If you could give a new mom any advice or wisdom about breastfeeding, what would it be? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 68 Old 03-23-2014, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mine would be:

Keep going for as long as possible

Get support from other moms who either did breastfeed or are breastfeeding

Eat lots of good food

Take it easy on yourself and your baby


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#2 of 68 Old 03-23-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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I would second eating good food and taking it easy on yourself. Also,

Try different positions to find what works for YOU.

It's ok to manually adjust your babies mouth/latch if they don't quite get it right.

Drink lots (and lots) of water!

This isn't universal advice but I would add that bed sharing & sleep nursing with my babies made a huge difference for me. It probably doubled the amount of sleep I got in the first few months.
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#3 of 68 Old 03-23-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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Oversupply is a thing. You hear all about undersupply but it's also possible to have too much, and you don't tend to hear about this.

 

If you are planning to go back to work, "test-thaw" your oldest frozen milk beforehand. Some moms have excess lipase in their milk and while it isn't harmful to the baby, it can make the milk taste icky and the baby refuse it. You don't want to discover this when your caregiver is trying to give the baby a bottle on your first day back at work and the baby won't touch it. 

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#4 of 68 Old 03-23-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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I will ditto the person who said to drink a lot of water. It is so, so important for supply.

 

Also, people around you will be quick to tell you it's OK to quit. If you want to keep going, find others that are committed too.

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#5 of 68 Old 03-23-2014, 02:02 PM
 
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Breastfeeding gets easier! It will seem hard at first but very quickly become second nature. When people asked me why I breastfed for so long I told them it was because I was lazy smile.gif
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#6 of 68 Old 03-23-2014, 02:32 PM
 
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Don't stress so much about doing it perfectly - as long as the baby is content and you're seeing good diapers, don't stress about it.

 

Nurse as much as you can, and don't limit it, especially in the first few weeks.

 

Get lots of rest (so you can make milk) and hydrate, and practice good nipple hygiene because dang, mastitis hurts.

 

And the first few weeks of nursing suck but in the long run it's a small price to pay - it won't be that awful forever.  :)

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#7 of 68 Old 03-25-2014, 01:22 PM
 
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I would also say that it can be really hard at first, but it does get better, much better! I would also tell them to make sure they know how to reach an LC before they give birth. You don't want to be figuring that out when you have a newborn and nursing issues. Have your support ready to go. I would also recommend hanging out with other nursing moms when you are able to get out of the house with the babe. It really helped me to feel better as a parent of a newborn and it helped me learn to nurse in public.
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#8 of 68 Old 03-25-2014, 02:00 PM
 
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I would say don't put a time frame on each feed or each side, or how long you're gong to nurse for.  Some babies want to nurse for literally hours.  Allow yourself to take that time - especially for the first 4-6 weeks. Give yourself time to figure out the blank slate that is your nursing relationship with your new baby.

 

Isolate yourself to nurse if it feels better for you to nurse privately, until you are comfortable, and you know your baby better.  Nothing is harder than being a new mom, being tired, overwhelmed, and having well-meaning people staring at you (like in-laws, family, friends, coworkers) as you try to learn to nurse.  People staring at your breasts is a very different experience.  They probably aren't actually staring, but it might feel that way and if they are uncomfortable about breastfeeding, it might make you more uncomfortable too.  Babies pick up on that.  Your milk picks up on that.  After a week or two, you will probably have it all figured out, and it won't be so hard or feel so foreign.  Along with that, accept that this is a very very different use of your breast than your mind and body are used to, and that it might hurt or be uncomfortable - in fact, it may make your skin crawl sometimes.  You are not a bad mom for feeling this way, and likely it will pass.  That feeling might come back from time to time as the baby gets older, but getting through the first 4-6 weeks is the key to longevity in nursing.  Give yourself a chance - if things feel really awful, contact an LC as soon as you can.

 

Don't try to figure out how much is coming out - the quantity doesn't matter if the baby is satisfied.  And if baby seems unsatisfied, go back to point number 1 - you might just need to nurse some more, no matter whether it's how you intended to spend your morning, or your afternoon, or your evening.

 

Oh, and ease up on the nursing pads!  Leak a little at night:  it's a bit messy, but keeps your ducts from getting clogged and developing mastitis.  Don't over-soap and over-clean - good hygiene, yes:  constant nipple cleaning, no.

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#9 of 68 Old 03-25-2014, 02:28 PM
 
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Nursing pads lead to clogged ducts? Never heard that before. headscratch.gif 

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#10 of 68 Old 03-25-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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sorry, I meant the disposable or silicone ones or others with some type of moisture barrier - they don't breathe well and can trap moisture too well, leading to bacteria forming and to clogged ducts.  That was info I was given, and it made sense to me, but I should have clarified that probably just the cotton reuseable ones wouldn't necessarily have the same effect. 

