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Top tips for success : )

(25 Posts)
babybillandsplodge Sun 27-Sep-09 21:41:42

I'm expecting DS2 very soon - in fact, sooner than I imagined as it's looking likely I'll be induced in the next couple of weeks.

Bf with DS1 was a total disaster despite the fact I felt fully committed to it (had bought nothing as a back up and never considered ff as an option sad). I still feel intense sadness/guilt about what happened which I'm hoping to deal with this week by going to see a bf counsellor for a debrief.

Anyway, really really want it to work this time but now the birth is imminent I am starting to have major wobbles.

Here are some of my concerns:

1. a few of my RL friends who did bf successfully told me they absolutely hated it and wished they'd given up earlier sad - are they just saying this to make me feel better?

2. a constant theme on this thread and amongst others I've spoken to in RL is the incredible amount of time bf can take - great with one baby but DS1 is only 15 mths so what on earth do I do with him? Main suggestion seems to be tv, which I have no objections to but he shows no interest in tv at all! He doesn't like sitting still really tbh - can be very independent in play but I'm worried about when he falls, gets himself into scrapes, or goes very quiet out of sight (usually means trouble!), how will I look after him while bf DS2?

3. I have very flat nipples which was part of the problem with DS1 (and he had a tongue tie) - I have read about nipple shields with mixed opinions. Should I use them?

Aside from the above, what top tips would you share for success and can I get bf counsellors to come and visit me rather than spending hours in bf clinics with a boisterous toddler to entertain?

I'm so desperate for it to work this time I'm almost scared that I'm putting too much pressure on myself again and setting myself up to fail once more sad.

Any advice gratefully received.


babybillandsplodge Sun 27-Sep-09 22:18:47

Anyone? blush

babybillandsplodge Sun 27-Sep-09 22:46:55

Bumping for tomorrow morning - really hoping someone can help. Thank you.

barbareebaa Sun 27-Sep-09 23:16:20

I saw your thread earlier and didn't reply because I thought someone would be along shortly with loads of great tips and I don't really know much but think you're great for being so determined to breastfeed.
Like a say I am no expert but have bf my ds for 10 months now. I love it, I really do, so glad I continued after a very difficult start and very little support (apart from on here!) (in fact I don't know what I would have done without the ladies here as my gp was clueless!)
My ds has tongue-tie which i think made it harder. I think I had vasospasm (where the latch restricts blood flow the nipple and causes white patches - and PAIN in the middle of winter!!) Also lots of blocked ducts and a couple of bouts of mastitis.
It all got better a few weeks in for me and now I can barely remember the tricky first few weeks. It is so lovely when ds comes to me for a bf, clambers on and latches on with great gusto and then is so delighted he has difficulty latching on for grinning! Like I say I love it!
My tip for you is to find a breastfeeding group to join or at leat be in touch with someone - I had an aquaintance from work who was a la leche league leader. I was able to email her any time and she always got back to me really quickly. She gave me her number but I was too shy to phone but that's just me blush
Be gentle with yourself - you have a great attitude, take each day, each feed at a time and feel proud of yourself too! Ooh! and also stick to your guns, trust your instincts and definitely talk to the ones who know!
Sorry - only have the one so don't know about entertaining a little one when you are bf-ing - will watch with interest as (hopefully) will someday be in that position myself!

All the very best!

babybillandsplodge Mon 28-Sep-09 08:08:44

Thank you for your lovely positive post barbareebaa - I was beginning to think I'd done something wrong when I got no replies at all to my plea for help! blush

I really want to locate local help but just don't know where to start and do worry about how young and still needy my DS1 is.

Hopefully someelse in the same boat will be able to give us both some tips smile.

jemum Mon 28-Sep-09 08:25:39


My dd1 is a bit older so she is in school, but here are a few things that worked for some of my friends:

- Are there any drop-in centres near you? My friend did alot of her feeding at drop-in centres. She put dd2 in a sling to feed and her dd1 would play.

