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Top tips for successful breastfeeding

(51 Posts)
lizzyttc2017 Sat 21-Apr-18 23:16:40

Hi!

I'm expecting my first baby in just a few weeks and really keen to breastfeed for their first year. What were your top tips, products or advise you can give to those of you who have had a successful breastfeeding journey (especially getting past those first few tough weeks?)

Thanks in advance!

Anotherdayanotherdollar Sat 21-Apr-18 23:18:40

Never give up on a bad day! The next feed/day/week might be better

FusionChefGeoff Sat 21-Apr-18 23:19:13

Look up all your local breastfeeding groups / cafes / La Leche League and start following on Facebook.

Go to their groups now and get the helpline numbers on the fridge.

Real life advice and support was what I needed so it needs to be easy for you to get it!!

Whitelisbon Sat 21-Apr-18 23:24:13

Know where and when your local breastfeeding support group is.
Buy lansinoh.
Be prepared for it to be hard work, because it really is. Then, one day, it's not. It's easy. You've not had to relatch baby all day. It doesn't hurt. It's just easy. After that, it's plain sailing.
Good luck, and enjoy

elephantoverthehill Sat 21-Apr-18 23:25:00

Don't be bashful and relax. If your child needs feeding they need feeding wherever you are. It's the easiest go to packed lunch and the most natural thing in the world, but if it doesn't work you are not a 'failure' that is why there is formula milk.

TheBitterBoy Sat 21-Apr-18 23:28:30

Be aware of the symptoms of thrush (la leche league have a good leaflet)

Get someone to show you how to feed lying down, and also without a pillow. My health visitor showed me and I felt comfortable almost from day one. So many of my friends were carting a pillow around with them in the early days.

NewSense Sat 21-Apr-18 23:43:18

Grit your teeth ;)

And as pp said, one day it should suddenly click and be the easiest thing ever. You've just gotta get through the rough bit first.

I also found that carrying mini chocolate bars (freddos etc) in the nappy bag saved my life. You'll probably be hungrier than ever smile

Also, don't be hard on yourself. I was convinced I was useless and rubbish, and would have thrown in the towel if that had been an option (I had no choice but to bf), but I eventually realised that actually most people struggle at the start, and it's rare for it to start of pain-free and easy.

Hope all goes well! Congrats!

Maryz Sat 21-Apr-18 23:51:04

My advice would be: it can be really, really shit for the first few weeks. Continuous, painful and exhausting.

If you can persevere for six weeks it becomes easy, but jaysus the first few weeks were tough, not helped by the many people who seemed to want to tell me how "natural" it all was hmm

Maryz Sat 21-Apr-18 23:55:55

One other suggestion; if you have a husband/partner, get them to take the baby away from 7-9.30 pm. Go for a walk, get out of the house/whatever. That way when you give them a night feed at 10 you will have enough milk to fill them and give you a decent few hours of sleep.

I found ds was hungry in the evenings, and I was so knackered I wasn't producing any milk. So he would take small feeds every half an hour from 6 pm til 2 pm, leaving me unable to cope. Once dh took him away from 6-9, he would take a massive feed at 9.30-10, sleep for 3-4 hours, have another feed and sleep til about 5 am, and suddenly I felt just a tad more human.

Finally get your partner to do any after-feed changes at night. Feeding when half asleep is one thing; if you also have to get out of bed to do nappy changes, it's hard to cope

ilikepinacoladas Sat 21-Apr-18 23:59:25

Drink lots of water. Buy a nice big water bottle and have it with you at all times.

Alpineflowers Sun 22-Apr-18 00:00:21

Stay on the same breast for each feed.
The milk is watery at first, then gets thicker. If you swap breasts on the same feed, they only get the watery milk and not the thicker hind milk that fills them up.

Onceuponatimethen Sun 22-Apr-18 00:04:12

Alpine that isn’t right! Current advice is to switch sides in the same feed once baby comes off the first breast.

What you are suggesting is called block feeding which is supposed to only be done in certain situation on advice of mw/bf counsellor (eg oversupply of milk)

Alpineflowers Sun 22-Apr-18 00:10:25

Onceuponatimethen-Alpine that isn’t right! Current advice is to switch sides in the same feed once baby comes off the first breast. What you are suggesting is called block feeding which is supposed to only be done in certain situation on advice of mw/bf counsellor (eg oversupply of milk)

What does 'over supply of milk' and 'block feeding' mean? If the baby doesn't want more milk, baby will stop feeding his/her self

FreckledLeopard Sun 22-Apr-18 00:11:53

I'd recommend spending the last few weeks of your pregnancy going along to breastfeeding support groups (such as La Leche League) and building up contact with breastfeeding mothers and peer supporters. Also try and get in touch with an NCT breastfeeding counsellor or similar. Basically have as much support, resources and information on hand to call on when your baby arrives.

I spent the first 10 days pretty much glued to the phone to my NCT breastfeeding counsellor and speaking to other breastfeeding mothers. Having that support and knowledge was invaluable and helped so much in the early days when I was struggling.

