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Good news breast feeding stories

(33 Posts)
cairnterrier Fri 29-May-09 10:26:48

I'm wondering if anyone has any successful breastfeeding stories out there. I'm pregnant for the first time and was fully expecting to breastfeed my baby. However I've just been reading the 'what do you really want to know about breastfeeding thread?' and it has really, really put me off.

So please, are there any people out there who have had good experiences of breastfeeding as first time mum. Not where people have had a rough time but then got better, experiences where breast feeding has gone well from day 1 for both mum and baby. An experience that I was really looking forward to, now seems to only involve pain, disappointment and an awful lot of heartache :-( It would just be nice to know that some people have had really good experiences. Thanks in advance.

slushy06 Fri 29-May-09 10:34:28

Cairnterrier I did have a wonderful experience of bf but that dosn't mean there were not problems. I think if you wish to succed you should accept that up to the first month is hard as you are learning a new way to feed you need to learn posistion and attacment. However you never know ff might be harder for you. It may have been hard for a month for me before I got the hang of it but I still felt a burst of happiness and love every time my ds fed. It also became much easier for me to bf than ff after one month making the rest of his first year alot easier. There is no easy answer to feeding a baby only pros and cons.

LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 10:39:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

merrymonsters Fri 29-May-09 10:43:31

Some babies latch on easily and breastfeeding is easy from day one. For me, that was the case with my second child. However, with my first baby it took a couple of weeks to become easy. My third took about a month to become easy because she had tongue tie. I'm still feeding her at 17 months.

Breastfeeding is something you and the baby need to learn and it can take some getting used to. I think this forum is a great place for getting advice in the early part of breastfeeding, which can be difficult.

It is normal for newborns to need frequent feeds. Frequent feeds are necessary to build up supply. It does not mean that you don't have enough milk. I wish someone had told me that when I had my first baby.

charitygirl Fri 29-May-09 10:46:37

I'm still breastfeeding my 8 month old (only 2 x a day now as I'm back at work, and cutting down has been easy too). It's been totally do-able from day 1 (from moment 1 in fact as he went straight to the breast when he was born!) in that I never had any worries about supply or weight gain.

However, it was painful at first (how could it not be a bit...has anyone ever sucked hard on your nipples every 3 hours before?) and the latch took a few weeks to be reliably right every time. But so long as you can take it easy, and people around you are supportive, these things are really not a problem. No heartache. No doubting my ability to feed. No disappointment.

Don't fret about the pain - it's normal, and it improves. Also - my best friend is feeding 2 week old twins and has had no problems at all from day 1 - not even much pain!

And come here if you have problems - you will get good advice.

sazlocks Fri 29-May-09 10:51:45

I had a really lovely experience and BF my DS til he was 13 months. Was a tiny bit hard to start with and there was a little bit of trouble nipple wise at a bout 4 months which was sorted out with a lot of lansinoh and a tea strainer after a day or so !
Best things to remember is to ask for help, help, help and more help when you first start
Although its the most natural thing in the world that doesn't mean it comes naturally to either you or the baby
Good luck

CherryChoc Fri 29-May-09 11:21:27

Hi cairterrier I think mine is a positive story!

DS was born after a 3-day labour with only gas and air, he was fine, I was exhausted. I put him to the breast when I first held him, but he didn't seem interested (however can't really remember the first few hours so I may have been doing it all wrong grin)

We got transferred back to Labour ward as they were so busy they had no beds on the Postnatal ward. I dozed on and off, DP dozed in the chair thing, DS slept in the plastic cot thing.

Probably about 8 hours after he was born I woke up in a panic realising we hadn't fed him, changed his nappy, or anything and weren't newborns supposed to feed every 2 hours? He wasn't crying though. So I got hold of a midwife and said I wanted to breastfeed him but I didn't know what to do (all the careful preparation went out of the window!) She realised I was still too tired to be able to hold him in my arms so suggested we lie down in bed, helped me get him attached, and it all worked perfectly. Then the paediatrician came round to do his check-over and I had to stop feeding him which seemed a bit mean, but she said she would have had to come back the next day and we wanted to go home ASAP.

For the first few days I did find it hurt, but not much - it wasn't toe-curling as some people have described. In fact I'd probably describe it as tender, rather than painful. The midwife who came out to check us over on day 3 brought me some Lansinoh sachets, that was great and really helped. I put it on after every feed, and let my nipples get lots of air, which was fairly easy as I stayed in bed for 3-4 days and didn't have many visitors. She also said to me to count to 10 (baby) swallows at the start of each feed. I found the pain lasted about 13 swallows and then was gone, and after a couple of weeks it had gone completely.