- I haven't personally done it, but apparently there are some slings that allow you to breastfeed. Maybe that's an option?

- Can you check out the breastfeeding cafes before the baby is born? Alot of the breastfeeding cafes in my area have loads of toys and books to keep toddlers entertained.

Good luck!

tiktok Mon 28-Sep-09 08:26:39

babybillandsplodge - it's hard having a baby and a still v. young toddler, and bf may make it easier in the longer term, as established bf takes less time (babies' feeding tends to be quicker and you have no bottle prep ).

Breastfeeding counsellors are usually volunteers, but many will visit you at home if a face to face is needed....and sometimes it is.

Joining a support group can help - your HV shd know if there is one local to you.

Good luck

What happened last time? There may be ways to avoid a repeat.

babybillandsplodge Mon 28-Sep-09 08:38:00

jemum, do you know the names of any of the bf slings - I would be really interested smile.

tiktok, I totally agree re: the ease of bf in comparison to making up/cleaning/sterilising lots of bottles - that's one motivation for me having had to do it last time! blush

As for what happened last time - to cut a very long story short, I was let down by v bad post natal care, no one checked my latch in hospital and just took my word for it that DS was feeding (I thought he was blush), he'd lost 13% of his body weight at Day 4 weigh in and I was advised to feed him immediately with ff or risk hospitalisation, then started expressing and trying to establish bf at same time but he wouldn't feed from me at all. I would express at each feed while dh fed him - it was hideous and I become very depressed and felt I was missing out on any bonding whatsoever so gave up sad.

I know I did loads of things wrong but I just didn't know any better at the time. My NCT classes had led me to believe that bf was completely natural and LO would just take to it, as would I. To find out this wasn't the case was so devastating, and with all the tiredness and shock of new parenthood I just didn't have the emotional reserves to carry on sad.

Anyway, I know so much more now so want to be fully prepared but feel like I'm running out of time faced with imminent induction!

jemum Mon 28-Sep-09 08:46:13


Sorry - I don't know the names of any bf slings. Maybe someone else can recommend one?

tiktok Mon 28-Sep-09 08:53:01

sad tale....I am an NCT bf counsellor and classes should be explaining to mothers how to ascertain the baby is feeding well.

On the other hand, a 13 per cent weightloss from birth (assuming the scales were accurate) is hardly ever an emergency requiring immediate use of formula I wasn't there and maybe your baby was in a very bad way (though I'd be surprised....), but usually, some expressed breastmilk and/or an effective breastfeed helped by a midwife to check milk was being transferred would do the job.

There are other ways alongside weight to check the baby is doing well.

You might have needed extra support for a few days to ensure the bf had turned a corner.

This time, you'll know to have the transfer of milk checked from the start, so you don't hit a 4 day crisis.

babybillandsplodge Mon 28-Sep-09 08:56:14

He had completely dry nappies, urates (sp?) and was difficult to rouse - but I've no idea how quickly any of this could have been rectified with bf sad.

All I could think was that I'd caused this with my stubborn determination to bf and my inability to tell he wasn't actually feeding.

My GP didn't help by just telling me to give him a bottle and not worry about it sad.

babybillandsplodge Mon 28-Sep-09 08:57:19

Any tips on entertaining DS1 from anyone? Will obviously be on my own most of the time so need lots of strategies!

tiktok Mon 28-Sep-09 09:09:52

Urates are a sign the baby needs fluid, completely dry nappies not a good sign....yes, your baby needed to feed, would not be able to say if the only option was formula.

Whatever....why should you have known he wasn't feeding? It's the hospital's job to check on this. Babies do sometimes hang out at the breast doing not very much, and midwifery skills include, or should do, telling the diff. between that and actual feeding

Terrible postnatal care angry

comewhinewithme Mon 28-Sep-09 09:13:50

Take one day at a time set yourself small time limits if you are finding it hard such as : One more day then I will see how I feel.
Worked for me and ddis 17 weeks now.

