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First time mum - breast feeding

(25 Posts)
Emily1091 Sun 02-Jun-19 19:32:11

Hello I’m not due until December but I am quite keen to breast feed my baby once he or she is here. I have a few questions about breast feeding I know I can ask my midwife/nurse/health visitor but as it isn’t until December just wondered what you guys think?
How often will the baby feed during the first week? Is it recommended to put baby in bed during night time feeds?

I have read on forums that I will need to get use to sitting on the sofa for hours a day and having people bring me drinks and snacks whilst the baby feeds when it wants but I didn’t think it would be like that I thought the baby would cry and I would feed - I thought that was on demand feeding.

When would be recommended to start expressing if I needed to?

Plenty of time yet before I give birth and am actually doing it and I’m not worrying about it at all because what will be and if it does work out then there are always other options such as expressing but I really do want to give it a good go at breast feeding my baby. Just looking for other mums opinions and advice smile

Thanks in advance x

OP’s posts: |
Foxmuffin Sun 02-Jun-19 19:39:33

Your HV will share details of any local breast feeding support groups, definitely go to these even before baby arrives with all your questions for practical advise smile

How often will the baby feed during the first week? Is it recommended to put baby in bed during night time feeds?

baby will feed a lot during the first week, you just need to go with it. It’s not all feeding but some is for comfort. Your breast is the nearest environment to your whomb so baby will make themselves at home. Read about the third trimester.

I have read on forums that I will need to get use to sitting on the sofa for hours a day and having people bring me drinks and snacks whilst the baby feeds when it wants but I didn’t think it would be like that I thought the baby would cry and I would feed - I thought that was on demand feeding.
^thats true re on demand feeding, but you can be nursing for an hour or even more.
Other than the odd visitor nobody waited on me, so I shouldn’t worry too much but stock up on biscuits and fruit. Things that are easy to eat with one hand.^

When would be recommended to start expressing if I needed to?

the advise is generally when feeding is established at around 4-6 weeks. I started earlier because baby was having no difficulties feeding.

moreismore Sun 02-Jun-19 19:41:15

Have a look on Kellymom.com and also la Leche league if you haven’t already

ReganSomerset Sun 02-Jun-19 19:42:18

How often will the baby feed during the first week?

Every couple of hours at least with some cluster feeding where they won't get off the boob, particularly in the evenings.

Is it recommended to put baby in bed during night time feeds?

Not recommended, no, but you can if you follow the safer co-sleeping guidance. Have a google.

I have read on forums that I will need to get use to sitting on the sofa for hours a day and having people bring me drinks and snacks whilst the baby feeds when it wants but I didn’t think it would be like that I thought the baby would cry and I would feed - I thought that was on demand feeding.

If they cry you've waited too long. You learn to recognise hunger signs before that. My DD never fed for longer than ten minutes at a time, so it varies from baby to baby how long a feed will be.

When would be recommended to start expressing if I needed to?

No bottles before six to eight weeks ideally to avoid nipple confusion, which DD got, but you can express straight away. Bare in mind that overexpressing may lead to oversupply issues.

ReganSomerset Sun 02-Jun-19 19:43:32

*bear in mind

Emily1091 Sun 02-Jun-19 20:02:12

Thank you everyone I will take what you e said on board.

I will google hunger signs as well it’s a little bit daunting especially as I’m a first time mum but I suppose tor’s tide makes perfect doesn’t it

Thanks again x

OP’s posts: |
grace7 Sun 02-Jun-19 20:09:48

I wasn't actually going to breastfeed, but I decided to at least try and we got off to a great start and he's still feeding now (1 year on). I found that in the newborn stage I fed him every two hours or so, after his first feed the midwife actually told me to wake him up as he'd just been contented for hours! He never "cluster fed", but I had a lot of milk so maybe that's why. We co sleep as I found we all slept a lot better and it was so much easier for night time feeds, but I always followed safe co-sleeping guidelines - you can find these online!

Congratulations and good luck! thanks

BattenburgIsland Sun 02-Jun-19 20:15:21

Breastfeeding can be very hard in the first weeks but the important thing to remember is that it does get easier as time goes on usually. It takes time for your milk to come in properly. Your baby may feed as much as every hour for the first days to try and stimulate you into producing milk. It may feel like the baby is constantly feeding. It can be very intense. Sometimes babies like to snack so they will feed for a few mins then want a break for a few mins then will want to feed again. I found it really hard with my first because I didnt realise.
It really does settle down after a few months though. It's the same with expressing as well... you may find it much easier to pump milk once your milk production has settled down. So if you find you cannot pump straight away dont be disheartened just leave it a couple of weeks and try again.
If you really want to breastfeed is worth just sticking at it without introducing a bottle for as long as possible to make sure your milk supply has settled down properly. Later on it matters much less if you miss feeds because you've given a bottle etc.. it wont effect your supply as much.

