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Old 09-06-2012, 05:10 AM   #11
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Re: Help with preparing to nurse???

I gave up nursing DD1 at 3 weeks because the pain was so bad I was literally losing vision. DD2 I'm still nursing at 4 months. What I did to prepare was read as much as I could and look into resources that could help me BEFORE she got here, so I wasn't trying to find them when I'm sleep deprived and in pain. There's a local natural parenting shop run by a doula and LC, so I went in there, found out when she ran the breastfeeding clinics, and basically got comfortable with her and the store.

The biggest key to my success was surrounding myself with people who could help me. I found that both with my VBAC birth this time and with breastfeeding. That and resolving myself that this WAS what I was doing, not somethign I was going to try.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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Breastfeeding was really difficult with DS at first. He was tongue tied, which somehow the hospital missed AND pediatrician missed for his first TWO weeks. So I was cracked and bleeding and curling my toes every time he nursed, and pumping after every feeding and giving him a bottle (under pediatrician's orders because he lost 15% of his birth weight and wasn't gaining). It was hard. I would cry and cry when he wouldn't latch because I felt like a bad mom.

But formula was never an option for me. We went on with our lives like it wasn't even manufactured. I made it abundantly clear to the pediatrician that we would do whatever it took to breastfeed and she should never even breathe the word "formula". After we saw an excellent LC and were referred to an ENT specialist and DS got his tongue clipped, we were mostly okay. Around 4-6 months when all he wanted to do was be distracted and look around, I nursed around his "schedule". When he was 9 months and we all got Norovirus and my mom bought us ready mixed formula (I was so angry at her!), I threw it out and gave DS frozen breast milk and drank as much as I could and pumped to keep my supply from drying up. Now I'm pregnant and it hurts like h*ll because I'm so sensitive, but DS isn't ready to wean (at 16 months) so I suck it up.

I think the bottom line for me was that from any aspect (scientific, emotional, financial, etc) breast milk is the best thing I could give my DS. It was the ONLY option for us and we were/are going to make it work, period. It would've been really easy for us to come to a difficult period and just give him formula "once" and then end up switching for good, but I was determined that no formula was going to make it into his system. I think the only real preparation you can do is mental, but that's also the most important preparation you can do. Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:46 AM   #13
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Bf DD was really, really hard at first - she was your typical sleepy, can't be bothered to wake up to eat, newborn so her weight dropped really dramatically over the first few days and I freaked! Once she was awake and interested she nursed every 45 mins, couldn't tolerate dairy in my diet, and chewed my nipples to shreds. I remember screaming, literally, bc it hurt so bad! But we made it through and continued nursing til about 15 mos. what helped me:
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I got a kindle version and referred to it often.
- LLL leaders phone numbers. At one point I called in tears and they were unfazed :-). Super helpful
- polysporin. Lanolin is good and all, but for borderline infection / "my nipple is going to fall off" a teensy dab of PS made all the difference. I think it really helped to clear up any potential infection, maybe? Seriously it was a lifesaver. Get some. And whatever you don't use can be used for cuts, scrapes, etc. just make sure it is POLYsporin not neosporin.
- make sure DH etc is 100 percent on board. If DH had been standing over me saying "why din't we just give her formula" I probably would have quit. But he asked "what can I do to make it better" which was much more helpful :-). Make sure he keeps the naysayers away... Booby bouncer!
- Set small goals and don't quit on a bad day. At first my goal was 6 weeks. Those early days, thinking about 12 mos was too overwhelming. But at 6 weeks things were better, so I said until I went back to work. Then I re-evaluated at 6 mos.
- dark chocolate get yourself a nice stash. A square of really good dark chocolate at the beginning of each nursing can help, IMO!

Good luck mama! You can do it!
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:18 PM   #14
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Re: Help with preparing to nurse???

definitely LLL! you can start going to meetings before you have your baby to get advice/prepare
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #15
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Re: Help with preparing to nurse???

Quote:
Originally Posted by DottieHarley View Post
Bf DD was really, really hard at first - she was your typical sleepy, can't be bothered to wake up to eat, newborn so her weight dropped really dramatically over the first few days and I freaked! Once she was awake and interested she nursed every 45 mins, couldn't tolerate dairy in my diet, and chewed my nipples to shreds. I remember screaming, literally, bc it hurt so bad! But we made it through and continued nursing til about 15 mos. what helped me:
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I got a kindle version and referred to it often.
- LLL leaders phone numbers. At one point I called in tears and they were unfazed :-). Super helpful
- polysporin. Lanolin is good and all, but for borderline infection / "my nipple is going to fall off" a teensy dab of PS made all the difference. I think it really helped to clear up any potential infection, maybe? Seriously it was a lifesaver. Get some. And whatever you don't use can be used for cuts, scrapes, etc. just make sure it is POLYsporin not neosporin.
- make sure DH etc is 100 percent on board. If DH had been standing over me saying "why din't we just give her formula" I probably would have quit. But he asked "what can I do to make it better" which was much more helpful :-). Make sure he keeps the naysayers away... Booby bouncer!
- Set small goals and don't quit on a bad day. At first my goal was 6 weeks. Those early days, thinking about 12 mos was too overwhelming. But at 6 weeks things were better, so I said until I went back to work. Then I re-evaluated at 6 mos.
- dark chocolate get yourself a nice stash. A square of really good dark chocolate at the beginning of each nursing can help, IMO!

