Dreading Breastfeeding. Help needed please.(27 Posts)
I'm 31 weeks with my second DC. I tried to breastfeed DS but my normal MW broke her ankle a week before he was born so I saw about 6 midwifes after he was born.
I had pethedine about 20 mins before he was born. He wouldn't latch on in the hospital and the mw there said that labour and being born is just as tiring for him as it was for me so thats why he wouldn't feed. Then all the stand in MWs except 1 were useless really and just said keep trying and it'll work but it never did so he was bottle fed.
I have a new MW now as my old one retired. She has recently told me that pethedine can affect your baby and make them sleepy and its very common for them not to feed well for about 12-24 hours. She has also promised not to break her ankle and to give me as much help as she can in the first couple of weeks.
But I am still dreading not being able to breastfeed this baby.
Can you reassure me that I hopefully will manage it?
Sorry for long post.
You can never say for definite that you will manage it, but most women in normal circumstances with teh right help can do it. It's just hard to access the right help.
Don't be alarmed if it takes ages before it comes right.
I am still BF nearly 3 years later and honestly if there is anyone more clueless and clumsy than me I have yet to meet them. So it can be done, even for the seriously challenged among us.
If you are prepared to ask for advice each and every time you have a problem and be insistent on having help in the hospital to get things established there is not earthly reason why not.
We ALL have problems to start with breastfeeding but with advice and a bit of determination, you can do it.
Oh and post here when you get stuck, there's lots of folk who will help
Sorry you're dreading it kay although it's understandable after the torment of you first attempt.
Can you talk to the midwives about it and make sure you have good support afterwards? Or perhaps a breastfeeding counsellor might be a good person to talk to to find out if there's anyone who could come and see you a couple of times after the birth just to help you out. Where do you live?
The Breastfeeding Network is a great organisation as is the NCT.
Remember all births are different. I've had four and no two were even a little bit alike. Don't assume it'll be similar next time round and perhaps you could talk to the mws about NOT having pethidine if poss.
Also, stay on MN and get help here.
Lol at "promised not to break her ankle "
It sounds as though everything consipred against you last time, and this time might be a breeze. Or you might struggle but get help and carry on.
What specific things are worrying you? What is the worst thing, in your mind, that could happen?
my DS screamed solid for 36 hours after being born and would not BF.. i kept trying and he all of a sudden did it. i eventually stopped at 7 months.
practise getting the right position so its easier and comfortable and RELAX... (dont you hate people who say that?!).
can you attend any classes before the birth?
I don't think there is anything specific really worrying me. Just not being able to do it again is the problem.
There is a breastfeeding counsellor near here and she does have a group once a week which I have thought I will start going to.
I think the worst thing that could happen will be like with DS and he was crying to be fed but I couldn't get him to latch on and we then had to give him a bottle. It was heartbreaking to have him crying and not being able to make him happy.
Definitely make sure you arm yourself with some info such as telephone numbers for BF councillors and have you heard of the Baby Cafe? I don't know if this is just something that is done in my area, but we have a weekly thing that anyone can go to for help, it's run by a couple of midwives and a councillor.
I don't believe there's any reason why you won't be able to do it this time, drugs during labour can affect the first few hours but if that happens again you will be ready for it.
I know just how you feel about worrying you will not be able to BF your new baby. I am 29 weeks and have similar worries after DS would not latch on and I ended up expressing full time. The most sensible advice I was given is to contact someone from one of the BF organisations in advance and draw up a plan of action so that if the baby will not latch on quickly, you already have expert advice on what to do. Because NHS MW advice is shaky at best and you don't need a troup of MW giving you conflicting and unhelpful advice.
But the chances are that neither of us will have any problems because every birth is different and you could put in your birth plan NOT to have pethidine (it does affect how babies feed) at all, or to have an examination beforehand if you want it to make sure you are nowhere near fully dilated. A completely natural drug free birth is the best way to get BF off to a good start but if that doesn't work out then many, many mothers still go on to BF.
Keep talking through your fears. It is really good that you have a supportive MW
Yes I can imagine Are you able to stay ni hospital until you're convinced feeding is going well?
