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Breastfeeding- Tips/hints and what you think Mums need to know

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#1 hjv

Posted 27 January 2007 - 12:25 PM

Hi all original.gif,

I have combined the "Best ever breastfeeding tips" thread with the "WDYT? Mums need to know" thread as both have the same aim, which is to share our individual breastfeeding experiences.
This is the place to share any tips / information / feelings and knowledge about breastfeeding that you think may be informative or inspiring to other breastfeeding mums and breastfeeding mums to be!

All the best,

luckytwo, Moderator of the Breastfeeding forum

Yes I have been reading the other thread and it seems to me that nothing anyone says will change the views of those in the opposing camp but that there was some really useful comments in there about the lack of information given to new mums about breastfeeding.  I completely agree with that - I had no clue before DD1 was born.

So what do you think new mums should know about breastfeeding that will make it easier for them and will encourage them to continue???

The things that spring to mind for me (which seem frighteningly basic to me now but I really had no idea) are:

- your supply is generally lower in the late afternoon/ evening so baby is likely to want more feeds then

- growth spurts - usually the first is around 6 weeks when baby just wants to feed feed feed constantly - lasts for a few days and then you go back to your normal routine

- ways to increase your supply if you think it is lacking is to rest, drink lots of water, have lots of skin to skin contact with your baby and express between feeds

- attachment and correct positioning is crucial for the first few weeks

and lots more stuff that I am too tired to think of right now.  But hey I know there are plenty of you out there who can really help others so please feel free to add/correct what I have said.


Edited by luckytwo, 19 March 2011 - 08:45 PM.
change of title and merging of pinned threads

#2 *LucyE*

Posted 27 January 2007 - 12:37 PM

In the begining, even with perfect attachment, it can be, but is not always, toe-curlingly painful.  This is normal and will decrease over time.  

Breastfeeding is physically draining.  It is important to have supportive people around you who understand this and help you - try to minimise stress, allow you chances to put your feet up and rest (without a bub attached lol), and eat healthy nutritious foods.

Foods you eat may affect your breastmilk and bub.  Again, everyone is different but if bub does seem extra unsettled, pained or whatever, look at your diet.  It can take several days to eliminate from your system and then bub's system so for example, don't just cut out caffine for one day and not see any improvement and say that it's not having any effects.

#3 InkPink

Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:01 PM

That after a few weeks breastfeeding your boobs will not be full looking and hard, and whilst it may seem like you are losing your milk, they have infact adjusted to how much your baby needs and are working perfectly.

That breastmilk is a supply and demand thing, if you introduce a bottle of formula because you think you supply is diminishing (see point above) your body will react and produce less milk.

#4 Rock of Empathy

Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:03 PM

My only words of advice are if you are having trouble in the early days see a lactation consultant before giving up. They really can make all the difference.

#5 andyb

Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:11 PM

That your cracked, bleeding nipples WILL heal and you can successfully b/f for as long as you want

That you can comp feed for the first few weeks (if necessary) and still b/f exclusively after that period

That even if it takes a week for your milk to come in, you can still b/f successfully and exclusively

That if your baby does not open its mouth 'properly' that there are other ways of attaching your baby to the nipple

DS  8 Sept 04
DD  29 Sept 06

#6 Molly1974

Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:22 PM

That for some people, no matter what you do or try it just doesn't work. If this happens don't feel guilty.

#7 TinFeralCat

Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:30 PM

- How your body actually produces milk
- That just because you dont leak or feel full doesnt mean you have run out of milk
- Similarly that if you can't express alot of milk, it doesnt mean you have a low supply
- That there are other sources of information and support such as the ABA, EB and kellymom.com
- That if your baby wants to feed every hour sometimes, it can be normal
- Babies rarely self wean before 12 months
- Babies have fussy and distractible periods at ______ and this is completely normal (someone fill in the gaps Tounge1.gif )
- oh and Lansinoh stains!  wacko.gif


Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:43 PM

I would tell a first time mum that it is really hard and the baby has something to do with it also.  Some babies are really smart and know how to latch on properly and some are a bit dopey and have no idea, usually boys.  I have breastfed 7 and they are all different.  Don't feel ashamed to ask a midwife for help either.

I used to try and feed exactly how the midwives were telling me but it wouldn't work.  Supposedly you are supposed to just sit there with the baby on the boob but I found I had to support the boob for the first couple of months like how you hold it when you are trying to attach.  I had many a fight with a midwife telling I shouldn't do that but I had to because the baby couldn't feed because it was getting suffocated.  In the end I learnt to just shut up and let the midwife think I was listening.

