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What's it like to breastfeed?

(217 Posts)
justanotheryoungmother Thu 16-Mar-17 21:07:36

I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant with my first, and I'm swaying towards trying breastfeeding, but I don't know anyone who has done it. I was wondering if you have done it, what were your experiences and was it easier to do than bottle feed (if you have experience in both)?

Thank you for any replies smile

SweepTheHalls Thu 16-Mar-17 21:11:08

It's wonderful smile. It's tough as well, and you may need support to get started, but it is one of the best things I have done.

GuinessPunch Thu 16-Mar-17 21:12:19

I love it. I have found it easy and so convenient especially for night feeds. Plus it's free.

NerrSnerr Thu 16-Mar-17 21:14:54

I found it tough for a few weeks as it was painful but it soon got better and was great. Very convenient especially at night and good being able to go out for the day and not having to think about how many bottles I needed. I ended up breastfeeding until my daughter was 2.

MaryWortleyMontagu Thu 16-Mar-17 21:15:41

It's a beautiful lovely peaceful relationship with your child. I also found it very easy and not painful at all.

PastysPrincess Thu 16-Mar-17 21:16:41

Once established I found breastfeeding wonderfully easy. At night I fed lying down and co slept (Safely!) so all my night feeds we super easy, once we got the hang of it he could help himself.

The only downside is that my DH couldn't help as our LO refused bottles. I found breastfeeding particularly useful because when he was teething or poorly it was instant comfort.

Cuppaand2biscuits Thu 16-Mar-17 21:17:00

Think of it like exercise, it's hard work to begin with but it gets easier over time until eventually you can do it in your sleep.
Find a local breastfeeding support group, try Surestart or La Leche League and see if you can go and chat to someone there before baby is born. Understanding the biology and the logistics behind breastfeeding can be really beneficial.
If you can master it it's brilliant because it does become so easy and quick once you've past the newborn stage. It's free, fast, sterile, eco friendly, portable, never runs out not to mention all the health benefits.

jimijack Thu 16-Mar-17 21:17:39

For me it was lovely but I did need to learn how to do it.
There is a definite technique to it.

I bf my 2nd child until his 3rd birthday, my first baby until he was 7 months old.

I was adamant and utterly utterly determined from mid pregnancy that I was going to bf, I had no plans to use a bottle at all.

What I didn't factor in was both babies had tongue tie and both babies were very low birth weight so fed hourly for the first 6 weeks or so...I was beyond exhausted, I was a walking corpse.
There are so many things that affect success.

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Thu 16-Mar-17 21:19:04

Very hard to start with but after it's established it's the easiest thing in the world. It's the ultimate comfort for any upset: hungry = sorted, pain = sorted, ill = sorted

Foggymist Thu 16-Mar-17 21:19:08

That's such an interesting question.

It's amazing, I've just fed my almost two year old his bedtime milkies. It's very tiring at the beginning because they feed so often, almost constantly, but (especially with a first baby) you just get comfy, get snacks and a boxset and be lazy while they're stuck to you. Much easier than chasing a demented toddler.

It can be tough in the first weeks and some women do encounter pain and problems, my problems were external in that breastfeeding itself went great but he was in scbu for 5 days, I was too ill to visit often so had to pump, etc etc. But if you arm yourself with info and good support you get through it and within no time it's fine.

Breastfeeding isn't just about milk, it's comfort, pain relief for baby, happy hormones for mum, and the best laziest parenting tool ever. Whatever the problem is a boob in baby's mouth will usually solve it without fear of overfeeding.

TipBoov Thu 16-Mar-17 21:19:21

Once you've got it established, it's so much easier. No sterilising, no getting up to make bottles, no worrying about how many bottles to take when you go out etc.

I FF my first and bf my second, and found bf easiest.

Yika Thu 16-Mar-17 21:19:42

It's horrible and difficult but not for everyone so definitely worth trying.

MesmereldaM Thu 16-Mar-17 21:21:09

Ok I'm going to add balance here. I found BF easy. But I hated it. For me it wasn't bonding or lovely or any of the things above so I switched to bottle feeding and was very much happier.
I'm posting because actually what I found made me feel extremely upset was feeling that I was abnormal fir not feeling like the posters above.
Why not give it a go and see how you get on? If I'd liked it I'd no doubt have carried on.

Heatherbell1978 Thu 16-Mar-17 21:21:30

I'm bf my 2nd child right now (she's 3 weeks old). Didn't have any issues establishing it with either baby but it can be hard when your boobs are over producing milk and mine sting a bit right now when they let down the milk. But it's temporary and in a few weeks that should be better. It's a lovely feeling knowing you're giving your baby a great start in life and watching them gain weight based on what you're producing.