I am hoping to just use my Tens machine and gas and air this time round. The pethidine didn't really help much as I was so close to giving birth.
I have heard of the Baby Cafe, but there are none anywhere near me so its no good.
2 of my friends have had pethidine and both said it was useless - one said it was given too early, one too late.
Weird - does it work for anyone??
KIE - total sympathy. Do you have a local NCT? I had a rubbish experience at the hospital, and had DH contact the NCT BF person who came into the hospital and took over, because they were insisting I gave DS1 a bottle and she was the assertive person I wasn't! Thanks to her, she got DS latching on, and he then fed non-stop for seven months... Please marshal all the help you can in advance - good luck!!!!!
Just looked at your profile and your DS is gorgeous!
If you managed on just tens until 20 mins before you gave birth last time then there is every chance you will do it all without any drugs this time. I hate pethidine personally - had it for pain relief when not in labour and it did not do a thing except make me feel sick and spaced out.
You can do the plan over the telephone with someone, or if you are stuck I have the details of 2 BF counsellors (La Leche League) and I know that one of them at least would be very happy to do it via email.
iirc there are some good vids on youtube, you might have a look and see, then try to imagine yourself doing it or even use a doll! (don't laugh, the bfc at my midwife-led birth unit made us do it - it was kind of silly but it did let you get a sense of how it would feel to try and get it right.
good luck, btw. as others have said it's a matter of persistence and help (and support from your dp, if you have one).
Agree with the doll - we had to do that at AN class, everyone else 'cradled' their babies, I was the only one who got it right [smug]
(but that was because I'd been sneakily reading the handout she gave us )
My DH is very supportive and I know he'll ring people if needs be.
I managed with my tens until I was told to take it off about 20-30 minutes before he was born. Then it was just gas and air.
I am going to look into the NCT and La Leche League and maybe give them a ring before I have the baby.
Next time you'll probably realise that by the time you want something more, it's almost over, surely?
That's what I'm hoping
Hopefully your experience this time round will be much more positive - try and feel positive too, I think having a positive determination will really help. Try and visualise yourself breastfeeding your gorgeous new baby rather than dwelling on whether you might NOT be able to feed him. And as the others have said, arm yourself with as much information as possible. Knowledge is power!
All births and babies are different; my DD1 was a breeze to bf, she took to it like a dream. DD3 was really hard work and it took days to really get going but in the end she cracked it and I exclusively fed her for 13 months
I think having a supportive partner is useful as well so if you have a DP/DH get them on your side and tell them how determined you are to bf, then if necessary they can be your voice if you are knackered after labour - let him badger the midwives!
Well I thought I had a fairly average length labour with DS. 1st contraction at about 4pm the Monday and he was born at 12:15pm on the Tuesday. But they told me I had a fast labour. I was very confused.
But my MW said they tend to count from when you are 5cms dilated so my labour was actually about 3 hours. I nearly fell off the chair when she said that.
A good friend had a similar experience to you first time around. Then with second baby was more prepared to demand the right help and support - as if you should have to! She has happily bf DS2 for 12 months, so good luck to all of you!
I would really recommend LLL, they saved my bacon and i wish i had gone to some of the meetings before the birth. I had a great experience with my local group.
I'm going to look up LLL and see if there are any meeting round here.
The LLL also recommended a book called 'the womanly art of breastfeeding' It is the only breastfeeding book you'll need, really invaluable to have in the hospital with you.
I was dreading bf this time round. DS was an em cs and wouldn't latch on for weeks, it was a horrid experience.
I decided to try it with my second child, but didn't have high hopes.
This time was totally different. Planned cs and DD latched on straight away. She is 5 weeks now and not a single problem so far (touch wood). Haven't needed a bf counsellour either !!! I have got loads of help at home though and been thoroughly lazy, which does not come naturally to me.
Get lots of advice (books, MN etc), see a local bf if you need one. But as I have discovered babies are different and you will have some previous experience which will help you. Good luck, let us know how it goes.
Join the discussion
Please login first.