So even though there is a correct way to feed by the text book sometimes you can feed in other ways as long as your boobs aren't hurting when the baby is attached.

Also I would tell them to feed the baby whenever they thought it was hungry, I have had a baby that fed every 2 hours and one that fed every 4 and the others were basically approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hrs between feeds.  A baby will never get obese breastfeeding which is what some people seem to think and say whenever they see you feeding and you only just fed.

It's not the breastfeeding that wrecks your boobs it's what happens to your boobs whilst pregnant that changes the shape.  Your body preparing your boobs to feed.

ALso that you can get thrush on your boobs and in the baby's mouth, the signs for mastitis, that the leaking eventually settles, etc.

That it can be the most relaxing and rewarding time with your bub.  When you breastfeed you actually have to sit down and have a rest, you  can't prop the bottle on a pillow and go and do work.

Even when you have plenty of milk and baby is putting on good weight every week doesn't mean you will be able to express an ounce.  It's funny that when the baby is on the boob the milk pours out but when you try to express it becomes the sahara desert.

Also not to worry so much about your figure.  Soon as you start to diet it can affect your milk supply.  I would tell a new mum to worry about eating healthy and worry about her weight when the baby had weaned.

Edited by Natalie63, 27 January 2007 - 01:45 PM.

#9 Expat

Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:47 PM






and this

Before you have your baby read all of these, show them to your partner, and your mother and MIL

#10 *Babylove*

Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:22 PM

I havn't read the replies so I don't know if the has already been covered or not. Well anyway...

New mothers need to be taught that b/f can be very hard work. There are cracked, sore nipples, mastitis (which I never even heard of until I got it), latching problems (bub has trouble latching or you're not putting him on right), supply issues. I also think that new mothers have to be taught that if she does have supply issues right from the beginning, to try and preserve and not allow anyone to comp feed her baby formula. Comp feeding formula makes your body believe it is producing enough milk for bub, and it will be very difficult to get your supply up if you do that. Also, if you have supply issues, mothers need to know that they should immediately start pumping from day one, with a good breast pump. With me, the nurses told me I wasn't making enough milk so they comp fed ds formula. The lactation consultant told me it was a waste of money to buy a breast pump because my supply would come in, and when I asked for one in the hospital, they said they wouldn't provide it because I didn't need it. After a while with supply issues and having to comp feed after each b/f episode, a nurse who came to visit me at home told me I needed to start pumping immediatly. I started pumping as soon as I could, but because I had waited so long, it took 2 1/2 months of b/f, comp feeding formula, and pumping after every feed before my supply fully came in. I believe that if I didn't allow the nurses to comp feed ds formula and I kept him on my breast for however long it took him to be satisfied, and if I had pumped from day one, I wouldn't have had supply issues for as long as I did.

I think mothers also need to know that some problems can persist for a few months before they settle down. They need to know that things WILL get better with time (well, maybe not in EVERY case, but I'm sure it would be in the majority of the cases. correct me if I'm wrong, though) as long as they persist and stick with it for long enough. I have known so many mothers who gave up after a couple of weeks because of a certain problem, and I have also heard of how other mothers continued despite them having the same problem, and it got better after a month or two.

I also think mothers should be taught that it is possible they may not actually like b/f. Some people believe they will find b/f to be a loving, wonderful, bonding experince but when they actually do b/f, they do not enjoy it because they simply do not like the sensation of the baby sucking on their nipple.

Finally, I think mothers should be taught how to properly hold their baby while b/f. If you do not hold your baby properly, you can easily suffer from a bad back and neck. I used to get a bad back and neck because I would b/f by hunching over and look down at ds while he fed. The health nurse told me that I should use a pillow under him so I don't hunch over, and I shouldn't look at him the entire time I b/f. I should mainly look ahead and only occasionally glance down at him. Her advice helped quite a bit and my bad back and neck eventually went away.

Edited to add: I also think new mothers should be taught that if they do have problems b/f, it is quite possible they will receive 'advice' from people they know, telling them to give it up because it is too hard. I know most people are only trying to help the mother, but I think she should be aware that this is a possiblity so she can be better prepared for it if/when it happens.

And babies go through growth spirts, so there may be days when it feels like your baby is on your breast all day long. They need to understand that they are not doing anything wrong, and they are not suddenly having a supply issue, but the baby is going through a growth spirt and they simply need to feed a lot more often.

They also need to understand that some people simply cannot b/f for whatever reason and if she has to give up, this is no reason for her to feel like a failure.

Edited by *Babylove*, 27 January 2007 - 02:58 PM.

#11 feral strawberry

Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:47 PM

- Laying down while BFing is lovely esp in those first few weeks when you are very tired and if you have stitches it's a nice way to take some of the pressure off them.