With my second I'd prepared better and I had a next to me crib which made it much easier to feed during the night as all you have to do is roll over and get them. Then place them back once you are done and you dont actually have to get out of bed at all. You can feed lying down in bed, just lay the baby along side you.

It does make you thirsty and hungry and tired and so perhaps that is why people say you'll just be lying on sofa with people bring you food and drink! It is certainly good to stock up on foods you like and frozen meals you can just pop in the microwave so that you always have something to eat nearby and easy to make.

It's really only the first couple of months its tricky... once you get through that it often is not something you worry that much about any more.
With my second it's been so much easier, I was out and about a few weeks in just because I knew what to expect.

Good luck with it and congratulations!

NotSoThinLizzy Sun 02-Jun-19 20:16:49

Mine fed every 45 mins due to tounge tie and reflux cluster fed from 7pm to 2 am 😂 you'll get used to whatever baby has planned. I'm still feeding 2 years on

Whereland Sun 02-Jun-19 20:26:33

Just so you know cluster feeding isn't guaranteed so don't worry that you'll be literally sitting for hours unable to move- this didn't happen with either of mine. In the first week mine tended to feed every two hours, with a feed lasting from 10-20 mins.

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 02-Jun-19 20:33:06

Congratulations smile

I posted this on another thread recently.

youtu.be/OUqRVSeBpY8

I watched it when I was pregnant (all a bit abstract at that point) and then came back to it once DD was here. She had a dramatic arrival and was very sleepy for the first few days and didn’t feed much so the lactation expert in the hospital helped me to wake her up and get her going with the colostrum, she also showed me how to express colostrum which was useful as my milk didn’t come in for 5 days. They still feed before your milk is in bit it’s sticky thick honey-like stuff so harder work for the baby.

The midwife who came out our first day back also watched me feed and gave me some handy pointers so I’ve been very lucky with support. Ask if you need it! Even if you don’t, worth having someone check to support you and your baby.

Having said that, the video still contains the most useful advice I’ve ever come across, the positions, how to get a good latch (I can barely feel her feeding because my nipple’s far back enough, had no nipple pain, cracking etc all), to get them off and relatch again and again till it’s right, and to wait till they’re ready instead of trying to shove it in when they’re not. Sounds obvious but when you’re recovering from birth and feel clueless with a brand new baby in your arms it can be a bit overwhelming so you’re right to think about it now smile

My hospital had massive posters on responsive feeding which I’d never heard of till after she was born. My baby never ever cries for a feed, she usually just sticks her tongue out and I pop her on. It’s much less dramatic than i expected! DH knows her feeding cues too so if he’s got her he just says she’s hungry when I have a sec.

I love the cheap clip down feeding bras from amazon. My baby leaks from the mouth and nose when she’s really going for it so I’ve just bought yet more muslins and I'm never without my huge water bottle.

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 02-Jun-19 20:34:23

Sorry, one more thing is feeding clothes - I didn’t want to buy anything special so joined can I breastfeed in it on Facebook which is great.

Falafel19 Sun 02-Jun-19 21:35:15

Pretty much everything they do once they start to wake is a hunger sign in the first few weeks! Rooting, opening their mouth, clenching their fists, all hunger signs. They feed a lot in the first 6/8/12 weeks, establishing your supply and getting comfort from their safe place, you.

Emily1091 Sun 02-Jun-19 21:56:25

Thank you so much everyone for your advice! Really appreciate it smile

OP’s posts: |
Foxmuffin Sun 02-Jun-19 22:01:05

I second the pp re a next to me crib. Mine isn’t an expensive one but it’s a cozi sleeper and was only £100 or so from amazon.

Mummytoboyxx Tue 04-Jun-19 06:59:48

To add to the above advice have a look at a haakaa pump. It was recommended to me by 3 different mums and it’s great. You stick it on to the breast you’re not feeding from and it collects the let down. My DD is 2 weeks old and I manage to collect about 2oz a day without having to do anything x

SingingSands Tue 04-Jun-19 07:20:16

Some great support here!

I just wanted to add that you don't have to express if you don't want to or need to. I never expressed with either of mine.

My best tip for establishing breastfeeding was to basically build a nest on the sofa and submit to it. Much easier to do with a first baby! Oh, and have a pint of water next to you at all times, breast feeding is thirsty work!

