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Talk Breastfeeding to me

44 replies

MamaBearThius · 27/05/2020 20:18

I'm having a baby in a week...gahhhhh!!
Absolutely horrendous pregnancy, 7 days left until my planned section! Cannot. Wait.
I have a 4 year old DD, she's awesome. I had a 7 day labour with her followed by an emergency section followed by severe sepsis (what a fun 2 weeks that was Hmm)
I breastfed for the first few hours and then everything went horribly wrong. I tried my hardest to establish breastfeeding once I was well again but it never worked. I don't think my milk ever actually came in. I pumped for every single feed for 6 months, and literally managed one drop per bottle, after being attached to the pump in agony for so much time. Not a positive experience.
So this time! I'm desperate for it to all work. I tried a handheld pump a few nights ago out of curiousity and made way more than I ever did, so that's surely a positive? I have Placenta Previa however so I've been advised not to pump anymore.
So please, anyone who has endured this far into my ramblings, hit me with your tips!
I've got a tutti bambini side cot, a very very supportive husband, and all the time in the world as we won't have the endless stream of visitors/people expecting us to travel the country. Any and all tips welcome please Grin

OP posts:
Kezmum14 · 27/05/2020 20:23

Take your time, ask for help and ask again if you still aren’t comfortable. Remember it should never be painful and if it is then positioning may be slightly off. Believe in yourself and your baby. You’ll get there. Hopefully things won’t be as tough on you this time round. :)

Amy89xx · 27/05/2020 20:24

Aww! That sounds like you had a really tough time.

There's an excellent Facebook group called Breastfeeding Yummy Mummies which provides excellent support. I'd also recommend reading The Positive Breastfeeding Book by Amy Brown.

Orangedaisy · 27/05/2020 20:25

Eat and drink an absolute ton. And then eat and drink some more. I was having 2 weetabix with full fat milk and sugar as a 2am snack.

Lou573 · 27/05/2020 20:27

Baby will want to be attached to the boob constantly in the first few weeks.
It’s pretty tough but it doesn’t mean you’re not producing enough, it’s comfort to them as well as nutrition and they’re hardwired to do it. Go by wet nappies and weight gain, not how long they spend at the breast. Once you’re past that bit it’s easy peasy - no sterilising and no need to travel with milk and the means to heat it up.

userabcname · 27/05/2020 20:27

Lots of skin to skin, put baby to the breast as often as possible and make sure the latch is deep and comfortable (they should check the latch in hospital). Remember fussiness, crying and wanting to feed lots are not signs of poor supply - the only indicators are nappy output and weight gain. Eat well, drink plenty of fluids and rest as much as possible. Essentially, you feed the baby and husband looks after you! I always find the 3 week mark the worst for cluster feeding and the 8 week mark the worst for fussiness but if you persevere it really pays off. Check out the kellymom website for some useful info / advice. Good luck with the delivery!

MamaBearThius · 27/05/2020 20:28

Thank you lovely ones for replying! (Especially telling me to eat Grin)
I don't have Facebook so can't join that group but thank you, I might have a look at the book.
Not sure who to ask for help? The Dr is aiming to discharge me 24hours after my section, and the health visitor rang to say she won't be visiting Hmm

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HoneyWheeler · 27/05/2020 20:30

Ask for lots of help from your midwife and health visitors and ask if there is a specific breastfeeding health visitor that can come and help you.

You may find your milk comes in slightly later as a result of the c section - that was true for me. I remember crying down the phone to the HV on day 4 and she just said 'you are doing a fabulous job' and for some reason that made all the difference.

It is very common for it to be really effing hard for the first six weeks - too many hands, not enough hands, your baby can't find the nipple that is literally in their face, etc etc. But if you manage to get past that bit it becomes like second nature and is so convenient and easy. That first bit is just so hard and it's easy to lose the faith and feel like your baby is starving. They're not! But you're just both learning.

Also yes, eat lots of snacks! And carry a water bottle with you everywhere as you'll be so thirsty! I'd even get a little basket with some snacks, a drink, headphones, lip balm, hair clips/ties, and take it with you to the sofa or anywhere where you settle down for a feed, just so you don't have to get up again!

You can do it!

june2007 · 27/05/2020 20:30

Drink when your thirstuy and eat what you need. (You may find appetite goes up, or you may not.)

Kellymom is a good resource. Get informed. You can do this.

Feed on demand.I found cosleeping was a life saver.

If low milk surply there are things you can do, pump, breast compression, blessed thistle, Fenegreek, Medications, tried lactation coookies. Not sure if they actually helped but they are quite good for slow release energy. (REcipe on line easy to make.).

