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Old 05-07-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
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Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

A dear friend is a week into breastfeeding her first. She's asked me for feedback, but I'd love some from y'all too, as my memory is a little fuzzy. Can't belive it's been two years since I've had a newborn! The baby is gaining weight great, but mama could use some affirmation.

Here are here questions:

1) Did your dc have difficulty latching on when milk came in/engorged? (I suggested pumping a little to make this easier.)

2) What's reasonable to expect regarding sleeping/eating paterns at this age? Does the mom have any hope for rest if breastfeeding?

"Sometimes I can get 2-3 hours of sleep (usually 1-2x's day), and other it might be an hour - and he is hungry. It seems like I spend about 30 -45 bf, including burps in between, and then about another 30 min to burp and get quiet to lay down. Then sometimes I lay him down, and he is quiet for a while, and then cries, burps/rocks and goes to sleep...any suggestions or testimony of the reality of bf and getting personal rest, and baby sleeping would be helpful."

3) The baby seems to have a lot of gas pain. Any success with mylicon, gripe water or something else?

My main word of encouragement is that this doesn't last long!

TIA

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Old 05-07-2008, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

A few things that come to mind:

-Their mouths get bigger and it gets easier to get them to latch well over time. If there is any question about the latch have an LC or LLL leader check.

-My LLL leader has a chart that shows how much effort (on a scale of 1-10) breastfeeding is vs. bottlefeeding at each month. It shows in the first month or two that BFing is more work, but steadily goes down, while bottlefeeding pretty much remains the same. So, over the course of say a year, you will have put in the same or less effort, but a lot of that happens to be in the first month when you are tired and sometimes easily discouraged. Try to think over the course of the next year (or longer) what would you rather spend time doing- washing bottles, preparing formula, running to the store to buy formula, etc. or snuggling your baby close?

-The best thing I ever learned how to do was nurse lying down. In those early weeks that is the only way I ever got any rest.

-One of the hardest things with a new baby is the crying and not knowing why. I think a lot of times we think it is gas or other things, but sometimes it is just being a new person in the world is a bit overwhelming. Always try nursing the baby and then maybe carrying him in the sling. If she doesn't know how, get a babywearing mentor at LLL or NINO.

-Go to LLL meetings. I always found them such a boost during the tough times.

-Don't quit on your worst day or night. I gave up too early with my first two sons and still regret it to this day.

-You can do it!
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

1) Try leaning back while bf'ing, and make sure that baby's head is higher than her feet (prop her/him up). This will help if there is a strong let-down, and will also help with gas. Try laying down to bf, but if it doesn't work, don't get discouraged....try again in a few weeks.

2) Totally normal...Samantha is 10 weeks, and we've had about 6 weeks when she would leave more than 3 hrs between eating...max is 6. IT WILL GET BETTER!!! I know, it's so hard, and can be very frustrating, but if you have a partner who is game, and an extra bedroom, trade off while baby is sleeping and get some uninterrupted rest in a separate room until the next feeding!
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:22 PM   #4
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

i will have to agree with the lying on your side to nurse. thats when i get my rest. just make sure you are not going to roll over on baby. i usually put a pillow behind my back and sorta lean back to it when i think i might fall asleep.
also when engorged you could pump a little so it will be easier to latch on...or express some in a hot shower was also helpful....it also saves having to break out the pump and then clean it again
the sleep thing will eventually get better. just remember that breastmilk is a huge percentage of water and not as filling as formula, therefore they have to eat more often. (i'm really jealous...i have a 6 month old and the neighbor has a 2 month old on formula and he's sleeping all/most of the night!!! and mine gets up 1-3 times!) i would suggest just making sure to get those burps out and make sure baby is full.
good luck!
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:13 PM   #5
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

Have to chime in on the lying down to nurse. Once baby is finished you don't have to move him, so there is less likelihood he will wake up.

Oh, and it is such a short time. It has almost been a year since I was constantly nursing a new born baby. Time flies. Lay in the bed and enjoy that sweet baby boy!

Definitely pump before nursing to relieve engorgement and nurse in a reclined position if it seems like you are "drowning" him.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:41 AM   #6
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the extra encouragment and ideas. Passing them on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carib20 View Post
just remember that breastmilk is a huge percentage of water and not as filling as formula, therefore they have to eat more often.(i'm really jealous...i have a 6 month old and the neighbor has a 2 month old on formula and he's sleeping all/most of the night!!! and mine gets up 1-3 times!)good luck!
For my friend and others reading, I have never heard the more water part and didn't think the formula sleep coorelation was that tight. I know breastmilk is much easier to digest, so it doesn't hang around as long (considered a clear fluid b/f anesthesia). Somehow, still, I've not always found that my friends' formula or early-solids babies sleep through the night at a younger age. My babies mostly started around 3 months and I have a friend w/ a 7 mo old formula-fed/solids baby that's still up at night frequently. I suppose it varies greatly and the close population can make it seem one way or another? Maybe I just have rose-colored glasses regarding breastfeeding. You may well have spent more time researching this than I have. It's been a while and the braincells and info are not all still there!

Wishing you sleep!!!
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:00 PM   #7
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

Mine never really had any trouble latching on when I was engorged, but pumping or even massaging the breast can help.

Sleep...ah, what's that? lol. My youngest is 7 weeks, and he's starting to go stretches of 3-4 hours a night, if I"m lucky. Sometimes it's still 1-2 hours. It seems he nurses more frequently during the day. Sometimes I"ll nurse lying down, and that does help. I keep reminding myself that they grow so quickly, and this stage doesn't last long.

I really struggled with breastfeeding with my first, and I literally just had to take it one day at a time. I've had much more (and better) support this time around, and it's made a world of difference.

Mylicon never really seemed to make much of a difference in my opinion, and I've never tried the gripe water so I can't help much there.

Katy
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:30 PM   #8
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

If the baby seems fussy make sure to burp really well. Sometimes I could get two or three good burps out of dd when she was a nb but it took about ten minutes of rubbing and patting the back, holding her upright, then laying her down and holding her upright again (helps move the gas bubble around inside). Maybe it's not gas, though. Have your friend read The Happiest Baby on the Block for great soothing techniques for fussy newborns. As for sleep, you just don't get a lot of sleep with a nb period, and it doesn't really matter whether they are ff or bf. This early into it, I know it can be exhausting but your friend will develop a rhythm and it will get a lot easier. Breastfeeding promotes the release of hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) in mom that makes her feel relaxed and more rested even on little sleep, nature's way of helping us because there's no denying that it is rough with a nb for the first few weeks and biologically it makes sense because if we feel more rested we won't be tempted to harm or abandon our children, ensuring the survival of the species.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:34 PM   #9
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Re: Encouragement/Tips for a New BF Mom

I'm BF'ing my 2 week old now and you definitely get alot less sleep. My little one is on the boob almost all the time, she doesn't sleep much during the day and constantly nurses. She sleeps better at night though which I'm grateful for because after the daytime I'm exhausted. Definitely try to get into nursing lying down, it's a lifesaver for us! She co-sleeps with us anyway so I lay her down next to me and if she starts to fuss I pop the boob in her mouth and I can kinda go back to sleep while she eats. We do this for naptime too or I would never get any sleep during the day, once you get the hang of it it's really easy.
As for the gas, try to burp more often and if that doesn't work a little bit of gripe water. My little girl gets a little gassy but after a good burp she feels so much better, only problem is sometimes it take a little work to get a good burp out of her.
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