Good luck mama! You can do it!
LMBO at the booby bouncer!! Haha....that brings some silly images to mind! And, you're totally speaking my language with the dark chocolate!!

Thanks SO MUCH for all the words of encouragement and advice! I think the most helpful (so far) has been realizing that it DOES hurt for a while, or takes a while to get in the swing of things for lots of people, and that's not abnormal. I thought that since I was having such difficulty, there was just something wrong and it wasn't going to work for us. Plus, I had a "wonderful" friend......who had previously been a breastfeeding failure constantly tell me, "Just wait, it only gets worse, you won't make it much past 2 weeks", and I didn't because I didn't realize that it still could get better, I just figured we were doomed. Plus, we were in the middle of making a move several states away right after DD was born, and I was by myself with her for 2 weeks trying to pack our whole house alone, and I just got overwhelmed, I think. Not having a pity party, but it just didn't help when things were already hard with the nursing. I'm definitely going to check into LLL, and my hospital has some breastfeeding support groups and things that I'm hoping will be useful. Thanks again, and any more ideas or suggestions are always welcomed!!
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #16
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Re: Help with preparing to nurse???

I love all these suggestions! My fourth son is just two months old, and this time around the pain was much less. I agree with the latch - make sure baby is latching well. I tried every known hold, too! Not just cradle hold, the football hold helped a lot too, so baby isn't munching on the same part of the nipple. You can definitely do it! It does get better!
Going to the store right now for dark chocolate
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #17
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Re: Help with preparing to nurse???

Quote:
Originally Posted by DottieHarley View Post
Bf DD was really, really hard at first - she was your typical sleepy, can't be bothered to wake up to eat, newborn so her weight dropped really dramatically over the first few days and I freaked! Once she was awake and interested she nursed every 45 mins, couldn't tolerate dairy in my diet, and chewed my nipples to shreds. I remember screaming, literally, bc it hurt so bad! But we made it through and continued nursing til about 15 mos. what helped me:
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I got a kindle version and referred to it often.
- LLL leaders phone numbers. At one point I called in tears and they were unfazed :-). Super helpful
- polysporin. Lanolin is good and all, but for borderline infection / "my nipple is going to fall off" a teensy dab of PS made all the difference. I think it really helped to clear up any potential infection, maybe? Seriously it was a lifesaver. Get some. And whatever you don't use can be used for cuts, scrapes, etc. just make sure it is POLYsporin not neosporin.
- make sure DH etc is 100 percent on board. If DH had been standing over me saying "why din't we just give her formula" I probably would have quit. But he asked "what can I do to make it better" which was much more helpful :-). Make sure he keeps the naysayers away... Booby bouncer!
- Set small goals and don't quit on a bad day. At first my goal was 6 weeks. Those early days, thinking about 12 mos was too overwhelming. But at 6 weeks things were better, so I said until I went back to work. Then I re-evaluated at 6 mos.
- dark chocolate get yourself a nice stash. A square of really good dark chocolate at the beginning of each nursing can help, IMO!

Good luck mama! You can do it!

I was just getting ready to order some polysporin, and I was wondering if this was something that you put on when you're LO was sleeping or something, and then wiped off before nursing? Online, it says to seek medical help or contact the poison control center if ingested, so it sounds like it shouldn't be on there when your baby nurses? Sorry if that sounds stupid, I just *thought* that I remembered the lactation nurses telling me that it was okay for the lanolin to still be on when DD nursed, but I could be mistaken...I haven't checked into that again, yet.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:37 PM   #18
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Re: Help with preparing to nurse???

I wanted to say also that it really helps your chances of breastfeeding success if you let labor start on it's own, because the birth-breastfeeding process is really a continuum. So laboring as naturally as possible, and avoiding fluids and medications can be really helpful in making sure that your baby is alert and your body isn't confused by what's going on. Excess fluids can contribute towards engorgement, and narcotics during labor can affect your body and the baby as it's adjusting to new tasks like breastfeeding.

I don't know what your plans are for labor/birth, but this is something to keep in mind if you want to do your best to avoid some common breastfeeding problems.
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