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Old 02-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #1
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Giving it another go after failing last time around.

I am due to have my second child in April. When my son was born I tried breastfeeding and it didn't work out. I won't go into all the details, but when I say tried, I mean TRIED- multiple consults with LCs, pumping, fenugreek, supplemental nurser, etc. and still after 6 weeks I ended up stopping because DS was failing to thrive and had to have formula to live at that point, and then straight up rejected the breast.

So I'm planning to try again with this baby, and I'm wondering if anyone has advice. I know probably the most important thing is probably just not let it stress me out, but it's scary because I was really driven into a bad place emotionally by the experience last time.

I'm already planning to drink lactation tea and eat oatmeal in the morning and just generally get myself better fed this time around (didn't have a lot of support in the weeks after birth last time) However, the LC last time was convinced that supply was not my problem (although I have doubts)

I was using a shield and I wonder if that could have had something to do with it. Anything I can do to make it less painful in the beginning? All the LCs at the hospital told me it was inevitable because I'm a redhead (apparently BFing is more painful for redheads??) I've heard of "toughening up" your nipples with a towel or something, but then I've also heard that can cause preterm labor.

Okay, this is getting way longer than I meant it to be. Thanks if you made it this far and thanks in advance for any advice/words of encouragement.

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
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I don't know all the answers but hugs and I hope it's successful this time we also had issues with my last

Things I'm trying

I made lactation cookies today
I bought supplements
I have been hand expressing all colostrum that leaks twice a day to use to supplement if needed
We will not be leaving the house unless necessary the first 10 days while I establish supply
Praying no stomach issues for this one
I plan to do oatmeal and lots of water
I will pump and block feed so i have an over supply since I have to go back to work
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:14 AM   #3
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I'm a red head and I've been nursing for 42 months of my life! Ow that makes me hurt thinking about it. But I have easy nursers and I've had hard ones, and I like to think I'm somewhat of an expert. I guess my point is just because it was hard to nurse one child doesn't mean you're doomed to nurse your next. I'd avoid that shield and make sure your baby gets a great latch and it won't hurt.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:42 AM   #4
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I'm a red head and I've been nursing for 42 months of my life! Ow that makes me hurt thinking about it. But I have easy nursers and I've had hard ones, and I like to think I'm somewhat of an expert. I guess my point is just because it was hard to nurse one child doesn't mean you're doomed to nurse your next. I'd avoid that shield and make sure your baby gets a great latch and it won't hurt.
Agree- but I am not a red head. Also avoid hospital LC- I personally think they are quacks. Mine brought me a shield when my dd was less than a day old instead of helping us with latch because she was 35 weeks and not "big enough". It took us 7 months to get that shield gone! We are going strong at 13 months now.

Read lots of books, articles, etc on breastfeeding now so you go in with as much knowledge as possible. Find LLL groups in your area, even if just to have location/contacts on hand if you need them after new baby arrives.

Set short goals, maybe 2 weeks, then 6 weeks, then 3 months and so on may help.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:48 AM   #5
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Re: Giving it another go after failing last time around.

I agree to let go of the shield. It gets to be more cumbersome than anything else. I also failed because of introduction to formula too soon. I couldn't wean him off of it.

1.) even if your baby loses "too much weight" in the hospital do not let them introduce formula. This was my biggest mistake. I don't know if I will be successful in saying no this time because it is really hard to have a newbie on your boob 24/7.

2.) I never used a shield but I can tell you that I hurt a lot in the beginning! My sons latch was perfect but my boobs werent used to being sucked on 24/7! Lanolin helped tremendously and after about two weeks it didn't hurt at all.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Re: Giving it another go after failing last time around.

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Originally Posted by Belbaby3728 View Post
Agree- but I am not a red head. Also avoid hospital LC- I personally think they are quacks. Mine brought me a shield when my dd was less than a day old instead of helping us with latch because she was 35 weeks and not "big enough".
...
Set short goals, maybe 2 weeks, then 6 weeks, then 3 months and so on may help.
Is the "not big enough" thing just totally false? They suggested that was part of our problem as well and they said the same thing to my sister and her premie. Also, the short goals thing is really simple but good to keep in mind. That mindset has helped me with a lot of goals over the years.

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1.) even if your baby loses "too much weight" in the hospital do not let them introduce formula. This was my biggest mistake. I don't know if I will be successful in saying no this time because it is really hard to have a newbie on your boob 24/7.
What do they consider too much weight? I hadn't heard of this. For us it was because he was 6 weeks and still under birth weight. I mean, really obviously not getting nourished. Our ped was really great and supportive of BFing but at that point he said "we have to give him something now, or it could start to hurt him" and I think I really believe he was right.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:08 AM   #7
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Is the "not big enough" thing just totally false? They suggested that was part of our problem as well and they said the same thing to my sister and her premie. Also, the short goals thing is really simple but good to keep in mind. That mindset has helped me with a lot of goals over the years.
Both my babies had TINY mouths, and I had DD engorged breasts. They really seemed to have trouble getting enough of my nipple in their mouths. DD1 was a preemie and started on bottles, I never got her to the breast, though I was able to pump for her 1st 4 months. DD2 I actually introduced the nipple shield after 2 weeks of being told my latch was fine, but having so much pain during nursing I would cry the whole time. You have to make sure it's the right size, and it's being used the right way or it won't work We weaned off it around 3 months, but in my case it saved my nursing relationship.

I would wait and see. This baby may latch on no issues, you just never know!! Good luck!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Re: Giving it another go after failing last time around.

"Toughening up" your nipples with a towel is an old wives' tale--it won't do anything but make your nipples hurt. I nursed my DD throughout my pregnancy with DS, and his latch made me hurt anyway--those little newborn mouths are small and they don't latch very well at first.

Those soothing gel pads are nice for easing pain and soreness--I think Gerber makes some, and there are some others called Soothies. Also, exposing your nipples to air helps, too.

A shield can cause supply problems, but that's usually later on, not in the first weeks. A shield can help at first, but some babies get very attached to them and it can be hard to wean them off them.

What I would do is line up lots of help afterwards, both for breastfeeding and for yourself and family. Get some childcare or playdates planned so you and baby can snuggle skin-to-skin and snooze together while your toddler is playing happily and safely. Have freezer meals made, or plan for lots of takeout, or see if family/friends/church will bring some meals in. Maybe hire a postpartum doula to support you with cooking, cleaning, emotional support, etc. in the postpartum time. Start going to LLL meetings now, while you're pregnant. Find an IBCLC and have her contact information ready so you can get reliable, good-quality help when you need it. LCs are not all equally trained and qualified.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
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Red head here too and I didn't have issues with pain, pumping sucked but nursing was fine. I did get relly red in the beginning, not painful but the nurses were commenting on it and suggested a nipple shield, I didn't use it, things evened off after a few days. I love the mini goal idea. And agree about the nipple toughening being b.s. my mom even told me that, I tried it and it was rediculous.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:42 PM   #10
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For pain go to the hospital with lanshinoh lanolin and soothes. Use them after every feed because it won't hurt at first but will save you from getting bad cracked or bleeding nips. Keep working on the latch and try not to use a nipple shield.
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