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breastfeeding tips(16 Posts)
I am due my second baby very soon and would really like to breast feed this time (i struggled last time and got very little support from the midwives)
I feel quite overwhelmed reading all the online info, so am hoping for some tips from veteran mums!
My hormonal self thanks you in advance
Others with much more knowledge than me will be along, but just to reassure you that I found it much easier to establish BF second time around, having had a pretty tricky time first time. Don't go home from hospital (or let your midwife leave) until you're happy with the latch, I had quite a bit of support my first night in hospital with my second baby, and a lovely encouraging community midwife on my first home visit this time.
First time round, one of the community midwives actually said as she was manhandling my boobs, "no, no, you're doing it all wrong" - just the boost I needed when very hormonal and anxious!!
My daughter managed to breast feed her DD very successfully after a shaky start. She found the most helpful thing was to be part of an online breast feeding support group. No matter how bleak the situation seemed in the early hours, someone else was always around to respond to questions or give reassurance.
Aw thanks my confidence got a bit knocked last time after one of the hospital midwives made a bit of a weird comment about my boobs- made me really self conscious. This time i dont really care so am hoping ill find it easier
have a Breastfeeding advisor come around if you have some near you - my hv got me in touch with one, she was, and still is! absolutely brilliant
Definitely see if your area has a bf support group - they may have one for meeting and general chat, they may have one at the hospital that you go to with specific concerns (eg ds2 not gaining weight, or sore latch). I think what helped me most was finally realising that the baby can't do it all himself (well mine couldn't) I had to have him at the right angle, I had to manoeuvre my nipple too. An acceptance that you will be on the sofa a lot in the first few weeks. And definitely an acceptance (though others may disagree with me) that bf is hard at the beginning, that first week you can feel you're doing everything wrong and the woman in the bed across from you is cheerfully feeding her baby from a bottle while you are in your second hour of unproductive sucking before your milk comes in. Then at some point they just click, and off they go.
and in my three year old's case, they never bloody stop
All the best with your pg.
Have a look for support groups now so that you have that network there if you need it. I found a local La Leche League group on Facebook which was so helpful my first night home from hospital.
I really struggled the first couple of days. My first night in hospital with DD was absolute hell; she screamed and screamed and I didn't know how to latch her on. Different MWs/health workers did come along through the night to latch her on but didn't give me much advice.
Next day one of the health workers came along, took one look at me and said "well, no wonder you're struggling, your nipples are flat". She helped me a lot in getting DD latched and brought a pump along for me to express from the side I was finding most difficult. Much as I didn't want to spend another night in hospital, it was incredibly beneficial in getting us sorted.
The first few days are incredibly hard, there's no getting away from that. DD is 5 weeks now and there are still days that I struggle. Every time I see her little milk drunk face, or she squishes her cheek against my boob, it's totally worth it though
The Womanly art of Breastfeeding is the best book about the subject that I've ever read. I'm bf my 7 month old but wouldn't have been able to without this book.
This is really useful for different positions btw: www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html
I started off only being able to hold DD in the "football" hold and get her latched by kind of manoeuvring my nipple into her mouth. But once we got the hang of it we tend to use cradle/cross cradle now. I still haven't mastered feeding lying down though. I didn't know anything about the different positions at first and was just trying to get her on in cradle position, which really didn't work for us.
This is also something that works well for some people (especially at night, if you're feeding in bed): www.llli.org/docs/0000000000000001WAB/WAB_Tear_sheet_Toolkit/01_laid_back_breastfeeding.pdf
Oh no summer what a crap midwife to make stupid comments. I'd say best thing I did was just feed constantly or as much as other children will allow. It gets things set in place really well. I struggled with ds but am still going with dd2 and she's nearly 3.
Also what PourquoiTuGachesTaVi
Thank you all for your advice. Im sure my area has a support group- i saw signs after dd1 but it was too late by then.
Another question- do midwives refuse to let you leave until your established? A girl on my ward was in tears last time as the midwives didn't want to discharge her until she was feeding properly and i hate the thought of being kept in for ages.
As you can tell my local service isn't the best
If you're having latch issues get it sorted ASAP. I didn't and ended up stopping due to the pain. Also if you're having latch issues get baby checked for tongue tie ASAP.
I'm not sure re discharge tbh. I was told they'd like to keep me in another night to make sure feeding was established and I just agreed because I knew I wouldn't be able to do it without help.
I had two nights in hospital, which I hated, but it was worth it for the feeding help.
I would agree to find out how to get advice once baby is here, as until then you won't know what sort of issues you might need help with. I had a small, sleepy baby so would have needed completely different advice to, for example, the lady posting earlier who said her baby was screaming all night.
Even if there's nobody local, I phoned one of the helplines and they were really helpful over the phone: obviously face-to-face support might be ideal, but the phonelines are better than nothing.
I can't remember which one I called, but there are numbers on this page:
I really benefited from talking to somebody with specific training in breastfeeding rather than the health visitors and midwives, who were lovely but obviously have many other things they are trained in and weren't really able to help me.
Expect it to be hard and tiring.
Don't expect it to go swimmingly, in some circumstances it can take weeks for things to settle down, and then just when you think you've cracked it a growth spurt will kick in and things start to go haywire again.
It's very very fulfilling but it's not always easy.
From a professional angle, mothers are discharged after a few BF's have been observed and midwives feel everything is ok bit that's not to say things will go well over the next few days. I work on an infants ward and we get lots of BF babies being admitted to us between 3-5 days old as they are losing weight.
The thing with breast feeding is that it's so individual and whereas one person may sail through it another person may encounter problem after problem.
My colleague told me the other day that if she was ever going to BF she would set herself a time limit of three weeks and if things weren't going easily by the end of that time frame then she'd just swap to formula. I told her she was setting herself up to fail if she thought there were 'rules' about BF'ing that she expected her baby to follow.
It wasn't until my DS hit 8-9 weeks that the difficulties and worries settled down.
Bit like I said, other women have no problems and from day one their breast feeding journey is a wonderful one,
My advice is take it one day at a time, don't have any expectations as to how BF 'should be' and seek advice and support whenever you feel like you are struggling.
Congratulations on your pregnancy
Use the infant feeding board here. Lots of support even in the early hours when things are most bleak and remember if you are having problems check for tongue tie. One feed at a time was the best advice I got.
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