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Really ridiculous.... but I'm freaking out already, is there anything I can do in advance?

(24 Posts)
fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 14:59:39

I'm 21 weeks pregnant ! With my second... The thing is my son never seemed to latch properly, the stupid (sorry lol) midwives cup fed him formula when I told them not to, but they said they had to because the doctor said so ... he was under the phototherapy lights for 3 days and after that I could never get him to feed normally again.

I ended up expressing constantly all day in between feeding him and changing him for 9 really crap months. Then I gave up and magically became pregnant again, which is great!

I'm already absolutely adamant about having a home-birth because I so want breastfeeding to work, it's really important to me... To be honest I'm scared because I don't think I'd be able to put myself through expressing again as I did...

I have huge sized G-H boobs (on a smallish frame) my nipples aren't the pointiest in the world, and my breasts are too big to hold in one hand (I got nervous about suffocating DS last time!)

Is there anything I can do to help my chances of breastfeeding successfully in advance?! Ridiculous question I know but I'm already worrying!

starlover Mon 13-Jun-05 15:05:02

i don't think there is anything you can "DO" in advance. other than STOP WORRYING! LOL

i had probs with feeding to start with, and they bottle fed DS formula, because i just had no idea there were other options!

I also have non-pointy nipples... the right one is almost flat... but I did manage to B/F ds! he had no problem, but I did have problems with positioning and getting him to latch on. Once we had sorted that he was fine!

I don't think you need to hold your boob... A lady I was in hospital with had the hugest boobs i have EVER seen, and was b/fing very successfully. As far as I know her little boy is still ok!!! lol

All i can say is find out as MUCH as you can, be prepared for all eventualities. Find out where your local b/f counsellors are in case things go wrong...

good luck

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 15:07:16

Thankyou lol I've spotted a number for a breastfeeding counsellor at the hospital and there's a local La Leche Leage meet up...I'll have to write the numbers down for both next time I go to my midwife...just to stop this stupid worrying!!

SenoraPostrophe Mon 13-Jun-05 15:08:22

Don't worry!

I was scared dd might suffocate under my enormous boobs, but the m/w pointed out that she would just unlatch if she couldn't breath. I found a way of feeding her involving creating an airway for her with one hand.

But anyway it's possible to b/f with all sorts of boobs/nipples. It might help to watch someone else do it first, but other than that, i can't think of anything: you never know - it may go swimmingly this time with no help needed at all.

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 15:10:54

I can see it now, me being the only woman with a huge bump at the LLL meeting avidly watching all of them breastfeed and taking notes...before being kicked out for being a total weirdo!

Chickyboo Mon 13-Jun-05 15:22:00

Hi fastasleep don't think that you should worry about it too much but if you are having baby in same hospital i'd ask to see breatsfeeding counsellor before birth.

My breasts are also huge 36L at their biggest after dd was born so know exactly why you are worried about suffocating baby...I was the same. I wsh i'd invested in some really good breastfeeding clothes, for when you are out. Peolple can't help looking at your boobs they're so hard to cover

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 15:30:05

At this rate I'll be demanding that the breastfeeding counsellor attends the birth

My midwives are going to love me once they realise what I'm like!

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 15:30:58

I'm so glad big boobs don't spell the end, I've never seen a huge chested woman breastfeeding, I'll have to go find one for a quick demo...

Pruni Mon 13-Jun-05 15:34:40

Message withdrawn

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 15:35:54

If I go any madder I may be able to persuade DH to get me one of those Pruni! Thanks! I hope it all works out for you, I bet it will!

Pruni Mon 13-Jun-05 15:36:46

Message withdrawn

gothicmama Mon 13-Jun-05 15:37:40

you could try massaging and pulling your nipples in advance to get them used to the sensation and to toughen them up - anything you can do to relax yourself so it is a pleasure an dnot something you woory about will make it easier

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 15:39:44

Oh thank god Pruni, you sound weirder about it than me! (In a good way lol)

I think I might try the massage, in the hope of gaining pointy nipples!

starlover Mon 13-Jun-05 15:42:10

there is something you can buy called a niplette.. which is used for people with inverted nipples... it just pulls the nipple out a bit i think!

Chickyboo Mon 13-Jun-05 15:44:32

Forgot to add I also have flat nipples but dd did eventually latch on it took about 2 weeks for us to master bfing.

Managed about 6mths but express all way through.

I remember being very anxious but remember all those bottles and sterilising are just another job you don't need when you are knackered, that's one of things that kept me going.

starlover Mon 13-Jun-05 15:46:41

nipplette here

sure i have seen them cheaper though!

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 15:49:31

Heehee! That looks funny, I wonder if I could get DH to get me one... do they make your nipples stay erect forever?!

WigWamBam Mon 13-Jun-05 16:17:08

When I was breastfeeding dd, my boobs went up to 48K - which is pretty big by anybody's standards. I also only have small, unpointy nipples, but you may well find they change once you're feeding anyway. Having big boobs made it a little more awkward to feed in public, but it's possible to do - I fed dd for 2 years, so it can't have been that bad!

There are a couple of ways that can make life easier for you when you first start to feed. Make sure that you have plenty of cushions to lie the baby on, to make sure you can get the head to the right level. I used a triangular pillow for ages and it was a godsend. You can also lie the baby down on a pillow on the edge of the bed and feed sitting next to the bed. I found the rugby ball hold worked well too, with dd on the pillow next to me and her legs underneath my arm.

