What was your biggest breastfeeding challenge? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 12:13 PM
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My baby was a natural at feeding. From the very first time I put her to my breast she knew exactly what she was doing. I thought I was going to have such an easy time. Then at four weeks she refused to eat. She would just scream when i put her to the breast and she just wouldnt do it. She is now five months old and still will not eat when i put her to the breast. i have to spend twenty minutes getting her to sleep, and when she is finally sleeping i take her pacifier out and she will eat. but she will not eat while she is awake.
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#32 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Violasmiles View Post

After 3 months of nursing I started having trouble producing milk from my left breast. I went to the doctors, got the tests done etc with no idea what was wrong. Now I have only one milk producing breast. I have been EBF for 8 months. It can be done. I want people to know you can do it. It was and still is very hard. Because she nurses to sleep and naps and for comfort my one breast gets very sore. Also, my one breast is always so much bigger and it looks awkward. I am sometimes very embarrassed. This has been a very big challenge.

Same for me!  One breast has inverted nipple, and at 1 month old my son would cry when I tried to nurse on that side.  I went to a LC and she suggested supplemental nursing by injecting breastmilk from the other side via syringe into my nipple shield ... well, that was such a major pain/struggle (esp. at 2am) that after a week I gave that up.  Had soreness/redness for 2 weeks while supply on that breast dwindled. I tried for another month to get him to latch on that side, and finally figured that we might as well just go with my better side.  He's 31 months old and still treasures the milk/comfort from the good side.  I bought removable breast pads to 'even things out.'


My other challenge was strong nursing aversion (on my part) around 2 years.  I was still nursing on demand and he wasn't that big into solids, and I wanted to transition him to daycare.  I started to resent nursing.  I also noticed that nursing was uncomfortable when I'd ovulate.  So I worked with my nanny to offer him food first when he wanted to nurse between breakfast/lunch/dinner.  He learned to like solids eventually and we went from 8-10 nursings/day to now 2/day.  I also learned to just accept the discomfort (and relax, relax!) during ovulation and to shorten the nursing sessions.  I am a much happier person!

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#33 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 01:01 PM
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My biggest challenge doesn't feel so serious after reading all these other posts, but it was proper latching on. The first few days, we just couldn't get the hang of it and I felt so bad that my little guy wasn't getting enough to eat! I had a homebirth and live in the middle of nowhere, so I didn't have much help - until a friend told me to try the 'pizza' technique. You pinch your nipple flat and place it in the baby's mouth (like a slice of pizza) - their little muscles aren't strong enough at first to get a good suck, so pinching the nipple flat (and holding it that why while they nurse) helps them latch on. It worked like a charm and I've been recommending it to every expectant mother I know ever since! 

I also felt like my breasts were constantly leaking - for months. I remember feeling like I was just covered with milk all the time. Eventually I got one of those reusable silicone pads and those worked pretty well. 

Finding a good & inexpensive nursing bra was also a major hassle. I ended up mostly using those stretchy microfiber bras that come two in a pack. 

I'm pregnant again and kind of dreading all the hassle that comes with breastfeeding - but that amazing connection with your baby makes it totally worth it. 

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#34 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 01:06 PM
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using a nippple suction cup the size of your nipple and half the size of your aerola will bring your nipple out and it will stay out as long as you use the suction and continue nursing...after 2 months my wifes stayed out and became normal looking ....good luck

