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Questions on breastfeeding

(16 Posts)
Shaiandbump Fri 19-Apr-13 18:42:40

I've just read an article online about breastfeeding (it was in the daily mail) saying formula milk should come with warnings similar to cigarette packaging because it's as dangerous to babies.

I'm 36 weeks pregnant with baby #2. I planned to breastfeed but I have brought bottles and a steriliser because I'm a control freak and thought I should have it as back up.

This article has scared the life out of me and I'm now panicking.
- what if I can't do it?
- what if my baby doesn't want it?
- what if I'm a wuss and the pain gets too much?
- how much would I have failed as a mother if I can't give my child best start in life? Baby doesn't have a choice on how she is fed its all me. If she develops some kind of allergy or skin condition or infection could it be because I didn't breastfeed?

Anyway I'm a little bit of a mess now, drawing up lists on what I need to breastfeed Incase it doesn't come to be naturally

Can anyone tell me ...
- what nipple cream is best
- what the helpful books to read?
- how anyone managed breastfeeding for a long time during the night and still getting up to do the school run?
- what I can/can't eat/drink whilst breastfeeding

Thank you

Frecklesandspecs Fri 19-Apr-13 19:30:53

Have you got the link to that piece Shai?
Personally, I tried very hard with my two little ones to BF but felt very uncomfortable and found it very hard. ( different reasons). I am on my 3rd now who is due in October and will try again but I know I will not stress out if it just doesn't come.
Both babies have thrived on BF and formula.
Keep it simple - BF is best, do what you can and you will reap rewards from what you can do.
If it troubles you so much that your baby is not thriving or growing properly, you have to do what you can. What is far worse IMO is listening to the crowd that says 'never use a bottle' when things get so tough, just carry on. It can be very traumatising and make you stressed and depressed.
My father was a medical DR, he and mum had 5 of us.
We were all brought up on both, we are all fine and were all healthy, strong kids.
Please don't believe all the stuff you read on it, it will just get you all worked up and upset.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Fri 19-Apr-13 19:40:27

Oh ffs! I am hugely pro bf (I am a peer supporter) but articles like that really boil my piss. BF is the norm, but ff is a perfectly valid alternative.

Anyway, if you want to bf, then arm yourself with some knowledge beforehand. Read the feeding section here, read the Kellymom website, so you are aware if growthspurts, cluster feeding etc. Get the numbers of the various helplines (Nct, lll, abm etc) ready in case you need them. If you want to do some reading try the womanly art of breastfeeding it's an lll book and is very useful.

DIYandEatCake Fri 19-Apr-13 19:48:35

To answer your questions, in my opinion -
1. Lansinoh. Start applying before you get cracked skin and apply regularly between feeds.
2. The womanly art of breast feeding (hippyish title I know but lots of practical and detailed advice including troubleshooting), published by La Leche League.
3. I don't know about the school run, but dd fed for half the night and was then up and raring to go from 6am every day - felt like a zombie but it didn't last forever. As she got older she would settle quite quickly after a feed and as an added bonus I always found it easy to go straight back to sleep after breast feeding.
4. It's not a good idea to get drunk ( or to take some medicines, always check with a doctor) but otherwise anything's ok (unless your baby has eg a dairy allergy, but this is rare).

Try not to stress though, plenty of doctors, lawyers, sportspeople etc were raised on formula, if it doesn't work out for any reason. It's worth finding out about local breast feeding support before having your baby, nearly all problems can be overcome with the right advice and support. Good luck!

NotSpartacus Fri 19-Apr-13 19:49:26

Formula keeps babies alive, bottom line. Scaremongering fom the Daily Mail should be ignored.
You almost certainly will be able to breastfeed and your baby will almost certainly thrive on it. But there's a plan B available if not (hurrah!)

In terms of your questions, Lansinoh is a good nipple cream. But I only needed it with DD2 who I think has a little tongue tie. DD1 fed like a dream (which does happen sometimes!). I breastfed my DD2 for a year while getting DD1 up for nursery and then working full time (although by then she was having some solids). It's daunting to think of managing everyone's schedules and needs, but it can work.
Please don't worry about this. You have the rest of your life to parent your baby. Breastfeeding is just a tiny little part.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Fri 19-Apr-13 19:52:43

You can eat what you want, you can drink moderately as well. Lansinoh is an excellent nipple cream which doesn't need wiping off before feeding. Re night feeds, you will be doing them if the baby is ff too wink

Frecklesandspecs Fri 19-Apr-13 20:01:16

I wanted to say what mynameisanagram said but feared I may get my butt kicked. It REALLY pisses me off too!!

Wigeon Fri 19-Apr-13 20:07:53

What a load of tosh! FF is clearly not in any way comparable to cigarettes. There are very strict controls around its composition etc. Ignore the Mail!

In answer to your questions:

What if I can't do it? A vanishingly small amount of women really can't BF. Some women do have difficulties, in which case there is a HUGE amount of support out there, from the "breast and bottle feeding" part of mumsnet (with some expert, trained posters there, eg tiktok), to the fantastic Kelly Mom website, to helplines, to face-to-face support in your area.

What if my baby doensn't want it? Presume you mean breast milk? Not sure why you think your baby won't want the milk which is 100% designed for it?