The only problem I had with feeding was because I'd fed DS lying down in the hospital and hadn't fed him sitting up (I went home within 12 hours and it was still too painful to sit up as I'd had stitches) I couldn't get him latched on when I was sitting up. I got the hang of it after a week or so, but it was frustrating and worrying not to be able to do it and DP did suggest a bottle at one point when I was seeming to be struggling to get him to feed which looking back he was trying to help but it was just not what I needed to hear! Is your DP supportive? It was great to have the backup of being able to feed in one position, anyway, even though it wasn't the most convenient.

Really it's the early days which can be difficult. I promise you - once bf is established you'll be able to do it swinging upside down in a tree if you wanted to! And something else which helped loads in the early days was something my NCT teacher said to me - for the first 6-8 weeks, bottlefeeding would probably be easier. But after that, breastfeeding is definitely easier, less hassle, and that is a much longer period of time (and the first 3 months are going to be hard whatever you do - you have a newborn baby to look after!) So if you do have trouble, don't be thinking it's all for nothing

Finally I LOVE breastfeeding and I think it really really helped me bond with my baby. I never felt a "rush of love" when he was born, and I felt myself bonding to him every time he fed, it was lovely.

PS Can I recommend the book The Food Of Love?

CherryChoc Fri 29-May-09 11:22:30

Oh and we are at 8 months exclusively bf, some solids but not that interested, 2 teeth but no problems there.

You'll be fine! You have mumsnet grin

MrsMotMot Fri 29-May-09 11:25:59

There is a balance to be had, I do agree with you and I'm sorry the 'what you'd like to know' thread has worried you.

Bf is a natural, physiological thing and we can definately over-analyze things. My top tips are:

Go to antenatal classes and learn a bit about what is normal for bf a new baby (feeding often, cluster feeds, etc) as well as the basics of positioning and attachment (latching on).

Get things off to a good start- I am a firm believer in skin to skin at birth or as soon after as possible. It is such a lovely way to greet your baby and quite often babies will just bob their way over to your breast and latch on themselves. My DS did this and it was lovely.

Know where to get help if you need it (support lines, bf groups in your area, contact info for a breast feeding counseller, MN smile)

Have faith. You can do it. Women have fed their babies for many many years. The human race is going pretty strong. I'm not saying women through the ages haven't had difficulties, because you and baby have to learn to bf and like any other skill this can take time and practise. It doesn't always 'work out' and there are alternatives. But many many women find bf easy and lovely right from the start, just as there are women who don't find birth the terrible, horrible ordeal society believes it to be. We just don't talk about positive stories enough I don't think.

Good luck. x

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 29-May-09 11:27:13

I love BFing, but that doesn't mean it's without it's problems.

I wish that I had found Mumsnet before I had DS - I think it would have helped me hugely in terms of adjusting my expectations about BFing and also in terms of practical help.

Please do not be demoralised by hearing the realities. Use it as a way to be prepared - make sure that your DH/DP is clued up and knows what to do to support you and you will be fine

I am still BFing DS at 10 months, and the experience gets more and more lovely and bonding as time goes on.

mrsjammi Fri 29-May-09 11:27:26

Message withdrawn

MrsMotMot Fri 29-May-09 11:28:04

O yeah I second the recommendation for 'The Food of Love' it is excellent. x

TheProvincialLady Fri 29-May-09 11:37:52

I think if you are expecting anything as a new parent to be easy, straightforward and problem free, you are setting yourself up to feel very unhappy. Almost everything feels like a struggle in those first few weeks, even FF. Nothing wrong with facing the fear and doing it anywaysmile

PortAndLemon Fri 29-May-09 14:06:04

I think expecting the whole thing to be utterly blissful from day 1 is unrealistic, tbh.

I had no physical problems breastfeeding either DC -- both of them latched well (even though DS didn't like opening his mouth for the first couple of weeks) and put on weight beautifully, I never had sore or cracked nipples (other than the letdown ouch for the first few seconds of each feed for the first few weeks, but that was literally a few seconds each time -- I had no pain at all for the rest of the feed or between feeds), never had mastitis, never got painfully engorged, had blocked ducts a couple of times when they got to around 7 months but they cleared easily.