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#11 of 68 Old 03-25-2014, 06:14 PM
 
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Give it at least 3 weeks. Then 3 more. For my first, it took a solid 6 weeks for it to get easier.
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#12 of 68 Old 03-25-2014, 06:31 PM
 
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You will be amazed at how much time you spend bfing at first!  So.... make yourself a cozy little nursing nook, complete with side table, lamp, magazines, a place for your water, and snacks, etc.  

 

I particularly found that leaving some snacks out for myself was motivating late at night when my LO was up needing to eat for the 4th time.  Seriously.  He would wake up and I would think, "Mmm, time for those peanut butter covered graham crackers!"  

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#13 of 68 Old 03-25-2014, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manysplinters View Post
 

sorry, I meant the disposable or silicone ones or others with some type of moisture barrier - they don't breathe well and can trap moisture too well, leading to bacteria forming and to clogged ducts.  That was info I was given, and it made sense to me, but I should have clarified that probably just the cotton reuseable ones wouldn't necessarily have the same effect. 

That makes more sense. I haven't really used the disposable ones, only cloth. It's been my understanding also that it's not a great idea to sit there with moisture against your nipples for a long time, so that is the other factor in nursing pad usage, change it if it's damp on your skin. 

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#14 of 68 Old 03-26-2014, 06:50 AM
 
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Your skin may react very badly to the saliva at first, but this WILL change.  Use lanolin or another safe healing cream.  Take ibuprofen and deep breaths.

 

If baby does not have the whole areola in his mouth, or if the latch feels unusually painful, or if nursing is going fine until baby suddenly clamps down way too hard--the secret to breaking the latch is to jam your pinky into baby's mouth.  Do not hesitate.  Baby may be upset at being forced to let go for a second, but you deserve to get a good latch (and not be bitten!) not only for your comfort but also to prevent problems in the long run.

 

Bring the baby to the breast, not the breast to the baby.  Much easier on your back.

 

And I have tons of advice on breastfeeding while working outside the home!


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#15 of 68 Old 04-01-2014, 08:03 PM
 
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Get familiar with Kellymom, the LLL archives, and Dr. Jack Newman. Great places to find answers.
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#16 of 68 Old 04-01-2014, 08:52 PM
 
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Trust your body.

 

Don't give up!

 

Drink lots of water.

 

If it seems like it's not working, snuggle in bed for at least a day, do skin to skin and just nurse and love on each other.

 

Supplements are nice and can be helpful, but aren't 100% necessary all of the time, so don't stress out about getting the perfect lactation cookie recipe

 

I tend think about what would the monkeys do, lol. I don't know why, but this really helps me relax. Monkeys don't watch the clock, they don't measure their supply by pumping between feedings, etc. They don't time feedings. They nurse when their baby asks for it.

 

Pumping and nursing is not the same. If you get nothing when you pump, do NOT feel that you're not making milk. Keep an eye on your baby's output.

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#17 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:19 AM
 
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never stop giving your milk as long as your baby needs.if you think that you don't have supply, the production of glands will stop.mother's love can ever produce milk.that is how powerful the mind and emotion in milk production.pair it with proper diet,keep hydrated.
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#18 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:21 AM
 
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stay with your baby 24/7 for as long as you can.  nurse on demand.  sleep with your baby. then don't worry so much.  you were made for this.

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#19 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:22 AM
 
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Stick with it -- it gets easier! And GO TO LLL! Almost all BFing problems are fixable even if it means a little trial and error.

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#20 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Yes, keep it going for as long as possible.
Make sure to switch from one breast to the other every time, because i literally had a boob that was practically double the size of the other one because the other one didn't make as much milk. Bc i didn't switch as much bc my son didn't latch as well on the one. Ugh. Hated my life for 9 months.
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#21 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:36 AM
 
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Nursing bra and a cover would be very helpful for easier breastfeeding when outdoor.
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#22 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:40 AM
 
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Don't get caught up with all the things that make nursing more complicated. I never timed a feed, baked a lactation cookie, or went to a nurse-in, but I had over 5 years of happy breastfeeding between my first two and hope for another 2-3 years with the next.

Troubleshoot when necessary. Use reputable sources! KellyMom.com, LLL, and professional lactation consultants are great sources for help. Don't count on mainstream doctors to have the correct training to help.

Make sure your pediatrician is up to date on their recommendations before you follow their advice. Well intentioned pediatricians are not always great with their breast-feeding advice.