What if I'm a wuss? It might well not hurt at all! I have fed two children for around a year each, and the day to day feeds did not hurt at all won't mention the mastitis I got with DD1

What nipple cream? Lansinoh seems to always get top marks on here. However, you may well not get cracked nipples at all. I didn't with either child. Not one bit. Please don't assume it will be horrendous and awful - it might not. But if you do start having problems, there is lots of help out there smile.

Books - I didn't read anything specifically about BF. I'd say the Kelly Mom website is v useful though.

School run - obv didn't apply with DD1, but by the time DD2 came along it did (well, pre-school run). It was fine actually. Aren't parents who FF also up in the night feeding? Both mine were pretty efficient feeders so didn't take hours and hours per feed.

What you can't eat or drink? You can eat everything! I didn't vary my diet at all (apart from eating lots, and trying to eat stuff rich in iron, and especially chocolate...). You can even drink - alcohol clears from your breast milk at the rate of about 1 unit per hour (a doctor friend of mine looked into evidence about this when we were both BF!). It doesn't just pool in your breasts. So the best time to drink (alcohol) is during a feed as you know that that'll be the maximum time til the next feed!

Good luck smile.

yetanotherworry Fri 19-Apr-13 20:20:07

I would just try and make sure that you arm yourself with plenty of information. We advise mothers to come along to our BFing cafe ante-natally so we can ease their fears. Also means that if they need help, after baby is born, then they know where to turn.

I think the main things to remember are
(1) the BF babies take what they want so their bellies stay small and therefore they feed very often. Don't expect to have baby sleep through the night for several months.
(2) its not supposed to hurt. You may get a sharp shooting pain when your milk starts flowing (letdown) but it literally last seconds. Any longer and something is wrong and you need to get help.
(3) even if you baby just receives colostrum, this has a big health benefit to your baby. If you can BF even longer you reduce the risk of so many diseases to you (ovarian and breast cancer, osteoporosis) and baby (excema, childhood cancers, autism, obesity, etc). If you FF, it doesn't mean you baby is going to get these diseases, they just have a slightly higher risk than if they were BF.

Good luck smile

Shaiandbump Fri 19-Apr-13 20:51:00

Thank you ladies for the replies

The thing I read was

I don't know why I'm so nervous this time round I'm worrying about EVERYTHING!

Rockchick1984 Fri 19-Apr-13 22:46:15

Shai the article isn't saying formula is as bad as cigarettes, I'm not sure quite how you have misread it to mean that confused

At the moment formula milk has to state on the packaging that breast is best. The article says that Save The Children want this to be stated as a bigger text than it currently is, in the style of health warnings on cigarette packets. There is no implication that formula is bad, simply that breast is best!

Irishfairy Fri 19-Apr-13 23:01:14

In that particular article, Save the Children, are referring to formula feeding in the developing world. This causes deaths due to formula being incorrectly made in countries where there is no access to clean water, sterilisation and the formula is watered down to make it last longer leading to malnutrition. Also in these countries bf can give babies immunity against diseases that are widespread. This is why the use of formula (or misuse) is considered dangerous and why the charities are looking for a way to reduce its use and increase bf rates there.
Please be assured that ff here is a perfectly safe alternative to bf. I'm a big bf supporter but if it doesn't work out your baby will get what it needs from ff. please don't stress yourself out about it.

KatAndKit Fri 19-Apr-13 23:30:45

You have had some great advice on this thread. hopefully you can stop with the panic now and look forward to feeding your baby. formula is not poison. Breastfeeding is best for babies but we do live in a country with a safe water supply at the end of the day, so as long as you don't make up formula with pond water it is a safe way to feed a baby who is not being breastfed for whatever reason. Stop reading the woman hating daily mail. Whatever you do will not be right by them. They often have negative press about breastfeeding too. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Almost all women are able to breastfeed. many are not successful due to the appalling lack of good support and information that they should have received but didn't. My advice to you is to educate yourself in advance about that support and how you can get it. Find your local branch of La Leche League. Attend a meeting or two to get to know the leader and then you will have a number to call if you need it. Find out the national helpline numbers. Pop along to your local children's centres and find out when the breastfeeding groups are. Ask your midwife if there is an ante natal breastfeeding session. Read Kelly mom - it is a great website. Read Baby Led Breastfeeding and also The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

The only nipple balm you are likely to need is Lansinoh. It is brilliant stuff but don't go mental. I am still on my first tube 12 months later. No need to stockpile!

steakchipsandfriedeggs Sat 20-Apr-13 02:09:21

The daily mail is evil, ignore it at all costs!

MooMoi Sat 20-Apr-13 14:22:12

Agree the Daily Mail is evil.

The article related to a campaign by Save the Children which is primarily aimed at making sure that Nestle and Danone abide by the marketing guidelines so that mothers in developing countries have all the information that they need to make an informed choice. In countries where clean water and sanitation is an issue breastfeeding really does make a whole lot of sense.

From the looks of things 'cigarette style warnings' is how the Daily Mail choose to describe it- not helpful for stressed out mothers at all. But hey they're a newspaper and they'll there to get your attention sad

cuckooplusone Sat 20-Apr-13 15:38:31


I found bf very hard with dd, I ended up mixed feeding (bottle a day) but persevered and managed to bf until she was about 15m. I think it's important to ask for all the help you can get until you settle in to it.

I would say that it's less tiring at night to reach over and plop the baby on for a feed than having to get up and make bottles. I found that dd would just feed for 10 minutes and then go back to sleep so I didn't have much disturbed sleep. I know that others had more issues than me with this though, bf or ff.

Good luck!

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