anyone did any preparation for it? i really want to breastfeed after my birth and i'm not sure if i need to do anything from now...
I didn't prepare for breast feeding. Once I was given dd1, I asked the midwife for help and she showed me how to latch her on. Then during a home visit, I asked the health visitor about getting support, this was when dd1 was 3 days old. The HV sent out a breast feeding specialist who watched me feed then offered loads of tips. She was really helpful.
With dd2, I asked for the specialist again and she came out and gave me tips for feeding dd2. It was mostly the same, but it was good to have someone there who knew what they were talking about as I'd seemed to have forgotten it all.
You don't need to do any physical preparation but getting as much information together about how to breastfeed as you can would be a good idea, it's not always as straightforward as you think it's going to be and there are several things you can learn about which will help in the early days. Things like how to recognise a good latch, tongue tie, how often baby should be feeding, what to do if baby is sleepy and not waking often enough for feeds (don't just let them sleep!). Mastitis and blocked ducts and how to avoid them. Expressing.
I know people on here recommend reading The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding, although I haven't!
The breastfeeding/bottle feeding topic on here is great for advice, and the Kellymom website is the goto Bible for breastfeeding information.
I'm only 12+5 with my first child but basically I'm just planning on doing lots of research. I'll order a book or two (planning on ordering The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding from LLL) and take antenatal classes, although I'm not sure how thorough the classes will be about bf.
I'd like to have plan for birth and immediately afterwards to maximise the chance of having a good start with bf. I'd also like to know things like what a good latch looks like (I'm hoping there are YouTube videos?) and what to do in my area if I have problems.
I'm also really glad that my mom will be around because she bf my brothers and me, although I'm trying to prepare myself that she may not give 100% modern advice. She wanted to start weaning my nephew at 3 months!
The only thing you need to do is relax and keep an open mind about it.
I was adamant about breastfeeding my babies. As things turned out, dc1 I had to bottle feed for a few days because I found breastfeeding so painful. I was forced by my sister to give it another go and I'm glad she did because I ended up going back to breastfeeding dd with few problems.
Dc2, again I was sure about breastfeeding having done it before, but he ended up being low birth weight and the paed wanted me to bottle feed him for the 3 days he was kept in hospital until he put on weight.
Agree with the above comment about keeping an open mind as with all things birth and baby related you can't predict how things will turn out so having a flexible attitude will help you cope.
Also take nipple balm in your hospital bag as you may get a bit chewed if you have a hungry baby.
I'd see if your local hospital has a free breastfeeding class and find out about local support. I did an nct class bloody useless and unhelpful in hindsight as basically said everything would be a doddle and didn't cover trouble shooting.
Also keep an open mind I never dreamed I would do anything but bf - frowned on ff feeders. Then ds lost too much weight by day 5 and ended up back in hospital as he wasn't feeding properly. Despite 3 mw HV etc saying he was latching on fine. We muddled on mix feeding once he regained weight. Ensure you get skin to skin as early as possible and expect it to be tricky and something you need to work at. Naively I had been brought up being told bf was the most naturally thing in the world and no friends even mentioned issues until I was having my own. Then all the stories came out even from people to whom it had looked as an outsider as v easy.
No, but I wish I had. I went to the NHS class that was offered. I wish I had read extensively. I would recommend:
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
The Food of Love
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
I may have been more successful if I had.
The only prep I did was read the feeding section on here beforehand so I was well prepared for common issues like clusterfeeding and things. It is probably a good idea to get the numbers for the various helplines (nct, lll, abm etc) written down in case you need them and are too tired/stressed to look them up. They tend to be a better place to start than mws or hvs as they have specialist bfing training that mws and hvs often don't have.
Also check out if there are any support groups, baby cafes etc in your area, you can go along before you give birth to get some tips etc as well.
Check out whether the hospital / mlu you are giving birth in has baby friendly status too, support for bfing varies wildly from place to place. I am a volunteer peer supporter for an organisation contracted by the pct to go into hospitals, do home visits and run a 24 hr helpline for bfing support, which is fantastic, but sadly rare.
I did our local NHS breast feeding course 2 days before I gave birth, it really was fresh in my mind, and made it quite easy to start things off. It wasn't easy, went to a local BFN group when he was 4 weeks for some help, and then did it till DS was 12 months. Ask for help when you need it!
Find local BfN groups/clinics in your area and familiarise yourself with helpline numbers
There's an amazing Dr here in Canada called Jack Newman. There are lots of helpful videos online about latch, expressing etc.
I read an awful lot about it, here and in books and I watched videos online. I didn't stock up any formula and I put the Nct pamphlets on breastfeeding into my hospital bag. I also started a thread on here about how scared I was tat I woud find it hard and got lots of reassuring replies.
I went to a workshop run by a charity called Little Angels - they were amazing because they told it warts and all, like how all the bottle fed babies and Mums will be asleep on the ward and you will feed constantly, particularly on the third night - it really psyched me up and kept me going as I knew it was normal. Also be prepared for sore nipples - I liken it to wearing your flip flops for the first time in the summer when your feet kill and are ripped to shreds but they soon toughen up - well that's what happens to your nipples!
