nervous about breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
jsh7809's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,032
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay, I'm just going to admit it - as a first time mother with the baby coming soon, I'm hoping to breastfeed, I'm reading about breastfeeding, and I'm thinking about breastfeeding. But I'm kind of scared!
My mom gave me the LLL book for Christmas, which was very sweet. I was reading through some of it last night and it just started hitting me - I'm sort of dreading it. I know it can be challenging, sometimes painful, sometimes draining. But I think I am just most scared of feeling that "always-on-tap" dairy farm feeling. In a big way, it's lovely and nice that the baby will continue to rely on me and my body for nourishment that no one else can give her but... it's also a LOT of pressure, and because I overthink things, I can't stop thinking about how I will never get a moment to myself again, I'll have to nurse every 2 hours for months and months, and the (rare) days when I have to be away from her 6-9 hours for work will be scary and hormonal and hellish for us both.
Phew! Why is my brain going to these extremes before I've even had a chance to try it out?!

So, tell me what you love about breastfeeding! The LLL book keeps referring to how wonderful and special it is, and I know that must be true - but after reading about complication and challenge after challenge, I need to hear some anecdotal mama-breastfeeding love stories!
jsh7809 is offline  
#2 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 02:04 PM
 
ivymae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 2,161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With my girls, when they were born and suddenly we were two people, I felt such a surprising loss. Nursing was a way to keep that feeling of the two of us being connected longer. I don't know if I can describe it, but you'll get it in a few weeks - when I was nursing them, they melted back into my skin, and I didn't question it any more than I question the foot in my lung right now. It's not always comfortable, and there are days where i just feel DONE, but I wouldn't wish her out sooner than she needs to be. It was the same way with nursing. Being frustrated with parts of the relationship doesn't nullify the enormous benefits, for both of us, emotional and physical. I'll admit i am an antsy toddler nurser, and I was relieved when my girls decided to wean shortly before their second birthdays, but that first year is something I am really looking forward to.

Ivory, partner to Tom, mama to Ella (12/9/05), Alice (12/8/07), and our newest addition, Rebecca (4/1/10).
ivymae is offline  
#3 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 02:04 PM
 
Dena's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: In a state of confusion
Posts: 3,285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My favorite part is the peaceful, blissed out look on my baby's face while she nurses.

And frankly, not having to get up in the middle of the night, turn on lights, and prepare a bottle rocks too. Plus, since dh can't do middle of the night feedings, he does the middle of the night diaper changes. Very cool.

(Although, I have to say, the first time dh bottle nursed our second to sleep with expressed milk he got all teary-eyed and called me selfish for not letting him do it sooner. So I may try to express a little more milk this time.)

And, yes, it is a steep learning curve and can be frustrating the first time around. I know it was for me. The first six weeks were the hardest, and then she was through the six-week growth spurt and her feedings sort of regulated themselves, we fell into a routine, and things got easier. Also, I had a high-needs baby with my first who wanted to be held 24/7, so between that and breastfeeding, I got pretty touched out. We are not used to so much constant contact with another human being in our society.

What helped me was giving myself permission to read or hang out online while nursing, so I did have some "me" time, even if I was still attached to baby. Also, giving dh an assigned time with the baby where I left the room or did whatever helped too. Even if it was only 20 minutes while I whipped up a quick dinner, it still seemed to give me a break.

ETA: Also, if you can, try to make contact with your local LLL chapter now, and have a couple of phone numbers of mamas you can call if you have problems. Oftentimes a five minute phone call can provide a simple fix that can totally turn around your nursing relationship.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
Dena is offline  
#4 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 02:28 PM
 
sosurreal09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 3,400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
first off hun you need to breathe lol! secondly my LO nursed every 2 hrs the first 3 weeks then went to every 3 and now every 4 and shes 6 m/o.

nursing is A MILLION times easier and more convienient than bottle feeding! no bottles to wash no having to get up and make one in the middle of the night! just whip out a boob and you are all set!

you can go anywhere with practically nothing! going grocery shopping? ok throw LO in the wrap and if shes hungry pop out a boob and handsfree completely covered breastfeeding ta dah!

when you are gone shes having expressed milk which will comfort her but she probably wont eat too much - shes waiting for momma to come home and have a lengthy i missed you and want to cuddle nursing session.

formula is made from POWDERED COWS MILK WITH ADDED CHEMICALS AND CRAP. why would anyone ever think thats good for a baby? lets feed my human baby cow breast milk? i dont get it! YOU were supplied with milk by however you came into existence for your baby! thats how it is suppose to be why fight it?

i literally would rather cut off my hand or something than have my DD on formula it makes me sick that moms even give their baby formula...its so wrong on so many levels. besides nursing is comforting for the baby. you can shove a bottle in an upset babies mouth but it solves nothing....a breast can solve everything.

not to mention breastfed babies are smarter, healthier, less likely to be obese, and less at risk for diabetes and other diseases, and IMO happier and more self assured

some tips: you need to look at it as there is no other option. thats how i was strong in the beginning. she latched funny it hurt but in my mind i needed to TEACH her how to eat and if i didnt it was death. there was no alternative so i'd better do it right.

it only hurts for the first couple of weeks if your not latching her on right. once you get the hang of it its painless. every now and then you get bitten lol but its something you can fix.

take it slow...baby will not starve you can just keep feeding her and its fine.

