can be harms with all herbal products, firstly you don't know if they are pure (herbs are not well regulated) and secondly there can be interactions with existing medicines or existing medical conditions. good BF ppl/LCs should not be recommending things like this as there's no good evidence base they work
*nursing tea - don't know about this
*expressing - this is unlikely to be harmful and it's recommended for some women (eg who have diabetes) where hypoglycemia is a risk after baby is born. can be a good idea. make sure you get advice on how to store the collected colostrum and use it after birth. in the past people had raised concerns around "won't this cause mum to go into labour" (due to nipple stimulation) but a study has recently been done showing that this isn't true. so can be safely done.
In addition --
*if you can, aim for skin to skin after the birth. Ideally with mum, but if mum has had a tough birth and can't manage, it can be done with dad.
*aim for guiding baby to breast as soon as possible after the birth - ideally within an hour or so
*try and get as good support as you can to latch baby on in a way that is comfortable for you and hopefully to get baby transferring as well as possible
*get advice on what to look for in terms of baby's nappy output you should be expecting after the birth, to show baby is getting enough milk. also having baby weighed etc to check their milk intake is good.
*feeding responsively - making sure you know baby's cues (crying generally considered a late stage of hunger). things like mouthing, rooting, head bobbing etc. aiming not to schedule feeds, feed when baby seems to be hungry
You said that your previous baby, your milk did not come in, is that right? I am not sure if there is any data around this, as to whether, if a mum had her milk not come in before, whether that predicts the same would happen again with another baby. Literally, I have no idea if the underlying factors would be unique to the previous baby/birth, or would be shared and likely to happen again.
It seems to me that the best you can do is try to have the 'best practice' and support you can this time around, and hope for the best. It doesn't guarantee bf will work for you but it will give you the best possible chances.
I hope everything goes well and you have a great birth and enjoy motherhood!
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