Is it supposed to be this hard? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-13-2008, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my first baby so I don't know, but I'm finding breastfeeding really hard. My nipples are sore and it hurts, and he seems to want to feed constantly? How do I know if I'm making enough milk? Should I give him a bottle every now and again to make sure he has enough?

Sorry for all the questions but I don't really have anyone to ask irl!!
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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Welcome to MDC!

It is hard at first. How old is your baby?

The best way to know if baby is getting enough milk is to watch the diapers. Here is a great chart: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html

Bottles usually ADD to breastfeeding problems and can decrease your supply. Best to avoid them if at all possible.

The NCT has a free phone for breastfeeding help, and may be able to set you up with 'real life' breastfeeding help in your area: http://www.nct.org.uk/info-centre/a-to-z/view/20 (see on the left side for phone number)
La Leche League is awesome too - and they have phone support as well: http://www.laleche.org.uk/pages/about/helpline.htm

Did you get good support from your midwife? Don't be shy to ask for support!

If you have time to look on the web, www.kellymom.com is a brilliant resource, and www.drjacknewman.com even has videos that can help you see how baby attaches and tranfers milk.

Hang in there - you can do this!
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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ps. Nursing all the time in the first few weeks is completely normal and is helping your body to set a good milk supply. It seems non-stop - but it will get easier as baby gets older. It is worth it - hang in there!
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Totally normal. Avoid bottles, they will only complicate things. Don't be afraid to take a tylenol if it's really painful, I took them when I really needed them with baby #1. Use lanolin if it helps on your nipples and give them plenty of "air time"

Sounds like you are doing great! Nursing frequently is VERY normal and will help you establish a great milk supply.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Totally normal. Breastfeeding in the early weeks is often painful. Your baby is nursing a lot to establish a good supply and bottle-feeding will interfere with your supply. So avoid bottles.

With my first, I remember DD nursing non-stop to ramp up my supply and I dealt with painful nipples, and then she was confronted with over supply (think firehose in the face) and I had to deal with engorgement. I don't remember for sure, but I think it pretty much leveled out around 6 weeks, or at least became a lot more tolerable.

So yes, the first weeks are hard, but from there out it is the easiest and laziest (said with affection ) thing you can do to nourish and comfort your baby!

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Old 12-13-2008, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My baby's two weeks old tomorrow - and in the last two weeks I feel like he's been almost constantly clamped to me. I'm lucky to be able to take a long bath on my own.

My midwofe and I did not get on very well at all - I'm a young mum and she was just very patronising. She actually gave me condoms while I was on the maternity ward after my son was born!

The health visitor is a very nice lady, but also a bit patronising and shall we say an older lady... she doesn't seem to know much about breatsfeeding and she suggested I give bottles so I can space the feeding out a bit more and also know how much he's taking.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rudysmummy View Post
My baby's two weeks old tomorrow - and in the last two weeks I feel like he's been almost constantly clamped to me. I'm lucky to be able to take a long bath on my own.

My midwofe and I did not get on very well at all - I'm a young mum and she was just very patronising. She actually gave me condoms while I was on the maternity ward after my son was born!

The health visitor is a very nice lady, but also a bit patronising and shall we say an older lady... she doesn't seem to know much about breatsfeeding and she suggested I give bottles so I can space the feeding out a bit more and also know how much he's taking.
Being attached to you nonstop sounds exactly right for the first couple of weeks. I know your nipples are probably sore and you are uncomfortable and craving a shower, but you are doing all the right things for your baby. It is VERY hard in the beginning. You are doing wonderfully!

Do not take the advice about the bottle. It will really complicate things this early on. Feeding your baby on demand and not "spacing out feedings" is the best thing for him. There's no need for you to "know" how much your baby is eating - the diapers will let you know that he is definitely getting enough. A trick I learned is to only set out 8 diapers in the morning, and you'll know by the end of the day how many baby used. It was too much for me to try to remember how many wets I actually changed when it seemed like I changed 100!

On top of that, we are all here for you! Having this forum has been a huge lifesaver for me (and my DD) and I am SO glad you posted here! Welcome to MDC!

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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i know what you are talking about.

does the nipple pain go away after 10-20 sucks? it would sting and make the flinch, but then go away each time dd latched on. my midwife and IBCLC said it was normal as long as the pain "numbed out" and wasn't constant. the pp's suggestions for dealing with the pain are great. i also liked those cool silicone patches that you can put over your nipples - can't remember the name. you can put them in the refrigerator for extra cooling. if it's constant, you might need someone to help you work on your LO's latch.

dd was also constantly attached to me. she usually didn't go more than 30 minutes unlatched (she slept 2-3 hours at night). in the evenings, she did cluster feeding and would be latched on for hours at a time. it's a shock if you are prepared to nurse 10-15 minutes each side every 2-3 hours. i think dd would have been a very unhappy and probably unhealthy baby on that schedule.

i know that you've been linked to kellymom.com. it is a really great site. just type in anything in the search box (weight gain, feeding schedules, etc.) and read the articles.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rudysmummy View Post
My baby's two weeks old tomorrow - and in the last two weeks I feel like he's been almost constantly clamped to me. I'm lucky to be able to take a long bath on my own.