But with DS what knocked me for six was the sheer unremitting nature of constantly feeding him, and that had me in tears around 6 weeks or so. I think that was largely an expectation thing -- I just hadn't appreciated in advance how much a newborn baby can feed -- because DD fed on much the same sort of pattern, but second time round, with me expecting it, I took it in my stride.

maygirl Fri 29-May-09 15:25:28

I think I've had a good experience, but I didn't realise early on I was having one, in that I didn't know what other some other mums were going through and I had lots of doubts. Had c-section and DS was taken away for 2 hrs. When they brought him back they latched him on 'to save time as you're all tired'! Following night he fed frequently and I was quite happy feeding him as much as he wanted when a midwife said 'are you still doing that, let me know when it gets too much for you!' While shaking a bottle of formula at me. Seeds of doubt were sown, so then worried about how often he fed, and even several weeks on I assumed had low milk supply as he was a frequent feeder, even though he was putting on weight well.

I never had sore nipples, felt a bit 'zingy' after hour long feeding sessions. Never had the letdown pain some mums mention. I had a tiny scab, which didn't hurt much, but had heard cracked nipples could be a real problem and felt concerned these were on the way, so went to a feeding drop in at the hospital when DS 6 days old. I was assured that what I had was extremely minor, they checked latch and at my request taught me to feed lying down. That was the last help we required, never had mastitis or blocked ducts, and still feeding 2.9 years on.
I can see now I did have a problem free experience, but it didn't feel 'good' straight away as as others have said, it was so new, learning how to be a new mum and all the uncertainty that goes with this time. Plus poor support on the post-c-section ward didn't help either. Going to the feeding drop in, even though I didn't have any major problems did give me the confidence boost I think I needed. I'd been antenatally, and the counsellor urged us all to come in soon after having baby, however things were going, just for her to have a check, offer advice & make small adjustments to latch etc, before getting too sore. I'm glad I did this.

I think by 3-4 weeks I felt pretty confident and bf life was sweet I even look back at the night feeds with nostalgia, little head bobbing in the dark, just him and me!

BCLass Fri 29-May-09 15:35:35

Here's a positive story for you.

DD was born at home. I stuck her head in the general direction of my breast. She fed.

Repeated ad infinitum - now 7 1/2 months later. Never had any problems.

It was that easy, seriously. Some people have problems, but you know what - some do not (but I think they keep quiet about it).

mamakim Fri 29-May-09 16:04:49

My dd is only 4 weeks old so i'm not exactly an expert but just wanted to tell you my experience so far.

DD was born at 39+1 by ELCS when i was wheeled into recovery the nurse put her on my chest for me and she gradually edged her way to my nipple, she latched on and fed. i was amazed! She then continued to feed around every 5 hours while i was in hospital for 2 days.

For me it felt slightly uncomfortable at first but i was waiting for awful pain everyone had told me about but it just didn't happen.

When my milk came in it was a little painful for about 24 hours, i felf like i was drowning in milk, leaking everywhere but that stopped after a couple of days. She gained 11oz in 6 days so that reassured me because i was still waiting for it to go wrong!

She now is feeding 4 hourly apart from cluster feeding in the evenings. I LOVE feeding her and i have zero discomfort now.

Oh and i fed her in costa coffee 4 days after she was born and have since fed in the car, at the park, a beergarden, the hairdresser's chair. No problems at all.

Last night i expressed 2oz and my DH fed it to her, she took it no problem, wanted boob immediatly afterward!

I wonder if you don't hear many good stories because women fear sounding smug when other women struggle maybe?

bohemianbint Fri 29-May-09 16:09:47

DS1 - no probs at all. Didn't even have to crack the Lansinoh. But I was still after info all the time, along the lines of "does he really need to feed every 20 minutes?" But physically, no problems at all, I loved it. So much that when he stopped feeding at one I was gutted and it made me all broody. Consequently now loving feeding DS2 at 9 months, with only a bout of thrush at the beginning to mar it.

mrsshackleton Fri 29-May-09 16:13:38

Agree with others that it's wise to anticipate problems aware that many have had similar difficulties and get through them.

Go into it armed with helplines etc for tricky patches and you should be able to weather anything and if it goes swimmingly from day one - then great! Won't tell you my story since it involves early struggles followed by great success. Maybe someone should turn it into a movie smile

good luck

dorisbonkers Fri 29-May-09 16:38:48

I have a positive experience. I had my baby early via c-section (stargazing breech) and had her 5 weeks early as I had raging preeclampsia. I'd not yet got around to reading up on breastfeeding and what to expect! Even though I had a section, even though I didn't have immediate skin to skin, even though she was quite jaundiced and sleepy and even though the Singaporean nurses are more in the fifties and 'dive bomb' latch techniques moaning about my flat nipples I got off to a great start.

