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Not had any advice about breastfeeding(18 Posts)
This is my second pregnancy, I'm currently 35 weeks. I didn't find out I was pregnant until 5 months, complete shock as I had no symptoms.
Due to me not seeing the midwife until so late on, I was consultant led until a couple of weeks ago when the hospital said they had no concerns and I can be transferred to midwife led care. I was pleased about this as I would like a waterbirth if possible (I was in the birth pool with my DS as no other rooms were available, but I found it helped with the pain).
Anyway, I have not been asked how I want to feed my baby. Last time around, I breastfed for the first feed (around 15 minutes or so) and then exclusively formula fed. This time around, I'm considering breastfeeding/combination feeding, if possible. I wanted to try breastfeeding this time around, but no one has even mentioned anything. So I have no idea what I need, how I go about it etc & I feel like I'm completely clueless.
I'm taking formula into the hospital initial just in case I'm unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, but I can see me just sticking with that because I just don't know the first thing about it.
Can you find an NHS ante-natal class in your area? Or an NCT one? NCT sometimes do weekend courses so you'd have time to do that before you're due. Ask your midwife at your next appointment, you should have one about now?
There's some good books I can suggest if you'd like?
Or you can speak to one of the Breastfeeding Helplines, they'd be happy to help answer any questions you have or give you information.
Kellymom.com has lots of good information
I had my dd (only child) in 2014 and I think the only breastfeeding advice I got before she was born was a leaflet. I found mumsnet and kellymom to be the most helpful things out there for me. There are some great old threads in the feeding section and kellymom has loads of stuff if you have a look around. Good luck!
Sorry meant to say - If you are looking for tips I'm happy to offer my experience but those are good starting points.
Do you have a local surestart centre? They usually run or have a good network with breast feeding peer support groups. These are really useful for the first couple of weeks when you have random questions and they are usually very close to your home. Or join a LLL(la leche league) Facebook group in your area (again google it, try your region, like south west, north east etc) so you can ask away for questions on there or PM leader with personal stuff or photos etc, there will be numbers of LLL members for your town on their website and if you give them a call, they will get you in touch with a nearby group or in individual. It is free of charge and invaluable.
Do all this BEFORE the birth so you have the numbers on speed dial and know their names etc or where to go for help, then you're not alone if it all goes pear shaped. Ask at the hospital who is their breastfeeding expert, they will probably have a designated midwife who can come and watch your first or second feed and ensure the latch is right. Don't leave the hospital without them observing the latch, insist on it. If you're still not sure, keep addressing the concerns until you are happy.
Google videos on how to get a good latch, common breast feeding mistakes etc. Google tongue tie and how to spot a tongue tie so you can be aware and looking for it in hospital straight away because this can cause lots of problems.
You won't get loads of NHS help but LLL are fantastic women who have seen and heard it all, as well as experienced it and it will build your confidence no end if you have talked to a proper trained expert.
Mainly, DO NOT STRESS ABOUT PRODUCING ENOUGH MILK!!! No dummies, no top ups with formula etc for the first few weeks. Let the baby nuzzle round the breast as much as they want, even if the last time was 30 seconds before breastfeeding is pretty hard core for the first few weeks, and then away you go for the next six months, no bottles, baby loves it and sleeps easy.
If you really want to keep going for more than just a couple of weeks, I would also research cosleeping safely, because nearly everyone I know who enjoys breastfeeding also cosleeps because that was you get to feed them and sleep at the same time. Fabulous.
Like you I'm keen to try breastfeeding but know absolutely nothing about how to go about it (first baby and couldn't attend antenatal classes as I work evenings and weekends).
Saw the midwives earlier in the week (am 37 weeks) and have been booked onto a breastfeeding workshop (two and a half hours on a weekday morning) which will hopefully be useful (it's actually the day after my due date but have a horrible feeling I'm going to go overdue).
Is it possible for you to contact the midwives or the hospital/birthing unit where you plan to deliver to ask if there is anything similar local to you?
I'm pregnant with my first. I found a YouTube channel called "cloud mom" she has a playlist all about breastfeeding, everything from how to, potential problems and storage/expression tips. I went to the nhs classes as well and mostly everything they covered I already knew from that channel.
Thanks for your replies guys! I'll definitely look into those suggestions. I just feel really overwhelmed with it all, I really want to give it a go this time round.
Last time I went to antenatal classes...nothing's been mentioned about them this time though (my midwife booked me on them last time). I have another appointment in two weeks so I'll mention it then. I have already mentioned that id like to try breast feeding, but she just said 'okay' and it was left at that.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like they have no idea about it, haha.
