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

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*newmum*

Hi there,

 

I have only being bfeeding for 4 weeks and wasn't able to bf my first child. This time around I got help ASAP when I was getting stressed because of attachment issues - this helped enormously. get support and help if it isn't going well.

 

DS didn't attach until day 3 but he is going well now after a couple of weeks of sorting it all out. So don't stress in the first couple of days if it doesn't look like things are working.

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Percy

Agree with everything posted above.

 

- It does hurt in the first few weeks. You are both learning - you and the baby - how to feed so don't expect to have perfect attachment first off.

 

- Ask for help when you are at the hospital for EVERY FEED. If you get conflicting info, question the midwife - ask her why when X said so and so.

 

- Try different positions as some babies prefer different ways.

 

- Feed often - ie every two to three hours for the first few weeks. Its the only way to increase your supply. I think you should wake your baby to feed if they have slept for more then three hours - its really important to feed often to keep your supply up.

 

- You can eat garlic, chilies, carbonated drinks etc. Studies have shown that babies even like the taste of garlic in breastmilk. You cna drink carbonated drinks - the bubbles don't get into your blood so how do they get into your milk??!!

 

- Attend a breastfeeding class before you have the baby. Find out the phone numbers of LC's in your local area and keep a list ready for after you have the baby - seriously good thing to do.

 

- Don't express so your husband can feed the baby overnigth - sure fire way of killing your supply as BF is all about supply and demand - if you don't feed over night therefore your supply goes down.

 

- Don't give bottles in the first few weeks as its easier to suck from a bottle then a breast so your baby may prefer to suck from a bottle and you won;t be able to get them back on the breast.

 

- Remember your baby's tummy is only the size of a marble when it is first born. A few days later its the size of a large marble then at 10 days its still only the size of a golf ball. Your baby does not need an awful lot of milk.

 

- Feeding is driven by hormones - if you are stressed its going to make it harder. try to relax - very hard I know but its very important!

 

- Same as for expressing - a pump is not your baby and you don't feel emotionally attached to your pump so sometimes its hard to get a let down from a pump! To help , relax, think of your baby and if you use a pillow to rest your baby on while feeding, use that to rest the machine on while you pump - it works!

 

- It is worth it!! Seeing your baby smile as they have filled their little wee tummy from your milk is the best thing ever!! :D

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flowerpetal

I wish I'd had access to a site like this when I had my babies. I hope my experiences can help someone else

I wanted to breastfeed and it's only due to my determination that I was able to.(my first baby was 18 months old when she weaned herself)

 

I think all new mums should know that it's not always easy and they should know about any possible complications. Most would give up if they went through what I did with my first.

 

My baby had oral thrush, she was born with it add that to cracked nipples and you have trouble. I ended up with thrush infected nipples followed by mastitis. The pain from that is bad, swollen engorged breasts, fever and pain. At the first signs I went to see my clinic sister, Di was a godsend as I had no idea what was going on. Then to my Dr who prescribed oral drops for my babies oral thrush and also to put on my nipples. At this point I was also using nipple shields to limit cross contamination. I was also on antibiotics the down side of which is it decreases your milk supply so you need to feed more often. My mastitis was so servere that my dr also sent me to physio for ultrasound treatment on my breasts. It basically breaks up the infected lumpy milk and encourages flow, if you can feed the baby straight after treatment it's great.

 

more tips

Cabbage

Don't eat it, put a few leaves in your freezer, if you are experiencing sore engorged breasts place it in your bra. I laughed when I heard it but it does help.

 

carrots

grate and put into the inside (just make an openning) of your nursing pads the carrotene(sp) brings relief to sore cracked nipples.

 

Heatlamp

don't sit too close but either expose your nipples to one before bub is due and after to tuffen up your nipples. Also sitting with them exposed to the sun for short periods is good for them.

 

Massage

If your breasts are feeling too full massage and express a little under the shower to take the pressure off, then feed your baby. It's too hard too feed with swollen engorged breasts, it's harder for the baby to attach properly. Personal heat massagers help too.

 

Above all else if you are having trouble ask for help! You are not a bad mum just because you are having feeding difficulties. It takes practice and it's worth it in the end

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MagentaBaby

Pls excuse if this has been mentioned (and feel free to edit out, Mods!) but one thing I had drummed into me which was nice and easy to remember in the sleepless early days:

 

Special K lips - you want to aim for your baby's top and bottom lip to look like the K from the breakfast cereal's logo when s/he is attached. Bottom lip touching chin, mouth open nice and wide.

 

That if I had given up when it hurt more than anything ... I would have never known that I would be able to experience b/f'ing pain-free until my DD was 13mo.