My midwofe and I did not get on very well at all - I'm a young mum and she was just very patronising. She actually gave me condoms while I was on the maternity ward after my son was born!

The health visitor is a very nice lady, but also a bit patronising and shall we say an older lady... she doesn't seem to know much about breatsfeeding and she suggested I give bottles so I can space the feeding out a bit more and also know how much he's taking.



The first few weeks are just hard. Stay away from the bottles. They DO nurse all the time in the first few weeks.

hang in there- it gets better!

-Angela
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the welcome everyone

I just don't know if I can do this though I want to be able to take a break and leave him with someone else sometimes. I wanted to try breastfedding cos I knwo their are benefits even just for the forst few weeks but I don't know if i can carry on.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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You've gotten lots of great info so far, so I just want to chime in: YES, it is HARD, at first. Really hard. I think the biggest mistake out there in the breastfeeding-promotion literature is the downplaying of how hard it is. I think if I had known ahead of time how hard it would be, it would have been a little less of a shock to my system, therefore easier.

BUT. It DOES get better. I can't say how soon, it's different for everyone, but I promise you it will get better and you won't regret the hard times. YOU CAN DO THIS. Hang in there. Come here for support whenever you need it. Find a local La Leche League group. Talk to a lactation consultant. Look up some of your questions on kellymom.com. You will be okay! :

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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Thanks for the welcome everyone

I just don't know if I can do this though I want to be able to take a break and leave him with someone else sometimes. I wanted to try breastfedding cos I knwo their are benefits even just for the forst few weeks but I don't know if i can carry on.
You CAN do it. You're a mom now. No one ever said it was easy But you CAN do it. You WILL do it. You are the mama

Don't give yourself any other choice.

There IS no other acceptable choice.


-Angela
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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I think the biggest mistake out there in the breastfeeding-promotion literature is the downplaying of how hard it is.
:

Breastfeeding is usually harder at first than bottles would be, but it gets a lot more easy than bottles in a little while. So the hard work you're doing now will pay off for you soon.

If you have enough help, try to make it so that your only jobs in the next couple of weeks are to feed yourself and the baby and keep yourself moderately clean.

Good luck!!
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Thanks for the welcome everyone

I just don't know if I can do this though I want to be able to take a break and leave him with someone else sometimes. I wanted to try breastfedding cos I knwo their are benefits even just for the forst few weeks but I don't know if i can carry on.
If you stick with it, in a few weeks you will have bf mastered and you can express if you want to leave him with someone else for a bit. There are sooo many benefits to bf. Look at this link http://www.llli.org/docs/Outcomes_of..._June_2007.pdf
The hardest bit is at the beginning. You can do it mama!
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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1) Congratulations on your new baby!

2) It is very overwhelming the first few weeks. Hang in there and go easy on yourself. You're doing great. If you want to go out, can you take your baby with you? The carry great in a sling or a wrap and if you practice at home where you are comfortable, you can nurse without it being a big deal.

3) If your nipple are really sore, it is worth talking to someone who knows about breastfeeding about the latch (attachment) just to make sure that baby isn't on your breast in a way that is causing it to hurt more. There are some great pictures here http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/bas...resources.html

4) Ignore the old health vistor when it comes to feeding info - she's obviously full of bad advice. Give NCT or LLL a call when you have questions - they are kind and warm and helpful.

5) You can do this. I know it seems like an eternity of nipple pain right now, but it will get easier. By nursing your baby you are avoiding all the risks of formula feeding. You baby gets perfect nutrition, plus immune boosting, brain building, and cognitive and emotional development each time you feed her.

You're awesome, you're strong and you can do this!

Pop back here as often as you need for advice, support and encouragement!

And if you have specific questions be sure to ask them. The moms here have tons of exellent info to share.
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I'm just feeling a bit alone and overwelmed at the mo!
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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As someone who had a very hard time in the first few weeks of BFing, I just want to encourage you to stick with it -- you're doing a wonderful job!! I've recently had to use some bottles for my now-7-month-old DD (because I had surgery), and it's so much more complicated to wash bottles, warm bottles, have equipment on hand, etc., than it is to just lift my shirt and nurse DD whenever she's hungry -- it was awful!

Those first weeks of discomfort were SO SO SO worth it for the bond we now have and the convenience of BFing -- soon, you will be so happy that you made the choice to stick with it!!

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Old 12-13-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Thanks everyone. I'm just feeling a bit alone and overwelmed at the mo!
I know, I KNOW. And, I know we are just anonymous strangers on the internet...but you are not alone. SO many of us have really, really been there.