MamaBearThius · 27/05/2020 20:32

Oooooh the skin to skin. I remember the magical tingling glowing loveliness of that! I'm getting a bit excited now, it's honestly been the longest problematic pregnancy - feels like it's been years! What will it feel like if she's latched properly? The pump hurt, a lot. Hoping I don't just have weird nipples that can't manage it. I've got some Bennet's cream and some Lanolin ready!

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HoneyWheeler · 27/05/2020 20:32

I'm sure you could even do a zoom call with a lactation consultant if you can't get a HV to come around.

BringMeThatHorizon · 27/05/2020 20:33

Get them to check the latch and make sure that you and baby have it right before you leave hospital. Remember that cluster feeding is totally normal and that it's the way that your baby naturally brings your supply up to what they need. Try not to pump until 6 weeks or so to properly establish your supply, just keep offering the boob as much as you can. There are loads of helpful resources online and numbers that you can call if you're struggling, and once services are up and running again your local children's centre will probably have a breastfeeding support group - I found asking someone to actually look at my latch and give advice on position etc really helpful. Hope all goes well!

Siablue · 27/05/2020 20:34

I can here to recommend the positive breastfeeding book by Amy Brown but someone already has.

Get a breastfeeding pillow it can really help with positioning especially if you are having a caesarean. Take it to hospital with you.

The website Kellymon is really good. See if you can find a support group locally to you a lot are doing Zoom at the moment.

HoneyWheeler · 27/05/2020 20:34

IME it'll feel a bit tender when you're just starting out but it shouldn't hurt. You can see their jaw really going for it, as if they were chewing, and that's a good sign. There's an account @breastfeeding.dietician (I think that's it) on Instagram and she has loss of great visuals and tips that I think would be helpful.

MichelleOR84 · 27/05/2020 20:36

I struggled with breastfeeding. It took THREE months before I was comfortable breastfeeding , before it was painfree and before baby was putting on weight properly. I went on to nurse for 14 months .

My best advice is to get support . Even when you feel like you’ve tried everything , keep going - breastfeeding support groups , new mum groups , children centres , visits from lactation consultants. The hospital should give you a list of the support out there , if they don’t then ask .

Sometimes I felt like it was getting nowhere but week by week it got better . Every little bit of advice was helping . My DS actually had a tongue tie that was snipped but grew back . I had to get it snipped again . His latch took so long to perfect . It was one hell of a journey.

MamaBearThius · 27/05/2020 20:36

Trying to keep it all as chilled as possible mainly for my 4 year old. It's been a weird few months for her with all this isolation etc. Got the side cot all set up, planning on actually resting after my section this time so will be spending lots of time laying around relaxing as a family - and again with having no visitors I can just have baby on my boobs whenever. Good call on the water, I'm constantly thirsty as it is! Guessing breastfeeding uses plenty of calories/water?
Thanks so much for all replying, the support is wonderful!

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apples24 · 27/05/2020 20:39

Ask the midwives for lots of help while you're in the hospital and ask them to check for tongue tie before they discharge you.

Try feeding when you're lying down, gentler for you after a section.

Use tons of lansinoh, also the nipple cream from "expert midwife" brand is meant to be very good. I was slapping the stuff on like there was no tomorrow, really helped with the pain.

At the start put your baby to boob often (much more often than you think you should) to really get established and help the baby to learn to latch. Your baby will be more patient with trying to get a good latch if they're going on the breast BEFORE they're hungry/upset etc.

Stick with it and be patient, it took me maybe two weeks to start feeling comfortable and I'd say we were "established" when baby was 6 weeks. Then suddenly one day I felt I could have done it while standing on my hands. It just went from being such a hard thing to being as easy and natural as going for a wee. But at the start both baby & mum are new to it and both need to learn.

Buy some really comfy BF bras. When my milk came in my boobs were suddenly like rock hard footballs (VERY weird for someone with A-cup size) and they were really tender, really, really tender. Especially as my baby slept quite well and in a few hours they just filled (it was totally mad!). Comfy BF camisoles really helped to "shelter" them during the night. And warm showers helped with the pain. Thank god that football stage was over quite quickly!

Read around cluster feeding etc, it's all totally normal and not a sign that you're not producing enough milk.

Join breastfeeding support groups on FB.