SnuggyBuggy Tue 04-Jun-19 07:31:03

They are all different but I found I was on the sofa for 8 hours a day in the early days. You need some small snacks and juice cartons nearby. I just watched loads of TV

Emily1091 Tue 04-Jun-19 07:36:52

Greet thank you everyone!

Would I need to change breast or just use the one the baby seems to prefer/latch onto best?

I’ve been looking at some electric pumps but I’ve heard of nipple confusion and I don’t want to confuse my little one so early x

OP’s posts: |
smeerf Tue 04-Jun-19 07:41:12

I wouldn't worry too much about preparing - I found none of what I read really "clicked" until I had him in my arms. He fed for hours at a time and often, so I had lots of time to do research on my phone while feeding him to answer any questions I had.

One thing I would recommend is finding your local breastfeeding cafe - this is a drop in support group run by lactation consultants in the area, usually for 2 hours once a week. I was at my local one the morning after we came home for some tips on how to deal with my sleepy baby (basically how to wake him up and keep him feeding). The lactation consultants generally know more than midwives about feeding as this is their speciality, especially tongue tie and other issues.

smeerf Tue 04-Jun-19 07:43:04

100% change breast, at first I did one feed per breast as they were so frequent. Now he's older I move him to the other breast halfway through the same feed.

Not to scare you but if you only use one the other one will dry up/stop producing as much milk and you'll be lopsided (a friend is still lopsided now and her youngest is 10!)

MilkLady02 Tue 04-Jun-19 07:52:58

My baby is 4 months and EBF. In the first 6 weeks or so I did feel like a feeding machine! The hours on the sofa for me were due to the fact DS fell asleep in my arms immediately after feeding. If I tried to transfer to crib he would wake and immediately want feed/comfort again, so it was easier to stay in one place and let him sleep on me, then feed again when he woke! This doesn’t happen so much now he’s older, but does have phases of cluster feeding every few weeks. (He will feed little and often, maybe every 40 mins for a few hours.) But this is now the exception rather than the norm, thankfully! I just found it trickier than expected to do anything between feeds when he was very tiny and the only place he would really settle was on me! If you have a baby like this just go with it, it does stop eventually! Good luck and congratulations!

burritofan Tue 04-Jun-19 08:00:07

My haakaa is in the post and I am excited about it!

OP, my baby is 6 weeks today – baby tracker non-pattern attached – the orange stripes in pic are feeds (she's EBF on demand), blue is nappies. I didn't include the sleep because it might terrify you grin But this is why I spend a lot of time on the sofa or in bed.

As well as building a nest with snacks, hydration, muslins, remote controls and battery pack for your phone, I would say: don't bother with a nursing bra for days at home, just a stretchy vest you can pull aside. But also: shower! Even if the baby yells its head off (take the Moses basket/pram/bounce to the bathroom), shower. I felt so much better about 9 hours on the sofa when I was clean than when I could smell myself.

Good luck, you'll learn the cues quickly! Don't be surprised by "witching hour" feed where your lovely sleepy snuggly baby yells at your boob, thrashes when latched, and punches it. hmm

firstimemamma Tue 04-Jun-19 08:12:21

Hi op, I'm breastfeeding my nearly 10 month old ds and I'm a ftm.

How often will the baby feed during the first week? Is it recommended to put baby in bed during night time feeds?

My baby fed every 1-3 hours for the first couple of weeks. At night I sat up in bed propped up with a pillow. I had bedside snacks too (not the best for my teeth but as a short term thing I didn't see the harm).

I have read on forums that I will need to get use to sitting on the sofa for hours a day and having people bring me drinks and snacks whilst the baby feeds when it wants but I didn’t think it would be like that I thought the baby would cry and I would feed - I thought that was on demand feeding.

My experience- my ds started to demand to feed around 2 weeks old. Before this I made sure he went no longer than 2-3 hours without a feed. This sometimes meant physically waking him up to feed him. This is advised by midwives.

When would be recommended to start expressing if I needed to?

I wouldn't until baby's at least 6 weeks old (google nipple confusion also your supply is establishing).

When I was pregnant I attended an information class run by my local bf support group (which I also went to when ds was a newborn) and my fiancé attended too so that he could learn how to best support me. I also read bf for dummies and bought some things to make my life easier e.g nursing pillow, big water bottle. I also watched Emily Norris BF tips on YouTube and found it very useful. Everyone is of course different but thus is just what I personally found useful. Good luck smile

firstimemamma Tue 04-Jun-19 08:14:32

This not thus!

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