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Second time lucky - any tips on getting bf right this time?

(15 Posts)
BlueyDragon Thu 15-Oct-09 23:22:08

Had a complete disaster bf'g DD - she was jaundiced and slept constantly, couldn't get the latch right at all leading (after 5 days) to nipples so badly damaged they took 3 weeks to heal, expressed as much as possible but couldn't hack the pace so abandoned proper bf at around 9 days and expressing around 6 weeks. The whole disaster didn't do much for my PND.

No 2 is due March 2010 and I REALLY want to get it right this time. Any hints or tips would be gratefully received.

Dawnybabe Thu 15-Oct-09 23:29:26

I would just say that every baby is different and don't assume that it will be as difficult. I had an equally nightmarish time with my first, but my second took to it like a duck to water and just as importantly, so did I. Don't worry about it till you're there, honestly!

She's now having weight gain problems but that's an entirely different story!

annamama Fri 16-Oct-09 01:52:22

I've read on other threads that most people think it's easier 2nd time around! I had a hard time too and nipples still bear the scares from it... ouch. We finally got the hang of it at about 6 weeks but before that we had just about all problems you can have. No weight gain (baby), not knowing how often and how long to feed, badly cracked nipples, not latching properly, mastitis, pain, etc. And I thought it would just be a natural thing... {hmm}

ProcessYellowC Fri 16-Oct-09 09:25:09

Be ready to use the all the RL help that is available. Find out when and where for your local bf support groups, clinics, etc. Find out if there are any ante-natal bf sessions locally. It is a natural thing, but it is also pretty difficult in our society when the first time most of us see a baby breastfeeding is when we're feeding our own!

I am so impressed that you expressed for 6 weeks. That must have taken incredible determination. Good luck for this time round.

BlueyDragon Sat 17-Oct-09 21:03:27

Thanks for the advice - I had most of it in my head but it's always good to know that I'm not just making it up. I'm hoping a) different baby, b) more knowledge about the whole baby stage, and c) not being so d*mn British about the whole thing (i.e. grabbing all the support I possibly can and admitting that I am not superhuman) will all help. I'm not doing the expressing again to that extent. It nearly broke me completely last time and I can't go through that or put DH and DD through that. But I did my best and that's what I'll do this time smile.

AnyFuleKno Sat 17-Oct-09 21:11:21

Grabbing all support you can - exactly what you need to do. Write down all phone numbers etc in advance...La Leche League, NCT etc etc. I had them on a post it next to my bed and worked my way down the list till I got the help I needed.

Don't try and get back to normal straight away - babymoon as much as you can, considering you have a dc already. Lounge around, let others take care of housework etc as much as poss.

Lansinoh. In fact I used to rub a bit of lansinoh and a couple of drops of breastmilk into nipples after each feed, and this really helped with soreness/cracked nippes.

poppysocks Sat 17-Oct-09 21:34:02

Lots of people said to me after I didn't manage it with DD1 that it's as much about the baby as the mother and I just thought they were being kind. With DD2 though as soon as I put her to the breast when she was 20 minutes old I knew they were right. She just knew what to do and although it was still bloody painful to begin with I knew it was going to be ok.

Another thing is that I didn't have high expectations second time round. DD1 hadn't been poisoied by formula and I knew that DD2 wouldn't be either, if it came to it. I wanted to try though but promised that I wouldn't beat myself up about it if it didn't work out. DH was worried I'd put as much (or more) pressure on myself again but we agreed that I'd aim just to give her the colostrum and take it from there. That got me through the first few days and I realised once my milk was in that it was a little bit easier and that got me through the next days etc. etc. Taking the pressure off myself definitely helped.

I guess I was in a different place second time round. I knew it would be painful and time-consuming. In a weird way, having a CS also helped as it forced me take it easy and just let DD2 feed while others ran around after DD1!

Good luck. smile

lovelymama Sat 17-Oct-09 21:44:23

Just agreeing with the advice that's already been given - get some help! Without my NHS breastfeeding counsellor I'd have given up breastfeeding after a few days. Turns out, my technique was awful which is why my nipples hurt like hell and I literally wanted to fight DS off me whenever he wanted to feed! Just a few little positioning tips made feeding a beautiful, leisurely experience and DS was able to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months of his life.

The best thing is you really want to breastfeed and that means you've got a great chance of succeeding. And if things don't work out, it's not the end of the world and certainly don't beat yourself up about it.

PacificWerewolfwoohood Sat 17-Oct-09 21:59:39

Hi, just offering more encouragement: it CAN be done! I had rubbish experience BFing DSs1 and 2 (inexperience/bad advice first time round, prem baby 2nd time I expressed for exclusively for a few months) and managed much, much better with DS3.

FWIW, here is what helped me:
- Pigheadedness. Be determined that you are going to BF this time!
- Help. Be aware and have phone numbers etc handy for all the BFing advice available in your area. I had support from specialist BFing MW, HVs, BFing support group, peer support, LLL...
- Time. Just accept you are going to spend a lot of time sitting on your backside with baby latched on. Yes, my other 2 watched a lot of Cbeebies...wink
- Goals. Do not set any. My only ambition was always "the next feed" as in "I'll feed him again next time he is hungry, after that we'll see". Before I new it, he was 6 months old, weaning started and stopping BFing at 13 months was for shallow practical reasons (I wanted to wear a decent bra again grin).

