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How do I do it?

(22 Posts)
Dinny Sun 15-Jun-03 23:30:27

Hi, all, I'm a bit scared about posting this, but here goes - I didn't manage to feed my 1st baby (expressed for a month - she wouldn't latch on and I never asked for help from any bf counsellors.) Anyway, have just about come to terms with this and am thinking about baby no. 2. What can I do to be confident about bf-ing - feel I am a total failure and am destined never to do it. Dinny.

mmm Mon 16-Jun-03 07:52:05

Dinny dear, of course you're not a total failure -it's great if you can and great if you can't, no one's looking at you and thinking you're a failure apart from YOURSELF.Now that's out of the way, I think it'd be a good idea to ask and ask and ask for all the help you can get and tell them all you really really want to breast feed but are very nervous etc because of your last experience and please help. Someone showed me that I had to sort of squish up my nipple and shove as much in as possible and I hope it works for you.x

ninja Mon 16-Jun-03 08:03:49

dinny - why don't you go to a breastfeeding group BEFORE you have baby no 2? my local one is so friendy and say they encourage regnant women

this way you could see lots of relaxed bf women and get some adice in advance - i wish i'd done this.

it's worth inding out if there's a localgroup run by a feeding specialist tho'

motherinferior Mon 16-Jun-03 08:24:34

I totally second the fact that you're not a failure if you can't breastfeed. I also second the suggestion of going to a breastfeeding group/workshop in advance because that's what I did last time round and it was really good. Where are you? I went to the workshop run by King's Hospital in South East London last time - very good if somewhat 'breastfeed your child till s/he is 8'ish, and 'breast milk is good for every single ailment you might have' (someone did ask if it was any good for piles...). And you get to see hilarious films of Swedish women ski-ing downhill before ripping off their reindeer sweaters to b/f, and sit around fitting dollies over your vast pregnant tummy - all of which cheered me up considerably. But if you do find it impossible again, don't beat yourself up. xxxx

Bossanova Mon 16-Jun-03 08:56:21

I would say ask for advice if you have problems BUT you might be absolutely fine with this baby. I fed my dd for about 20 months and had enormous problems with my ds. He just didn't seem to have a clue to begin with. I persevered because I knew that I had done it before. In the end after about a month it was ok and we carried on til he was 2. The only thing I would say about 'experts' is that they don't agree. Just try everything until it works for you. Good luck, you'll do fine.

Bron Mon 16-Jun-03 14:11:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

codswallop Mon 16-Jun-03 14:16:40

i bf ds 1, bottled ds2 , said never again to ds3 and guess what..? i am bf him! so start ecah baby as a blank sheet

Marina Mon 16-Jun-03 14:27:00

Dinny, please, please don't think of yourself as a failure - b/f does not always work out for women, especially if they did not get some good support at the time. It is actually pretty hard to get established for the majority of women, I had a pig of a time with ds and only got through it because I had loads of support.
You've had good advice already - contact your local NCT branch and ask for contact details of local breastfeeding counsellors. Although volunteers, they have all undergone good training and at their best can be wonderful, supportive people.
Also, look out for Jasper on these boards. She successfully b/f after it not working out first two times and is a real inspiration to us all. There was a long thread about it, she is sure to remember the title (or maybe someone else will and post a link). I hope she sees your post.

Dinny Mon 16-Jun-03 20:20:59

These posts all give me hope! Thanks. When (and if) I have another baby, I think I will definitely join an ante-natal bf group (ironically, missed my NCT bf-ing "evening" due to bloody Tube being suspended - I blame L.U. for my troubles!) Thank you all again for your help. d x

mears Mon 16-Jun-03 22:54:50

Immediate skin-to-skin contact post delivery encourages babies to breastfeed Dinny. Also very good for a reluctant breast feeder. Definately attend breastfeeding workshop by midwife - most hospitals run them. Hopefully it will work out better this time. Definately use the services of B/F counsellors if running into problems. A lot of mums tend to let problems become huge instead of seeking advice at the hint of trouble. Good luck.

crazynow Mon 16-Jun-03 23:44:05

I had problems bf-ing ds, I was like you and felt a failure. I had my sister telling me, mum b/f and she b/f so you'll have no problem. But I did have problems, I couldn't produce enough milk so in the end I did both b/f and bottle fed. I did go to b/f workshops (if that's what you call them and the M/wife tried to help).

This time I'm not going to get worked up over it, and just try my best, knowing that not everyone takes to it like ducks to water.

tinyfeet Tue 17-Jun-03 02:26:16

I agree with Mears - We were told at our bf course that the most important thing about bf-ing is immediate contact and attempts at bf-ing after the baby is born. I bf DD as soon as she was cleaned up, and she latched on immediately. In speaking with my friends who have had problems, in each case, it seems that they did not immediately attempt to bf for one reason or another. Good luck!

robinw Tue 17-Jun-03 06:41:50

message withdrawn

motherinferior Tue 17-Jun-03 08:26:59

Incidentally I didn't have much skin to skin contact just after dd was born - felt so traumatised and exhausted that when they plonked this gelatinous thing on my tummy I thought, very clearly, 'can you all please bugger off, including the baby, and let me get some SLEEP' - so if you can't get that immediately don't let it discourage you too much. I fed dd copiously and effectively for several months, and the only problem was trying to produce a bit *less* milk and submerge the achy bosoms.