NEVER supplement b/c that will ruin everything...latch will be haywire and you will most likely give up. oh but he wont stop crying hes still hungry? ok so feed him again. dont forget to that babies need to sleep! i made the mistake of every time shes crying hard shes hungry...not every time trust me she was overtired and i didnt realize it.


good luck and be strong mama YOUR BABY DESERVES IT!

 Young born-again mama and loving wife peace.gif to DH jammin.gif and SAHP to two crazy girls dust.gifwehomebirth.jpgfly-by-nursing2.gifslinggirl.giffamilybed1.gif and believe gd.giflactivist.gif  signcirc1.gif !

sosurreal09 is offline  
#5 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 02:29 PM
 
lizziebits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know with my first, I felt a lot of the same things, even after the baby came. I remember being very overwhelmed with the thought that I am it -- I am the person who ultimately is responsible for this little person's well being. DH could help, sure, but it just wasn't the same. Nursing was probably a big part of that. So I think its good you are recognizing those potential feelings.

I ended up nursing DS for 2 years, though, and am really really looking forward to having a nursling again. So I think that shows that ultimately the challenges of nursing were far outweighed by the benefits. Also, having perspective helps now too. I know that I won't always be the baby's only source of nutrition, and that at some point I will be able to leave the baby without being a wreck the whole time. I can leave DS for hours at a time and while yes I miss him, I'm not thinking about him while I'm gone. It took time to get there though.

When you do feel overwhelmed, just remind yourself: "It won't be like this forever. This too will pass."

Mommy to two super cute kids.
lizziebits is offline  
#6 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 02:48 PM
 
rparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: deliberately offline
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DDC crashing...

I really think that hormones play a huge part in making breastfeeding a mutually enjoyable experience. I exclusively breastfed my daughter for 6 months and it was another 8 months before she developed any real interest in solid foods... and I never once felt like a dairy farm, despite her being an extremely avid/round the clock nurser. (Plus dairy cows--even in the most natural, organic dairies--are made to produce more milk than they ever would for a single calf.)

Actually, I've been breastfeeding for 29+ months and it's only in the past 6 months or so that I've felt at all "touched out" during breastfeeding and most of that has been during the past 2 months since I became pregnant with #2. This is also the point that many mothers decide to choose a gentle mother-led weaning... but nursing a toddler is a lot different from nursing a baby and even now there are moments of pure bliss

I seriously think that there's something in the combination of natural childbirth, exclusive breastfeeding during infancy, and overall attachment parenting that's really emotionally empowering and psychologically healing. I'm not saying that you necessarily "need" all of those things for breastfeeding to go well, but overall the experience of "natural" motherhood that sites like this and organizations like LLLI promote has been the most freeing, feminist experience of my adult life... and I totally wasn't expecting it to be! There really is something magical about falling in love with your baby and the evolution of that relationship as your child grows.

Breastfeeding also might one of those things that you have to experience first to fully comprehend

daughter #1 10/13/07
daughter #2 10/08/10
rparker is offline  
#7 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 02:51 PM
 
LenaC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Redding, CA
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is second time for me, and I'm a little scared. I was having low supply issues with my first and he was just a very fussy and cranky baby in general. But you know what, we made it! Never did I think that I would want it any other way, like giving up or something, because every little bit of your milk you can give to baby is precious. I nursed until I dried up, when I got pregnant. He was a little over two. I felt so sad, when we stopped, a little relieved, but also very very sad. The first two months were the most challenging for us because of low supply, but I've had breast surgery before, and my midwives questioned my ability to breastfeed, but I did it, I gave him two years of perfect nutrition. It is really quite rewarding. And while I honestly can't say that it was easy for us, it was definitely more pleasant than mixing up formula and washing bottles, once we got over that first two month hump. If I could do it, I know you can! Oh, and low supply issues are very very infrequent. I believe mine was caused by my surgery. Enjoy it, really! Once you get started, it will get natural and enjoyable quickly

Lena , wife to best friend Joe , mommy to my two sweetie pies, DS1 born 7.7.07 and DS2 just arrived 4.17.10
LenaC is offline  
#8 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 02:56 PM
 
mariaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have had adopted, foster and bio babies all in my home. I nursed my three bio babies and bottle fed our others.

Nursing is much easier than bottles, especially when out and about and at night.

Our middle children are 5 months apart, one was nursed the other bottle fed (as he was a foster child at the time) so I feel like I can make a pretty fair comparison having done both at the same time.

The first few weeks of nursing can be a pretty steep learning curve. With my first I just wasn't sure how to do it without hurting (even though I had read the books and taken the classes.) But about two weeks in things started to turn around and we had a really lovely nursing relationship over his first year.