No pain whatsoever. None.
No cracking, redness or shooting pains
No leaking
No engorgement
Easy self latch

But because of this (and partly because of first time mother anxiety) I thought something must be wrong.

Kellymom became my main interest post baby, I was obsessed with weight (she's a tiddler) and supply issues.

So although my worries were mental ones, I had no physical problems at all. And I absolutely love breastfeeding and will continue til she self weans. She's now 7 months and just doing BLW.

If everything has gone tits up or I'm stressed then breastfeeding relationship and connecting with my daughter makes it all alright again. I can't imagine not feeding her and comforting her this way. I actually LIKE night feeds (yes, I'm bonkers)

ChocOrange05 Fri 29-May-09 20:06:28

My DS was laid down next to me an hour after he was born and he opened his mouth wide and knew exactly what to do. Since that day BF has been easy and pleasurable for us both with no problems whatsoever (he has bitten a few times but then he smiles at me and I can't help but forgive him!)

I did have some troubles enjoying BF at first as I didn't like being so depended upon and fear leaving the house on my own in case he needed feeding (selfish I know blush) and I couldn't express enough so we introduced one formula feed when he was 6 weeks. Since then I enjoy it more and more each day and love the closeness it gives me and DS.

Good luck with your pregnancy and baby.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 29-May-09 20:15:36

I have had two very good breastfeeding experiences, and even though I did have a few problems with DD1, Mumsnet sorted me out. One of the things that I have liked most about my breastfeeding experience is that I haven't had any engorgement, even when my milk came in. I was lucky to have greedy babies, but I also knew the Mumsnet breastfeeding mantra of "latch them on, latch them on, latch them on" and feed a newborn as much as they like (rather than trying to get any kind of routine).

My second breastfeeding experience was so simply I couldn't believe it - I asked the midwife "is that it?" as I literally offered her my nipple and breastfeeding was established there and then in the delivery room.

It is really common to have a bit of a <wince> reaction for the first few seconds when you feed a newborn, by the way - it goes after a week or so (but I don't see that as a negative).

greensnail Fri 29-May-09 20:16:55

I was desperate to bf but while pregnant became convinced that I wouldn't be able to, as none of my friends had done it beyond a few weeks. Spent a lot of time while pregnant reading up on breastfeeding as I was sure I was going to struggle.
DD was born at 36 weeks, latched on easily about half an hour after she was born and we're still going strong 5 months later.

The only problems we've had are one night where she struggled to latch on when my milk came in and slightly sore nipples for about 2 weeks.

My advice would be to read up on what problems you might face, but don't assume that you will have any problems. And enjoy it grin

whomovedmychocolate Fri 29-May-09 20:24:51

Okay good experiences - I am still feeding DD (2.6 - she's self-weaning slowly) and am also feeding DS (10 months). Both kids have shot off the top of the centile charts with explosive growth (they are very tall as well) and apart from the first two weeks when I was learning to do it and a bit of discomfort which was hormone related when heavily pregnant or in the post partum period, I've had no problems at all.

My only difficulty has been finding nursing bras to fit me. But I got very cheap ones in a sale, nicked the clips off and converted very nice well fitting bras to nursing bras instead.

MrsHappy Fri 29-May-09 20:32:25

I was crap at pregnancy and terrible at giving birth. After a 36 hour labour which ended in failed forceps and a CS I asked a nurse in recovery to help me feed my DD and she barked at me "haven't you been to classes?". When I said no she grabbed my boob and DD's head and brought them together like cymbals. DD was unimpressed and spent the afternoon licking my chest.

I didn't know what to do but (naively perhaps) thought that if breastfeeding was complicated the human race would have become extinct long ago. I figured DD might have come pre-programmed with some survival instincts so I put her into my nightie and dozed with her on my chest. In the night she shuffled across my body and, with a couple of false starts (which were funny - I swear she started sucking my collar bone) she latched on by herself, which was great because naturally she seemed to know how to latch properly. God knows I had no idea...

The only issues I had in 7 months of breastfeeding were a blocked duct that cleared by itself within 48 hours and a day's engorgement. Otherwise I had no pain, no cracked nipples, no infections or thrush or need for lanisoh!

I loved breastfeeding and was so dazed after a difficult birth it was just great to be able to do something for my baby. I know I am lucky that things were so straightforward having read some of the stories that come up on MN, but do remember that people are more apt to post the horror stories. There are lots of people who find it straightforward and/or lovely too.

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