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first time mum desperately want to breastfeed but negativity

(43 Posts)

Ok im due to meet my baby in January and breastfeeding is very very important to me. I realise it may not be possible but it is something i want to persevere with but.......... all i hear from family and friends is negativity, such as 'I wanted to but couldn't!' or 'it hurt to much' or the most common
'you wont produce milk for at least 2 days so the baby will go hungry!' and so on.....

My DH feels the same way as I do and I dont see any reason why I can't try. My younger sister tried but was unsuccesful at first attempt so the hosp gave her a bottle and she never tried getting baby to latch on again. My twin sister had no problems at all i suppose its all individual isnt it??

I am putting in my birth plan that unless the baby absolutely needs and by that I mean low sugar levels etc a feed that i want to bf, and no bottle is to go near the baby if im asleep etc etc.

Please any suggestions anyone on how to go about this, is there anything i can do to increase my chances of succesful feeding?

I know i prob sound like an idiot but this is my first baby and ff is not an option in my mind right now or am i being a stubborn mule??

Many thanks! smile

bigstripeytiger Fri 18-Sep-09 08:39:21

It sounds like people have given you a very negative view of things.
My hospital never tried to get me to give any of my DDs a bottle, they were happy to help with breastfeeding.

One thing that I didnt do prior to having a baby that I think would have made things easier for me would have been to spend some time reading about how to position a baby and latch them on. I found that I got some practical help in hospital, but because I didnt know the reasons behind why the baby should be latched on in particular ways that I ended up very sore. I think if I had paid more attention to the latch and positioning it would have been better for me.

belgo Fri 18-Sep-09 08:41:50

Do you know of any breastfeeding counsellors in your area, or NCT breastfeeding courses?

I found the best way to be prepared was to find out as much as possible about breastfeeding.

For instance, it's totally normal for a breastfed newborn baby to feed round the clock - their tummy is so small, it can only contain a couple of drops of milk to begin with, so the baby needs to feed very regularly. In the first few days you will produce colostrum, and this is all that is needed for a healthy baby.

Breastfeeding can be very difficult, and can be very painful, but with expert support and advice you should be able to come through this. Or you might find it very easy and have no problems at all!

Besom Fri 18-Sep-09 08:45:54

Find out beforehand about bf support groups in your area. Your mid wife might be able to tell you. The NCT or LaLeche may have groups in your area and the NCT has a help line you can phone. Also, of course, there is mumsnet!

The main thing to remember is to try to relax. It is a bit of an act of faith at first but if it helps, I never had any pain, so it doesn't necessarily follow that it is going to be painful if you have the latch right in the first place.

Good that your dh is supportive. This should help.

MuffinTopMamma Fri 18-Sep-09 08:48:48

Sounds like you know what you want, so good for you! BF can be difficult to start, I'm BFing my DD who is 3 weeks old (I didn't get past 2 weeks with DS).

By surrounding myself with a good network of support, which includes mumsnet, I'm going to make this work and you can too! I got a great book 'the womanly art of breastfeeding' which was good bedtime reading whilst I waited for DD to arrive. Good luck!

you Fri 18-Sep-09 08:49:44

Congratulations smile

There'll be experts along soon, but good for you wanting to breastfeed so much. It's the absolute best thing you could do for your baby and such a lovely experience.

Honestly, I'd just try to ignore the negativity as much as possible... it's wonderful your DP is supportive and really it's your decision no-one elses. It doesn't sound like anyones particulary trying to put you off though, they've obviously just not had very good experiences with breastfeeding or had bad advice at the time, so show them it's possible!

Having said that, don't be suckered into believing that it's always as easy as the posters make out grin. One thing I wish I'd done before having DD was to get number for breastfeeding counsellors, cafes etc together beforehand as trying to do it at 3am with a screaming baby is NOT fun! Hopefully you won't need them, esp if your sister is around to help, but better to have them and not need them iykwim? Get some lansinoh in and make sure you and your partner are aware that a bfed newborn's feeding patterns are, quite frankly, ridiculous wink. Your baby will not 'starve' the first few days, but s/he will likely need feeding an incredible amount, and it's this constant feeding which makes mothers think they need formula.

Just make a plan to do nothing at all the first few months days other than feed feed feed, get DP to wait on you hand and foot and enjoy those first few precious days! Can you ban visitors for a while till you feel more confident feeding, especially those who have been negative about bfing in the first place. I was always determined to bfeed and dropped in to see MIL on the way home from hospital (big mistake) who ffed and sat there utterly sore and exhausted while she told me the reason my baby was crying was because she was so hungry and I should give her a bottle hmm. Pre birth that's easy to ignore but it made me so upset at the time just 8 hours after I'd delivered! So get DP to bat away visitors and nasty comments with a stick.