Don't assume you're failing if things don't go well at first, it may just take some time to work out the kinks.

Student and SAHM to 6 little people. Some by birth, some through adoptionheart-1.gif , some through foster care
mariaz is offline  
#9 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 03:12 PM
 
mom2happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To be honest I am not one of those women who loved nursing. I felt confined, had way too much milk, constant engorgment, plugged ducts, painful letdown. I also had no help and had a very hard time sitting with piles of work to do around me and not being able to tend to it because of nursing.

I wont pretend that it was a blast for me, but...

IT is the ONLY option unless there is a serious reason why it cant happen.
Until my babies were done nursing I put my SELF aside and knew how important it is for them to have human milk. The thought NEVER crossed my mind to give formula.
THey thrived and were the healthiest, happiest, chubby babies around. They didnt want any type of solid food till they were 1yr old. I didnt have to worry about them not wanting to eat when everyone else's were eating. They were getting every bit of nutrition they needed and I just waited for them to let me know when they were ready.
There are a million reasons why giving your baby what he/she needs will make you a happy, confident mom.
Knowing you are doing the right thing will make all your worries ok.
Its rough sometimes at first but you will definitely get the hang of it.
mom2happy is offline  
#10 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
jsh7809's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,032
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
WOW thanks for all of the support, mamas! This is great (and making me a little teary eyed, in a good way).
I definitely do look at it as the only option, and my mom breastfed 3 healthy babies pretty easily (although she has warned me about soreness and mastitis, which I think is why she gave me the book). So I feel confident about my ability and decision to do it, for sure. The scared part comes more from, I'm sure, the worry about a huge life change, becoming a mom and being the one this little girl is dependent on! It's hard to imagine, it's hard to picture, and it's hard to plan for in any sense.
I feel a lot of love towards the little one already, but I kind of have to just trust that I'll fall in love with her completely when she comes out. You know? It's much different thinking about taking care of someone and being attached to someone pretty much 24/7, than it will be to get to the place where I don't WANT to be separated from her. If that makes sense.

I got a little discouraged reading in the LLL book about the potential problems that can arise. I feel confident about my supply (based on my mom's experiences and how smoothly this pregnancy has gone) but when it talks about plugged ducts, they recommend getting in bed, nursing constantly, and applying moist heat. And although I know why there has to be a big slow down like that, I'm scared of that happening on one of the few days where I have to work all day and have no choice but to be apart and make it through. I do have other obligations on me (although obviously none could ever be as important as the health of me and my baby), and I find that the LLL book implies certain things about breastpumping and feeding that seem, at times, unrealistic for working moms.

This is the same kind of panic kicking in where people keep telling me that I should plan on being in or near bed for at least 3 weeks postpartum, not make any plans for at least 6 weeks, not leave the house for 4, etc. I know I will just see what feels right to me, and that they are only encouraging me to take it SLOW and let myself recover, but it's scary. I am a competent adult and in good health... so to think that I won't be going anywhere for the first month (??!) is terrifying.

Thanks again. I have been thinking about going to a LLL meeting before the baby is born to get a feel for things, sounds like that might be just what I need!
jsh7809 is offline  
#11 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 03:59 PM
 
Georgetown HB Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by anielasmommy09 View Post

formula is made from POWDERED COWS MILK WITH ADDED CHEMICALS AND CRAP. why would anyone ever think thats good for a baby? lets feed my human baby cow breast milk? i dont get it! YOU were supplied with milk by however you came into existence for your baby! thats how it is suppose to be why fight it?

i literally would rather cut off my hand or something than have my DD on formula it makes me sick that moms even give their baby formula...its so wrong on so many levels. besides nursing is comforting for the baby. you can shove a bottle in an upset babies mouth but it solves nothing....a breast can solve everything.

not to mention breastfed babies are smarter, healthier, less likely to be obese, and less at risk for diabetes and other diseases, and IMO happier and more self assured
This is extremely rude on so many levels. There are many mothers that can not breastfeed for different reasons. I had to formula feed my two children. And what do you mean by "you can shove a bottle in an upset babies mouth but it solves nothing....a breast can solve everything." No your breast can not solve "everything." Just like a bottle can not solve "everything." Both are methods of food delivery and that is it. You can not tell me that I am less bonded to my children because I fed them with a bottle. They did not care where the food came from. What they cared about was that I was loving them, and cuddling them.
And there is no way that you can say that my formula fed children are not as smart, or as healthy or as happy as your children. Those are such generalizations and that is a bunch of crap. My 14 year old has a genius IQ. She is planning on applying to Harvard for college. She is a straight A student, in all the top classes and reads on a post college level and she is an accomplished ballet dancer. Both of my children are extremely healthy, they are rarely sick and both are tall and thin. My children are very happy and extremely self-assured. Those traits do not come from breast feeding. They come from being raised in a loving house-hold and good parenting.

Lisa
Georgetown HB Mom is offline  
#12 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 05:13 PM
 
Elecampane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Nicely said, Lisa.