If you can find a good group go along and good luck!
Google baby cafe and see if there is one in your area
I've been going to one since ds was 2 weeks old and it was an absolute life saver for breast feeding, there is a breast feeding consultant and a support worker at mine and lots of mums trained as peer supporters
My hv was also really helpful when I was getting stressed out about not getting it quite right
It takes time and perseverance but is so worth it, once 6 weeks passed I was like a pro!!
Stuff you do beforehand can't actually physically help you with breastfeeding, but you can read about what to expect and I would recommend doing some research about what is available in terms of help in your area. Some mums & babies take to it no problem, but the vast majority needs a bit of help (just because it's natural doesn't mean it's easy or automatic!). So have a look to see what type of breastfeeding groups there are near you, whether there are any breastfeeding counselors who can come to your house in the early days (a real amazing lifesaver they are, like 1 day after the birth when you just want to feed the baby but couldn't possibly go out and see someone for help!) etc.
Oh actually, one thing you can do beforehand: get some Lansinoh nipple cream! It really helps if you have sore nipples and it's great because unlike some other nipple creams you don't have to take it off before you feed the baby.
My local hospital had a free breast feeding class that I called up and booked myself into (not via the midwife). This two hour session was great, we were given a NHS booklet/magazine, shown videos and got to practice briefly with a doll! It was fascinating!
I'm doing lots of prep as I'm really keen on breast feeding but for a couple of reasons lacking a lot of confidence. I've ordered loads of books from the library, and ordered one from Amazon called 'the food of love' which was highly recommended on here.
I also plan to visit the breast feeding clinic before birth and hope to watch someone breastfeed. Apparently that can really help to actually see someone doing it in real life.
I hope it all goes well for you
I got thrush in my nipples and if I hadn't mentioned it to my friend, I would have probably stopped bf as it felt like razors through my nips. But she recognised the feeling and got me off to the GP to get some cream & the fluconazole tablet
My advice is - if it hurts, speak to someone quickly as it shouldn't, could be your latch, thrush, mastitis or a blocked duct and they at all quickly treatable
And make use of the midwives, they are trained to actively promote bf and should help you in hospital and on the home visits, but you may have to ask.
I would suggest seeking out a breastfeeding workshop pre birth just to be prepared. I didnt, assumed all would be fine only to struggle until after 6weeks of heartbreaking struggle to have dd diagnosed as having a posterior tongue tie. By which point my milk production was way down & baby totally frustrated & just not having anything to do with breast. Thereafter weeks of effort with consultant to increase milk production & trying to get baby to breastfeed even if only through nipple shields in order to get the tongue tie procedure done to help her breastfeed. Ultimately a fail. Several months of expressing but baby still not breastfeeding so no procedure. Vicious catch22 that I wouldn't wish on anyone. So realistically I would suggest:
1. Breastfeeding workshop pre birth
2. Don't leave hospital until you have had baby checked for tongue tie! Earlier its detected better chance of getting it resolved minus a lot of stress!
3. Make sure baby cafe you go to has midwives in regular attendance, mine didn't, only HV and seriously I wasted valuable weeks listening to them when I should have gone straight to the feeding consultant.
4. If in any doubt or struggling at all, don't wait - contact a feeding consultant, you'll be glad you did.
I wish you all the best for your birth, feeding & beyond! It's all worth it in the end.
There's a new book out called baby led breast feeding it looks good.
Everyone else had said it already - lots of information on what is normal and where to get help. Remember that problems at the start are common but can virtually always be solved if you get the right help. And be aware that your midwife, health visitor and gp might not have had much training in breastfeeding, so it's good to know where to find specialist support of you need it. Find out where you can get hold of a qualified breastfeeding counsellor and Ibclc qualified lactation consultant and use them if you have problems
The food of love is very good.
Wish I'd had nobles advice before having dc1. He had tongue tie and upper lip tie, it was tough but I still managed to bf him . Agree too on getting information on things like latch and position. The dr jack newman videos on youtube are good as it the lll website.
Agree with kellymom too. There are two useful starting points Breastfeeding your newborn: what to expect and preparing to bf.
Can I suggest a book to go along with the others ? It's called the babymoon experience. If you are buying books, please check out the kellymom list of books to avoid.
The only other things you can do in pg are put the bfing helpline numbers in your phone (and don't be afraid to use them when Lo arrives ), find out where your local bfing support groups are (and go while you are still pg, no need to wait until Lo arrives) and later on get yourself a couple of nursing bras and a pack of breastpads (I liked the lanisoh ones). Oh and don't forget to find out about courses. Where I live the NHS do antenatal courses and bfing courses and you can go to both, where I used to live it was the nct or nothing. Most of the nct courses do have one class on bfing taken by a BFC so might be worth looking into .
Me again sorry, if you get in touch with your local lll they sometimes have a library where you can borrow most of the books mentioned on here
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