Only breastfeeding support I had prebirth was through nct classes (first baby). Only support I had post birth was when midwife latched him on first time. I've been lucky to be blessed with a baby who knows how to feed and 8 weeks on going well. So I think you need to ask for advice, it isn't as forthcoming as it may be suggested.
Honestly, I felt I succeeded at breastfeeding because I had no advice or "help".
No one to tell me they should be feeding every x hours or following that routine. I just fed, constantly, because that was what kept the baby quiet and happy. Even in hospital, breastfeeding advice went as far as "feeding again, do you want formula?"
Fortunately I was doing OK by the time I got home and started to get all the "advice" about "ooh, not sleeping through, are you sure you have enough milk" and "ooh feeding again, are you sure your milk is rich enough, why don't you give formula, then you can have a break".
The answer to all was no, I'm fine, I don't need formula, yes she is feeding again, get me a cup of tea please.
I just had NCT as pre birth breastfeeding advice. My midwife talked about it more towards the end, around 38 weeks, and when I said that I had had a three hour session on it in my NCT class, she said that was fine, otherwise she would have talked about it further.
In my area, they send out a breastfeeding support midwife after the first midwife has been out to see you and the baby, so may be worth asking if they do that to. For the initial start though, once my DD was born they asked if I would like to stay overnight in hospital for help with breastfeeding, I agreed to this, they did offer me a second night but I went home. The help was great as I was struggling to get DD to latch onto the left side, so being in hospital still meant I had extra time with midwives to help resolve this.
I really recommend the LLL book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition). My friend gave it to me as a gift as it really helped her, and I'm really enjoying reading it. It is so encouraging as well as having practical advice of latching/positioning etc.
The midwife showed me how to feed him just after he was born, and they don't let you leave until you're happy feeding (ime anyway). At all the subsequent visits from midwife and health visitor they check latch etc if you ask. I did go to the antenatal classes that covered breastfeeding but it didn't really mean much until I actually had a baby to practice with.
Exactly what Micah said ^^
The biggest piece of advice I could give to anyone that wants it, is that you cannot ever breastfeed too much in the first few weeks. A baby will feed for hunger/thirst/warmth/comfort and pretty much every single bf problem can be avoided/fixed by just putting baby to the breast. Don't over think it. Just feed on demand and know who your local NCT bf counsellor is as ime most health visitors give very dubious bf information. Good luck!
Seconding the LLL book, it is superb. I had a lot of trouble, very little support locally, a wonderful friend sent me the book and it made a huge difference.
Also spoke to a brilliant breastfeeding support worker on phone.
Get LOADS of skin-to-skin especially ASAP after the birth; baby might even do a breastcrawl to the nipple themselves, you don't have to put them on it immediately.
Ignore attempts to give you timings for feedings.
Focus on following the baby's signals- they can include opening mouth, sticking out tongue, touching mouth with hand, rooting. Don't wait until they cry.
Expect in the first few weeks you might get very intensive cluster feedings that seem to go on for hours, often in the evenings. Just settle down into it as much as you can. Baby is building up your supply this way.
Co-sleeping is an excellent idea done safely, and once you can feed lying down, it makes night feedings way easier.
If you have latching problems (e.g. painful or squashed nipples), get help ASAP via helplines or someone come and look. If you need to use nipple shields, don't stress too much, it can make the difference in keeping going once you've got thing sorted out.
My advice is
1) buy lansinoh (not sure about the spelling...) nipple cream. It costs around a tenner but a tube will last forever. It comes in a purple tube.
2) try for immediate skin to skin contact, and ask midwives to check your is good at every feed. Write it I your birthing plan.
3) once you're home visit a local breastfeeding group (la leche or sure start centres)
4) feed often. More often than you think you need to. Offer feeds regularly, before the baby cries with hunger, and for the first few weeks feed on demand (this can be knackering for you -especially during growth spurts when the feed endlessly)
The main thing i was unprepared for was how all consuming it was for the first few weeks. I struggled to come to terms with 'sitting there doing nothing' though of course i was: doing something. I was feeding and caring for our baby. I was lucky that it came easily to Ds and we have had no problems. So the only advice i Will offer is be prepared for the first few weeks. Each evening when husband was home i would gather a collection of things i would need for the day. I had packed lunch! Bottles of squash made up. Snacks. Book. Nipple cream/pads. And restocked the nappy change area.
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