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#35 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 01:32 PM
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Sore nipples even with a good latch. I get especially sore after having to pump at work. Once I got smaller trumpets for mg pump it helped a little. With my ds I struggled because he wanted milk throughout the night and it was difficult to get restful sleep.
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#36 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 01:34 PM
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Tonguetie. I gave birth to my first, a girl, almost 5 yrs ago. It hadnt been a year since i got married and moved abroad, a place almost completely foreign to me. The language still is hard to speak and understand, tho i have come a long way already. So, with a not so pleasant hospital birth(i was so vulnerable at18) in a "strange" country where they dont know super good english-yes, they speak english, but i had a hard time understanding quite a few of them in the hospital- and being pretty much alone, i mean no family except my new husband! It was a learning, bjt difficult experience. Baby was probably tired from the pain relief i got during birth. She was small, 2.9kg(here if they are under 3kg they are watched closely-at least blood sugar levels) and poked continuosly in the foot for blood samples. Milk didnt come, had to supplement. I was in the hospital for 5 days. Reg length of stay is 3. She slept. And slept and slept. I had to wake her up to eat every so often and try to keep her awake. The first month was so hard. Trying to get her awake-flicking her heels, taking all her clothes off, rubbing/tickling her back- it really seemed like nothing helped. I dont remember anymore how old she was, but no more than 1 month. We called the hospital if someone there could help because things were just not working out. She wasnt gaining weight. They offered no help. Sorry-they offered to weigh her before she ate, i breastfeed, then they weigh her again to see how much she got. I was clumsy-didnt know much on breastfeeding and still a bit embarrassed sitting in front of this lady staring at my breasts while i fed my girl. Anyhow, she didnt get much out of there. Like, only a couple grams. "sorry, we can't do anything to help" was the answer-not even suggestions!! Right before we left(i was a wreck) the lady(was she a secretary or what? I dont know....) she mentioned a breastfeeding "expert" would be visiting this teaching hospital to give lessons/lectures(and whatnot) to the nurrses there on breastfeeding. That maybe she could spare a couple minutes to come talk with us-how would you like to? We jumped at our chance. She spoke excellent english(the "expert) and studied in Canada from a well known place(cant remember the names! But its my home country!!!) and i trusted she knew what she was doing. Baby was SO sleepy. She said as soon as she startes to fall asleep on the breast, to change sides. At the same time massage gently downwards to help the milk flow. This was great advice. Also, little by little reduce the amount of formula. This actually worked for 2 weeks. I was SO happy!!! That finally i get to breastfeed my baby! But then it backfired and i had nowhere to turn to. It was probably after this my mom came to visit. She stayed in our 1 bedroom apartmdnt with us for a couple days. I think she was super stressed out that i was giving my baby formula-i had no choice-she wasnt gaining on my milk- seeing as she exclusively breastfed all 5 of her children. And was very much against formula. Anyhow, she was determined to help. Made all the meals and made me sit down and breast feed my baby every time she woke up and started to cry, bringing a big glass of water to drink each time. It was great help. At all these check ups and"control" appointments these health care workers made me go to, they would write in her little book that she is gaining slowly and needs more formula. But the week my mom was staying with us......"awesome weight gain!!" but i wasnt able to do that alone. I had to make myself food and take care of the house by myself, and it obviously affected our breastfeeding, even though i was a feed on demand mom!! So, breastfeeding my first never really worked. It was so stressful, i was always scared when we went for checkups that shes not gaining enough, my husband said enough times shes not interested,etc. And now i notice she cant stick her tongue out. Its stuck and points downwards. And i can see a little heartshape forming when she tries to stick her tongue out like the rest of us..... Am i silly? I have been thinking this is the problem i never knew about-why didnt any doctor or health care provider ever check or think about itt!?!? It almost brings tears to my eyes when i remember that short while. And feel it has somehow affected our relationship to this day. With my next, a big boy, i stayed in the hospital for 4 days and my milk didnt come in. I had to give him the dreaded formula too. I get so stressed in the hospital, like i have to meet their expectations in breastfeeding(which imo are very high). One old crabby nurse wanted to do the weigh-feed-weigh thing. He got 5grams and she said something along these lines with a hmph! "He's not gonna get fat on THAT!". So, lots of crying, patience, until i could leave for home and relax. I bf-ed him 18 months. When my third, a boy, was born. I left the hospital the same day, 6hrs after birth, on our request. And i had no problem with him. It was a very enjoyable experience. But i feel i missed out on so much with my firstborn!! Am i thinking strange that it could still have an effect on our relationship? Like i wasnt able to bond with her like i did with my boys?! I guess the birth was slightly traumatic for us all, and when the breastfeeding didnt work either... I feel positive it is the tongue tie that was the problem, but i guess ill never know. Americans/Canadians are so lucky to have so many more resources. Where i am (if i have learned enough-or then i have honestly learned nothing!!) you cant get much "extra" over here, at least in health care. You really need to dig to find, and you might not find anything. In other areas of health i have searched for "help" here, but its not to be found. America had it all:-) Nowim expecting our 4th and (we) are looking forward (maybe mostly me) to steering away from the hospital altogether.....of course unless we need help or intuition tells otherwise. So farmy pregnsncy has gone well-im some 21weeks along. And hoping to exclusively bf for a long long time!!!:-) sorry this is so long:-)
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#37 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MommaGoose2013 View Post

I could only produce 3 ounces a day. That's it. We started seeing LC's from day one and everyday for two solid weeks, including the great Kathleen Huggins herself! We tried supplements, I drank the tea, I pumped after nursing every two hours, and drank so much water. My husband worked 13 hour days ao i was alone most of the day, everyday. After three weeks of this I was so heartbroken that I could not feed my daughter. I ended up being put on medication and that's when I decided to EFF. My little girl is a healthy, happy, 9 week old beauty. I feel like I'm a better mom because I'm not falling apart all day trying to feed her now. However, I don't think I'll ever fully get over not being able to give her the best


Google "Insufficient Glandular Tissue".  That is what caused my low supply in addition to baby's posterior tongue tie.  And not all IBCLCs are created equal.  The ones I saw with my first did not catch either problem.  He nursed until 2 though with the help of an SNS and formula.


