Please can I have some successful breastfeeding tips?(46 Posts)
This is not a thread for a bun fight or any posts about 'breast being best'. I have a dd who is 5 and was ff after I was diagnosed with primary lactation failure. Looking back, she was my first baby, I was naive and just assumed I would be able to breastfeed so didn't prepare at all. When it all went wrong I moved her on to formula and tried mix feeding on GP'S instructions but ultimately ended up ff. I'm grateful that I had the option as dd thrived. But, I wanted to breastfeed and struggled emotionally after because I felt I'd failed. Looking back, it was a combination of hormones, peer pressure and certain medical professionals being unsupportive. This time, my boobs feel totally different to late time. I'm 31+1 and they are huge, veiny and they hurt at times. I'm hoping this means that I won't have lactation failure again. The midwife seemed to think it was a first time mum problem. Anyway, I'd really appreciate some tips from successful breastfeeders without any bashing of formula feeders. This is my last baby and I want to be able to feed the way I want. Thanks
Get support. LLL or similar. I have a congenital breast defect. I had to combine-feed both my kids. First for 6 weeks, the second for 10 weeks. I only managed because I had support, advice and encouragement. For me it was incredibly difficult and sore at first but once I got past the weeks mentioned above it was the best thing ever.
Skin to skin, try to feed right after birth (or as soon after as possible). Get as much help with the latch as you can while in hospital.
Don't have too many visitors in the early days if you'd feel uncomfortable trying to feed in front of them. Don't be worried about cluster feeding, it's totally normal but can feel like baby is always hungry/you don't have enough milk. As long as you're having lots of wet and dirty nappies, baby is getting milk. Top off in front of tv with baby/snacks. Keep hydrated! Sleep when the baby sleeps because you will be doing all night feeds. Stay in bed if you like in the early days your job is to feed the baby. No housework, no cooking or cleaning if you have dp/h/family support that's great, use them. I only have one baby so don't know what it's like to have an older child and bf but someone else may have advice for balancing that.
Sorry this is jumbled just trying to get it all down.
If you're struggling get to a bf support group, they're great. Don't let people be too pushy with giving formula if you don't want to. Don't doubt yourself, trust your body.
Don't be hard on yourself. It's hard work. Feed feed feed, all the time. Good luck x
I stopped bf my first after two weeks because of difficulties and was really upset about it. I'd assumed it would be easier and there'd be more help available if I struggled.
Late in my second pregnancy I started going to breastfeeding support groups to introduce myself and get to know people. They added me to their secret Facebook group. It was them who told me my baby had tongue tie after I described our difficulties, after everyone else had missed it, and they gave me tips to get me through till it was dealt with. We're eight weeks in now and at the easy breastfeeding stage. I'd seek support as early as possible!
Don't over think it. Assume it will all go fine from the beginning. Only if problems arise then know where to turn. If you feel different then you know your body best. Good luck!
Lansinoh on your nipples before and after every feed for first couple of weeks, helps keep your nips in good condition! Just feed feed feed and don't listen to anyone who says "baby can't be hungry again". Good luck.
There are some bf support groups on facebook as well if getting to a clinic is a struggle. If there's none in your area you can pm me and I'll get you added to our local one which is really friendly and helpful.
I did skin to skin and she latched straight after birth. Latch was really good. Lack of milk was the issue. Thanks there is some great advice here x
I think you need to try and keep the pressure off yourself and take it one feed at a time. From my experience, and obviously everyone has different experiences, it is bloody painful to start with (for me weeks not days of pain) and you can get all sorts of complications.
What helped me was;
1. Lansinoh for cracked nipples. Use it by the wagon load.
2. Look up your local breastfeeding support. Midwifes don't always know best . Near me there are drop ins and I used them several times in the first few weeks to try and get the latch right.
3. Build in a lot of lying in bed figuring it out time. Also my baby cluster fed from 6-10 most evenings for the first month. If you have other children it helps to have a plan / helper for this time.
4. I struggled a few days in when my milk came in and my boobs became engorged. Baby found it hard to latch as my boob was rock solid and it hurt. Cold cabbage leaves help. Also hand expressing before attempting to feed.
5. Don't beat yourself up if you find it difficult. Lots of people do. Also formula is still feeding your baby and is in no way a failure.
6. I found it a bit claustrophobic breastfeeding my second. My first was formula fed through necessity not choice and it meant my dh could help if I needed a sleep. I misses this support a lot especially when doing multiple night feeds. We decided to introduce a bottle of formula in the 10-12 slot to allow me some sleep. Did it from about a week in which is way before they recommend it (nipple confusion risk) but was fine for us.
Feed at every squeak - it's completely normal for newborns to feed lots and lots - certainly every 2 hours would be normal. I think people loose confidence when babies feed frequently but it's the norm.
Really prepare for the building up of supply. There will be days where you can't get out of bed because baby won't stop feeding - completely normal, even at 8 weeks. It finally settled down at about 11 weeks for me. Just have drinks and snacks and plenty of box sets.
Drink lots of water. At least a glass per feed.
