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Mothering › Groups › October 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So one of my biggest concerns is that I feel like I know NOTHING about breastfeeding. My older two kids are adopted, so I didn't have to worry about that with them smile.gif This is my biggest concern about having a biological kid.

 

Nearly everyone who finds out I'm expecting now follows it up with "You're going to breastfeed right??" Then about half of them follow up that question by telling me how hard it is to do. And I'm just so terrified that I'll be a breastfeeding failure. If I ever display any insecurities about it (like sometimes I'll answer the question with "hopefully" instead of "yes") the person will usually spend the next few minutes telling me how important it is and how terrible it will be for my baby if I don't breastfeed her.

 

I'll also most likely be going back to work pretty soon after baby is born (not sure yet if 6 weeks or 3 months, hoping for 3 months but haven't discussed it with the boss yet). I'm stressed about pumping and if if it will be enough and if we will have established a good enough routine by then. SIL lent me her pump, which according to a friend is a very good one.

 

Anyways, just thought I would post about it. Anyone have any encouraging words or good resources to check out? Is it really as hard as it seems?

post #2 of 8
Look for local breastfeeding classes. I had a really hard time with my first child but then went to a class before my second was born, and it was a night and day difference. It was encouraging, am they teach techniques that actually work. I highly recommend it for first time breastfeeders. Also, your midwife, doula, hospital nurses, lactation consultants can help. They are trained to do so. Learn as much as you can before baby comes because the more confident you are and more prepared you are, the more successful you will be. If you can encourage yourself to get through the first couple weeks, then it is a breeze! But that first little bit can be rough. Just push through it and soon you will not even think about it. If you are nursing, pumping when you go back to work is no big deal. Exclusively pumping is hard work, but just while you work, really is not bad at all. You can do it! It's all worth the work we put into it, I promise! The way your brand new child latches on to you for the first time, the way they look up at you, the way they wrap one arm around you, the way they smile while they start to drift off to sleep but still suckling, the fact that you know that you alone are giving your baby everything they need, etc. You will feel like a superhero....maybe not immediately, but it will happen!!! I managed to figure it out and get through it when I was a young teen....YOU can do it for sure!!!!
post #3 of 8
I took three hours of a LLL course before my dd was born on top of pregnancy classes. I thought it was overkill, it was not. Breastfeeding is not "natural" its a relationship between two different people. So its different for each mom and different for every baby she has. Its not easy, physically, emotionally etc. But its not like climbing Everest, its doable for the majority of women. Take classes, have support call in the experts immediately if things aren't going well.
post #4 of 8
I'd recommend going to La Leche League meetings now and make sure you have a leader's number and ask for a recommendation from both the La Leche League group and your care provider for a lactation consultant. If birthing at a hospital, ask to see a lactation consultant before you leave.
post #5 of 8

DS and I had a really easy time of breastfeeding. He latched on just right immediately and beyond dealing with a little soreness as my nipples adjusted, we never had any issues. My midwife did encourage me to go to an LLL meeting before he was born and I was glad I did just because I knew that if I did have any problems I would have support to fall back on.  I don't know if it helped that I never even considered that there was another option.  My mother had breastfed all five of her children and so I assumed it was just what was going to happen.  That helped me go into it with confidence.  I definitely agree with everyone else that going to a LLL meeting and/or establishing a relationship with a lactation counselor is a stellar idea.

post #6 of 8
I started going to LLL meetings while pregnant & it was an awesome resource when DD was born and we had every BF problem possible. I tell everyone to find an IBCLC while pregnant and keep her on speed dial. smile.gif Hopefully it will "come naturally" but for many it takes hard work. A good support network (& a good pump, since you're working) will get you through.
post #7 of 8
Breastfeeding went terribly for my first two babies. With DS1, I knew the latch was bad, but the midwives kept telling me it was fine, so I listened to them, lost my supply and switched to formula because he wasn't gaining weight. In my mind, breastfeeding was the only option and this devestated me. Things started out AMAZING with DS2. He latched on right away. He gained weight well for the first three months and then stopped. I lost my supply. Again, I never looked for additional help. Again, I was devestated. I've always been kind if a DIY person. This was not helpful for breastfeeding difficulties.

The most important thing is support (to repeat what everyone here is saying). I started going to LLL meetings when I was 17 weeks pregnant with DS3 and it was so helpful to me to know they were there if I needed them. I really only ever needed reassurance from them. When his weight gain naturally started to slow when he was a few months old (this was not what happened with DS2), I just had to ask them and was told it was normal and that really helped me because, even though I knew his weight gain would slow down at some point, I was so terrified that I was going to lose my milk for seemingly no reason. I'm still nursing DS3 (he'll be 2 in a couple of weeks)! He is starting to lose interest a little because pregnancy has really changed things for me supply-wise, but if he asks, I still let him.

Since DS2 was little, I've learned a lot. I know this isn't true for everyone, but I learn well from books. From things I've read, there were a lot of factors that led to me losing my supply. The book Breastfeeding Made Simple was really helpful to me (although, everyone is different). Books certainly aren't a substitute for knowledgeable support, but that book really helped me see some things I was doing that weren't working for me.

Unfortunately, the LLL in my area doesn't exist anymore. Breastfeeding isn't popular in my area past the first couple of months, so I was always one of the only moms there greensad.gif
post #8 of 8

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.   Great book!  I highly recommend it.  I read it before DS was born and also went to LLL meetings.  Initially had some nipple soreness but it went away fairly quickly.  I went back to work at 12 weeks and was able to pump once or twice and never had supply issues.  Start your freezer stash early if you can especially if you have to go back at three weeks.  Freeze the milk flat (helps with storage), pump after you feed, it will help crate your supply.  
 

Check out Kellymom.com.  It's a great resource and don't stress.  They really don't need much in those first few days/weeks.  Their little tummies are the size of marbles.  Expect some weight loss initially but don't stress about it, it will come back.  If you are having supply issues, there are things you can do to boost it.  Supplements like Fenugreek, mothers milk tea etc.  Oatmeal, flax and brewers yeast are great supply boosters as well.  I make lactation cookies with those ingredients.   Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate especially when you return to work. 


Breastfeeding can be a lot of work but is so worth it in the end.  The bond, the health benefits for both of you.

 

 

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