Low supply again with both daughters for the same reasons.  But again both nursed (18 mo. and 22 mo. and counting) with the help of an SNS and supplement (formula for DD1, donor milk exclusively for DD2!).

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#38 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 05:05 PM
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It's been a couple of decades since I nursed my babies, but I remember my biggest problem well. I had enough milk to feed quadruplets!  My poor babies choked and drowned on all the milk.  Meanwhile the side they weren't nursing on gushed like a fire hydrant.  It was a huge mess and source of frustration.  That was in the time where moms were taught to be SURE and nurse on both sides at each feeding.  That was a major source of frustration for me, too.  I wish I had known that one side at a feeding would have worked better for me with my overabundant supply. 

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#39 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 06:57 PM
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Cracked nipples for the first two weeks, now pulling her head away before letting go and biting during teething -ouch!  Other than those minor issues, my biggest challenge has been pumping enough milk for her for the three days a week that I work. She nurses so often that I'm finding it difficult to get much in-between feedings or finding the time to pump.

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#40 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 07:39 PM
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My biggest challenge was with my first who had posterior tongue tie. I didn't know why I was in so much pain, and why I was so cracked and raw. On top of that I cried every day, had mastitis several times and an oversupply causing him to choke during letdown. He was diagnosed by a LC at 6 weeks, and "clipped" at 8 weeks by an experienced dentist (Dr. Notestine in Dayton, OH).


What helped me was being persistent in finding help... my second LC knew what the problem was (she had just learned about it at a training conference), but it was up to me to find a doctor who could do the simple "surgery." We wasted time going to two specialists who were NO help before getting a recommendation for the dentist. I also nearly exclusively pumped just so I could heal up, and used APNO liberally. We nursed until 21 months after that! (And I work full time).  My son also has a lip tie but I didn't know enough to get that clipped, so I still felt some discomfort from time to time.


If you suspect tongue tie, ask close relatives to stick out their tongues. We found two who could not even lick their upper lips.

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#41 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 07:45 PM
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More like, what problem did I NOT have??? Breasts so engorged that nothing but a hospital grade pump could draw the milk out; a baby with tongue tie; a second baby who could not hold a latch--no one knew why, and I even took her to a speech therapist who specializes in "infant suck training." Painful lumps, plugged ducts, nipples so sore for the first few weeks that i cant even wear a bra of any kind; mastitis, thrush, blisters, cracked nipples, inverted nipples. Did I miss anything? My advice is to find support and plenty of it--a GOOD lactation consultant, and at least one experienced mama you can call during the night. Do what you need to do: I've used nipple shields, syringe feeding, etc. I never gave up and, despite all those challenges, I nursed my first two until their second birthdays. My third baby just turned one and we are still going strong--once I got it all going and it was easy, I didnt want to stop!
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#42 of 51 Old 03-07-2013, 08:28 PM
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My oldest son is tongue-tied and never had a great latch. Combined with my very sensitive skin this made for painful nursing all the way through. I stopped nursing him at night around 15 months and he weaned himself during the day because he was just too busy :) I guess I kept going through sheer determination, and my mom telling my I was awesome helped a lot!


With our second son I had mastitis a time or two, very painful but cleared up quickly with hot compresses. When he was a few weeks old we both got thrush. I had never had it on my nipples before and it was one of the most horribly painful things! One friend said she'd read it felt like having ground glass in your nipples to nurse with thrush and that's about what it felt like. I had to stop nursing for a while because it wasn't clearing up. We partially bottle fed for a while until we got the thrush healed. I was pretty upset about giving him a bottle, especially when he didn't show any interest in nursing any more. I was Determined to get back to nursing full time as soon as the thrush cleared up. Baby wasn't so into it (too much work apparently), so I gave him a minimum of bottle feeding until he accepted nursing again. It was Tough seeing my precious baby hungry for a couple days, but it was worth it in the end.