 

It's a bit like an endurance marathon in the beginning. Our baby was such a good latch-on but grazed me. First painless feed was not experienced until at least 6 weeks after b/f was successfully established (baby was putting on weight but I was still considering giving up because it hurt too much - nipples, breast area, back, neck... tension from bracing myself for pain contributed to it!).

 

If it is too much and you know you have given it your all but it's just not working - set yourself a feed that will be your last. Give yourself a goal, like "If pain/feeding, etc., has not improved by tomorrow mid morning feed, I will stop". There is no point dragging it out and feeling like there will never be an end.

 

Strangely for us, the end time I put on myself to give up "the dream" of b/f'ing for at least 8 months was the FIRST time I had absolutely no pain. I was astounded that from the b/f prior to the one I had pegged to be the last, something miraculous clicked into place.

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chobs3

To tired to read all of the threads so I might go over what has already been covered:

 

Remember it takes time for both you and the baby to learn to breastfeed.

 

Dont doubt your supply- if baby is reasonable contented and putting on weight, you can be assured you are supplying him/her with enough milk. Remember it does take time for them to regain their birthweight and also they go though a growth spurt at 4-6 weeks when they need more feeds.

 

Drink plenty of water.

 

Also take it week by week. There will always be a time when you may not enjoy breast feeding, or it may be painful, but if you take it week by week, things will improve.

 

Dont be surprised if it is painful to feed, its normal and your nipples will toughen up!

 

Kylie

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~TCBF~

In the beginning, persistence is the key. Don't give up!!

 

Trust your body.

 

Whenever your baby cries, stick a boob in it's mouth.

 

Talk to women who know about breastfeeding.

 

Buy yourself some Marcalan for your sore nipples and take it to hospital.

 

YOU CAN DO IT!!

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PurpleWitch

When in doubt, get your tits out.

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~Jot~

PP covered most of it. I found that doing my homework before I had DD helped as I had some idea of what I was doing and didn't just rely on the conflicting advice of the midwives in hospital.

 

If a nipple shield will help you get through another day of BFing then use one. Just take it day be day, feed by feed.

 

There's great pinned thread in the BFing section that I read a few times a couple of nights before DD was born.Breastfeeding tips

 

 

ETA :rofl: Anna, that sums it up perfectly!

Edited by ~Jot~

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*Shandy*

Perseverance

Patience

Support and what Anna said

When in doubt, get your tits out.

:lol::lol::lol:

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ArieleMoonfire

*Lots of skin to skin contact immediately following birth

*Organise to have meals made for you after bubs arrives and if possible a housecleaner to give you time to concentrate on bonding and establishing bfing

*Join the ABA and if possible attend some meetings

*Have the ph no of a good LC on hand just in case

*If supply was an issue before, invest in a breastpump (Medela electric hospital style are the best and can be hired from most hospys or the ABA) Avent hand pumps also rock.

*Again on supply-as well as expressing, galactagogues like fenugreek, alfalfa, oats and even beer with hops (ie Guiness) can be very helpful.

*If you experience engorgement, the best way to get rid of it I found was to hand express under a hot shower

*Dont let engorgement get bad, as it can lead to mastitis. Get straight to a health nurse or Dr if you think you're coming down with mastitis

* Try to find a bfing friendly Dr or healthy nurse prior to giving birth-some are idiots who'll tell you to give up and just bottle feed.

*Try to relax and don't get uptight about whether your baby is getting enough milk-unless of course s/he isn't gaining weight etc AND isn't thriving, doesn't seem to have enough wet nappies etc.

*Support is key-is your partner, family etc supportive of breastfeeding? if not, educate them!! One of the biggest reasons women don't succeed at breastfeeding is lack of support.

*Know you can do it. Only like 3-5% or less of the population truly cannot bf for physical/medical reasons. too many mums have their confidence undermined by well meaning, but clueless friend, family and even health professionals who tell them they can't bf, and they should give up.

Have a look at Kellymom-one of the best breastfeeding resources on the net. Read some books like "Breastfeeding Matters" by Maureen Minchen, or "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" from the Le leche League

 

HTH & Good luck :)

Edited by Ariele

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leesie

Hi,

I have successfully breastfed all my 3 DD's to at least the 12 month mark. I am very passionate about breastfeeding, as I believe that it is important for bubs health, as well as so darn convenient and cheap!!

My advice is to be mentally prepared. Sheer determination and persistance is essential for successful b/feeding. If you are determined to do it, then you will get through all the physical obstacles, and well meaning advice and do it. It is not at all easy. Infact it is so easy to give up, which is fine if you don't really have a desire to do it. But if you do, which it sounds like you do, then you have to set your mind to it.