Jozxyqk Sun 22-Apr-18 00:15:34

Always have a large bottle of water ready, before starting. Many women find they get thirsty the second the baby latches on. I found I made a lot more milk when I was better hydrated, which makes a lot of sense.
Sleep as much as possible. IME my "low milk" days were always the ones when I'd slept really badly. I'd usually wake up in the morning, especially after a decent night, really full & desperate to feed DD - I could often pump a few oz after she had finished her first morning feed, which I'd freeze for the evenings when I was exhausted & producing almost nothing.
Lansinoh. I was almost married to my tube of it. It goes on much better if it's warm, BTW...
If your baby doesn't want their head covered in public, don't let anyone try to force the issue - my mother did frequently this & DD used to wrench away without first releasing her latch - massive ow! Allow no interference!
Dribble bibs, or a supply of muslins to fold & tuck under the baby's head & chin. None of them figure out how to feed tidily, especially at first. We frequently had to change DD's top layer because it was soaked with milk, & sometimes mine too.
If you like hot drinks, get a really good insulated cup, with a lid & a reliable cap that won't spill even if it's tipped over when it's closed.
Go with what works. If that's feeding the baby to sleep so you can get some rest, do it.

Onceuponatimethen Sun 22-Apr-18 00:21:16

Op, going back to what I would recommend:

Reading a good bf book when pg - there is a lot of misleading info about bf online and in chat out and about and it’s so useful to have the evidence based info about bf and sleep, solids etc. I like the la leche book the womanly art

Doing a bf class eg if you are doing nct

Joining a bf support group

Hanging out on the infant feeding board on mn which has a few very knowledgeable posters who are bf counsellors eg tiktok

wurlie Sun 22-Apr-18 00:24:14

Don't give up! I found it really hard for the first 3 weeks and then it all just fell into place and I easily fed her until she was 2.

Very few women can't breastfeed - the majority of perceived problems such as low supply are actually down to completely N

wurlie Sun 22-Apr-18 00:25:11

Sorry! Down to completely normal things such as the baby is going through a growth spurt (of which there are a few)

Seek help if you need it.

Onceuponatimethen Sun 22-Apr-18 00:25:33

Alpine, I had oversupply with baby two dx by a bf counsellor. Some mothers have very fast flow as I do and breasts that make much more milk than baby needs. My exclusively bf baby put on weight very fast. Hv said it was the biggest weight gain in first few weeks she’d ever seen and would cough and splutter with my let down. Very powerful jet of milk shot across the room when he unlatched.

Block feeding is sticking to just one side each time (and sometimes for a few hours at a time) to reduce oversupply. It could obviously reduce milk production if done without qualified input.

The official advice now is that unless told otherwise eg by mw/bf counsellor you should ‘switch nurse’ - offer the other side each time baby comes off

Onceuponatimethen Sun 22-Apr-18 00:26:01

Should have said oversupply not that common

Flaskfan Sun 22-Apr-18 00:28:11

Paracetamol about an hour before expected feed. Thrush cream for boob thrush. Expect it to be shit for about 4 weeks. Don't get a cover, fuck it. Visit bf group. I made 2 good mates there.

Sophia1984 Sun 22-Apr-18 00:32:44

If you get mastitis and are given antibiotics, take a probiotic to avoid thrush. Good luck!

MiniAlphaBravo Sun 22-Apr-18 00:39:18

It might not be painful or that difficult, I didn’t find it painful at all except a few feeds when dd has the wrong latch but I quickly got that sorted by midwives and all was fine again.

Be aware of cluster feeding which is totally normal and doesn’t mean you have low supply.

There’s also a lot of scare stories out there so try not to listen. You don’t need to adjust your diet (only in very rare circumstances), or be tee total and baby may lose a little in first few days but then in all probability will gain weight happily. Both my dd’s were 98th percentile just on breastmilk.

Good luck!

Alpineflowers Sun 22-Apr-18 00:47:16

Onceuponatimethen-Alpine, I had oversupply with baby two dx by a bf counsellor. Some mothers have very fast flow as I do and breasts that make much more milk than baby needs

I am not sure I fully understand the concepts of 'oversupply' and 'very fast flow' or even of 'breasts that make much more milk than baby needs'.
If baby does not want milk, then baby will turn away

My exclusively bf baby put on weight very fast. Hv said it was the biggest weight gain in first few weeks she’d ever seen and would cough and splutter with my let down. Very powerful jet of milk shot across the room when he unlatched.

Jets of milk 'shot across the room' are quite normal

Block feeding is sticking to just one side each time (and sometimes for a few hours at a time) to reduce oversupply.

Mum will produce milk as baby needs it. Oversupply, whatever that means, will diminish as a routine is established

It could obviously reduce milk production if done without qualified input.

Hmmmmm...not so sure.

The official advice now is that unless told otherwise eg by mw/bf counsellor you should ‘switch nurse’ - offer the other side each time baby comes off

If this is the latest advice then I wouldn't want to contradict it, but it was not the advice given to me, my sisters and my friends.

Should have said oversupply not that common

No I don't imagine it is

Onceuponatimethen Sun 22-Apr-18 00:48:55

Alpine, I will give you some links - it’s a very interesting subject!!

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