Aliveinwanderland Thu 16-Mar-17 21:21:42

I was like you and thought I would try it but didn't know anyone else who had done it and I wasn't really fussed about whether I did or not.

It was tough for the first 2 weeks but after that it was so easy. Instant milk, no screaming baby waiting for the formula to be made up. No having to remember all the paraphernalia needed to bottle feed when it and about and no having to be back home at certain times as baby would be due a feed.

Instant, free food on tap for whenever your baby needs/wants it.

notanothernamechangebabes Thu 16-Mar-17 21:22:02

Like most- I found it difficult at first- but that was a lot to do with the fact I was trying to breastfeed "perfectly".

I worried about DS's latch. His position. My position. How often and how long we were feeding for.

Once I got into my groove, DS had his tongue tie cut, and found positions that worked for us (lying down/ draped across my lap with me leaning back/ slightly "above" my boob because I have overactive letdown) and didn't look at all like the pictures in the books... and stopped obsessively recording feed times and trying to impose a schedule ... once I just bloody RELAXED ...

I can honestly honestly say it is one of the greatest joys of my motherhood, to lie in bed with DS having a sleepy feed and drifting off for a nap together.

I'll be really sad when it ends. And I say that as someone who's had mastitis twice, and been through a tongue tie drama.

MesmereldaM Thu 16-Mar-17 21:22:28

And also I had no problems comforting without it. Cuddles and comfort blanket and dummy and lots of love did the trick.

Sylvannas Thu 16-Mar-17 21:22:28

The most amazing bond with your baby. It has its advantages and disadvantages
I found it painful to start with, but the midwives are there to help and will visit after the birth and will help you with attachment and positions etc. There are breastfeeding support groups you can go to also .
It's free, it's convenient at night feeds as you don't have to fanny about with bottles and you lose the pregnancy weight quicker

It's a win win really.

What helped me was getting my hands on every magazine, online article about breastfeeding I could get my hands on so I was as prepared as I could be.

Also don't let anybody tell you that you need to stop at a certain time. WHO recommends up to 2 years. My DS is 5 months and I'll probably go up to when he's a year old. People kept trying to tell me formula would be easier for me/I didn't have enough supply etc. I ignored it and my little boy is doing just fine.

Good luck and congratulations xx

ChocChocPorridge Thu 16-Mar-17 21:22:56

With my first it was a rough start, but by 6 weeks we were completely in the swing of things, and it was easy - it was a real shock to the system when he got older and I had to remember to take snacks/drinks - previously I'd just pick him up and leave the house! He wasn't a good sleeper, and was still having a night feed at 18months, but then when he got one of those vomiting bugs, it was the only thing he could keep down for a week and a half (including water - so it probably saved him from hospital), and he was genuinely hungry - we used to have to give him an emergency banana in the middle of the night when he was 3 - I could hear his tummy rumbling empty!

It can't have been that bad because I didn't even think about bottles for the second one (for DS1 we had them on standby, but just as we got close to thinking about adding them, we seemed to turn a corner and it got easy)

DS2 was unbelievably easy - gave up night feeds and slept through (like, really, 7-7) at 5 months, never had any issues or fussing - and he self weaned at 8 months (always preferred his food).

Freezingwinter Thu 16-Mar-17 21:22:58

I didn't find it horrible or difficult.

It's confusing especially when people (MILs especially!!) say they shouldn't be feeding so often
Tiring especially at the beginning
So bloody easy if you need to go out. Changing bag with a nappy and wipes and an accessible top and you are good to go! No worrying about where to feed etc
Its free
And it builds a fab bond between mum and baby!

I did it for 13 months, I loved it

MegsMog Thu 16-Mar-17 21:23:27

It's wonderful. As others have said, it takes a bit of learning / getting used to, and it can be sore at first, but it's just the most brilliant thing. I'm still feeding my DD at nearly two with no plans to stop yet.

The benefits to both of you health-wise are huge, it's practical, free, and makes for a very happy child. I love that when she's poorly or sad boob cheers her up immediately. She's also never been a poorly apart from colds.

Please contact local breastfeeding support teams for more info! X

Lovelongweekends Thu 16-Mar-17 21:23:29

Hard to start with but once established it's lovely and from an entirely lazy point of view it so much easier in the middle of the night to stick them on a boob rather than have to prepare a bottle!

MesmereldaM Thu 16-Mar-17 21:23:55

Even now I'm reading this and feeling sad that I didn't enjoy it despite it being easy fir me. I wonder what's wrong with me?! Anyway I suppose we are all different.

leccybill Thu 16-Mar-17 21:24:26

What is it that actually hurts? What kind of pain is it?

Freezingwinter Thu 16-Mar-17 21:24:49

There is an actual thing where women experience feelings of anxiety and doom when bf especially during the first letdown! Could it have been this?

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