What do you which you had been told about BF?(72 Posts)
I am planning to BF when my baby comes along in 7 weeks times to thought I better start to get some hints and tips from people. What do you wish you had known about BF before you got started?
That although it can and often is difficult, there IS help out there! Helplines etc
that even if you do it right, it can still be painful for the first few days/weeks.
That my baby will want to constantly feed for the first few days!
but more positively, after the initial difficulty, it actually became very enjoyable and relaxing.
I wish I had known about MN first time around, and all the support you can get on here.
If it's toe-curlingly painful it means the latch isn't right.
It's natural to feel uncomfortable the first few (dozen!) times you do it outdoors
I bf both mine (still bf DS2 at 12 weeks) and it has been more successful this time because
- I knew that if I persisted my nipples would get less painful, both in each feed and generally across the weeks
- I heard of Lansinoh cream, it's fabulous
- I had support in the hospital and read up a lot on posture etc beforehand
- I used the "rugby ball" technique on one of my breasts until the last two weeks as it suited DS2 better
- I had support at home to take my time over it, I had that last time, but thought I should be superwoman, this time I put the breastfeeding first, even if it meant DS1 being looked after a lot by my DH and my Mum in the early days, it hasn't done him any harm
- I used a rolled up towel/sheet under each boob during the feeds for support
- I didn't panic and was pragmatic. When my milk came in and one boob got engorged, I expressed it off carefully. When DS2 seemed to have difficulty latching, I squeezed my nipple into a sort of oblong shape and he managed it. When I was tired, I closed my eyes while feeding and rested. I told myself that every day I did it was a day that was a success and that if I had to stop it would not be the end of the world.
That cluster feeding is normal, I wish I knew that! I was so worried my milk was not good enough or that the latching wasn't right. I actually saw a bf advisor who told me that if my dd was feeding like that I was doing something wrong because babies don't feed continuously for 5 hours!
Also, I wish I knew that if the baby is bringing up blood, it's probably from your nipple (ouch!), not because they're bleeding inside.
Even though I knew about the importance of latching and sitting up right and all that, I really didn't take it seriously enough (hence the bleeding). It really really is important to do everything to try and get it right from the beginning. And as someone said before, if it's hurting that much the latching is probably wrong and you need to start again. Luckily I had the most amazing mw who held dd with one hand, my breast with the other and showed me how it's done!
I also didn't know how wonderful it is. It is one of the the most special, precious memories I have of those first few weeks and I am imensely proud that I did it (for 17 months!).
That being discharged from hospital does not depend on whether your baby has an established 'feeding pattern'. (I was five days in hosp. after a crash CS and ds just would not, ever, latch on. I felt huge pressure to feed him SOMEHOW so that I could get out of hospital!)
That midwives can give you help to express milk if your baby won't latch on.
That even a few days later, after giving up and using bottles, you can try BFing and it can be established.....
I was very ill after my cs and not in any fit state to assertively demand my rights or to be told how to express, etc. DS would have been breastfed if I'd had more help and if things had been presented differently in hospital.
He's five years old now and I'm still sad about it!
- the helpline numbers and the fact that there are peple available 24 hours a day to help, even if just over the phone.
- that there is suh a thing as toungue-tie, to look for it, and that it can be fixed in a second and make all the difference
- that its a gaillion times better than FF, and some back-up info on that for dp so hed know to support me.
- how to do it lying down so i could get sleep at night (that is a v useful skill, trust me)
- that when you get it right, it really doesnt hurt, and is in fact a really lovely thing to do.
of the top of my head, like.
(1) That it hurts
(2) That although it is natural both of you have to learn to do it -which means it is hard to start with
(3) When you give up in disapear and phone the midwife for help when she arrives the baby will latch on without any trouble and as soon as she does can you do it???
(4) The tirdness
(5) Mastisis - feed through it
(6) Milk going everywhere
(7) When you feed it makes your womb contract - painful and I always needed to change towels either before or just after or I would leak blook!
(8) It is best feelign in the world when it all goes right. Your db looking up at you, making little noises
You do need to stick at it - although I am very pro-bf I can see why people give up after a few weeks, however if they stuck at it for a few more days it does become a doddle.
Ohh I also found nipple sheids invauable - although most mws I met didn't like them, especially at the start. They make it easier to latch on and less painful.
yy what everyone else has said.
the helplines are there to help, i was a bit scared to ring which was rather silly of me. also don't feel you have go into another room to feed, make the visitors go away instead. in fact get some sort of hand and foot waiter / guard dog and install yourself on the sofa. oh and it is entirely normal for a baby to want to feed all evening.
v importantly you don't have to avoid alcohol entirely, a couple of glasses no problem.
sorry about crap typing
number 7 should read:
(7) When you feed it makes your womb contract - painful and I always needed to change towels either before or just after or I would leak blood not blook.
That it is an art that needs to be learnt by both mother and baby and isn't always naturally easy... but is fantastic once perfected
That sometimes though - it just doesn't happen and that it is ok to give up - and to give yourself a pat on the back for trying and trying and trying...
Oh Honoria, don't feel sad. I think that all this pressure on bf, which on one hand I think should exist to try to convince those mothers who don't even consider it, also has the down point of making those who really can't do it feel so much like they've failed in a way.
You were well informed and you tried, you're not expected to do anymore!
Once established night feeds are a doddle. No heating up bottles etc.
That its not a disaster if you need to supplement a bit to start with.
Not to try to do anything else at the same time (at least till it comes naturally). Relax and go with the flow.
oh thank you tugamommy, for your kind words It doesn't prey on my mind much any more, but it is and always will be a regret of mine I think. But as you say, if you've done all you can......
That it does take a while to get established but once it is it is so much easier than bottle feeding (ff dd1-now3.4 and bf dd2 - now 6months). Also throw away your watch and any clocks in your house in the early days - just feed when your baby demands. Also it is not the end of the world if it doesnt work out for you. It reaslly isnt for everyone.
Good luck for when your LO arrives!
That it doesn't hurt for everyone!
That it can take weeks before you feel a 'let down' and no, your baby isn't starving because of it.
That a v-cushion is invaluable from day 1, not as an afterthought (especially after an emergency cs!).
That there is such a thing as a too fast flow.
ds bf perfectly from the word go (latched on whilst I was in recovery)...
...unfortunately at 8 weeks he started screaming 2 mins into feed, arching his back and fussing.. HV diagnosed silent reflux and he was given gaviscon 3 times a day via mouth syringe
at 12 weeks he point blank refused to feed during the night, off to doctors the following morning who took one look at me (exhausted/engorged/desparate) and said 'put him on a bottle' and STOP giving him gaviscon. Fed like a dream the minute we got home (via Boots).
some months later I spoke to a Mum at playgroup who mentioned that your flow can speed uo @ 7 weeks and ds may just have been gagging on the flow .
This was never mentioned by HV, BF support group or Doctor. Apparently expressing first or using nipple sheilds can help this.
I still feel a bit about it all to be honest.
(eek, sorry I've offloaded a bit here...)
That I could give it up any time I wanted to without anyone judging me. Also that there was more hel available than I knew at the time, including MN.
Aw, foxy......your HV and doctor need a spot of training.
'Silent reflux' is about the least likely reason for a baby behaving the way you describe. I hate it when healthcare professionals are unable to get away from thinking there is something 'wrong'.
You were probably letting down too quickly for him, with something of an over-generous supply. It is usually very easy to fix this - you just feed the baby one side only within a period of a few hours.
You are dead right to feel
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