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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You can do it. Your lo is so new, and it is hard in the beginning. We've been there, it does and will get easier.
Bottles and formula might seem easier right now, but in short few weeks, you will be able to feed your lo anywhere anytime. Moms who bottlefeed have to carry around BAGS of stuff (I witnessed one around thanksgiving): formula, bottles, nipples, drop-ins, water, scoops, etc. They have to measure, mix, heat, feed, wash, sterilize, rinse and repeat. Over and over.

And all you'll have to do is lift your shirt. Imagine doing all the bottle procedures at 3am. With bfing you turn to your lo, lift your shirt and continue sleeping

Hang in there!!!
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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The first few weeks are just BRUTAL. I wish there was more open discussion of that. The first few weeks of being a MOM are brutal. Then you add in breastfeeding...

Dd totally mauled my nipples- they were hamburger. But things got better. And better and better. She is still nursing now

-Angela
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sorry what does dd mean>
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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DD= dear daughter
DS= dear son
DH= dear husband
DW= dear wife
DP= dear partner

...etc. It's just a message board way of saying "daughter/husband/son/wife/etc."

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok thanks limabean!
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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Don't give up! It can be really rough at first...but it does get better! If you're having problems with sore nipples try to let them air-out between feedings. I would walk around topless till I got a pair of nipple shells (NOT nipple shields) to keep my clothing from touching my sore nips. That helped a lot!

If your baby is constantly eating it's probably just a growth spurt. Those are totally normal! And they don't last forever. While I know it's hard to imagine that it'll be easier soon, but it will. My daughter is 2 months old now and already breastfeeding is pretty easy. A lot simpler than carting around bottles, that's for sure!
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wait a minute alegna, do you mean your daughter is 4 and you still breatsfeed her?? Isn't that too old?
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Wait a minute alegna, do you mean your daughter is 4 and you still breatsfeed her?? Isn't that too old?
Right many people breastfeed for 4 years...some longer. It's totally normal. I plan on breastfeeding my daughter as long as she wants to continue.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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Congrats on your new baby!

And congrats on finding MDC - You will learn so much here, and get tons of support and advice!

Your baby is tiny, he's SUPPOSED to be nursing practically non stop right now - it'll help your supply in the long run. All he knows is he was in the womb for 9 months, and is now thrust into this strange world, what he wants most is his Mama and breastmilk. Think about it - in the womb, he had a constant food source. If you were used to having food all day every day, you wouldn't be able to go right to eating every few hours, either.

Something magical happens around 6 weeks. Baby's mouth gets bigger, you and your body get used to nursing, your skin gets more accustomed to it, baby gets a bit bigger and able to space out feedings... it gets easier for most nursing pairs around 6 weeks or so.

And baby will not need to nurse non-stop forever. Soon enough, you'll find he can go 2-3 hours without any problem. Longer at night usually, too. He's just really tiny right now, and not the most efficient nurser. When he gets bigger, it'll get easier.

The first 2 months are the hardest, but pass that hurdle and you'll likely think "This is so easy! I don't understand why anyone would mess with bottles!"
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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Congrats on your new baby and welcome to being a Mommy!!! :


Breastfeeding is hard at first, but it gets so much easier. I remember starting with my son, we had a difficult time because he was in the nicu and didn't have a proper latch, but we worked through it and have such a beautiful nursing relationship now. He is almost 8 months now, and bf is a cinch. It doesn't really take any effort anymore, except for making sure I get the proper nutrition. At first I used bottles because I was informed that it would make things easier, but I soon realized that it was more damaging than anything. He'll have a bottle here and there now, but only if I am away.

Stay strong Mama. You can do it. Breastfeeding is the best gift you could ever give your baby. If you ever feel alone, come on here and talk. I know it is hard being a first time young mama, but you can do it.

caffix.gifChristine: Mama to bouncy.gif  DS 04/17/08  *Infant Stroke Survivor*  Always remembering:  brokenheart.gifbrokenheart.gifbrokenheart.gif

 

Took a 'break' from TTC and look what happened:  2ndtri.gif!!!!    praying.gif  for a healthy, full term baby to be born August 2012!!  Hoping for a vbac.gif!

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Old 12-14-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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Wait a minute alegna, do you mean your daughter is 4 and you still breatsfeed her?? Isn't that too old?
Many on this board breastfed for years. totally normal and healthy for mom and baby in preventing breast cancer and childhood cancers as wel as other things.

Make sure both the bottom and the top lips are flared all the way out and he isnt sucking them in at all. If you can find a lactation consultant to work with.

What ever you do dont try to schedual feedings or space them out that is horrible advice and can make things worse not better for your problems.

 
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:54 AM
 
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Wait a minute alegna, do you mean your daughter is 4 and you still breatsfeed her?? Isn't that too old?
Yes, she's still nursing, and no, not too old

Natural human weaning age is thought to be somewhere around 4-7 years.

What does "too old" really mean anyway?

-Angela
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