Sarah, with 3.5 yo DD Charlotte + brand new baby Eleanor Jane April 28, 2010
Elecampane is offline  
#13 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 05:24 PM
 
Snapdragon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
l
Snapdragon is offline  
#14 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 05:30 PM
 
CamoShades's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
jsh- I think it's great that you've armed yourself with information and are preparing to BF. You're aware of the possible problems, but that doesn't mean they are problems you'll have. And if you do, you'll know they're normal and that there are ways to combat those problems! So many women go into BFing without doing any research, and then they give up when things get a bit tough. Being prepared is key!

Even though you've done all this reading, don't be surprised if you're like, "OMG, WTF am I supposed to do?" the first time you're about to latch baby on. I remember thinking that, even though I thought I knew what I was doing going into it. No amount of reading or taking classes can really prepare you for that first time!

I loved BFing for most of the reasons already mentioned: Not having to prepare and clean bottles, being able to give my child something nobody else can, etc. Sure you're feeding frequently (and often for lengthy periods of time) in those early weeks, but that dies down. Once my DD was about 8 weeks old, she would finish a feeding in about 10 minutes, instead of the 45-60 she had been taking. So feeding a child for 10 minutes every 2.5 or 3 hours isn't that bad. I always enjoyed taking that time to sit down and relax!

Married 6.10.06   Mommied 4.17.08 and 4.12.10

CamoShades is offline  
#15 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 05:35 PM
 
pumpkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Stepford
Posts: 2,853
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It can be overwhelming. For every moment where you are feeling like it is too much, there will be 10 moments where you just can't believe how great breastfeeding can be.

Today my 1 year old was doing yoga poses while she ate. Frustrating and heart-breakingly adorable all at the same time.

If you start to freak out remember that just because you decide to breastfeed doesn't mean you have to do it the whole time you have a baby. You always have the option to quit nursing, but if don't start off breastfeeding it is much harder to try it if you change your mind.

Mom to Kira March 2009
pumpkin is offline  
#16 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 05:41 PM
 
bubbamummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tucson, Az. Missing Cambridge UK
Posts: 991
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i did not love breastfeeding, I hate to say it but I didnt. I had a 'natural birth' DS did the 'breast crawl' he latched within minutes of delivery-everything was 'by the book' yet it still sucked ( good word play ha?) by day 10 he still hadnt had the 'yellow poop' he had lost 12% of his birth weight, I couldnt eat as I was so worried about him, I cried constantly, my nipples were bleeding and raw and he even ate a piece of nipple that came off!

Im not trying to scare you, but lots of people had told me how 'wonderful' breastfeeding was before I had him, how 'easy' it was and this just served to make me feel even more crappy that for some reason we couldnt seem to get it down.

When my son was 10 days old Id been up ALL NIGHT trying to get him to latch and stop him falling asleep (jaundice) I was a mess, I hadnt eaten in days, or slept, I had blood in my bra and DS was acting ...well ...'lifeless' I walked to my mums house at 6am and knocked on the door and stood there sobbing, my son was dying (thats how it felt to me at the time) and I was failing him...why couldnt I find it 'lovely' and 'easy'? it wasnt fair.

My mum went out and got me a breastpump and finally my son gobbled down some milk as if he'd never tasted it before (maybe he hadnt?!) within minutes he was more alert and less sleepy and I was able to gather myself and have something to eat and take a shower without sobbing.

It sounds dramatic, and the moral is not to scare you, but to let you know that it can suck...REALLY suck and TO GET HELP. I wish wish wish a million times over that id persued help instead of believing people that 'he'd eat if he was hungry' and 'you'll get there, give it time'. Please dont be afraid to ask for help.

I ended up exclusively pumping for a year-so my poor baby 'had a bottle shoved in it's mouth'

I too am scared this time, that all this will repeat, but what I already know is that I will not let it get this far, I WIL get help. I already have 2 numbers for local lactation consultants that will make house visits...Im much more prepared. I really recommend that you get some numbers on hand too.

Mummy to Samuel 02/08 and new baby Molly- 04/10
bubbamummy is offline  
#17 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 05:57 PM
 
leavemealone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,743
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm also one of those women who didn't love breastfeeding. I didn't breastfeed my first at all, largely b/c of the pain I had from my c-section and from lack of support. I had more support with my second child, but I didn't utilize it much and I bottle fed him as well. I did breastfeed my third for about six months. I never found formula feeding to be that difficult and don't really get why people say that, but I recognize that I had my experience, and they had their experience. I do plan to breastfeed this child but I have no set time in mind b/c that doesn't work for me. There were times with my third child when I had to tell myself that I didn't have to get through six weeks, six months or even a year. I simply had to get through the next feeding. After that feeding, I told myself the same thing again: I simply have to get through the next feeding. Eventually, I was able to move more to getting through the next day, etc but those first couple weeks were very hard for me.

