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Old 11-01-2010, 05:54 AM   #1
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Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

I have EBFed my last two babies (currently BFing my LO), but have never had any support or encouragement.

I have a friend who is due to deliver any day now. She tried to BF her first baby (now 4 years old), but wasn't really educated on BFing and stopped a couple days in when she had "mastitis". (not sure she really had mastitis, but that's what she called it.) She really wants to BF her new baby and wants my help and support.

She and her hubby are our youth pastors (fairly large church), so I suspect they will have lots of people bombarding them, wanting to see the baby, etc. I'd like advice and ideas on how to support and encourage her without staying too distant, but also without crossing the fine line of interfering or smothering her.

I've made her a nursing cover and nursing pads. I plan on taking her a basket of water bottles, granola bars, fruit, etc. when she gets home from the hospital - so she can grab those while nursing. I've told her to call me any time day or night if she has questions or feels discouraged. We've talked realistically about how demanding BFing can be the first few weeks - and that while it can be hard, it's so rewarding in the end. I plan on calling and texting her daily, and talking to her about how often she'd like me to come visit.

What are ways that others have supported and encouraged you? Or that you have supported and encouraged other new mamas?

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:03 AM   #2
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

If she's feeling frustrated offering to take the LO for a little bit so she can step away and regain! I know how demanding it can be and would totally have loved someone to be like "Hey let me take that babe for a minute! You go take a shower or go for a short walk!"
Or you can get her the book "So that's what they're for!" It's an amazing and funny outlook on breastfeeding with all the tips and tricks.. I BFed 4 of my children and i think i read that book with all 4! It was really a light hearted way to look at the subject at hand, or at breast! lol... She can read it while bfing.. you are a great friend to help her out so much! My mother was my encouragement when i was doing it.. I Bfed my first child at 19 years old.. I was sooo young but managed to do it so well! It really pays to have support! I am a big support to most of my friends who venture into it.. They all call me for questions! It's really funny but really meaningful to me to be able to help them nurture there babies in such a great way! It's really nice to hear more people that are able to do it too! :-)
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:16 AM   #3
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

Your suggestions sound good. Someone gave me a big basket of granola bars, water, other snacks, etc. & it was wonderful. Maybe give her a book now, such as The Nursing Mother's Companion or The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. You could also see if you can connect her with a local IBCLC or LLL group.

I am guessing that her "mastitis" may have been normal engorgement from her milk coming in/regulating. Sounds like she could really benefit from BF education, either from a book or from a breastfeeding class.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

I second the idea of taking her with you to LLL or another BFing support group. And give her some names and numbers of IBCLCs in your area.

There's also a breastfeeding course on DVD that I've watched and looks really quite helpful--good for someone who doesn't have time to read a book or go to a class before or after baby arrives. It's very specific about latching, how much baby really needs, etc. I hear it's at BRU and it's also online. It's called Simply Breastfeeding.

You could also take the family dinner, go over and do dishes or laundry, take her older child on a play date, etc.--those will indirectly help her focus on breastfeeding her newbie.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:29 AM   #5
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

I just got The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and wish I had it from day 1.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

Anything that will help her rest, relax and focus on the new LO will help. I had to bottlefeed my second (FTT), and I think it was mostly due to stress. He spent a week in the NICU, then I came home to no help but from a resentful 11 year old who was homeschooling for the first time (his choice), with a sick baby who had at least 3 doctor's appointments a week for the first 2 months. Between baby being sleepy and separated in the NICU and the stress of the whole situation, it just spiraled out of control - and I knew what to do, just had no help or possibility of doing it! If I had had someone who could have/would have just come over to cook dinner, do laundry, deal with the older one, etc. it would have been so much better. (Actually, I did have people willing to do those things, but only if I called and asked, organized the "play date" for older DS, etc.). What I needed was a friend who showed up, said "go cuddle up with baby - I'll go home when I'm done with x y z or when you tell me you're ready for me to go" and just did those things.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:33 AM   #7
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

Offer to watch the baby at her house while she takes a shower, eats a meal or just had a couple of hours to herself. I loved when my DH would watch the baby and let me take a nice long 2 hour break. And once the time started DH was great at entertaining the baby, so much so that the baby would forget to be hungry until I came into the room DH would even pick up little stuff and put it away in a funny sort of way, like socks and bibs dancing into their drawers.
Some babies love to be entertained and it can be hard for new moms to have the energy to nurse and entertain.

Your other ideas are great too.
I also second the BFing meetings. seeing real people nurse makes it a lot less strange.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:14 AM   #8
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

Thanks for all of the suggestions ladies!!!
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

When DD was about 2-4 days old I got a golf ball sized "thing" in my armpit. I had NO idea what it was, so I went to the doc. They said that it was probably just a clogged line from sleeping on my tummy. I didnt know I wasnt supposed to do that! I as REALLY looking forward to sleeping on my tummy again after she was born.

If she doesnt already have one, get her a boppy. It was my life saver! My poor arms would get SOO tired. Also, talk to her about lying on your side an BFing. I dont know how I fugred that one out, but it really helped me out.
Make sure she has lanolin! BFing is hard enough without having to worry about sore nipples. Talk to her about using it religiously. I did this and my nipples barely got sore, not even enough to talk about .. just a little tender.
ok ... now that I think about it, maybe a book would be the best thing ... because just knowing all the stuff will make it a lot easier, like not to use a paci, how often they feen and that cluster feeding is normal (and baby IS getting enough) ... all that stuff!!!
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:38 PM   #10
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Re: Need advice/ideas - how to support a new BFing mom

Everything you've done sounds great

I totally second the idea of some sort of nipple cream (I used a natural one that I didn't have to wipe off to BF). LOL, my nipples hurt soooo bad and were so red two weeks in that I was POSITIVE that I had a yeast infection! I took the DD straight to the dr to get checked for thrust. but no. It was just the normal chaffing and whatnot that goes with the territory ;D

Maybe let her know that it's okay to get frustrated, especially those times she feels 'touched out' and doesn't want the baby on her another second (or any one else to touch her for that matter). That it's pretty normal, and that you're there to talk to when she needs to vent (and possibly cry). I know I needed someone for that. It's hard to get real sympathy from people who don't understand the emotions involved when you BF.

I know something that really worked for me was having short term BFing goals. I told myself that I would aim for 3 months. When I got there I aimed for 6, and so on. Taking it a little at a time can make it less overwhelming, I think. And do let her know she's not a bad mom if she doesn't succeed at BFing for whatever reason. I know with my sister's 2nd child she felt terrible when her supply dried up shortly after she returned to work. Any amount of time that she is able to BF is time well used, IMHO.
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