Top Tips?(17 Posts)
So I'm currently a week and a bit overdue, and heading into hospital tomorrow for an induction.
I am very keen to breast feed, and have been to NCT and NHS classes, but just wondering if you wise MNetters could give me your top tips.
Anything I can do in the next 24 hours to prepare? What do you think are the most important things to start with? Basically anything you wish you'd known in advance.
Thank you so much
I wish I'd known in advance that bf can hurt a lot in the first few weeks, sometimes for no reason, but that eventually it nearly always does settle down.
Newborn babies need to feed lots and lots, and want to be close to you. Its totally normal.
Don't be afraid to ask for help - put the NCT bf support line number in your phone so that it's easy to get to.
Remember that your milk won't come in for a few days, and that is normal. Unless your baby has proven issues with their blood sugar, then the tiny amounts of colostrum you produce are all your baby needs
Exactly what dogonpoints said!
Have you got some good nipple cream? Apply after every feed, even if you think the pain is settling down!
Also stick to your guns if your baby loses a normal amount of weight in the 1st week- we were under a lot of pressure from midwives to use top ups, even though ds never lost more than 10% ! He was soon thriving so glad I kept EBFing.
Take breastfeeding helplines into hospital with you just in case, eg NCT.
Finally don't be afraid to keep asking for help to get your baby latched on/check positioning etc. I had 3 different midwives help me before I left hospital and was glad I did.
I wish I had known that it was going to be hard to get started. I think I thought it was going to be a case of just popping the baby on the boob and off we went ... very naive. I also wish I had been better prepared and armed with info about it so that I wasn't bullied by one particular midwife into letting her give my baby formula.
In terms of what to do to prepare I would buy Lanolin which really helped me with cracked nipples but there is not really much else that you need in terms of physical things.
The main thing is to have a positive attitude (which it sounds like you have already - hurrah!). I would also try to find someone who you trust and like (in my case it was my mum but anyone will do, lovely midwife/breast counsellor etc) and who supports breastfeeding to guide you through the initial process. This is truly invaluable and helps to avoid all the conflicting advice and to help guide you.
Above all remember that it is the most wonderful thing that you are doing for your baby (and for you) and the tough beginning times will end.
(This all sounds so negative but really after the initial rough few weeks bfing was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and I ended up bfing DS until he was 2!! Best of luck and enjoy your baby!)
It probably will hurt a bit. The afterpains are pretty grim. But it's totally worth it!
Don't try to have a schedule or to limit feeds - newborns feed A LOT!!!
Buy plenty of Lansinoh.
Make sure you have a couple of pillows (for under your arm), the remote, a good book and a massive glass of cordial and water for feeding sessions!
Try and get baby to the breast asap after they come out! Skin to skin contact helps establish bf'ing.
Good luck with everything!
Whoops, x posted there, didn't mean to repeat!
Ask for a breastfeeding counsellor to check your baby is latching on properly, as this is the culprit for a lot of the pain (although, you will still get some pain in the first few weeks, even if the baby is doing it perfectly! Bit like breaking in a new pair of shoes, your skin will need to get accustomed to it )
But they can tell you if the position of the baby's mouth is correct or not, and show you how it should be. It's not just clamped over the nipple, the nipple has to be slightly off centre, so that it hits the roof of the baby's mouth, IYSWIM!
They will show you, anyway.
Good luck and hope everything goes well!
What is your hospital's policy on post natal care and discharge? I'm asking this because the hospital I was in encourages new mums to stay in until BF established and although before I had the baby I thought I wanted to go home as soon as possible, I ended up staying a few days and I think this was why I ended up BF successfully (still doing it at 10m). I got lots of midwife support, lots of rest, saw the breastfeeding support midwife every day and lots of advice on positioning, latch normal newborn behaviour etc etc. Some of it was contradictory but I didn't see this as a problem.
On the downside, there were some old school midwives and nurses - especially on the nightshift - keen to top up with formula at the slightest opportunity but I just ignored them
Also, although it is good to know that it CAN be painful and there can be thrush, mastitis etc, it won't definitely be - I never had any pain or lumps. Good luck!
Am very jealous of your experience in hospital, BelleWatling. Mine was the total opposite in that it was only after I got out of hospital and away from all the formula-pushing nurses (what is it with that nightshift?!!) that I managed to sort out the bfing issues.
I wish I had had the confidence to ignore those who were making me top up DS but I was tired and emotional and blue and just gave in. DC2 due in Feb and I am determined to find out exactly what a newborn needs before then so that I can tell them to bugger off in an informed and knowledgeable way.
That sounds awful stillstanding
I have to admit that one of the best things about having a home birth was the lack of interference from meddling bossy midwives.
I was able to do things my own way and am so glad for that (although I would pity any hcp who dared cross me tbh).
Also don't worry too much when you have lo weighed and there's any mention of not gaining enough weight.
If your baby is coming off feeds all blissed out and milky lipped and if they're producing lots of wee and poo then they're getting enough.
The charts that the HV's use to measure weight are based on ff babies who are usually heavier.
Sorry about your horrible experience stillstanding - good luck with BF DC2 - it is hard to have confidence when it's your first. I gave birth in a massive London hospital so rarely saw the same midwife from shift to shift (and therefore could ignore with impunity). Apart from the Breastfeeding Counsellor who came in daily and was lovely and extremely supportive. I imagine a good NCT or LLL counsellor will do the same though.
I also have learned so much about BF on these threads - despite having BF successfully I was a right ignoramus until I came here.
NB: My theory on the nightshift is that the less qualified or skilled get last dibs on shift choice and all that lack of daylight must play havoc with your biorhythms.
Having had one disaster with BF and one success, the one bit of advice I can give is to get Lansinoh cream and Lansinoh breast pads. The cheaper breast pads used to stick to my sore nipples and it was agony getting them off, they also stayed damp and I suffered with thrush as a result. The Lansinoh pads are fab (if a little pricey) and I was far less sore when wearing them.
Babies need to feed every 1-3 hours when first born, day and night. I was quite shocked by just how much of a bind that was. Get lots of magazines, snacks, bottles of drink so that you can be as comfy as possible.
Triangular pillows are also fab. I have one upstairs and downstairs...
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP OR ADVICE. I was woefully misinformed and underprepared with DS. I also listened to too many different people and ended up totally confused. There are lots of numbers you can call, drop-in clinics at hospital. There are a couple of brilliant BF Counsellors on here who are always on hand to help.
Get DP, DM, DMIL all on board too....
Thank you all for the advice.
I'm sure I will be back to ask you many more questions when we get underway.
The hospital seem very pro breast feeding, so cross fingers that will help.
I will let you know how it goes.
Any more advice always welcome!
"tummy to mummy" (turn them sideways on so their tummy is against your breasts/tummy) and "nipple to nose" (aim nipple at nose, not mouth, so they have to open mouth wide and tilt head back to get nipple in, this tends to get them in correct position).
Look for swallowing, wiggling ears, chewing movements of jaw to check they are feeding and not just chomping at your nipple.
Don't panic if they don't latch on strait away. My first didn't latch on and feed properly for about 24 hours. Luckily I had mainly supportive midwives who helped me express a feed the first night ( I managed 2 mls) rather than reaching for the formula.We went on to successfully breast feed for 15 months.
Best BF tip I had from friends was the two-top-trick - have a vest top underneath your normal top (best one size up), which you can then pull down when you pull up your top, so that your belly's not exposed/cold when BFing. It's only too hot to do it in the height of summer. Makes you a lot more confident/comfortable to BF in public/amongst friends.
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