Surround yourself with good supportive people and ask for help when necessary. If you are having a doula at your birth, ask if she provides breastfeeding support. My doula provides support by phone (and probably in person if it's really necessary) 24 hours per day for the first week or so. I can literally call her at 3am and ask her a question if I am having a problem with breastfeeding. If you are birthing in a hospital, utilize the lactation consultants. I had my second child at a WHO baby friendly hospital and they had a lactation line I could have called. Call LLL in your area if you have a problem.

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
leavemealone is offline  
#18 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
jsh7809's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,032
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do feel lucky to have so much information, especially compared to mothers who didn't have LLL or thought breastfeeding would be easy always because it's natural, a generation ago. But it's also scary to get so much information, when it's something unlike anything I've done. Even birth stories scare me less, because although I can't imagine what it's like, I do know what painful menstrual cramps/ being very ill/ etc can be like, and that only lasts a day (or a few days), whereas breastfeeding is kind of a symbol of a completely new lifestyle. And that's what gives me the anxiety.
But I have my mom, lots of mom friends, LLL, a lactation consultant at the hospital, my doula, etc... so I feel supported in figuring it out. I just wonder, I guess - "what if I hate taking care of a baby 24/7?!". I've always loved babies, and always wanted one, but now that it's actually happening, I'm scared from time to time. I'm old enough to realize what a huge deal it is and WOW does it look more intimidating from this side of pregnancy!

I just had a great talk with a friend who has an 8 month old. She said, "there will be times you do hate taking care of a baby, but most of the time, you won't. I love breastfeeding so much and feel like it is really special, and don't understand why any mother would just not try to breastfeed, because I really feel like they're missing out on something. But there have been times I hate it and just want to get it over with. You can try breastfeeding and just wait and see how you like it, you don't have to plan on how long you'll do it now."

All of those things helped calm me down.

I have several friends who have had a LOT of supply issues - and tried pumping, acupuncture, herbs, medication, etc. To no or little avail. Each found a way to take care of herself and her baby in a way that felt best to them without feeling like they had failed their child. And, really, lots of babies thrive with formula and love. No doubt about it! No situation can be 100% "perfect" for a baby all of the time, but each of us will find her best way with each baby. I do believe that... I am just scared about how it will feel to me to have such a big change in my life.

I think it boils down to being a modern day woman/ feminist - being used to feeling independent and doing what I want/ need to do careerwise and personally. Now it's not going to be so flexible, and while I want to be devoted to my baby and our mutual health, I also want and need to keep some amount of independence for my own sanity, not to mention working for our financial health too.

It's a lot to balance, and a lot to think about! Especially at 39 weeks pregnant

Thanks for everyone's wisdom.
jsh7809 is offline  
#19 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 06:20 PM
 
tessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,011
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
DDC crashing. I have an 11 day old baby. I too was scared of breastfeeding- would I like it? I find it is totally wonderful and so natural- in my experience. The thing that helped me is that- the nurses in the hospital where he was born said he only needs to eat every 3-4 hours, and to nurse for 15 minute (to 20 minute) on each side. So once I knew that this was a good schedule, we got him on it and it is working great. SOmetimes he asks for it around 3 and a 1/2 hours and occasionally sooner, sometimes 4 hours to 4 and a 1/2 and occasionally longer!
But since I know this is enough, I don't feel a need to nurse him every time he fusses. So I have a good scheduule which helps though I am flexible if he seems hungry of course!
the other thing is, once I get a good latch, it feels just good. I wasn't too into dh sucking on my nipples before but it is nothing like that! It is so much gentler. Plus when your breasts fill up with milk it just feels easy (to me) to nurse him- different than before they had milk.
It is so cute to see his little face nursing and he gets so happy and satisfied. I think again the main thing is to figure out what he really needs and find some kind of schedule for your self that works for you so you don't feel that you have to nurse him constatntly. For me knowing that he is equipt to go 4 hour stretches makes it so that if he fusses at 2 hours, I soothe him other ways.
I saw this thread on new posts and thought I chip in. Katie, I'm glad the routine works for your baby but generally restricting feedings in the early days isn't a good idea. Babies need to feed frequently in the beginning as a) frequent feeding stimulates your supply and b) their stomachs are tiny and most of them need feeding more often than every four hours as newborns. It isn't generally a good idea to limit them to x length of time on each boob either. Some babies need five mins, others need upwards of 45 mins.

I'm not calling you out, I'm just saying that you were given crappy advice and it's incredibly fortunate that it worked out for you.

BF can be hard work. There isn't a way round that for most women. But once things click it is far easier than bottle feeding. No expense, no faffing around making sure you have enough bottles, no getting out of bed in the middle of the night (if baby sleeps in a cot have OH pass him/her over) unless they need changing.

I think it's fair to say that many women find the first six weeks hard work because baby will usually feed frequently, you're tired, hormones are all over the shop and even if the latch is perfect it can still be painful simply because it takes time to get used to having a baby chomping on your nipples 10+ times a day. If you get past the six weeks it almost invariably becomes so much easy - you both get into a routine and baby often starts to go longer stretches between feeds.

