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Friend just had baby; struggling with BF. Your best tips please!

(30 Posts)
Wallace Sun 16-Aug-09 21:05:14

She really wants to BF but is worried she will not manage.

baby is latching on, mostly with help of midwifes. Not staying latched on for long.

it was a hard delivery: lots of drugs, forceps and snips.

I think a list of tips i could print out and give to her might help.

I have also told her that when she is out of hosp I can come and give her practical help.


ruddynorah Sun 16-Aug-09 21:07:51

keep the baby close, lots of skin to skin.

look up breast crawl, you may find a video of it on youtube.

have on your favourites

have her doing nothing at all but feed the baby once she is at home.

gybegirl Sun 16-Aug-09 21:13:25

Keep asking the midwives to help. Get the details of the nearest BF support group for her. Get the numbers of the local la leche league.

Lots of skin to skin helps. Feed on demand and be aware that a baby's cry is its last request for food - look for signs to indcate he me might be hungry (mouth moving etc) and try and latch him on when he's not really desperate! Just keep at it!

Gentle encouragement me thinks - just be aware a long list of pointers may feel overwelming and make her feel like it is too hard. Tell her what a fab job she's doing!

MissisBoot Sun 16-Aug-09 21:16:00

sounds like she is doing well after a difficult delivery. baby is still probably sleepy which may be why he's not staying latched on for long.

get the midwives to help her as much as possible - and not to rush home from hospital until she feels confident to feed herself. I can remember teh second night in hospital with dd and had I have been at home I really don;t think I'd have persevered - luckily I had some really good midwives who persisted with helping me feed her and managed to go on to do so for about 9 months or so.

tell her not to worry about managing - it will be hard work until her supply is established (but no more hard work than a newborn baby will be) - but well worth it in the long run.

she will need to give her life over to feeding for teh next three weeks or so - just feed feed feed - even when she thinks 'you can't be hungry I only fed you half an hour ago'

also - get her dh primed to be on hand with lots of handy snacks and glasses of water whenever she sits down for a feed (and at night)

Wallace Sun 16-Aug-09 21:16:20


While we're here, does anyone have the link to the info about the benefits of BF after a day/a week/6 weeks/3 months etc

Wallace Sun 16-Aug-09 21:18:07

Thanks. The baby has already had a cup of formula, so i don't know how much the midwives will help her perservere.

Friend says they are really helpful though.

MissisBoot Sun 16-Aug-09 21:20:24

oh dear, why did they do that?

dinkystinky Sun 16-Aug-09 21:21:50

If a difficult delivery, I'd definitely recommend cranial osteopath for both mum and baby. The baby may be in pain from the forceps which can compromise their feeding - DS1 had this and the cranial osteopath helped lots.

The other tips are lots of skin to skin, if she can go somewhere quiet and peaceful to try to feed the baby (as noise will tense her and distract her - relaxing will help the let down) she should do so, some wards have feeding rooms and try to get someone to show her how to feed lying down - it means she and baby can feed all night (when they're tiny they want to feed little and often - this way skin to skin will also be maintained and help). If she can get in touch with local bf groups they may have peer supporters who can come and help her at the hospital or at home too.

Am wishing your friend the best of luck.

dinkystinky Sun 16-Aug-09 21:23:12

Ps DS1 also had a cup of formula the first night as he was screaming the place down due to pain - as long as it was a cup it shouldnt compromise bfing and didnt with DS1.

MrsGladpuss Sun 16-Aug-09 21:25:48

Feeding a baby lying down in bed is worth a try. It can be hard to hold a baby and latch him on and keep him on. This way can sometimes be easier.

Breastfeeding is a skill, it has to be learnt. The more you do it the easier it gets.

Consider an electric breast pump. Then it can be used to keep the milk supply up if it gets really tough, ready to try again later if necessary.

Tell her well done. Every breast feed makes a difference and she has already achieved so much.

Having said all that I'm not sure I'd have appreciated someone trying to "help" me breast feed when I was struggling. Don't put too much pressure on her. When I had a baby I really would have appreciated a bit of help with the cleaning, cooking and washing. Anything else felt like a critism.

I think you sound like a great friend for caring, just be careful not to push too much.