Also lots of skin to skin baths and cuddles when lo has had a feed let them just snuggle uup next to your boob for a while.

Good luck.

comewhinewithme Mon 28-Sep-09 09:17:28

BTW with regards to the time it takes to bf dd is my sixth child (first to be BF) and I find it takes no more time now then bottle feeding, ok the first six weeks were a bit of a slog but that was due to cluster feeding which usually hapened in the evening.
Plus you can snuggle up with your older child and read -watch-- cbeebies while feeding and you don't have to worry about bottles sterilisers and going out in the rain to buy formula grin.

comewhinewithme Mon 28-Sep-09 09:21:07

Sorry for typos and sorry you has such a hard time with last baby sad.

We have a surestart centre near us with a bf cousellor maybe you have one too? I know ours does home visits.

BertieBotts Mon 28-Sep-09 09:26:38

You can feed in a wrap sling or a ring sling, there are some others but those are the ones I know of My favourite kind for newborns is a stretchy wrap as once they are in they are so snug it really is hands-free. I only managed to feed DS once or twice in the sling though - but it was definitely possible and I think with practice it would get easier

detoxdiva Mon 28-Sep-09 09:28:17

Hi. Your experience reminds me a little of mine with my dd. My milk took a long time to come in and she wasn't latched on correctly either. She lost a lot of her birthweight and also was jaundiced. Luckily I had a patient mw who helped me a lot.

My tips to you would be:

Feed your baby whenever he demands, esp in the first few days to encourage your milk to come in quickly and to keep the supply up. I have just had my ds and he was on the breast all the time - esp at night - for the first 3 days. Buy a good nipple cream and prepare to be feeding all the time to start.

Eat and drink plenty. Prepare meals now to freeze or have dh/dp/friends cook fot you. Always have a pint of water with you when you're feeding.

Don't be afraid to limit visitors in the early days so you can concentrate on getting the feeding established.

A friend bought my dd a breastfeeding bag when ds was's basically a collection of new toys and puzzles that she only plays with when I'm feeding. Would something like this work for your ds at home? Also look out for bf cafes, drop in centres, postnatal groups.

Good luck smile

BertieBotts Mon 28-Sep-09 09:29:06

Also another answer for your 2nd question - even if DS2 is having a marathon feeding session, he will be ok if you take him off for a moment to go and see to DS1. He might not be very impressed but for 5 minutes it's not going to be disastrous.

ramblingmum Mon 28-Sep-09 09:37:55

Hi I'm bf dd2 at the moment. My dd1 is a bit older she was 2.5 when dd2 was born. As well as cbeebies , I read a book with her, give her a drink and a snack or let her feed her teddy next to me to try and keep her occupied. Also I can usually get one feed in before she wakes up, one when she is having a nap, and another when she has gone to bed she it is usually only 2 or 3 feeds when she is around. I know it is harder at the beginning as it can be hard to know when they will feed. I have fed dd2 in a moby wrap, I find it a bit fiddly to get her in so I can be totally hands free, but it is good for supporting her body so I can just hold her head with one hand and still move around. DD1 does see to pick these moments to need the potty. A friend found a ring sling good for feeding.
I hope it works out for you this time

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 28-Sep-09 09:47:40

My baby had a 14% weight loss by day 4 and was dehydrated. I think it was because because my milk didn't fully come in until day 5 and she was a big baby and really hungry. I was advised to give top ups and was really upset about it because I was desperate to breastfeed. However I was advised to only offer them after a feed and expressed after each feed too from both sides. We gave any expressed milk first and didn't push the formula when it seemed like she had had enough so that she only had about six 20-30ml formula top ups before the midwife was happy that she was putting on weight well and we went back to full breastfeeding on day 9. I also had help with latching her on at the same time from a really nice nurse.

Hopefully you won't have to do top ups this time, but I just wanted to add my tips for if you do. Sometimes it is medically indicated and you shouldn't feel guilty for that, but it shouldn't have to mean giving up breastfeeding.

alexpolismum Mon 28-Sep-09 15:20:47

My ds was 14 months old when my dd was born.

