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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:
mrs87 · 27/05/2020 21:38

I can't be of any help because I'm a FTM and not due for a few months yet but following as I'm so worried about getting breastfeeding right and would love to find out how you get on! Plus all the tips are super helpful. Good luck, I'm sure all will be fine!

katmarie · 27/05/2020 21:39

In my experience (bf DS for 10 months, now bf DD who is 7 months) it can be painful even if you are doing everything right. My lovely midwife, when I said to her that I had to grit my teeth and curl my toes every time DS latched, said, 'well yes, no-one tells you that some women just find it excruciatingly painful. But it gets better.' She was right on all counts.

For the first few weeks, be prepared not to do much else. For me both times it was a relentless cycle of feed, nappy, cuddle, snooze, feed again. The hardest things were the lack of sleep, and lack of time to myself. If you can get your head around that and relax into it, that will help a lot.

Lansinoh cream is good, put it on every single time. I used to pop a blob on my breast pad before I put the pad in my bra and that helped. Also letting my nipples air dry after a shower. And soft bras, nothing with wires, and nothing too tight.

Cluster feeding is tough, your baby is putting in their milk order for the future, and getting to know how this whole feeding thing works. They also have a very tiny stomach. My experience of cluster feeding is that baby fed for 30 mins or so, dozes for between 10 and 40 mins, then fed again, repeat several times, for me this went on from 11pm until 3am with DD, but from 6pm until midnight with DS. It lasted about the first 2 weeks with both of them, which doesn't seem that long. But at the time it felt relentless and overwhelming. There is a reason that sleep deprivation is torture. It might seem like they are not getting enough milk, or that they won't settle. Keep going, keep feeding, it will get better. I used to say to myself 'just keep feeding' like Dory from Finding Nemo. For the first two weeks I would strongly recommend you sleep whenever you can. Read up on co sleeping guidelines, and consider it. Make sure you have plenty of pillows, and support, in case you do need to sit up to feed. (My DS would not feed lying down at all, but DD took to it like a champ). Snacks, and entertainment to keep you awake, and if it gets too much, get the baby's dad to take baby and cuddle/wind/change/walk around with for an hour or two while you get some sleep. You can take paracetamol for the pain too. DH can do everything else in the house. You will be in recovery as well as establishing breastfeeding, you need to rest.

Watch out for mastitis. If you get shivers, aches and feel fluey, or get a red spot on your breast, or hard painful lump inside it anywhere, call your midwife immediately. It can sometimes be shifted with feeding, massage and/or pumping but in my case I needed antibiotics.

Get an insulated cup with a lid. Whether you want hot or cold drinks, make sure you have a drink with you always, and drink lots and lots of water. Keep a stash of snacks, and a phone charger close to where you will be spending most of your day. I also set up a little basket of changing stuff so I didn't have to move far to change baby, especially important if you're recovering from a c section.

Good luck op, I hope it goes well for you.

LakeTittyHaHa · 27/05/2020 21:45

Definitely have a look at videos online which show what to look for in a good latch. I probably wouldn’t have had a clue about breastfeeding if I hadn’t read up/watched so much about it. My husband also helped by learning what to look for and checking my latch for me etc which was great.

Good luck!

emwithme · 27/05/2020 22:08

La Leche League are doing zoom meetings if you need advice, support, reassurance or just someone to tell you how gorgeous your squishy new baby is. You don't need to be a member.

WillowsAndSprinkle · 27/05/2020 22:21

I would say make sure you’re comfortable, as in using a feeding pillow for support, try to be as relaxed as you can (easier said than done!!) and with snacks and lots of water on hand!
My little girl didn’t latch properly whilst we were in hospital, she was fed by a syringe. And her first proper feed from me was when we got home and I had all of the above in place.
Make sure you get a good deep latch, there’s advice on la leche league and nct website. And the support from the feeding team at your hospital.
My daughter is now 16 months and we are just weaning her off as found out we are expecting baby no2!
Breastfeeding isn’t easy especially in the first few days but in my opinion for bonding and convince it’s worth persevering!
Good luckStar

Amy89xx · 27/05/2020 22:29

This video is helpful in showing how to get a good latch

MamaBearThius · 27/05/2020 22:30

All of this advice is wonderful thank you all so much for taking the time to respond (I shall reward with updates and squishy baby photos Grin)
Genuinely have an incredible husband, who I know will be nothing but supportive and bring me anything and everything and do anything and everything housewise! He's really awesome. Quite excited at the prospect of lazing around with a newborn now, I'm usually quite busy doing jobs etc!

OP posts:
firstimemamma · 27/05/2020 22:32

Emily Norris on YouTube for tips. Smile

I never got the hang of expressing either - I found it stressful and unsuccessful. I still managed to breastfeed for over 16 months though - my baby just never had a bottle and only had milk directly from me. Inability to express definitely doesn't necessarily equate to inability to breastfeed!

Main advice:

  • preparation e.g reading books and buying anything that you think might help if u can afford it.
  • have the National breastfeeding helpline number somewhere handy e.g kitchen notice board as they are very good.
  • drink all the water and eat all the food. Snacks in my bedside drawer saw me through.

