Help with breastfeeding(21 Posts)
Could anyone recommend a resource online which has absolutely clear and unambiguous instructions on how to breastfeed effectively and painlessly?
I don't think such a thing really exists because it depends on the mum and baby but you could try La Leche League (website and phone) or the NCT breastfeeding website (they have a 'how to' guide).
Is this preparing in advance or is somebody struggling with a newborn now? If it's the latter, I'd push to see a breastfeeding counsellor, lactation consultant or specialist midwife.
Agreed with above. Kellymom is also a useful online resource.
I've successfully EBF two children to the point of self-weaning (apx age 2.5 for both). Initiation of the first was a disaster with birth trauma on my part and an undiagnosed tongue tie on DD1s, and with DD2 everything was perfect/textbook. Hurt at the beginning with both. In my experience (and many other women's) the notion that 'good' breastfeeding doesn't ever hurt is a false one, but the good news is that if all is done properly, once established the pain very quickly goes. Again, can only speak for myself but the initial soreness was worth gritting my teeth and getting through.
I did a shed load of research before my daughter was born but I still had trouble due to tongue tie and poor latch. I personally found Kellymom and support from the workers at our local children's centre really useful. Lots of my friends had no issues at all, mums and babies look to it perfectly.
I'm in Ireland and found a facebook page called 'extended breastfeeding ireland' invaluable. Check and see if there's a fb group local to you, they really are brilliant for advice and support.
I agree with PP that there isn't one. There is a local support organisation around us who will come out and help. Is that an option? I breastfed two babies, one for 15 months, one for just under a year but that's only down to the help and support I had at the beginning.
I would suggest to expect it to be hard at first, though its not for everyone. Get as much support as poss from wherever you can find it. I started off with it being very painful, bleeding nipples etc. Ebf 2 kids to 3 5/3 years. I found the extended latch very useful. You can google it.
Kellymom.com great resource of evidence based information.
You need real life support too, a breastfeeding supporter can work wonders e.g.breastfeeding network, NCT or La Leche League they run groups where you can get support.
La leche league and Kelly mom are excellent as mentioned by pps. I have breastfed my two daughters for two years each- toe-curlingly painful for first week or so both times. I had it best described to me as like the pain of blisters caused by new shoes and it's not far off the truth!
Aim to get past six weeks.
Dont be afriad to use nipple shields to get over any damage caused.
Ask mw and health visitors for any local groups. Even get the numbers of friends who have breastfed for random advice.
Second what everyone's already said above, in-person support is best.
I found biological/laid back nursing helped and 'flipple' technique. Both can be found on youtube
Kellymom and La Leche League are both excellent, but (and I mean this in the nicest possible way) I think your question suggests you don't understand very much about breastfeeding.
As well as Kellymom, I found some of the videos/images showing the anatomy of breastfeeding useful to imagine what a good latch should be like - noting how the baby's lips should look in particular and position of the nipple
Would agree with PP early days may be a bit painful initially but if painful during feeding that usually means the baby is doing a sandpaper job on your nipple which is not great at all - my main learning was be confident to take them off (little finger to pop them off) then try again
Richard, I'm sorry to say I couldn't find an online resource that explained it well enough.
All I can offer is the following:
- Breastfeeding can take a long time to be fully established. If you really want to do it, persevere.
- It can be very painful at first. I remember crying it was so bad. After some time getting used it to it became totally painful.
- Don't get too hung up on "the latch". My DS has never latched in the way it is described in books and online resources.
- Positions are important. Mum can try lying on her side with baby lying on their side next to her. Guide breast to baby's mouth. Or mum can sit up with lots of pillows behind her, and lie baby across her. It's easier if baby lies slightly on their front, so they're like a belt across mum's tummy. Rest baby's head in crook of elbow and allow their mouth to make contact with breast.
- The lying down position was the only one that worked for me at first.
- If baby doesn't show interest or gets upset, soothe them for a minute or so before trying again. Stay calm and keep as relaxed as possible.
- Don't get too hung up on how long they feed on each breast. All the guides said my baby should be feeding for 30 minutes to an hour. My baby NEVER fed that long. Their tummies are tiny - if your baby feeds for a few minutes and seems calm then it's fine. Gaining weight and being alert are signs baby is feeding well too. It's fine to supplement breastfeeding with bottles and in fact I mix-fed until DS was about 2 months, then went exclusively breastfed.