Some of the things I did with him while feeding dd were:

Read a book with him (obviously sit him on the other side to baby's head!)

Give him his shoes to put on (god knows why, but he could spend hours playing with his shoes!)

Put baby in a sling (I have a ring sling and a pouch that someone got me from here and I found they were both great for bf) this meant I could bf whilst walking about, doing other things, entertaining ds

Give ds some crayons and a piece of paper and tell him to draw a picture to stick by dd's cot

I hope you manage to get off to a better start this time, good luck!

PacificDogwood Mon 28-Sep-09 15:42:20

OP, successful BFing after a bad expererience can be done smile and I really believe being pigheaded determined about it is an important first step.

After 2 middling to poor attempts as BFing DS1 and 2 I was hellbent on giving DS3 the best shot I could at BFing:

1 I did not leave hospital until I thought latch was ok (48 hrs after totally normal vag delivery)

2 When he cried I always offered breast first before trying to figure out if he wanted something else - usually he didn't wink

3 I had arranged my life before the birth to allow for as much time as possible spent with BFing him: DSs1 and 2 still went ot childminder a couple of days a week, freezer was fully stocked with precooked/TV dinners, cleaner continued even though I was on mat leave etc.

4 I had a special box of toys/sparkly crayons that only came out when I was Bfing, which was a great success with the older 2.

5 I had made sure I had all sorts of contacts to various different BFing support agencies: LLL, BFN, local hospital, community volunteers, BF support group. And I did pester not hesitate to contact them. I had some supply problems and problems with blocked ducts/glands (with hindsight maybe poor milktransfer from breast to baby??) and I really really used the service, a lot blush.

6 I tried v hard to not look further forward than the next feed or may the next day, as in "I'll just feed him again next time, and then we'll see". The initial goal I had set myself was 6 weeks, then 3 months, then 6, and after that it was soooo much easier than anything else we just continued and I did not think about it much at all. We stopped (gradually) at 13-14 months because I wanted to wear decent bras again <<shallow>> and he was not terribly interested anymore.

I hope some of this will help you. Yes, the older 2 watched a lot of TV but I was also lucky that they had each other I suppose. I am hoping to do it all again next year, oh gawd... grin!!
Oh, and yes, a ringsling is great for feeding on the go when baby is tiny; I found it harder with a bigger/heavier child.

Good luck to you, I hope you have a good experience this time.

PacificDogwood Mon 28-Sep-09 15:45:04

To make up for the previous boring long post:
Reasons to be proud

babybillandsplodge Mon 28-Sep-09 18:08:29

tiktok, yes it was terrible - have had debrief at the hospital and it's all written up on my birth notes and new birth plan in the hope it won't be repeated.

comewhine, yes, I think breaking it down into a feed at a time would help - I tend to set myself impossible goals and then when I fail, I fail spectacularly. I have set myself a goal at the moment to feed for the first two weeks, then move on from there. Good to know the cluster feeding will mainly be in the evening too, so as long as I can get DS1 to bed, I should be able to concentrate on DS2 smile.

Bertie, thanks for the tips on the sling - I have a babasling, will this work or do I need to invest in a new one? Also, good to know I can break off a feed and restart - for a nervous 2nd timer that's useful advice cos I think I would have worried that it would mess up his feeding altogether if I did that blush.

detox, the bf bag sounds great - will speak to dh about putting something together.

ramblingmum, at least I don't have to worry about potty training - DS is far too young for that!

Apple unfortunately it wasn't top ups but fully ff with any expressed bm too - he wouldn't feed from me at all and I got little or no support, just told to bottle feed and that was it. Hence why bf ended so quickly sad.

alex, some good tips - esp like the one about the shoes smile.

pacific, thank you for your informative post and the lovely link smile.

I have just had my final NCT class and been talking about bf - feeling very positive about it so keeping everything crossed that it works this time. All your posts have really helped - will be saving this thread for future ref smile.

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