MrsGladpuss Sun 16-Aug-09 21:30:18

My DS also had some formula at a day old. He is now at 5 months predominently breast fed (and recently started turning his nose up at the odd bottle for some reason!) and very healthy.

serendippity Sun 16-Aug-09 21:32:34

Not really any tips- I falied miserably both times unfortunatly But what a great freind you are, doing so much to help. I wish I'd had support like that
I do agree with mrsgladpuss as well, Your help is fantastic, but it can be SUCH a hard thing if it does go wrong and you feel you've let anyone down. Not trying to take away what you're doing at all, just wanted to agree with not putting too much pressure on her

kwaker5 Sun 16-Aug-09 22:28:07

Definitely stay in hosp until confident about feeding if MWs are good.

Milk doesn't normally come in until 3-4 days after birth and baby will hopefully go beserk on second night suckling to stimulate this. They just manage on the small amounts of colostrum in the meantime and you can expect them to lose a bit of weight.

It's not the end of the world if you have to formula feed!

PacificDogwood Sun 16-Aug-09 22:32:10

Tips: what everybody else said.

Reasons to be proud

Tell your friend to take it one feed at a time - before she'll know it a few months will have passed... smile

serendippity Sun 16-Aug-09 22:37:55

Oh god my post sounded so negaive. I totaly agree to tell her every single feed she gives is so benifical and one she should be proud of
I do hope it works out for her, and, once again you are such a lovely freind.

cece Sun 16-Aug-09 22:42:15

It can be difficult to learn the skill of bf.

It is worth persevering in the long run, as it is easy once you can do it.

Be prepared to just feed the baby for the first 3-4 weeks. Attempt nothing else. Sort yourself out with a comfy chair, pillows, muslins, glass of water, the remote control, nappies, wet wipes and so on all within handy reach. This is where you will be for the next few weeks!

Crying is normal!

Stay in hospital if you can till the feeding is sorted... Easier said than done I know!

cece Sun 16-Aug-09 22:43:32

Oh and the mw once told me to eat cake at about 4 pm to help wiht your evening/night milk... I always liked that tip grin

Montifer Sun 16-Aug-09 22:51:57

The thing that helped me the most (had a very difficult first few months) was face to face help with breastfeeding counsellor early on and later a lovely health visitor at baby clinic.
I found the written info useful but the hands on contact with experienced supportive professional was invaluable.
Completely agree with Cece about having everything to hand before you start especially a large glass of water (oh the insatiable thirst that strikes as they latch on!) and the phone.
What a fantastic friend you are, hope your friend succeeds and enjoys many months of bf smile

motherlovebone Mon 17-Aug-09 07:51:20

my tip is, dont give up!
oh, and baby to breast not breast to baby.

Wallace Mon 17-Aug-09 10:15:29

Thank you so much for all these

redtabby Mon 17-Aug-09 13:11:53

I found that special breastfeeding cushions made a big difference in the first few weeks, that and remembering that you are both learning a totally new skill and you will improve!

Wallace Mon 17-Aug-09 20:02:38

Just got a text saying baby fed all night so it is looking good

I want to buy her something special for the baby - I think a breastfeedng cushion would be great.

dinkystinky Mon 17-Aug-09 20:15:30

Am really pleased for your friend Wallace. Please do look out local bf support groups for her as will do her confidence no end of good having other bf mums to chat while feeding.

pieta Tue 18-Aug-09 09:03:09

For the first month or so I loved 'my brest friend' a breast feeding cushion that clips on and acts like a shelf for the baby to lie on. I also used a heated wheat pack draped over my neck as I found breast feeding quite a strain on my neck and shoulders (?) - don't ask me what I was doing I can't remember.

MiniMarmite Tue 18-Aug-09 13:01:30

For the first 2 weeks I was totally unable to help DS to latch on myself. DH got up for every feed with me in the night, latched DS on and then got me biscuits and water. If she has a DP then having them get up in the night initially is fantastic practical and moral support.

Go to see a bf counsellor if still struggling at home - really supportive - boosted my confidence no end.

If she has nipple pain or bleeding consider using nipple shields temporarily - they do affect supply so not ideal but for me it was the only way I could continue feeding.

Let others do housework and cooking, rest as much as possible.

Hire DVDs or talking books etc - you're feeding for so many hours in the first few weeks so sometimes a bit of distraction helps a lot.

Take one day at a time.

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