#12 Jeneral

Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:49 PM

1. You dont have to be perfect.  
Your not always going to get warm fuzzies when you feed.. quite often it will be toe curlign and damn annoying experience.. and thats ok.  You dont have to have a perfect diet, a perfect sleepign pattern, and drink the recommended water everyday.  Some days are crap and you eat chocolate, and maybe even have a bourban and coke.. and thats ok!
You dont have to time every feed, wiegh your boobs, feed from this side or that in a particular order... its great if your having issue to try these things.. but so long as it works.. thats ok!

2. Routines Suck!
Yeah... have an idea of what to expect at different ages/stage but you will find your own family 'rhythm'.

3. Sometiems breastfeeding is the easiest thing in the world.. but it still 'feels' hard.  Its not the breastfeeding that is hard.. its everything else as well.. the nappies, the feeds, the whole role of mothering.

4. If I was in charge of doign up info for mothers for breastfeeding then I would include info for all the different stages.  There is so much focus on newborns and getting it established but there is little out there for 3mths onwards.  3-6mth, 6-12mth, 12- 18mths, 18mths - weaning all present different challenges.. teething, introducing meals, resisting the breast, illnesses, changes in sleeping patterns.  I tell ya, if those magazines that have the 'development' info actaully included info on breastfeedign during each of these development stages then I think a lot more people would understand some of the challenges of breastfeeding and the reasons people start to convert to formula during each of these stages.  I truely belive that promotion needs to focus on continued breastfeeding.

#13 ~~sam~~

Posted 27 January 2007 - 03:01 PM

I think the "football hold" is a wonderful way to learn to attach baby as you can see more clearly... (You hold baby under your arm like a football with their face looking towards you.) You can use a pillow for support.

Also if your nipples do crack you can buy nipple shields which take a bit of the pain away and let your nipples heal with the help of lansinoh.

And - Drink lots of water!!

#14 FreeRangeKids

Posted 27 January 2007 - 03:09 PM

That the first 2 weeks you feel like you have a baby attached to your breast every second of the day, but it does get better and isnt like that at all after a few weeks wehn you supply is going well.

Edited by ~*BELLA*~, 27 January 2007 - 03:09 PM.

#15 Duane Dibley

Posted 27 January 2007 - 03:09 PM

You dont have to time every feed, wiegh your boobs, feed from this side or that in a particular order... its great if your having issue to try these things.. but so long as it works.. thats ok!

Having to keep a "record" in the hospital of the feeds, how long, which side, what time etc was something that really threw me out.  It put an idea into my head that somehow breastfeeding should be regimented, on a schedule.  It was good to get rid of the chart after leaving hospital.  The best thing for me was to realise that babies don't run to any kind of clock or timetable with feeding.  Sometimes they'll be hungry again half an hour after their last feed.  Other times it might be a couple of hours.  Sometimes you'll only feed from one side, other times both.  It's quite normal to be all over the shop, especially in the early days.  They work out their own "routine" in time.

At times, you'll feel like you spend all day feeding.

It can be very tiring and draining.

It's lovely when they start patting your face or reaching out for you when you're feeding them.

According to the lactation consultant who helped me, your nipples reach a peak of sensitivity (caused by hormones) around the three week mark.  That's why it hurts so much, for some.  This gradually wanes and stops hurting after a while.


#16 gracetilly

Posted 27 January 2007 - 03:30 PM

From my experience  ;-

~ It is not easy to start

~ It hurts for a while as they latch on(OWW!!!Toe curling pain...count to 10)

~Get help from a lactation consultant. There are private ones, and ones in Public Hospitals

~ Realise it is going to be hard work for a while (I think it was 8 weeks for me)

~ The pain will go away (Trying to remember...About 8 weeks as well)

~Express after my morning feeds, and freeze so DH can feed baby overnight

~if you get grazed nipples, air them, or even a little sun.

~Do not feel guilty if you did not get the hang of it...Atleast you tried.But atleast try.

~It is free

~It is the best food for babies

~It is a beautiful experience as they look up at you, sigh whilst still feeding, and touch your cheek

~It is easily transportable

~No need for bottles/sterilising.

~Drink lots of water

~Experiment with positions (Football hold for me was the best)

~Expect to spend alot of time feeding in those first weeks (Feeding would initially take me 1 hour every three hours of so)

~ You will need breast pads for a while, but not forever. I found the cheap ones just as good as the $$ ones.