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#43 of 51 Old 03-08-2013, 05:19 AM
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While it is always hard in the first weeks, while baby is getting accustomed to nursing even if mom is experienced, the hardest part (for me) begins around 4 months when well meaning family and friends and strangers alike all try to shove food down my baby's throat. I explain that he is not ready and I literally have to isolate myself in my bedroom in order for them to leave it alone. Or also around 6 months when "now is a good time to wean", I have heard from a lot of doctors. While my advice is simple and a lot of moms are doing it anyway and know better it is simply to educate yourself and stand your ground. You  know what is best for your baby; afterall your baby spent 9 months within your womb and you did all the work of birthing him or her out into the "real" world.  

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#44 of 51 Old 03-08-2013, 05:20 AM
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My biggest challenge has been dealing with fast flow. My daughter and I had a hard time figuring out how to deal with that. At about 2.5 months she figured out her ideal feeding position, which is a bit unorthodox but she loves it and she is feeding great now. She has to be lying flat on her back, with just her head turned toward me as we are both lying down together. Now our feedings go very smoothly, we're slowly working are way up to sitting positions again. Now at 3 months my supply has finally adjusted to meet her needs, the oversupply I had resolved itself.


I think the biggest challenge is being able to throw away the breastfeeding rule book and let the baby be the guide. Once I gave her my full trust everything fell into place for us. 

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#45 of 51 Old 03-08-2013, 11:36 AM
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I will just echo: posterior tongue tie. Now that I know a tiny bit more, I can't believe that for five weeks, I nursed my third child and had no idea why it hurt so badly. It was awful, terrible, horrible pain! My neighbor came running into our bedroom at 3am because I was screaming so loudly, in agony. And the baby wasn't getting enough to eat. And after two tongue tie surgeries (one with Dr. Kotlow), she still couldn't nurse.


I was pumping round the clock, and she wouldn't take the bottle, and I felt like a horrible mom because I could barely feed my little daughter, let alone nurse her. We finally started giving her food (soup in a bottle, as per Dr. Natasha's "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" dietary protocol--no grains or sugars) when she was seven months, after a bout of thrush and worsening (silent) reflux that appeared to be keeping her from getting enough to eat even with the "easy" bottle nipple.


Now, although we haven't had miracles, the reflux is subsiding, and--this is really incredible, after all the intrusion and trauma to my daughter's mouth--she nurses a few times per day! She's doing much better with the addition of GAPS foods, and I have written a lot about our experiences on my website, in the hopes of helping other mamas avoid the craziness that was the past eight months: http://www.lifeisapalindrome.com/updates/micro-macro-or-when-tiny-things-are-devastating


I am so eager for researchers to look at these topics all together: gut dysbiosis, autism spectrum disorder/ADD/ADHD (my older child is affected), MTHFR gene, synthetic B-vitamin fortification, tongue tie, breastfeeding pain, AND diet/environmental factors. Turns out that both my older children were tongue-tied, which must be why it hurt to breastfeed them for the seven years I did so. (It wasn't as bad as with my daughter, but the pain was there every time they latched.)


Good luck with your article. :)



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#46 of 51 Old 03-08-2013, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Vaske View Post

For us it wasn't one big challenge, but about a dozen smaller obstacles all at once.  The first week was very rough, then our midwife got us some excellent advice from an awesome LC, and this put us on the right track within two days.


The biggest challenge is finding support for your bf goals. We had a very uninformed and discouraging pediatric nurse who urged supplementation when it was not needed. After gaining weight the first week, he lost 1-2 ounces following his circumcision (day 8 for religious reasons), and this sounded some alarms. She told me, "There aren't enough calories in your milk," scared me with "failure to thrive" (what an awful phrase!), and gave formula samples. My maternal instinct told me otherwise. It is a good thing I was well-read and connected with a real lactation consultant. After speaking to more than one person, including friends and consultants, the advice that spoke to me was the most logical: Breasts are glands. Just like you don't run out of saliva, as long as you're hydrated, you won't run out of milk. Also, mom's diet does not impact the calories/fat in bmilk, which remain fairly constant as long as you are emptying the breast at each feeding to get the hindmilk. I would recommend that other parents seek more than one professional opinion and go beyond a pediatrician or nurse, who may not be certified in lactation. Surround yourself with support, or at least obtain phone numbers to call when there are bumps in the road. And there will be bumps!