My tips are to stock up on the numbers of support people, a tube of lansinoh and set yourself up a feeding station - comfy corner with access to reading material/internet/tv, bottle of water and snacks.

If you're struggling take it one feed at a time. Tell yourself that you'll quit tomorrow. And then tomorrow. And then tomorrow.

Don't have formula in the house because it is a temptation at 3am.

Note down when growth spurts are likely so you don't panic that your supply has dropped.

I was worried about feeling tied to the baby but I didn't really feel that way in the end as I wanted to be there with her and for her. First time I left her (two hours at three months) I felt as though I was missing a limb! And by the time they are a few months they can mostly go long enough between feeds for you to leave the house for a few hours without having to faff about expressing enough for a bottle.

If you do have any problems there are many women here who can support you. But fingers crossed that you will have a straightforward experience.
tessie is offline  
#20 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 06:31 PM
 
Snapdragon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I am not restricting feedings! I just thought it was helpful to learn from all the ob nurses where I gave birth that they recommend 3-4 hour feedings. Lots of my friends nurse constantly and had a hard time with it. I am with my baby all the time and if he is hungry I know and will feed him. I just don't use the breast to soothe him if I know he has had a full feeding recently enough! It is not like he is crying for food and I am looking at the clock saying- not yet- please do not tell me I am restricting feedings as I am not! I just personally think it is good info to know how often they actually need it so I have some idea of how often to strive for. I do not stick to it strictly if he seems hungry. I don't think the nurses in the maternity ward would have taught me this if it weren't safe for the baby!
Snapdragon is offline  
#21 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 06:37 PM
 
tessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,011
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
I am not restricting feedings! I just thought it was helpful to learn from all the ob nurses where I gave birth that they recommend 3-4 hour feedings. Lots of my friends nurse constantly and had a hard time with it. I am with my baby all the time and if he is hungry I know and will feed him. I just don't use the breast to soothe him if I know he has had a full feeding recently enough! It is not like he is crying for food and I am looking at the clock saying- not yet- please do not tell me I am restricting feedings as I am not! I just personally think it is good info to know how often they actually need it so I have some idea of how often to strive for. I do not stick to it strictly if he seems hungry. I don't think the nurses in the maternity ward would have taught me this if it weren't safe for the baby!
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were starving your baby. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I should have made that clear in my post. He's obviously happy and healthy and it works just fine for him but it's not good across the board advice.

Really, the advice they gave you was cr*p. And you'd be surprised how little breastfeeding training some maternity nurses/midwives get.
tessie is offline  
#22 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 07:04 PM
 
Bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessie View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were starving your baby. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I should have made that clear in my post. He's obviously happy and healthy and it works just fine for him but it's not good across the board advice.

Really, the advice they gave you was cr*p. And you'd be surprised how little breastfeeding training some maternity nurses/midwives get.
DDCC here too - and I agree that it is horrible breastfeeding advice, and could send many new moms down a road of decreasing supply. Most doctors and nurses, even pediatricians and OB nurses, know very little about how breastfeeding works. It is a supply and demand process. It is very normal for babies to eat frequently in the first few weeks. That's how milk supply is established. Breastmilk digests in about 90 minutes, so 3-4 hours is a long time for a baby to wait to eat. A newborn should be nursing at least 10 times a day, preferably 12+. I would be very concerned about an 11 day old going 4 hours without a feeding.

Another thing to remember is that breastmilk isn't just their food, it's their drink too. So when a baby "snacks", she may be trying to quench thirst, or even just trying to "top off" to go a longer stretch.

To the OP - breastfeeding is not always easy, but you have to have faith in your body's ability to feed your baby, and your baby's ability to tell you what it needs. Sometimes these don't always match up, which is why it is so important to have support in the form of LLL or an IBCLC when you have questions or concerns. I've known too many women who were coerced into giving formula by their pediatricians when their babies weren't back to their birth weight at a week, when that is totally NORMAL.

It is so common for even the most "breastfeeding-friendly" health care providers to give incorrect information about nursing. Educate yourself on what is normal. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html

You may love nursing. You may not. But there are going to be a lot of things you don't love doing as a mother - diaper changes, discipline, dealing with temper tantrums - the most important thing is to be confident knowing that you are doing the best you can do.

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
Bokonon is offline  
#23 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 07:14 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Very, very, very well said!!

I'm nervous about breast feeding-- for a completely different reason! I am an aspiring BFAR mama (breast feeding after reduction), and I'm trying to come to terms with the knowledge that it's unlikely I will produce a full supply. On one hand, I have accepted it; I have 600+ ounces of breast milk in my deep freezer and my SNS ready to go. But on the other, more emotional hand, it's going to be very, very, very hard to not feel like I am a failure for not being able to produce everything Cecilia needs. I find myself sometimes kicking my 21 year old self for not thinking about the future when I got my surgery. I have to remind myself that at that time, not being in physical pain, and not being in emotional angst, were the most important things to me, and they were just as valid as my current fears over my supply.

edit: I actually started crying as I typed this, because it's the first time I've admitted outside of my own head that I feel guilty over having chosen surgery ten years ago instead of waiting until after I had children.

bedsharing, knitting, toddler-nursing, nerdy, babywearing mama!

familybed1.gif  knit.gif toddler.gif  geek.gif  momsling.GIF

Knitting Mama is offline  
#24 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 07:27 PM
 
ivymae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 2,161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

edit: I actually started crying as I typed this, because it's the first time I've admitted outside of my own head that I feel guilty over having chosen surgery ten years ago instead of waiting until after I had children.