You don't need to hold your breast in your hand when you feed; if you have the baby positioned properly, there's no way you will suffocate him/her. If me and my dd can manage with my enormous bazoomas then anyone can.

ricecake Mon 13-Jun-05 16:39:09

fastasleep - I thoroughly sympathise. I also have large boobs and it is very difficult getting a large boob into a tiny new born's mouth ! Like one of my friends said it's like feeding him with a Big Mac (lol)

I just wanted to give you my support on this as you seem very committed to BF.

I have a DS now 11.5 months old and still breastfed. He is my first and only child. We also had difficulty getting a proper latch established for 4 days after he was born. He just would not open his mouth wide enough or suck properly. He just didn't know how to. It also did not help that my silly midwife (luckily I only spent 24 hours in the place where I gave birth and was counting the minutes to take my baby home) told me not to touch my boob, not even to help get it inside my baby's mouth. I agree that the aerola should not be touched or squeezed, but with a big boob you simply have to touch the boob to get baby to take a proper latch. You can end up with horribly painful nipples if baby ends up chewing the ends of you nipples all the time.

In fact you do need to have a bit of practice with a large boob, and don't listen to anyone who says don't squeeze your breast a bit to help get it into baby's mouth.

Also I had a natural birth and after about 8 hours of intense labour, I ended up with a very painful pelvis. Walking, sitting and holding the baby to breastfeed him while sitting resulted in total anguish, especially in the first week. It was my husband (an engineer so he knows alot about technical things !) who suggested I hold baby on his side on the edge of the bed, and prop one boob on the edge of the bed while I was kneeling on the floor with pillows under my knees. I have to admit this is not a very comfortable position for BF, but I had less pain than when I was sitting and it meant that my boob was well proped up for the baby to get a latch. It also helped that a close friend who had alot of experience breasfeeding her two sons, came to our house on the 4th day and showed me how to get a proper latch without suffocating baby !

After day 4 we never looked back. With practice the latch got better and better and he began to suck for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes and so forth. He had doubled his birth weight on exclusive breastfeeding by 4 months !

The other thing that works really well (and DS and I use this position 11.5 months later !) is lying side by side on the bed. Again the boob you are feeding from gets proped up by the bed and baby is nice and comfortable too lying on his side - usually sends him dozzing !

I am not a breastfeeding expert, and indeed I think that if my friend had not helped "undo" some of what I had been taught by midwives and the one NCT adviser (please no criticism of the NCT in general, just the one particular adviser), it may have all gone horribly wrong. But like you I was extremely persistent.

Please do seek some help from a breastfeeding adviser both before and after you baby's birth. The NCT taught me the basic methods of BF when I was pregnant and I didn't have a clue (they use dolls to teach you), but as I always say nothing beats a real life baby and a real boob being observed by an experienced adviser.

Do seek advice from several breastfeeding orgs. Also if you have a friend or close relative who has breastfed successfully, they would probably be your best advisers ! I think it's sad that the "art" of breastfeeding has to be taught to us by strangers these days. In the old days it would have been mothers and sisters and cousins who helped.

Best of luck and don't give up !

triceratops Mon 13-Jun-05 16:55:53

I would try to find out where the nearest breastfeeding cafe to you is. (like a mums and babies group but with better coffee), they have bf councellors on hand and lots of people in the same boat. Buy some lanisoh for the cracked nipple thing and try not to worry too much.

All babies are different and you may find that baby fastasleep latches straight away. Ds latched on about two mins after he was born and I swear I could have stood up and done a jig with him dangling from my chest and he would have stayed on .

fastasleep Mon 13-Jun-05 16:57:03

Aww thankyou, I hope this one's a guzzler, I don't care if she feeds all day every day for six months as long as she likes it!!

Prufrock Mon 13-Jun-05 17:01:14

fastasleep - my breasts are a 32G normally (went up to a 36M when bf and I never had problems because of the size. I used to support my babies on a cushion on my lap, and then sort of press on my breast just above where the nipple was in the mounth so that my fingers made a little air passage for the nose. SP is right - if they are suffocation, they will just unlatch and come up for air.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 13-Jun-05 20:09:33

A BFC friend reckons that niplette's aren't worth it - the thing is, if you leak a bit of colostrum, they'll come off. They were originally invented not for bf, but for women who wanted pointier nipples (!!).

At any rate, a bit of pumping with a breastpump will bring up nipples, and it doesn't matter if you leak. You can pump before feeding, to make things easier.

That being said, my experience with my DS1 was a bit like yours - not huge breasts, but flattish nipples, latch problems. We did cup feeding, then nipple shields, and did ok, but DS1 didn't gain very well.

I was ready for a big fight with DS2, but as he latched on in recovery, right after being born, we had no problems at all. He's an effective breastfeeder, and reasonably plump.

fastasleep Tue 14-Jun-05 10:29:48

That's reassuring NQC I often wonder whether DS had s bit of a crap sucking reflex to be honest, it took hours to get a 150 ml bottle of EBM down him nevermind anything else... and I never saw him do that 'yawn' thing they're meant to do for a latch on! [confused face]... I'm hoping this one will be a total fatty (DS is still classed as underweight)

It's great to see that mums who had a hard time the first time can go on to find it a lot more easy second time round!

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