- Feeding in the initial few months can be very tiring for mum. My baby wanted milk almost constantly but only fed for short intervals as mentioned above. Eventually the pattern will settle to every few hours or so. Don't get hung on up on feeding routines at this stage. Feeding regularly helps your supply get established too.
- If you have any problems try to find a breastfeeding advocate/support person. My friend is one and she came to my house and helped me really establish feeding in the early stages.
My DS is 15 months and I still breastfeed him. It's the best thing I've ever done. Good luck.
Sorry- accidentally posted too soon. I didn't mean to be so abrupt- or to imply you should know anything about BF at this stage
BF isn't mechanical. It's a relationship and everyone's experiences are different-because all mums, babies and births are different and to some extent you have to learn together. Preparing with reading material is great but it doesn't guarantee the outcome. Ultimately you can learn about BF by reading but you can only learn how to do it through doing it. Sometimes (often?) that will require real life expert help. But I think it's really important to try to avoid the mindset that there's a 'right' way todo it and if you follow instructions it will work beautifully. Babies almost never read the manual
This video is lovely and many mums have found it helpful https://globalhealthmedia.org/portfolio-items/attaching-your-baby-at-the-breast/
However a video is no substitute for face to face help from a trained breastfeeding supporter or counsellor. If pain is persistent even though your wife has been told that the latch looks good, it's a good idea to get somebody qualified to check for a tongue tie or jaw tightness.
And I've realised I might have come across very negatively. I don't mean to be at all- or to suggest that successful and painless BF isn't a realistic and achievable outcome (I EBF both of mine to 6 months- still feeding DS2).
What I want to convey is essentially that there isn't really a manual. To give an example, an earlier poster mentions 'laid back nursing' which is a BF position that is meant to be really good if you're struggling to latch, or getting sore. It's meant to be really easy, impossible to get wrong etc. Except neither of mine would latch on in this way at all. Ever. No idea why. Maybe it's because they both had tongue tie (although they wouldn't do it after the tongue ties were cut either). Maybe it's the shape of my breasts. Who knows. My point is: for many women, this position would be a really good solution if they were experiencing nipple soreness due to a poor latch. For me it was a rubbish solution.
So: read lots and prepare, but expect to have to work at it, expect your baby to throw a curve ball or two, and don't be afraid to ask for real life help.
Please tell your other half/whoever you are asking the question for, to ignore anything that says "If you are doing it right, it won't hurt". That was the most frustrating piece of "advice" that I was ever given and it is absolute tosh. All women and all babies are different and fit together in different ways, and some get lucky but oh my word, breast feeding for me was four months of Chinese burns on my nipples until my baby's mouth was big enough for things to be taken in a bit further back, (or perhaps until I developed Teflon boobs), and then it finally stopped hurting. I am still doing it nearly two years on (not by my own choice, but my son seems quite determined not to quit! so must have got it right somewhere along the line) There was much, much crying from both of us in the first few weeks, I absolutely dreaded him waking up because I knew I'd have to feed him again and I was in such pain - awful days. I'm glad I persevered because I am very stubborn, but in terms of the benefits for my baby, and my experience as a new mum? I might have been better giving him formula, getting some sleep and being a bit less of a zombie, who knows. Kellymom is a good online resource, the NHS has lovely dedicated breast feeding consultants who will come and visit your house to advise on latch if you just get in touch with them (I had them come to me, they were fantastic, but it still hurt - nevertheless, this support is out there and free!) so please do take advantage of it.
The Australian breastfeeding association website is very good. Heaps of articles plus lots of videos.
The single best piece of advice I can give is surround yourself with breastfeeders. It's a learned skill and seeing women breastfeed helps women breastfeed.
Joining a local breastfeeding organisation before baby arrives is a good idea
Best advice I was given was to imagine eating one of those yoghurts in a tube that you have to suck out. To do it you have to have your head straight - doesn't work if you're looking over your shoulder, and head back - doesn't work if you have your head on your chin. Baby will have the same problems when breast feeding if the position is wrong.
Don't expect it not to hurt though, I found it very painful at first, nipple cream definitely helped.
The most important thing for me was my hisband's support, both helping me sit upright by putting cushions behind my back etc (I had a c section birth so struggled with mobility a bit), and then continuing to be supportive and understanding when I was sleep deprived and struggling with a baby who would nurse for an hour and then wake two hours later for the same throughout the night. Couldn't have continued without his help.
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