What a great mama you are going to be, already so prepared for your sweet girl and the challenges you may face together.

Ivory, partner to Tom, mama to Ella (12/9/05), Alice (12/8/07), and our newest addition, Rebecca (4/1/10).
ivymae is offline  
#25 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 07:47 PM
 
jolesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: WA, USA
Posts: 190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i know lots of people have replied to this thread and i am no doubt just repeating the same thing again.. but here goes..

for some reason i assumed (despite reading up quite a lot beforehand) that breastfeeding would just be a breeze - baby would feed and we would be off and running, no problemo.

and she did feed, no problemo, but i was in terrible pain for a couple of weeks until we got the latch right. can't tell you how many people i consulted about this. nurses in the hospital, a home visit nurse, family doc etc.. and i remember feeling like such a failure and angry at myself and - well not the baby, but it really was a mix of emotions (hormones!). the worst was being so tired in the middle of the night and she was crying and me trying to get her to latch properly like i had been shown (though i didn't really understand still) and every time she did latch me screeching in pain and stomping my feet and crying with frustration..

that lasted about two weeks. until i finally went and saw a lactation consultant (despite having seen one in the hospital) who really knew her business. it was all about the latch, and after that it really did become a breeze.

i breastfed for just over 2 years - until i found out i was pregnant again - and i don't remember ever feeling like a dairy cow or anything like that. the weirdest i felt was when i would feed her somewhere public or semi-public - and i really didn't feel weird about doing that in and of itself, it was more early days when i would be spraying the walls when she was done or something crazy like that..

it really did make me feel close to her - i am not really a super sentimental person but it was an invaluable time, and i plan to do the same with this new baby. i never was resentful of being a food source (and after 6 months they start on solids as well, so there is not so much pressure on you to be the one and only..)

anyway, i was amazed at how it just felt right (after getting the latch sorted) and never looked back. and i surprised myself by feeling that. i am a very private sort of person, and thought i would be less inclined to nurse so long, or to nurse in public etc, but really i think mommy instincts take over to a large extent. but everyone is different, obviously..

just my two cents..
jolesh is offline  
#26 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 07:53 PM
 
smeisnotapirate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Posts: 5,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbamummy View Post
i did not love breastfeeding, I hate to say it but I didnt. I had a 'natural birth' DS did the 'breast crawl' he latched within minutes of delivery-everything was 'by the book' yet it still sucked ( good word play ha?) by day 10 he still hadnt had the 'yellow poop' he had lost 12% of his birth weight, I couldnt eat as I was so worried about him, I cried constantly, my nipples were bleeding and raw and he even ate a piece of nipple that came off!

Im not trying to scare you, but lots of people had told me how 'wonderful' breastfeeding was before I had him, how 'easy' it was and this just served to make me feel even more crappy that for some reason we couldnt seem to get it down.

When my son was 10 days old Id been up ALL NIGHT trying to get him to latch and stop him falling asleep (jaundice) I was a mess, I hadnt eaten in days, or slept, I had blood in my bra and DS was acting ...well ...'lifeless' I walked to my mums house at 6am and knocked on the door and stood there sobbing, my son was dying (thats how it felt to me at the time) and I was failing him...why couldnt I find it 'lovely' and 'easy'? it wasnt fair.

My mum went out and got me a breastpump and finally my son gobbled down some milk as if he'd never tasted it before (maybe he hadnt?!) within minutes he was more alert and less sleepy and I was able to gather myself and have something to eat and take a shower without sobbing.

It sounds dramatic, and the moral is not to scare you, but to let you know that it can suck...REALLY suck and TO GET HELP. I wish wish wish a million times over that id persued help instead of believing people that 'he'd eat if he was hungry' and 'you'll get there, give it time'. Please dont be afraid to ask for help.
Yes, yes, yes! If it wasn't for the amazingly wonderful LC from the hospital where DS was born, I WOULD NOT BE NURSING HIM TODAY. He bit a chunk off my nipple, would choke on my milk, my nipples were WAY too huge for him to effectively drink from until he got bigger, he was allergic to dairy and eggs and everything else I was eating, plus I had a horrible foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.

IME, it wasn't natural. It wasn't soothing or fun or sweet or any of that for about 6 weeks. It was hard, and every time I lifted him to a breast was a feat of monumental courage. I almost threw DS across the room 2 weeks in because I was just so.done.

But because of this amazing LC and her dedication to coming to our house EVERY DAY for 6 weeks, DS is still nursing at 22mo and I'm planning on tandeming (). It ended up being such a blessing for us - with all of DS's food allergies, it was nice to know he was still getting help for his little immune system. And you know what? After we got stuff worked out, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I cannot imagine parenting without it, especially a feisty toddler.