Also let people around you know what you are wanting to do, and tell them you would like their support. My sis lives in the US and her in laws there, as well as doctor all suggested she put her DS on the bottle at the first sign of her struggling, and she it was too easy for her to give up with no support. My other sis lives here, and when she called on day 3 to tell me she HATED b/feeding and was giving up, I gently encouraged her that if she could just get through the next few days, she would be fine, which she was. She went on to feed him for another 6 months and was grateful for the encouragement.

My only advice physically is to try and make sure bub is attached properly when they are first put on the breast, to help stop grazing and bleeding. If it hurts when you first put bub on then he is on wrong. Also, some people are against nipple shields, but i would have some on hand, as they saved me when i had badly grazed nipples with DD2.

I hope I have helped with your question.

Please feel free to PM me if you would like some help or support.

 

Sorry for the long reply. I warned you I was passionate on this subject :blush:

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Green Fairy

My first attempt at breastfeeding was a disaster for many of the reasons that you mentioned.

 

I think the second time around it was easier mainly because I had done so much research and also I had already tried it with my ds. Even though it wasnt terribly succesful it gave me some idea of what the actual mechanics of the whole thing were if you know what I mean.

 

My best advice would be to try and relax about it all. Which can be so difficult when things are going wrong and the baby is screaming and milk is everywhere, and you feel like crap. Just take a minute, if you have someone who can try and settle the baby while you get yourself together take a deep breath and try again.

 

Also can't agree more with if the baby cries, pop it in the breast. In the early days this helps so much!

 

Have ABA contacts handy, and while in the hospital ask to see the lactation consultant if you have even the smallest of problems.....cos they always seem ten times worse after you leave the hospital!

 

Goodluck, trust your instincts and know that you really can do this!

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aggapang

What PP's said and a great resource is the ABA- they have an informative website, 24 hour phone support (which i used numerous times) and local support groups. Also, it helps if you have a good relationship with a MCHN who is also a lactation consultant.

Something that my MCHN suggested for my second baby was to ensure trying to feed as early as possible after birth. I did this with DD2 and although i breastfed DS1 for 14 months, it wasn't without some early issues and in retrospect, could have fed him earlier after delivery than i did (even though there were many complications). It was a breeze with DD2 from the start.

Good luck-it's a great idea to start planning to breastfeed now!

Edited by snoozer

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~TCBF~
If it hurts when you first put bub on then he is on wrong.

 

Not entirely true. This bit of advice caused me quite a bit of angst.. Baby was on correctly but it still hurt because I have super sensitive nipples. When the MWs saw me grimace with pain they would say 'No, baby is on wrong, take him off' and we would start again. We would go around in circles for ages until I figured out he was on correctly BUT it hurt anyway.

 

Sometimes BFing hurts even when it's being done correctly. The pain doesn't last forever.

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Ianthe

Believe that you can do it and feed as much as you can in those first few weeks to build your supply up. If it hurts then reposition the baby even if you have to do that a dozen times.

 

Yvette

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beaglebabe

Good on you for giving it another go, and for going into it with a positive attitude, despite your previous difficult experience.

 

Some great advice from PP's.

 

I second joining the ABA. You get a fabulous book free with your membership - it gives you a good idea of what to expect, and it helped me through some difficult patches.

 

Go to ABA meetings while still pregnant if you can. This was so valuable for me. I met the counsellors before I had DS, and that made it easier for me to call on them for help in the early days. One even came to visit me in hospital to help with attachment problem - she was a life saver, as the midwives were just too busy too be of much help.

 

And as Anna said - if the baby cries, or seems unsettled, then feed it! Don't worry that you are feeding too often. And there is nothing wrong with feeding for comfort - how could comforting your newborn ever be a bad thing?

 

Good luck!

 

Michelle

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ArieleMoonfire

Good point lissame, I edited my post to include that under one of my points, as it wasn't clear enough, and too many health nurses etc do get hung up on weight gains for perfectly healthy babies. Thank goodness I think at least they aren't using the old 1950's formula fed babies' charts that they used when my kids were babies any longer (I don't think?)

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me-mine

When in doubt contact the Breastfeeding association. They are available 24 hours a day and now via email if it is not urgent.

 

Don't ask friends or family for advice!

 

My mother still likes to give me breastfeeding advice even though she only breastfeed for a total of 3 weeks well over 37 years ago and she knows everything about it.

 

Try not to give up.

 

Strongly agree with what PPs have said about not worrying about not having enough milk or whether your baby is getting enough.