And ensure you have strong broadband connection so you can MN at the drop of a hat grin

Good luck!

you Fri 18-Sep-09 08:50:17

X posted with everyone.

Am a slow typer hmm

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 08:50:17

creameggs - the good news is that is isn't all can strongly influence your breastfeeding experience and avoid many, many problems, or else overcome them very quickly before they become difficult to overcome.

Yep - it's great your dh is supportive. Good, too, you see from your sister's experience that bf can be plain sailing.

You might want to ask your family to stop making negative remarks - these are veiled comments on your choice, and you don't need them

Loads of good tips already on this thread and you can always post queries to mumsnet if you need to when your baby is here.

catinthehat2 Fri 18-Sep-09 08:51:33


take pride in going EEEEEHHHAAAWWW HHHEEEEHHAAAWW as and when required.

Whatever it is, (breastfeeding for you now, will be something else later), its your choice, your decision which you will stand by, its your child.

Nothing to do with anyone else.

Technical advice on b/f from those who know will doubtless follow.

pippa251 Fri 18-Sep-09 08:52:38


When I was pregnant I got a lot of similar comments when I told people I wanted to BF. All of myfriends FF and I was told tales of cracked nipples, pain and screaming babies.

However, the midwifes were really supportive and pro BF. They did everything to help the ladies on the ward BF. When I gave birth they gave me 2 hours skin to skin and my dd just latched on fine. I think it worked well because we were so relaxed about it. Also I stayed in hospital over night and when ever she was feeding called the MW over to check she was latched on fine. I decided that I would stay in as long as it took to get BF sorted.

You don't get milk immediatley but the baby gets colostrium- a richer substance which is full of antibodies. The baby only needs a small ammount.

I wouldn't put yourself under so much pressure - the more relaxed you are about this the better (IMO). Also even if the baby is given a bottle (if something happens during birth which makes BF immediatley impossible) you can still BF. A lady who had an emergancy C section on the same ward as me BF sucessfully after her DS was given formula.

I have had no pain, no cracked nipples and have found it fine! My DD is 8 weeks old now and I have fed her in public places loads and get positive comments all the time- about how nice it is to see a lady BFeeding etc.

Good luck

chosenone Fri 18-Sep-09 08:52:58

You certainly sound committed so try not to worry about negativity you hear from others! A lot of people justify their own choice by making BF sound really hard etc! The fact that your twin sister has done well could be a real help if you're willing to let her help support and will you on!

The fact is that the 1st couple of days in hospital can be difficult as hungry babies feed a lot wanting the milk to come in and you will feel quite tired having the baby at the breast all the time! ( my DS had a bottle of FF at this point to see us both through, I was post ECS but he never had it agian until 6 months) Equally when you go home and your milk does come in please don't assume that you will have pints of milk at the ready and baby will feed every 3 hours. It can be quite a learning curve at 1st and new mums will worry about their supply. if babies still hungry etc. Other people will give well meaning advice, like telling you babies still hungry and to get them on the bottle.

The best thing to do in those 1st weeks is put your feet up, get some good books, mags handy and watch TV and keep baby at the breast when ever they want. Yes nip out and have walks etc, that will do you good, but often new mums get fed up when trying to shop, potter round and babies crying to be fed AGAIN! The bottle can seem an easier option, but after 4-6 weeks it will get easier and more predictable and please BF in public get some BF tops a big blanket or muslin and get used to sitting somewhere comfortable to feed, good luck and don't worry too much. It is a lovely time and I miss it smile

BertieBotts Fri 18-Sep-09 08:53:05

Just hang around on here and learn as much as you can about bf and the problems which may arise.

Go into it, not with the attitude of "I will try" but the attitude of "I can do this and I will seek help if I have any problems".

For example, the comments you mentioned - pain is likely at first, but it's not that bad. It is very short lived - my midwife told me to count to ten when DS latched on, and by the time I got to ten the pain had gone (If it carries on for the whole feed then you probably need your latch looking at)

You produce colostrum for the first 2-3 days, your baby will not go hungry, they have tiny tiny stomachs and the colostrum is very rich in nutrients.

The best thing I did I think in terms of helping bf be successful was to have a little babymoon - I stayed in bed and had my baby in bed with me for about the first 3 days. I literally only got up to go to the toilet, my DP brought me meals, visitors came up to the bedroom to see us. I didn't write down feed times or worry about how often he fed, I just fed whenever I saw the hunger signs (rooting, mouth open/closing, etc).

If your twin sister breastfed successfully, are you able to talk to her about it? Is she able to offer you support including being on the end of a phone on Day 3 when all the post-birth hormones crash down around your ears and you just want to go to bed and cry?

Good luck! It is well worth it and not at all unrealistic to expect bf to work out well.

