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10 Tips for Breastfeeding Success

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/pre...eparation.html

Just a nice reminder for those who have been there before and a good place for new mammas planning to BF and what to think about.
post #2 of 12
I like this, thanks for posting it.
post #3 of 12
great list! here is my 2 cents...

-get help from and IBCLC or LLL at first signs of trouble. it is worth the money to see a private lactation consultant if you have one in your area!!!
post #4 of 12
Is it helpful or necessary to consult with a lactation counselor before the baby is born?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahwuko
Is it helpful or necessary to consult with a lactation counselor before the baby is born?
I would say to absolutely take advantage of the lactation consultants in the hospital if you're birthing there. But, more importantly, educate yourself as much as possible while you're pregnant so you know what you're talking about a little bit. Also, know that nurses (and even some LCs) in the hospital can give bad advice. I got so many conflicting pieces of advice in the hospital and I also had one lactation consultant tell me some ridiculous things that luckily I knew were wrong (wrong way to hold the baby, etc.) . Luckily though, there was one LC there who was wonderful and really helpful.

If you're having a homebirth, your midwife should help you get started with nursing--that should be included as a part of her services.

Also, I would add for any new mom to have confidence in your body and know that you can breastfeed. I had a really really horrible time getting started with nursing--we weren't nursing fully until DS was 7 weeks old. It was absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done, and something I'm so, so proud of --that I stuck with it even though I had EVERYBODY telling me to give it up and bottle feed--even a lactation consultant!

If you have trouble, get support early and often. It's so worth it!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowwood mama
I would say to absolutely take advantage of the lactation consultants in the hospital if you're birthing there. But, more importantly, educate yourself as much as possible while you're pregnant so you know what you're talking about a little bit. Also, know that nurses (and even some LCs) in the hospital can give bad advice. I got so many conflicting pieces of advice in the hospital and I also had one lactation consultant tell me some ridiculous things that luckily I knew were wrong (wrong way to hold the baby, etc.) . Luckily though, there was one LC there who was wonderful and really helpful.
soooo very true. i hate the attitudes some of my co-workers have. it literally makes me ill to hear them say in report "oh yay, all bottle fed babies for my shift tonight." or "if you need all those different devices (syringe feeds, supplemental nursing system, pumping, etc) to breastfeed, you should just bottlefeed. it just isn't natural. like formula feeding is natural. grrrr.

some will offer formula as soon as problems barely start, instead of taking the time. i am not totally anti-formula, but it isn't the first thing to do.

beware of sending your baby off to the nursery as they will sometimes give baby pacifiers dipped in sugar water to keep them quiet, which is not great for breastfeeding relationship.

more tips from me:

-read as much as you can before.

-maybe see if there are any classes given near you on breastfeeding.

-make friends with a breastfeeding mama!

-try to avoid pacifiers.

-take everything you hear with a grain of salt. everyone has different opinions on things. follow your gut.

-if you are at the hospital, consider having someone besides DP (friend, sister, mom, gma) stay with you. dads are especially famous for sleeping all night and sometimes a baby just needs to be held and will be comforted so mom can get even 1 hour rest. it can make all the difference. (had this happen the other night. dad out snoring, baby wanted to be held, mama exhausted from being in labor for 24 hours, no pain meds, etc. i took baby and held him while i charted for over an hour. when i took him back in, she said that little nap made her feel 100% better.)
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahwuko
Is it helpful or necessary to consult with a lactation counselor before the baby is born?
i think it would be helpful, but not necessary. maybe a class at a local hospital ran by an IBCLC or something?
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahwuko
Is it helpful or necessary to consult with a lactation counselor before the baby is born?
One of the most under-utilized (and practically free) resources out there for moms like us....La Leche League! There are groups in cities/towns all over the country (multiple groups in most cities), and it's very, very common for moms-to-be to start going to meetings. You'll be able to talk to moms with new babes, able to talk to La Leche League leaders (who have to go through a certification process), and you'll have a lot of breastfeeding info/support if and when you need it.

My friend in Ann Arbor led a group, and I've been in contact with a couple of groups here in WI since moving. Most groups are full of very "mothering.com" sorts of people, and the support you get from being a part of a close-knit group of women with breastfeeding experience is tremendous.

I would rate it *almost* as important as going to labor classes....and the book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" put out by La Leche League is a must-have for new moms. It's a great resource, and perfect to read before the baby arrives!

If you want a lot of breastfeeding knowledge (and a supportive nextwork of lactation/breastfeeding help), try LLL. Do a search for your local group, and just show up--that's how people start coming to the meetings. You can go as often as you want, and (at least at the meetings I went to), it's a sort of casual, roundtable discussion. When a woman has a breastfeeding concern or question, people and experts chime in with their advice. It's a fun atmosphere--snacks, toddlers playing, and lots of fun women.
post #9 of 12
I completely agree about going to LLL. The support is invaluable. Going before the baby is born is also a good idea.

It's SOOOO important to learn as much as you can about bf beforehand. Reading books won't prepare you entirely, but hopefully you'll at least have the resources on hand to know when you're getting bad advice. They kellymom website is AWESOME and has lots of information right at your fingertips. There is a LOT of bad advice out there, unfortunately, much of it given by "professionals" who should know better. Many pediatricians are very ignorant about bf help, even when they're philosophically supportive of it. I can't believe some of the things peds have told moms I know!

I think every bf mom should see a LC right from the beginning, whether she's noticed problems or not. Getting a good latch is so important to start, and can prevent problems from developing. But, make sure you're getting good help. Anyone can call themselves a LC. You want to look for an IBCLC, who has been certified and well-trained. LLL leaders also tend to be very well educated.

I would be very cautious about supplementing with formula in that first couple of weeks. I've known sooo many moms who get freaked out about whether or not their babies are growing enough, and supplement because they believe they don't have enough milk. My milk did not come in until day 5, and ds lost over a pound in the first 3 days, which was more than 10% of his body weight. Still, I was lucky and my doc didn't panic. She gave some suggestions, including just nursing frequently. I decided to wait. My milk came in, and 2 days later, ds had gained 6 oz. He was 1 oz. above his birth weight by 2 weeks. If you do have to supplement, talk to a LC about the best way to do so. It's best NOT to use a bottle, and to make sure you're pumping and putting the baby to the breast enough. Supplementation can cause your milk supply to drop, so even if there really wasn't a big problem to begin with, another is created.

I believe my milk came in later due to the IV I had (no meds, just an IV), by the way. They adjusted the drip wrong and my whole body got flooded. A LC I talked to later said my body had to get rid of the excess fluid before it could make milk.

Oh, my gosh, this makes bf sound so much worse than it really is! I didn't mean to do that. After that first week, bf actually went really well for us. It does generally take about 6-8 weeks to really get the hang of it and enjoy bf, though. But it is so worth it!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
post #11 of 12
My 2 cents.....interview LC's *before* you give birth - that should be free! Settle on one that you're comfortable with & have her contact info with you while your at the hosp/bc/home - just in case!

WATER, WATER, WATER!! Always have water, everywhere you go....if you've never nursed before, be prepared to be thirstier than you've ever been + water is good for you & you milk production!

Lastly, lots of rest - I had mastitis twice with Dd1 & it *might* have been prevented if I had known to immediately stop everything, get all of that milk OUT, drink lots of water & GO STRAIGHT TO BED! Once you feel a plugged duct beginning, get that milk out any way you can & rest, rest, rest!
post #12 of 12
Great tips, everyone! You inspired me to check out the LLL website and find the schedule for the groups near me . . . and there is one tomorrow! Going to go check it out, as well as the group meeting north of me next week.
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