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#47 of 51 Old 03-08-2013, 01:12 PM
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I was naive.... Just thought everything would go fine. It was six weeks of pain and cracking bleeding nipples. What worked: determination. My mistake: not asking for help sooner. I am glad to say I nursed my son for over two years, I'm sure the incorrect latch could have been corrected MUCH sooner, but I didn't asked for help I just cried and kept going. My advice to any woman is to ask for help if you need it! We worked through pain that didn't need to be there.

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#48 of 51 Old 03-08-2013, 02:08 PM
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My son had trouble latching on, I had a LOT of pressure from the hospital nurses for formula and some good support from the LC.  It was if the nurses were hovering waiting for me to fail, so they could swoop in with formula.  Fortunately, the LC supported my wishes for no bottles or artificial nipples, we pumped and fed him with a spoon, then ended up with a Haberman nipple which was for babies with cleft palate I think--it was long and he had to really suck to get the milk, it didn't just flow into his mouth.  He stayed with me the whole time in the hospital, I didn't send him to the nursery so I could feed him whenever.  I left the hospital with a hospital grade pump and my "patient education" from the nurse which consisted of her lecturing me on if my baby didn't nurse I must give him formula, nice encouraging support for a new mom.  I went home and continued to try to get him open his mouth and get the hang of things.  All this time I was the only one who fed him--it was important that he knew I was the momma with the milk.  We went to the midwife, who helped him/me with holding him and latching on, and finally he got the hang of it he had to be readmitted for jaundice.  I pumped and the special care nurses let me feed him both at the breast and with his Haberman bottle while he was under the lights.  Once he was discharged, he went home and did just fine.  I did have problems with one side with blocked milk ducts every now and again, usually when I was really stressed...but we resolved this with nursing, warm compresses and pumping.  He did well and nursed for 2 1/2 years.  He's 10 now (0:

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#49 of 51 Old 12-28-2014, 01:18 PM
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My little girl had trouble latching from the start. She is one week old today and we're starting to get it. Problems included a chin that was set back and I think was prohibiting a strong latch. Also my nipples hadn't really popped out yet. Feeding was exhausting and I would try for two hours to get her to stop crying and feed. Then she would sleep for 45 minutes and wake up hungry and angry. Sometimes I could get her to suck my little finger and then latch, but usually we'd wear each other out. She lost 15 percent of her body weight by day 4 so I ended up doing a combination of spoonfeeding pumped breast milk and formula. The pediatrician who is also a lactation consultant showed me a new way to hold the nipple, cupping it tighter and flatter rather than holding the whole breast from the bottom. I also pin her arm next to the side she is lying on on the breastfeeding pillow (a "my breast friend").

The first few times I tried the new method it worked. Then she would start pushing away my breast again. So I resorted to spoonfeeding. I called the hospital breastfeeding "warm line," and they told me she wasn't pushing me away, but rather trying to get the milk to flow. It's easier nursing in the AM because I have more milk. They recommended I pump to get my milk to let down for two minutes and also try massaging my breast as she feeds to get the milk to flow. Amazing how much this helps. Now we've gone almost a full day exclusively breastfeeding. Hope to continue!

I recommend patience and reaching out for help as much as possible. I almost didn't call the warm line but am glad I did. La Leche League would probably have helped too.

Oh, and the lcs at the hospital discourage spoonfeeding. They recommend using a newborn nipple on a bottle to maintain her sucking ability.

I was really on the verge of giving up. Apparently it's normal to struggle in the beginning as we figure each other out. I still struggle with boredom as I feed her and feel as tho it's all I have time for...but I do believe it will keep getting easier.
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#50 of 51 Old 03-20-2016, 01:05 PM
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My own nervousness about feeding in public. Finding the right nursing cover was a god send. Didn't feel as though I was messing around or exposed. If anyone interested, was by Bump, Baby & Beyond on amazon.
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#51 of 51 Old 04-01-2016, 12:59 PM
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They were different for my two different kids!

The first one wouldn't latch for a few days...had to give her a bottle. Which actually was kind of funny in the end because once we got going it was so great that a few months later I couldn't get her to go back to the bottle when needed! I remember when I first had to give her the bottle I told my LC I was afraid she wouldn't go back to the breast and she said, "she will, don't worry," and it was really true...yay for calm and encouraging LCs! She was such a lazy nurser that she wasn't getting enough hindmilk, either (very green poops!), so I ended up putting her on a 4-hour schedule to switch sides, rather than an every-other-meal schedule. That worked great.

The second baby was the total opposite...latched so well it was horribly painful every time he latched on. I read that it would last about 6 weeks, so I said to myself I could take it for that long, and sure enough right at about the 6 week mark it got better all at once.
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Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.