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Old 09-30-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
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Re: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

I would like to reiterate that breastfeeding is natural, but there is a learning curve.

Breastfeeding should not hurt but can be uncomfortable until you and baby figure out the best way for the two of you to latch.

I can't emphasize LLL enough! You need to hear all the good and bad of attending meetings (it prepares you for the worst and gives you hope for the best).

Be kind to yourself. Breastfeeding is 24 hour work. You are constantly making milk, and you are the source of milk for your baby. Eat well, drink LOTS and rest, rest, rest!

Don't believe that you can be the only source of comfort for your baby. Many first time moms think (breastfeeding or not) that they are the only one that can attend to their baby's cries. Unless your baby is hungry or truly wants/needs to suck, it is okay to pass them off to your partner. Your partner needs to bond too, and that means baths, diaper changes, and sleep snuggles too! While my DH is no substitute for mom, my children have learned early on that as long as they are not hungry, daddy can meet their needs too. He can snuggle, bounce, walk, rock, sing, diaper, etc. Allow your partner to get to know your baby and learn how to parent them in their own way. The pay off will be time to shower quietly without interruption, the occasional morning to sleep in, and a chance to make and eat a meal without holding your baby! Breastfeeding is important, but don't discount dad!


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Old 09-30-2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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Re: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

For me, because I am a working mom, I was a slave to the pump. That was the bad part. I couldn't even go to wedding without it

The best parts were the middle of the night feedings, when I was so exhausted and wanting to go back to sleep, I knew that I was the source of comfort and nutrition my daughter needed and that no one else could do that for her. we would snuggle close in the glider and our bond was wonderful.

I nursed (and pumped) for the first 9 months exclusively. I am pregnant with DS and plan to do it again and hope to make it a year this time!
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #13
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Remember to relax and not get yourself worked up if things aren't going how you thought or expected - not only does the stress wreak havoc on your supply and mental state, the baby senses it, too.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #14
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Re: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

Originally Posted by EmmaGM View Post
Accidentally spraying DS in the eye when I letdown. I have a thread a ways down about all the bad stuff I went through.

I just REALLY wanted to second pp suggestion to have a pump ready before baby comes. I didn't think I'd need one and then had huge oversupply and engorgement issues. I was scrambling to find a pump, any pump at 1wk pp.

Also, while I do feel tied down a LOT of the time, I also love that I comfort DS when nothing else can.

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First, EmmaGM's avatar is a big sweet!

I was nervous I wouldn't be able to nurse b/c I had a breast reduction but ended up having plenty of milk. I have one flat nipple and one inverted nipple and huge breasts so the first day I couldn't get a good latch and DS lost over a pound. The next day my midwife suggested a nipple shield and it was just what I needed. I feel confident that I won't need one for the next baby b/c I know what I'm doing but that first time its a learned thing for both of you. I ended up using the shield until he was about 8 weeks when he just didn't need it any more. It was a little frustrating in that period of trying to use it less but I felt like it allowed for us to more slowly figure out the latching thing, plus I think it helped me to never really have pain in the beginning. The first time I used the shield though it was so painful and when he unlatched I was bloody. I thought that it just hurt in the beginning and I had to suck it up, the reality was that he just had a bad latch.

I still nurse to sleep and waited too long to introduce a bottle (could never pump much anyways) so he only nurses with me. Next time I want to try the bottle at the right time so SO can feed in a pinch. I might never have more milk than I need though. Another plus, I love my nipples now! Having a littler person sucking on them pulled them out and now I actually feel like I have nipples!
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:55 AM   #15
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Lots of good advice! The only thing I didn't see mentioned that threw me for a loop with nursing was that I ran a low grade fever for nearly a week when my milk came in. I felt achy and had symptoms of mastitis without having an actual infection. Nothing some Motrin didn't fix though!

I totally agree with PP about nurses and doctors not knowing much about nursing (and I say that as a nurse!) Sadly there just isn't a lot of training in breastfeeding going on. Finding a support group, either in real life or online, is hugely important. We are celebrating 6 months of ebf this week and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:14 PM   #16
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If you can, find a local lactation consultant & see if someone near you offers a breastfeeding class. Look for a consultant who is IBCLC (certified by the International Board of Certified Lactation Conultants). You can google their website and search for someone near you.

There is definitely a learning curve in the first few weeks, but it is worth it to breastfeed. No formula to buy, easy to feed anywhere (once you learn how to latch discreetly), healthy for mom & baby.

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by qsefthuko
It's okay to feed baby at the restaurant table instead of the bathroom.

Feeding bottles can cause supply issues.