#17 sweetiebear

Posted 27 January 2007 - 06:45 PM

sad.gif How utterly devastated, shattered, bitterly disappointed and heartbroken you will be if it doesn't work out.  And the pain of not 'succeeding' will stay with you for years.  Especially when you will need to justify formula feeding to family, friends, and random strangers who have the audacity to ask " why aren't you breastfeeding?"  How it is sometimes easier to stay at home alone than go outside for a wlk, to the shops or visiting to avoid having to feed your baby in public with formula and deal with all the questions, comments and snide looks.  And how it all comes to the surface every time you read posts about how great breastfeeding is and how every one should do it.  I know that to be the truth and that is why I detest the fact I couldn't for my children.  
And how there is NO support for you if you can't breastfeed and you are made to feel like a freak.

#18 brazen

Posted 27 January 2007 - 06:55 PM

that it's not easy for everyone and sometimes it takes months of perserverence.
that often the advice you're given doesn't work for you so getting advice from various people is a good thing
that it really is worth trying harder than you thought you could / would to get it right

#19 cinnabubble

Posted 27 January 2007 - 06:59 PM

That for some people it just works, so it's not always a terrible, agonising struggle.

Drink plenty of water.

It's impossible to breastfeed angrily.

#20 papilio

Posted 27 January 2007 - 07:04 PM

It is lovely to see all the positive ones here!

If you do breast feed when you are angry, the relaxing hormones released in the mother's body can actually be very calming and relaxing.

That a bowl of porridge for breakfast is an easy way to boost your supply.

#21 Picasso

Posted 27 January 2007 - 07:18 PM

That it's hard work, and that you really need to prepare yourself for the fact that it may not come naturally.

That it hurts sometimes, especially when you are in the early days.  But if you persevere it will get better.  The pain does go eventually.

That it can make you incredibly thirsty!

That it will seem like your baby is feeding a lot in those first few weeks.  It's perfectly normal, just try to go with it.  Don't look at the clock.

When you are feeling like you want to give up - just try taking it one feed at a time.  Baby steps  original.gif

Edited by scrambled, 27 January 2007 - 07:19 PM.

#22 jess42more

Posted 27 January 2007 - 07:19 PM

Thanks ladies, personally I am finding this thread fanstasic and really what I feel I need/want for next time. biggrin.gif

BUT I must say that you are all frightening me with the pain thing. Surely you are not all in major pain for 8 weeks!!  ohmy.gif  huh.gif No wonder some mums cannot bear to continue. sad.gif
What ever happened to the old saying that if your in pain then he/she is not attached correctly? Are you telling me that the pain is there anyway? Wow, thats kinda scarey (to me).

#23 anna-wa

Posted 27 January 2007 - 07:22 PM

I think this is a great idea as even though BF didn't work out for me and bub, I still learnt a fair bit from the threads here and sometimes pass that info on to other mums having probs.

#24 Rubylicious

Posted 27 January 2007 - 07:31 PM

There are 2 different types of pain. The pain because bubs isnt attached properly, and the general discomfort most women feel in the first couple of seconds of each feed for the first few weeks while your nipples adjust.

I wouldnt say the latter is major pain but I guess it depends on the individual's perception of pain IYKWIM. The discomfort is because your nipples are sensitive and not used to being sucked on so often and aggressively. It only lasts a few weeks until the skin toughens up.

I found it was mainly the first few seconds when she attached it stung like crazy until my nipples adjusted. After a few seconds it subsided and felt ok.

To get through it I would just grit my teeth and bare it, make whatever squeels necessary to get me through those few seconds LOL. Just keep reminding yourself that with every feed your nipples are getting more used to it, and one feed closer to when it wont hurt at all...

I guess it depends on your tolerance of pain. I had cracked nipples and all but I still wouldnt call it major pain. I would call child birth major pain.  Tounge1.gif

If the pain is intense, or lasts longer than a few seconds, it is most likely because bubs isnt attached properly.

If attached properly it is more discomfort than pain I think.

Edited by Rubylicious, 27 January 2007 - 07:37 PM.

#25 cinnabubble

Posted 27 January 2007 - 07:33 PM

What ever happened to the old saying that if your in pain then he/she is not attached correctly? Are you telling me that the pain is there anyway?

FWIW, I had pain of varying intensity for a few weeks, more on the left than on the right, but nothing even remotely painful enough to make me reconsider breastfeeding. Sort of "ow ow ow" for the first 30 seconds and discomfort after that.

I should have mentioned in my original post that some babies are good at it, as well. My baby nursed within 15 minutes of birth, but I don't know if she's a good feeder because of that or if she could do that because she was going to be a good feeder.

Also, it is possible to breastfeed, talk on the mobile phone and surf the net on your laptop, all at the same time.

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