So don't expect it to be natural, but if it is, then awesome. Expect to work for it, but don't be afraid of the work. It's good work, and totally worth it.

And I'm on Skype, so if you ever need to talk or check a latch, feel free to Skype me. Sometimes just getting the "yup, that's right" from another mama is SO valuable.

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

smeisnotapirate is offline  
#27 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 08:03 PM
 
Ashes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 435
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First of all, you are amazing for all the prep work you are doing for breastfeeding, and your drive is wonderful. You are being really realistic about it so I doubt you will be in for any surprise when you get to it. This helped me with my breastfeeding adventures.

I was fortunate that it most went well right from the beginning whereas I saw what other friends went through and they had a hard time, so I expected a hard time too.

I did feel that I was "tied" to the baby... but it is a love hate relationship. I also loved that I was the baby's main provider... only I would give the baby milk (unless pumping). It's a special bonding time that you will be sad, even if it is just a little bit, when you are done.

BFing is special and only occurs for a small part of your life and baby's life. You can't just get up and go out and decide that you are going to breastfeed right now. It's a given time.

Don't be nervous about breastfeeding... even though it is normal. It will come to you if you have the right support and drive, which it sounds like you will. It doesn't hurt most of the time except at the beginning (and only maybe).

All the best, and can't wait to hear how it goes when you get into it

Mommy to DS 6/08, Expecting :
4/10 by c-section.
Ashes is offline  
#28 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 08:13 PM
 
BtotheG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DDC crashing here....

While pregnant, I was also unsure about breastfeeding, for many of the same reasons you listed. I was worried about feeling tied down, or like a milk cow, my nipples are sensitive and I worried I would hate the feeling when dd nursed, I had read about all the problems that can happen (bleeding nipples, thrush, low supply, mastitis, the list seemed endless!). I was committed to breastfeeding because I felt it was best for my baby, but I was expecting it to be something I endured, rather than enjoyed.

DD is six months now, and I can tell you I really do love breastfeeding! For me, it's a bonding experience, and I feel awesome that I'm making the nutrition she needs to thrive. Reality has been so much better than my expectations.

I know it doesn't come easily for everyone, but it really was easy for me. No sore nipples, no infections, no supply problems at all. She latched on perfectly within minutes of being born, and hasn't looked back. She nursed every two hours for the first four months, but I never felt tied down somehow. Now she's up to every three or even four hours.

I'm also really lazy and cheap. I'm glad formula is available for people that need it - but I refuse to pay for something I can make myself. I also don't want to mix bottles, sterilize them, etc. I already need to deal with a few bottles of EBM while I'm at work - NO WAY I want to do that any more than I have to. It's also SO convenient when on the go - I have everything I need on me!

So, yes, breastfeeding can be challenging - but it may not be for you (it hasn't been for me) - and, in my experience, it's totally worth it.

homebirth.jpgdd 10/09
BtotheG is offline  
#29 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 08:26 PM
 
sosurreal09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 3,400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
no offense and all but nursing is not just a method of food its comfort and bonding for the baby as well. some days when my baby is not hungry she will want to nurse for comfort.

didnt mean to offend anyone who HAD to bottle feed...you've got to do what you've got to...
also there is plenty of research that says the benefits of breastfeeding includes higher IQ's and less disease such as obesity, also if you breastfeed a baby past one year they have an even higher IQ.
and i did say IMO before the self assured part.
im not saying i love my child more than you love yours im just saying breast feeding is whats best and so do the experts...

 Young born-again mama and loving wife peace.gif to DH jammin.gif and SAHP to two crazy girls dust.gifwehomebirth.jpgfly-by-nursing2.gifslinggirl.giffamilybed1.gif and believe gd.giflactivist.gif  signcirc1.gif !

sosurreal09 is offline  
#30 of 41 Old 03-28-2010, 08:32 PM
 
sosurreal09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 3,400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
oh btw my sister said the same thing about how she doesnt want to BF b/c she will be chained to the house and the baby but heres the thing, your not going to want to leave your baby anyways and once you have a baby they are your life lol so either way you are chained to the bottle or the breast and of course the baby. just try to look at it as positive! i do i always think how blessed i am to have been able to have a baby since so many people can't. so i enjoyed my drug free birth and my breastfeeding and everything else i can possibly do for this wonderful little being i have been so blessed with! my child is a challenge too lol shes so spirited and stubborn but i love every minute of her!

pumping at work would suck...but they are obligated to give you the breaks you need to pump so try and look at is some time to relax and get off your feet rather than oh gee i have to go pump...KWIM?

 Young born-again mama and loving wife peace.gif to DH jammin.gif and SAHP to two crazy girls dust.gifwehomebirth.jpgfly-by-nursing2.gifslinggirl.giffamilybed1.gif and believe gd.giflactivist.gif  signcirc1.gif !

sosurreal09 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off