No matter how natural breastfeeding is there is still a learning curve for both mother and baby.

OB nurses in general know little to nothing about breastfeeding. They just don't know how little they really know.

Doctors often seem to know even less.

A good lactation consultant can do wonders to help.

Look for La Leche League. Knowing other nursing moms can make you feel less alone.

A good pump is nice to have already. If problems arise you don't want to be looking with a hungry baby or have to give formula while looking.

I know of no effective way to prep the nipples although you may be told to do so.

Just because your little one can verbally ask to nurse does not mean he or she is too old to breastfeed.

Feeding on demand is not spoiling them nor will you have an obese child. Most breastfed babies will not overeat. Rolls are normal on babies. So too are leaner babies. Just like adults are all different so too are babies.

Breastfed babies need to wake at night to feed even up to a year of age or older.
This is amazing advice! The only thing I have to add is that breastfed babies *MAY* need to wake at night to feed as they get older. Our DS was sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and we only hit a few bumps while he was teething.

The first few days/weeks can be full of toe-curling, tear inducing pain, especially if your LO has a bad latch and no one has told you to check for a tongue tie (too common NOT to check with latching problems).

Cluster feeding is the BEST way to get a long nap or long stretch of evening sleep out of your LO. (our DS was sttn at 7 weeks)

It is SO much easier than bottle feeding. I know first hand because we supplemented EVERY feeding (even in the middle of the night) with a bottle for the first several weeks until his tongue was clipped. Stumbling around in the middle of the night thawing breast milk and trying to find a clean bottle is not fun - it's so much easier to just cuddle your LO in bed and nurse!

Babies are not born knowing how to nurse. My bff just had a baby girl and the nurse told her "she knows how to do it!" Well... 6 weeks of insufficient weight gain, cracked and bleeding nipples, and difficult feedings, it turns out she is tongue tied and wasn't latching properly. Babies - and mamas - have to be taught how to nurse well.

Once you get a rhythm established, there is not one single more convenient and rewarding way to feed your baby. There also isn't a way that is healthier, more complete, or more beneficial to their immune and digestive systems. My son is 16 months and has NEVER been to the doctor for anything except a well child visit.

ETA: a good quality pump was vital (to me) to have a good nursing relationship with DS. I needed a break every once in a while (or had a Dr appt) and DH needed to be able to feed him. It also allowed me to pump and donate to another baby.

Last edited by KelseyH; 09-30-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:55 AM   #18
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Re: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

My biggest thing about breastfeeding is that all the "professionals" said that my nipples would be sore. Well, they lied! IT HURT! My DD had a GREAT latch too, but it still took my nipples a few weeks to adjust!
I've nursed 4 kids now, and still nursing #4.

Set up a spot where you plan to nurse at first. DH got me a super comfy rocking chair that we put in the living room so I could have "my spot" with a side table to have all my extra (water, coconut oil for nipples, extra prefolds because I have a super crazy letdown and needed to soak up the milk so I didn't drown DD) and that's where I retreated for feedings!

Get DH involved. I nursed, he burped/bounced/rocked...

Everything else above I agree with so much!

ETA: Babies don't know about bottles! I've heard some women say "they don't want it" like they prefer a bottle instead. It's all about learning. Just because YOU know how to nurse, doesn't mean the baby does. Each kid takes learning. It may take 10 times to get a good latch in one feeding, but once baby learns, it will a lot smoother after!
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Last edited by trying4more; 10-01-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #19
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Re: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

I'm all for breastfeeding. It is the only food for a baby!!! With my first breastfed baby..... I cried everytime she latched on for 2 weeks. I was in so much pain. After those two weeks I got used to it and she nursed till she was 4 rs old. And only stopped because my milk supply dried up during the week that I had oral surgery and painkillers, I just couldn't pump enough. So she and her little sister stopped then. Her sister was two. So I tandem nursed them on demand. I have a closeness with them that I wish I had with the first 4 kids. When the latest baby got here 4 months ago, my girls asked if they could nurse too. They tried but couldn't rememeber how to latch on. So go for it. It will probably hurt but it is totally worth it and it's amazing how much the love the one who feeds them.
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Last edited by Veg's Dragonflies; 10-04-2012 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:26 PM   #20
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Re: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

Something I NEVER see people mention in threads like this....Breastfeeding causes uterine contractions. It's great bc mom heals sucks because those contractions can be pretty intense and with each subsequent baby they can get more intense. With my last lo (#3, 8 weeks old) the contractions during the first week or so while nursing were almost as bad as when I was in labor. So bad that I would cry the whole time we were nursing and I wanted to quit sooo bad!
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