 

Don’t forget breast milk is supposed to be watery, not like full cream milk!

 

If your baby is not gaining weight have them checked out but apart from that they feed when they are hungry and sometimes they are not so hungry.

 

My DS fed like mad yesterday and today he was a one boob man for just about every feed.

Edited by me-mine

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Guest shauna'smum

Thanks everyone :) .

I will be bookmarking this ( or printing it out for when I am in hospital) for sure.

Keep it coming!!!!!!!

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auntiesocial

OP I was the same as you. I was determined to succeed 2nd timr around.

 

Things I did:

 

1. Read heaps. I devoured every thread on the b/f forum ;) .

2. Got a membership to the ABA, read some more.

3. Prepared myself mentally for the pain, and told myself that it would get better eventually.

4. Drank litres and litres of water, especially in the early weeks.

5. Fed bubs often..and I mean like upto 12-15 times a day in the first few weeks.

6. DIDNT EXPRESS until bubs was 4 weeks old. Expressing made me have an oversupply last time and a really fast letdown - so I wanted to completely avoid that.

7. Co-slept for the first 6 weeks; so that the close contact helped me make more milk; helped my son relax and I could whip out the old girls anytime I wanted to. :tongue:

8. Talked to close friends who had b/f successfully - especially one who had b/f her girl until she was 2.5 :)

 

And most important of all...

 

I made a resolution to NOT listen to outdated advice or stupid superstitions from well-meaning people. My body, my baby - I figured that women had been breastfeeding for eons, I should be able to if I work hard enough at it. It meant taking advice through one ear, out the other.

 

My son is 3 months old and is thriving beautifully and feeds like a champ. Nothing but mama's milk for him so far, even when I had to go under general anaesthetic and was hospitalised earlier this week. :D

 

Good luck with it all. I hope it really works out for you. :)

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censura carnero

At the first whiff of a problem seek the advice of a lactation consultant.

 

There are very, very few breastfeeding problems that can't be solved with the right advice, the right attitude and the right support.

 

If after 20 seconds it still hurts reattach baby. I was like a pp it took that long until I was comfortable even when he was attached correctly.

 

Do not introduce formula because you think you have a supply problem. It will only make it worse and encourage early weaning.

 

DO NOT READ ANY SLEEP TRAINING BOOKS! Most are detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship by making you feel inadequate if your baby is not feeding 3 or 4 hourly and sleeping through with a dream feed at ten by a certain age. THis is bullsh*t for many babies and most likely yours.

 

Cluster feed in the evening to tank them up for the night and to build up your supply. The evening is when you feel like it starts to drop.

 

and finally THE IF IN DOUBT GET YOUR TITS OUT advice is spot on.

Edited by -Flossie-

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leesie
DO NOT READ ANY SLEEP TRAINING BOOKS! Most are detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship by making you feel inadequate if your baby is not feeding 3 or 4 hourly and sleeping through with a dream feed at ten by a certain age. THis is bullsh*t for many babies and most likely yours.

 

I SO agree with this!! This may be one of the most important pieces of advice.

Also, people will tell you that if your bub isn't sleeping through the night by 'such and such an age' then formula will make hime sleep through. This is absolute rubbish.

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ArieleMoonfire
QUOTE

DO NOT READ ANY SLEEP TRAINING BOOKS! Most are detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship by making you feel inadequate if your baby is not feeding 3 or 4 hourly and sleeping through with a dream feed at ten by a certain age. THis is bullsh*t for many babies and most likely yours.

 

 

I SO agree with this!! This may be one of the most important pieces of advice.

Also, people will tell you that if your bub isn't sleeping through the night by 'such and such an age' then formula will make hime sleep through. This is absolute rubbish.

 

What they said :)

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Guest Elliesmum

While you're in hospital, be demanding... Get a lactation consultant in for every feed if you need to rather then having the conflicting hodge-podge advice of 15 different nurses.

 

You don't need to be rude about it but I found that by asking for the help repeatedly they realised that I was serious about it and went all out to help me.

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jadeh

Start cooking things like healthy nutritious meals, healthy snacks etc and freezing them. I always got so hungry when breastfeeding!

 

Dont overdo it - try and just sleep and feed, shower etc for the first few weeks while it all gets established. Hubby is more than capable of doing the washing, reheating the meals you have cooked previously etc.

 

TELL the midwives that you had a bad breastfeeding experience last time and you want all the help you can get.

 

Have a plan if its not working - ie call a lactation consultant, the aba, the childhood nurse, get friend/neighbour/sister/jo bloe to come and do things around the house so you can focus more on you/bub

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