Good luck to you. Oh, and go look at kellymom's and Dr Jack Newman's websites. I lurvve Dr Jack Newman, would probably stalk him if he didn't live in Canada...

LatinDAISYcal Sat 17-Oct-09 22:15:02

forewarned is forearmed!

read everything that you can; on here, kellymom, BfN etc, get the numbers for your local NCT breastfeeding counsellors or the NCT helpline, BfN, LaLecheLeague etc, find out if your hospital is "Baby Friendly" and who the infant feeding co-ordinator is and where the local drop in support groups are.

I'd also suggest babymooning as much as possible in the first week or so. I had an elective with DD and was in a side room for three days; I think being able to just have her right next to me for those few days, with no outside influence or the need to be up and about and entertaining visitors really helped get things off to a flying start. Lots of skin to skin as well especially if you are finding things tough.

I think, based on my own experience, that having had a bad time last time around, you will be more in tune to what is happening this time round and more likely to succeed as a result.

I gave up at about 6 weeks with DS1, constant pain, badly cracked nipples, everyone said latch was fine etc etc. when I was pregnant with DD I found MN and hung around on the BFing boards pretty much all through my pregnancy and when she was born I was determined to get it right. It wasn't easy, but knowing that there was support here (and in RL at a local baby cafe and supportive HVs and MWs) and knowing that problems are soooooo common and that they can be got through, I did and went on to feed her until she was 10 months, only stopping because I was pregnant again and my supply dipped, it was bloody sore, made me feel horribly ill and she went off it.

DS2 is nearly a year and we're still going strong grin

good Luck smile

onemoretimetoday Sun 18-Oct-09 16:03:00

I also had a terrible time with DC1 and managed to BF for 1 week and express for 6 weeks.

DC2 took to BF easily and we mixed fed for 3 months, still not brilliant but that time round I felt in control and it was a literating experience

I am now pregnant with DC3 and am aiming to avoid formula completely this time my main motivation is that we have 2 essential trips in the first 4 months and I cannot be doing with bottles and sterilising. Hopefully but that point it will be so easy that I won't want to stop and I know this is going to be my last baby and I really want to get BF right this time.

Good luck to you

Dawnybabe Mon 19-Oct-09 23:44:31

Poppysocks I could have written your post.

It's amazing the amount of women that have a difficult time with their first and manage it perfectly well with the second. Perhaps it's a confidence thing, or something.

Just remember that formula really isn't the work of the devil, it's just a synthetic milk, and if you've got some breastmilk in your baby at all then that's a bonus.

Wait till they're two and telling you that they will never ever eat anything healthy. Then start worrying about their diet!

sonmc Tue 20-Oct-09 13:19:07

My second is just 4 weeks old - I had a nightmare time with my first and gave up feeding at 4 weeks - I can honestly say it took me the best part of a year and a half to get over the guilt of doing that but I was a physical and mental wreck at the time. (So far) second time around it's going really well...
The most important thing is to get as much help as possible as soon as you feel something is going wrong, hassle as much as possible while you're in hospital to check the baby's latched on properly.
Wish you so much luck, it really upset me and made me feel a failure first time round but you'll find that (generally) everything is a bit easier second time round.
And most importantly as the last poster said formula isn't the work of the devil if it does all go pear-shaped.
Please don't spend the rest of your pregnancy worrying!

BlueyDragon Thu 22-Oct-09 23:40:57

Again, thanks all - I'm feeling quite positive about the whole thing now, whatever happens.

Lotster Fri 23-Oct-09 00:09:34

I can honestly say I think that apart from being mentally and physically in better shape myself the second time round, (first birth had trauma/PTSD/thrush, the works, and second was Elec C/S after first traumas) the best thing I did to ensure a good start to BF was to keep people at arms length for a few days.

First time I had visitors every day except one, for two weeks solid, and I was exhausted and constantly on display - so had very little time to tune in to my baby and feeding that his needs came second and almost inconvenient. I became run down and too tired to cope with it, and it is so demanding, even when you're doing it right!

Second time she and I were in hospital for three days then home for a few with just one or two people who were asked to keep it short. It really made such a difference.
I had lots of time to moon over her and being a (tiny bit) less tired, and a lot less stressed by staying "coccooned", I was so happy, even when the old split re-emerged on my right nipple and the left had a whacking great blister!
Only trouble we had was that as she was small for dates, she fed like a demon for the first few weeks. So twice in the first fortnight, when she'd been at both boobs three times in a row and I was empty, I topped her up with a little formula. Didn't want to, but I knew she'd done the work to bring milk in within a few hours, but was still screaming hungry. It worked and I didn't have to do it more than once or twice, but I cannot let down to an expressing machine so I felt it was the right thing to do.

Really wish you the best of luck as I know how much you can feel the need to get it right the second time!

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