There is loads more but I can't think right now. Lots of good suggestions on this thread I'm sure, good luck! I truly loved breastfeeding (after struggling / not liking it at all for the first couple of months!).
lorisparkle · 27/05/2020 22:37

I really struggled with breastfeeding DS1. Luckily a magical midwife in hospital (after a few not so helpful ones) taught me how to calm him down by letting him suck on my finger and then how to latch him on lying down. It was life changing!

Once at home it still was not as easy but I phoned the La Leche League who were fantastic and talked me through things to think about when latching on 'tummy to mummy', 'nose to nipple', and 'baby to breast'. I found it so helpful to take my time going through each step.

The most important thing though is to keep asking different people if you need help,

MrsAvocet · 27/05/2020 22:52

I would say keep things as simple as possible.

  1. Look after yourself. Eat and drink plenty and rest as much as you can in the circumstances.
  2. Get plenty of skin to skin contact and offer baby the breast at pretty much every wimper - don't try to space feeds out, and expect to be feeding a lot, particularly at first. Hard though it us, don't miss any night feeds as apparently prolactin levels are high at night and feeding then really helps with supply.
  3. Get some expert support. Look for support groups and trained bf supporters in your area and contact them now. Obviously things will be phone or online at the moment but there should be something available. It is loads easier to call for help if things are getting tough if you already have those details, and even better if you've spoken to the people beforehand. So sort that out asap then if you do need help you are not panicking about where it will come from.
  4. Try not to worry. Easier said than done I know, especially when you had a bad experience last time, but try not to stress about it. In all likelihood your problems last time were related to you being so ill, rather than there being anything intrinsically "wrong" with you. This will be a completely different experience hopefully. Personally I would avoid expressing unless there is a strong need to do so - at least until everything is established. It really is a very poor indicator of your supply and can cause you to worry unnecessarily. Some women's breasts respond far better to pumps than others. I always struggled to express and could only get anything at all if I had missed a feed for some reason and was quite engorged. I got a bit better with practice but was never one of those mums who filled an 8oz bottle in 15 mins. I would, on a really good day, get 2-3 oz in half an hour - but I was tandem feeding a newborn and a toddler who were both thriving so I obviously did have plenty of milk!
    Good luck. I hope all goes well, but above all else, enjoy your baby and be kind to yourself.
Raaaa · 27/05/2020 23:05

Watching this thread as well as I want bf to work for this time around after it not working the first time. Willing to try anything apart from cosleeping, going to look into the maze of pumps!

Siablue · 27/05/2020 23:12

If you buy a pump buy an electric one don’t faff about with a hand pump. I could only express a tiny amount but the baby was getting lots of milk.

The can I breastfeed in it Facebook group is good. The have one page which is support and one which is what to wear. You don’t just have to wear nursing clothes.

Keha · 28/05/2020 00:24

So much good advice already. I just want to add don't worry if your boobs don't leak, or go "rock hard" or you don't have any noticible let down. Ive never had any of these things, but am managing. I think my supply is on the lower side so do breast compressions and offer both boobs when I feed.

MamaBearThius · 29/05/2020 18:31

Thank you all so very much for the advice. Found out yesterday baby is already 10lb 5 (I'm only 38 weeks) so hoping my boobs make Greek yoghurt to keep that baby satisfied!!
Another thing, I'm hoping to use dummies at bedtime. Mainly because of a thing I saw saying they reduced SIDS risk by something like 19%. Am I mad for wanting to combine breastfeeding with dummies?

OP posts:
TwinkleStars15 · 29/05/2020 18:46

@MamaBearThius the size of your baby is irrelevant for breastfeeding, you will absolutely make enough milk for them, their tummies are all the same size. It’s a common misconception (I’m a bfn peer supporter) so please please don’t worry about that.
You should avoid the use of a dummy ideally, but if you really want to then wait 6 weeks. Dummies disguise feeding cues from baby, so sometimes it can mean they aren’t getting enough milk. Feeding overnight is especially important as this is when your prolactin is at its highest (between 12pm-4am).

aimzxd · 29/05/2020 21:50

My milk came in really quickly with the medala double pump (hospitals have it, but medala only rent them). I found pain from pumping came from needing bigger bits for my nipples. My ds was prem and in neonatal, I had to pump to feed him. By day 3 of pumping on initiate every 3 hours I was getting enough milk to feed him exclusively and then plenty to freeze for when we went home. Ask the hospital for a pump, pump after feeding baby. They will give you syringes to feed baby colostrum. It will help your milk come in. Congradulations!

MamaBearThius · 05/06/2020 18:33

Day 2 and 8 poos.
Baby is bloody gorgeous and has more rolls than Gregs. Breastfeeding now going great, no thanks to awful and shocking care recieved. Hoping to be discharged tomorrow

OP posts:
kenandbarbie · 05/06/2020 18:42

Ah great that's fantastic news op! Congrats and keep on nursing xxxxxx

Keha · 05/06/2020 23:15

Congratulations! Enjoy OP xxx

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