And I have realized I have a bunch of questions! They seem like pretty basic questions, I just feel a little lost because I have not done this before. I have a son who is 6 1/2 and unfortunately I was uneducated and did not nurse him. My second son was born at home on November 12. We are nursing, and it seems to be going quite well.
How can I improve his latch? It is a tiny bit painful when he latches on for the first 15 seconds then the pain fades. I feel like he could open have a wider mouth when he latches on.
How do I know how long to be nursing for? And should I nurse from both breasts each time? I am trying to do my right side, then my left since he fidgets at my right breast for a few minutes. I am nursing for about 15-20 minutes on the right and then when I can get him to switch sides its like 10-15 minutes on the left.
Also, I will be returning to work near Christmas, I will be away from my baby for 9 hours a day Monday - Thursday. I am not letting it stress me out, but the thought is stressful because I don't want to leave him..different subject totally!
But since I will be returning to work, I have more questions about pumping and bottles. I am not sure when I should begin pumping, how to pump, how to store breastmilk...and bottles. When is is appropriate to pump? When is is appropriate to introduce a bottle. I don't want to start either too soon and at the same time don't want to wait too long that it is not an easy transition.
If anyone is willing to answer my questions I would greatly appreciate any help and advice!
Also, any advice on finding a local breastfeeding support group. LLL website is down right now..
If you're only having pain in the beginning that goes away (and doesn't last for the whole feeding), his latch might be ok.
I wouldn't worry about doing both breasts at each feeding unless you need to for your own comfort. Typically, people start the feeding with the breast they ended the last feeding with (if they can remember).
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds 10yo dd 8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds
Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang , born 11/17/12
Congratulations on the birth of your new baby! Breastfeeding can be challenging, even when everything goes well, but it is also very rewarding. I had many questions when I first began nursing, and I found the following resources to be the biggest help:
1. La Leche League meetings - I encourage you to revisit the site when it is working again. This was such a wonderful community of support for me. No one in my immediate circle had breastfed for very long, if at all. Listening to others who had been there was very reassuring.
2. Kellymom.com - Tons of great information! Here's a link to a page on KellyMom about latch basics. Hopefully it will help...
3. Great Expectations: The Essentail Guide to Breastfeeding by Neifert - I thought this was a great book for a beginner. I read it when I was pregnant and used it as a quick reference countless times. It's much shorter and has less filler than many other breastfeeding guides out there.
To answer your question about how long to nurse... When my baby was that little, I always offered the second side. I would let him nurse as long as he wanted on the 1st breast. Then I'd offer the second. I alternated which breast was offered first (i.e. at one feeding I'd offer the left breast first, and at the next feeding I'd offer the right breast first). I had an uneven supply, but that helped keep it a little more even. I've known people who wore a soft bracelet and switched it at each feeding to help them remember which breast to offer first at the next feeding.
I had to go back to work when my baby was 6 weeks old. I began pumping a few weeks before, when my baby would sleep through a nightime feeding or when he had an unusually short daytime feeding. That way I had some frozen milk stored when I went back to work. Pumping is awkward at first, so it's good to work out some of the kinks at home. It was difficult at first because I had to pump every 2 - 3 hours to get enough for my baby. It took away all of my breaks and planning time (I'm a teacher). Before long, however, I was able to use a hands-free pumping bra and type while I pumped. - I kept some in the fridge, some in the freezer, and some in the deep freeze. (Here's a link to storage guidelines http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/milkstorage/) I used a Medela pump with the bottle attachments and poured the milk into Lansinoh bags for storage. The sitter used Playtex bottles with drop-in liners, and we always used a slow-flow nipple. I've read about babies who came to prefer the bottle over the breast when medium or fast flow nipples were used.