If you ever feel claustrophobic, remember that your baby days are fleeting!
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#23 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:40 AM
 
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Its supremely important to know & remember that while it does get easier after the initial difficulties, breastfeeding is not an all or nothing game. If you can't exclusively breastfeed when you go back to work outside the home for example, you can breastfeed when you are together. If you can't juggle maintaining your supply for example, which can be a project of its own, you can do combination feeding. Many ways to get in the holy goodness that is breastfeeding and you cannot let yourself feel defeated if your journey is different from others' or what you had originally envisioned it to be!

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#24 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:45 AM
 
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Drink a loooooot of water.
Do not give up so early! The first weeks can hurt but ur body will adjust and it will be way easier. Give it a lil time. smile.gif
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#25 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 11:59 AM
 
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Stick to what you feel is right for you.  I didn't really have any preconceptions about breastfeeding, other than it seemed like the sensible thing to do.  I thought I would try to aim for the recommended 6 months and to my amazement I successfully fed two children for 17 mths and 15 mths.  But the beginning stretch (especially for my first child) was far from easy. 

 

One thing I'd have liked to have understood was my REALLY fast let-down - I nearly drowned my eldest after my milk came in and it wasn't until he was about 10 weeks old that I finally worked out what the problem was.

 

My main problem was having no other mothers around who even tried breastfeeding beyond a few weeks but my main help was from my mother (not a very experienced breastfeeder though) and KellyMom, definitely. I remember looking at that in the middle of the night frequently..  Very good advice.

 

I think don't sweat it, if you can avoid it.  Just think of yourself as a tiger or something (perhaps not a cow, it's too much milk imagery) and get on with it like they do.  Don't over complicate the process if you're lucky enough to sort out a good latch - - even if your baby feeds all over the place and half the night.  It's what they are designed to do.

 

And eventually it all stops and you feel relieved and proud - and not a little sad at it all being over...

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#26 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 02:55 PM
 
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Learn about tongue tie and lip tie. Don't depend upon your midwife or physician to make a proper diagnosis.
Apart from that, breast feed as long as possible. Months are great, years are better. All of it counts though, every feed. Even breast feeding only one day makes a difference.
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#27 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 03:15 PM
 
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I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to be the perfect natural mom and breastfeed like a champ, and was crushed and felt like a failure when I had a major drop in supply early on and had to supplement for a few weeks.  Ironically, I'm quite sure my supply dwindled because of the stress I was feeling to do it all perfectly!  Nursing is very tied up with emotions, so try your best to stay calm(ish) and kind to yourself.

 

Also good to know: I built my supply back up from nothing by doing lots of skin-to-skin and cozy all-day snuggling with babe whenever possible (in addition to pumping whenever I could - obviously less fun than snuggling).  Can't overstate the effectiveness/awesomeness of plain ol' mom-and-baby contact!

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#28 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 03:28 PM
 
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Don't. Give. Up!!! 

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#29 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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Don't give up. Plan on breastfeeding unless there is a serious reason to quit. If you have pain, or issues at all, see a LACTATION CONSULTANT!  I had a swollen breast that was bright red. I was negative for mastitis, cellulitis and yeast. My doctors and midwives were lost. I was in a ton of pain. A lot of women give up when they are in pain. I am so glad I didn't. Lucky for me, there is a local midwifery college with a lactation consultant program. You can see the students and supervising professional consultant for free. They were my cheerleaders and therapists. The doctors never did figure out what was wrong, not even after an ultrasound, mammagram and biopsy...it finally began to heal on its own, after 7 weeks of awful pain. The baby also had compression and latch issues. I did craniosacral therapy for him and that was amazing. IF you have problems with latch, I really really recommend it. Through it all, the lactation consultant and students were there with positioning suggestions and laughter and support. 

 

I walked in to the lactation consultant with a red swollen boob and a baby that was flicking the tip of my nipple for 45  minutes per feeding. I was going mad and my nipples were screaming sore. I also needed a nursing pillow to nurse him at all. 

Now, I am feeding pain free and without pillows. I feel so much more free and confident. 

 

I really recommend the "biological nurturing" or "laid back" nursing position. 

 

Good luck mamas!

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#30 of 68 Old 04-24-2014, 08:32 PM
 
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I'm gonna be the broken record here. DONT GIVE UP!!! Breast feeding can (and probably will) be very difficult at first. It can be very VERY painful and it's a big learning process for you and baby(remember he/she is just as new to this as you are). Just know that it gets easier but don't get frustrated, it might take a month or two before it feels the natural way you expect it to feel.
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