PuzzleRocks Fri 18-Sep-09 08:55:01

I echo what everyone else has said.
With DD1 it took a bit of shuffling about to find a comfortable position but I never felt any pain, nor did my sister.
As Besom said, being relaxed can make all the difference and you will certainly be more relaxed if you are armed with as much knowledge as possible.
If you do find that it hurts, and it wont necessarily, it is worth knowing that this will be for a very short period of adjustment. You may also find your baby wants to feed constantly at first. This is perfectly normal. If you can get through that it truly is a wonderful thing to do for both you and your baby and you will never look back.
Many congratulations and best of luck.

thanks to all of you for your lovely supportive comments.

Twin sister is fantastic and i know without a doubt will be there to help me, show me latching on techniques etc. She will likely take a week of when baby is born to be on beck and call for me knowing her! smile 4
Any advice be good as just knowing about counting to 10 is useful i asumed it would hurt the whole time!

I am adamant to everyone i will breastfeed and will do my upmost to be able to. smile

PuzzleRocks Fri 18-Sep-09 08:57:50

Ooh, I like Bertie's babymoon idea.
I too never worried about times or frequency. When HV's have asked how often mine were feeding I honestly didn't have a clue. If they are happy and well with plenty of wet nappies you need not worry.

PortAndLemon Fri 18-Sep-09 09:18:48

Yes, when I was in hospital with DS (C-section so had to stay in for 4 days) I was given a sheet where I was supposed to fill in times and how long he'd fed from which breast. I dutifully filled it in for the first two days, then had a particularly bad night and just scrawled "LOTS" across the whole thing in capital letters. No one commented...

BertieBotts Fri 18-Sep-09 09:19:02

In that case it also might make you happy you to know that the soreness for the first 10 swallows only lasted for the first few weeks, it is not painful at all now and hasn't been for a long time (DS is 11 months)

Honestly, if you are having pain all the time, that is usually a sign that something is wrong and you need to seek help.

Also another tip is don't have formula in the house, it can be undermining. (Unless you live miles from any 24 hour garages)

Looking after a baby is easy - it is trying to do anything else at the same time which is hard. (Unfortunately in the first few weeks this includes looking after yourself, so yes, it will be hard. Just throw all your expectations out of the window and you will be fine.)

TokenFemale Fri 18-Sep-09 09:33:08

If your baby does have low sugar levels, then I suggest you request they are fed through a drip rather than being given a bottle. I made the mistake with my first of choosing bottle rather than drip and as a result she never learned to latch properly. With my twins I insisted on the drip and they both breastfed very well.

sausagesupper Fri 18-Sep-09 09:38:42

cremeeggs, if I was you, I would try to avoid all those conversations about bf or ff cos it's just stressing you out. The staff in the hospital will support you. I would recommend you contact a bf councellor before hand (your midwife can recommend), I had one and she was fab. I had my 2 kids in 2 different hospitals. In dd's hospital they were very supportive and sat and helped me. In ds#s to be honest they were far too busy to even mention it, but they were supportive as well but too busy to spend alot of time with me. What i'm trying to say is that I never experienced anyone pushing me to ff. DD had to go to special care overnight and I said no bottles and it was not a problem at all.
good luck and stick to your guns!!

ahh token very very interesting as thats my biggest worry! so baby can be fed with a drip i had no idea! thankyou!

As for keeping formula in the house i was thinking the same, as i know if needs be my family would grab some if absolutely needed.

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 09:48:30

Token - you don't mean a drip, do you? I think you mean a naso-gastric tube.

It's true that some babies do hit a low blood sugar crisis, but first choice of dealing with it would simply be to breastfeed more often, direct Then if that is not resolving it, expressing breastmilk and giving it in a syringe, with a spoon, or from a bottle (with careful support, this really, really should not mean the baby will never go back to the breast). The last choice would be a tube.

But keeping the baby skin to skin and ensuring frequent effective feeding should mean there is no blood sugar issue at all

MrsMagnolia Fri 18-Sep-09 10:45:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 11:06:57

when dd's blood sugar went down they gave her ebm in a cup- didn't affect her ability to latch on at all, very much a temporary measure

Besom Fri 18-Sep-09 11:35:39

Get yourself some of that Lanisoh (I think that's what it's called) nipple cream stuff as well. It's good stuff.

TokenFemale Fri 18-Sep-09 11:38:31

Well my twins were fed by drip, because they already had one in for anti-bs. But yes, TikTok is right, it was a tube that was the alternative with my daughter.

Also be careful not to be susceptible to the emotive language they use - I was told "we can feed your baby here with a bottle, or take her to special care and put a tube up her nose and down her throat. And you won't be able to see her until tomorrow" (because I was in intensive care myself).
So not surprising I chose the bottle option, but I do regret it.

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