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Old 10-24-2012, 01:30 PM   #33
happysmileylady
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Re: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

I will reiterate something that has been said...EVERYONE is different. The BFing experience is different for all moms, and often even from one child to the next.

I BF my 4 yr old for 5 months, my 2 yr old for a year and am BFing the newest addition. I completely formula fed my oldest. So this is my personal "for real" advice.

*it's ok if you don't like it. It's ok to cry when if it hurts, either in the nipples or in the uterus (and as a previous poster mentioned, the contractions this time around, for me, hurt as bad as labor the first few days.) It's ok to be upset at 2am and baby is fussing and you are exhausted and your DH is sleeping and you can't wake him up because there is really nothing he can do anyway.

*if there's a problem...the MOST IMPORTANT THING to remember is...FEED THE BABY. You can try as hard as you want to make it work, but if you know in your heart that baby is hungry and you can't figure out how to get him the breastmilk...feeding the baby is more important than what kind of food he gets.

*if there's a problem...get help sooner rather than later. And be prepared with that help ahead of time. I personally have never been to a LLL meeting and will never go. My local hospital, a quarter mile from my house offers free BF group, staffed by hospital IBCLCs. AND, they don't require that you have given birth at that hospital to attend. So look around and see what support options you have. That way, if there's a problem, you know where to go.

*when it's easy...it's just easy. There's a learning curve for both mom and baby especially if mom's never BF'd before. But, if you don't seem to be having any problems, and baby is having plenty of wet and dirty dipes and is gaining weight...then there probably isnt' a problem, so don't anticipate one. BFing boards and advice pages are chock full of questions and problems....but not everyone has them. Many people never have problems...and as a result you generally don't see them on BFing boards.

*sometimes, often in the beginning, you can feel let down...and it can feel weird. In my case, I get a tingly tightening sensation in my breasts. Like if your arm falls asleep and squeeze it. Sometimes, I even get nauseous at that initial letdown. The other day, I nursed him and got really nauseous and hot and dizzy and hungry. I don't know why that particular time was so off. Other women have no feelings at all at let down, for even others the hormonal response can trigger some pretty strong emotions and aversions.

*breastmilk is not some magic elixer. There are absolutely benefits. But, it will NOT prevent ANY illness or allergy. It will not make your child a genius. It cannot glue on your kid's nose if it falls off, nor can it make your 3 month old start reciting Shakespeare. The reality is...it's a FOOD. That's all it is, food. It's food that is really really good for baby...but it's still just food.

*The bond others talk about...I haven't ever felt it. Of course I have never been one to "fall in love" with my baby the moment he's out or anything like that. And, I don't feel this overwhelming bond when I nurse the baby. I don't develope a "breastfeeding relationship" with the babies or any of that. I just feed the baby...just like I did when I bottle fed my teenager.

*the biggest advantage for me is that it's free, at least compared to buying formula every week. It can still get expensive when you look at the cost of the pump, nursing pads, a cover if you want it, clothes that allow easy and discreet access if you want them, nursing bras, etc etc. For me, this time around I had to buy new bras because my old ones had had it, and replace all the parts to my pump (tubes, horns, valves, etc) because the whole set up is 4 yrs old. The pump itself still works great though.
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Kim-married to Dan
Mama to Caiti (17), Rae Rae (4), Dani Lee(2), and CJ, born 10/12/12.
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