Good luck! x

Kezmum14 · 27/05/2020 20:39

@MamaBearThius, ask your midwife, and the support workers while in hospital. Once home your midwife/health visitor and breastfeeding support workers. They’ll all be there to help you x

MamaBearThius · 27/05/2020 20:41

Cluster feeding does not sound fun! Hoping I get the hang of the side cot and can sleep while she feeds?
I hope my boobs don't grow any more! Already in a G cup! Have got some lovely soft nursing bras though I've been having to sleep in for comfort

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MamaBearThius · 27/05/2020 20:43

I'm genuinely terrified of going into hospital as it is, I'm asthmatic and some of the midwives haven't been wearing masks. I went in last week for reduced movements and the midwife looking after me didn't have one on. She came really close to me to do my BP and I sort of jumped backwards Blush and was met with a "oh I'll go and put my mask back on shall I?"
I felt awful. Hoping to avoid as much face to face as I can while in

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Peeeas · 27/05/2020 20:53

4 weeks was when it really clicked for me - soreness stopped, cluster feeding got more manageable and baby got more efficient at the feeding process.

Second the recommendation for sports water bottle by the bed and lots of snacks for middle of the night hunger - dried fruit and cereal bars worked well for me.

sqirrelfriends · 27/05/2020 20:54

Eat and drink an absolute ton. And then eat and drink some more. I was having 2 weetabix with full fat milk and sugar as a 2am snack.

This ^

The hunger is real! DH bought me a load of healthy snacks (nuts seeds, dried fruit etc.) to keep by the bed to snack on when DS was feeding at night.

Cluster feeding is normal, keep some snacks and drinks to hand and settle in with a good box set, I actually loved that time, so many cuddles. You will hear "is the baby really hungry again?!" and "your baby isn't getting enough milk" but as long as there are plenty of wet nappies and weight gain you're golden.

Lanolin based nipple cream is amazing, it really helped me when my nips got sore. All the exposure to wet isn't great for them and it help form a barrier.

gonewiththerain · 27/05/2020 20:55

My milk took 5 days to come in last time. I had to top up. I wouldn’t pump at all, concentrate on resting and eating and drinking plenty. If you don’t produce enough initially bf first then top up. This is what we do with sheep and I have a 100% success rate with sheep and me. Sometimes it’s take a ewe 2 or 3 weeks to produce enough for her lamb, it took me 12 weeks to drop the top ups but we did get there. Basically what I trying to say is if you’ve not got it immediately don’t worry it can come gradually. I fed in the end for 2.5 years.
Use the nipple cream before birth.

apples24 · 27/05/2020 20:56

Mine used to cluster feed before it was bedtime. Think it's called the witching hour? Though it was hours, like from 5pm till 8pm I used to just claim the sofa as mine, watch netflix and demand a snack service from DH as DS was cluster feeding. Think the cluster feeding maybe peaked when he was about 6 weeks old and gradually decreased and stopped by 10ish weeks.

Sidecot was amazing during the night as didn't need to get out of bed to feed him, absolutely brilliant.

TwinkleStars15 · 27/05/2020 21:25

Join some breastfeeding Facebook groups - Breastfeeding Yummy Mummies and Breastfeeding Younger Babies and Beyond are both really good.

Remember, a very small percentage (very small) experience no milk, it’s extremely rare, so don’t worry about that, it’s unlikely to happen. The biggest mistakes are pumping too early, don’t do it before 6 weeks at least (some women won’t experience issues but many others will). Your milk supply needs to be established first.

Stay hydrated, it’s thirsty work! Don’t believe that anything you eat will increase your supply, there’s no evidence to back this up at all (again, some women will swear by things like Fenugreek, but it actually reduces supply in other women).

Don’t stress about how the state of the house, washing up etc, just sit for as long as it takes. Get people to help with childcare so you can just relax in the early days and feed. Lots of skin to skin contact.

Your mature milk may take an extra day or two to come through with a section, but baby will be absolutely fine with colostrum milk until then (usually by day 5)

I would wish you luck, but you won’t need it!

Merename · 27/05/2020 21:26

Your boobs will grow more, honestly mine were like bags of rocks the day my milk came in. I had the opposite issue to others and had oversupply and fast flow, which caused no end of problems for me and babies over the years. There’s so much to say about breastfeeding really but it is a learning on the job kind of thing. Come back and keep talking to us next week! How exciting. There are some great YouTube vids that would be worth watching - id look up ‘laid back’ feeding and get an image of what that looks like. Helps baby get a wide latch. Latch is important but also baby’s position on your body, if their body is well supported they are more likely to latch well. I can imagine the hospital anxieties. Don’t be afraid to ask them to put masks on if anyone doesn’t, you defo don’t need any extra anxiety going in. Good luck!!

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