Drink drink drink. Especially those first 3-5 days to help your milk come in, but as PP says, have a glass of water at least every feed. Be prepared for hours-long sessions to build your supply up. It is shit, especially when you're cold and alone in the middle of the night, but it won't last forever. Buy a big tub of Celebrations or similar and keep it to hand
Find your local breastfeeding cafe or drop in session. Ask every HCP you come into contact with to check your latch etc - I initially found it difficult because I'd been given incorrect advice by hospital midwives and was actually pulling DS off myself so he couldn't latch BF cafe sorted me out
Good luck. Assume all will be well.
And if things don't work out for you, you know from last time that there's nothing wrong with FF, and it was invented for just your situation, and that DC will thrive whatever way he/she is fed
If in doubt, look at kellymom.com and do what it says! It's evidence based and brilliant - got me through thrush in the milk ducts, over supply and a load of other problems my GP just didn't know much about, lovely though she is. And it's a good way to counteract people who are unhelpful, as it's properly researched, peer reviewed etc.
It really is up to you how you feed your baby so please don't feel pressured in any way - and definitely not a failure! Your reasons for not being able to bf first time were beyond your control.
Lots of great tips already up here but I'd add that the main tip from me, having had months of every possible problem with my 1st (blocked ducts, low supply, over supply, terribly painful cracked nipples.....) is to remind yourself during every feed that 'this gets easier with time' - and won't be so bloody hard after a few weeks. Like every challenge practice really does make perfect. Good luck! x
What everyone else says, find a local support group, LLL has one in my area that's great, and I joined a fb group called breastfeeding yummy mummies that is so helpful, really motivates me to keep going even when it's tough and not to top up with formula as I had done in the evenings a few times!
It was so hard st first but now me and my 11 week old have it sorted mostly!!
If it hurts, something is very probably wrong. For us, a posterior tongue tie after everybody said he didn't have one. I was repeatedly told 'it just hurts for some people' and I had to 'decide whether I could put up with it'. Total rubbish and that was from midwives and health visitors. Get advice from people like LLL.
Second everything Ray said. Also Mrscog - if in doubt, get one out...
Try a breastfeeding group or breastfeeding cafe morning to get used to feeding in front of other people.
And you didn't fail the first time! You had one of the rare cases where it genuinely didn't work - that's exactly what formula was invented for.
Don't express, top up, faff with routines or amounts.
Just feed as much as you can. Feed everytime she whimpers.
Don't assume frequent feeding, crying, not sleeping through, sleepy baby, wanting to feed constantly, and taking a bottle are indicators that your milk supply is failing.
Look at the clinical picture-wee, poo, energy levels, fontanelle, skin and eyes. If the baby isn't getting milk they will dehydrate and you will see it physically.
Feed every time baby makes a noise, expect to be feeding constantly at least for a few weeks, drink lots of water, ignore the housework and direct any offers of help to cooking and cleaning. Good luck
And research breastfeeding how milk is made and the signs of a well fed baby. Do.not allow people to undermine you with their negative comments and suggestions to 'top up'
With both of mine, it took six weeks before it became easy. Definitely lansinoh. Breast shells also good.
I would also recommend joining bf groups. The support I received from the peer supporters was brilliant.
Don't believe 'feed on demand'. Some newborns are very sleepy and don't demand it, as pp have said you need to keep feeding at least every two hours and it can be for hours at a time. I made the mistake with my first of believing that he would 'demand' it and also that old adage 'never wake a sleeping baby' and as a result my supply never built up because he would sleep so much. If they are sleepy wake them up every two hours to feed. Listen for the swallowing sound rather than just looking for the cheeks moving that could just be comfort sucking.
Also, a lot of people advise pumping to build up supply but Kellymom reckons this is rubbish and you should just keep feeding instead which was my experience as well. Pumping is soul destroying.
Finally 'if it hurts you're doing it wrong' is also bollocks. Yes, pain can be a sign of latch problems but even if the latch is fine it's worth being prepared for it to be very sore for the first few weeks. It is fine though once you get established at about 6 weeks.
Good luck, I had a nightmare feeding my first but second time around has been much easier.
Feed feed feed, for the first couple of days you may need to wake them up if they don't ask (cry) for it.
When they seem to feed for hours without ever being satisfied, if the latch is ok, then don't fall into the worry that your milk is somehow not enough. This is cluster feeding which is less about them feeding right now and more about them investing in the future/ comfort. If you can roll with it do, but no shame in taking a break if you need to. The more you feed the more you will produce but 24-48 hours later!
They only need tiny amounts in the first couple of days.
The amount of milk you can get out with a pump bears no relation to how much milk the baby can get out - they work by totally different mechanisms, just cos you can't pump much doesn't mean baby isn't getting plenty.
Good luck - the initial difficulties are worth it when established for sheer convenience!
I found my old thread when I was annoyed at all the rubbish advice.
People came and gave lots of helpful comments after I'd been getting annoyed at being undermined for months
The infant feeding board here is a good place for advice, as well as www.kellymom.com.
It sounds like you had specific issues the first time round, so maybe worth calling the LLL or other helpline for advice too?
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