IMO breastfeeding is like acupuncture at the beginnning - it hurts, but if it works out you know *where* it should hurt. And if it doesn't, soddit. Reassure yourself that plenty of breastfed babies grown up to be just as disfunctional as anyone else!

milch Tue 17-Jun-03 13:15:04

dinny - I too bottlefed my first and got utterly distressed by the feeling of 'I can't feed my baby', but I'm breastfeeding my second now. I agree with the advice here (I've only skimmed so I may repeat what others have said) and would also suggest that you don't expect too much of yourself - breastfeeding and toddler-mothering and housework and shopping and entertaining - take it easy, concentrate on the breastfeeding, get as much support as you can, rest, drink, eat, enjoy the closeness.

If you decide not to try breastfeeding again, but to go straight to bottles knowing that you did your best before, that's also good. Whatever you do you're not a failure because there's so much more to nurturing your baby than just breastfeeding.

Good luck, and talk to 'us', we'll also help whenever we can!

PODGE5FB Tue 17-Jun-03 13:36:20

i too bottle fed ds1 and wanted to have a go with number 2. i told the midwife that i would like skin to skin contact straight after the birth. i had contact for about half and hour. then when he was weighed the midwife helped him latch on. we kept the lights low and it was very quiet and relaxed. this worked well. don't be embarassed about asking for help - i asked lots of friends who'd breast fed - they're usually the most honest. anothe radvantage you have is that you already know your first child turned out fine having the bottle. i also found it helpful to actually watch other people breast feed - as this helps with positioning.
also like someone else said you have to give the feeding your priority and not worry about other things.

Dinny Wed 18-Jun-03 21:16:23

I had skin-to-skin contact with dd straight after birth - she just had no interest in my boobs. Midwife was no help really (was just after midnight on a Friday, maybe a bad time to give birth...?) Also, dd was 4 wks early - she was physically fine but it meant the hospital did blood-sugar tests every few hours. I expressed & cup fed her as she wouldn't latch on. Anyway, was a horrible, lonely time - just keep thinking if things would have been different if she's been born when hospital bf counsellor was around. When any nurses tried to help me, they just rammed her head at my boob and she went crazy screaming. In the end, I was just too weary to try any more. So hope things are different next time.

motherinferior Thu 19-Jun-03 10:35:30

I hope so too. You poor love - it sounds as if the b/f was just one of a set of horrible things. I know that when I was in overnight, I felt totally unsupported with attempts to b/f (same ramming babe at boob approach), and only decent midwife support etc got me feeling easy with it.

suzyj Thu 19-Jun-03 10:52:07

motherinferior - I too went to those classes and saw the cross-country ski feeding video. Sniggered at the back and got a poisonous look from the 'bf your children until they can help themselves from the fridge' lady. When did you go, where do you live??

motherinferior Thu 19-Jun-03 12:25:24

I went before dd, so two and a half years ago now; I lived in Forest Hill at the time and now live in Catford. And I'm having my second baby in about 3 weeks. The one thing I'm NOT worried about this time is breastfeeding!

Wish it really did help with losing weight, though...

Iggy Thu 19-Jun-03 15:51:23

Had both my boys under general anaesthetic ( at diff times, and both born abroad ) and was too groggy to demand they bring me the baby when I came round. Never managed to feed either of them. The poor boy DS1 was hungry, latched on, but always fell asleep after a few mins. Then woke up after half an hour hungry again. I was bfing every hour. Same probs with the second one. Its my biggest regret that i did not stick to it and push for help. Was not given advice re expressing either and there is only so much one can pick up from books when in a foreigh country, Keep at it if you can or atleast express. I wish I had, apparantly if you can stick to it for 6 weeks, then it gets much easier. Good luck to everybody who is trying and struggling.

kaz33 Thu 19-Jun-03 21:10:53

Hi Dinny, like you did not breastfeed my first baby successfully.

DS2 is now 20 days old and am mostly suceeding to breastfeed him. It hurts like hell and sometimes I just can't handle it and he gets a bottle of expressed milk or formula. However, I am glad that I am perservering - its a very intimate experience, the portability is great as it allows me to get out and about with the two of them and he really seems more settled when I breastfeed him.

Get advice early - by the 4 or 5th day i was having problems and started to ask for help. By then it was almost too late. It took me 10 days before i finally realised what a good latch looked and felt like.

Get yourself an electric breastpump - great for moving things along and loosening any blockages.

Don't beat yourself up if you do end up mixed feeding - its a case of what works for you.

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