Help me get ready??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 03:03 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I'm about 5 months pregnant with my 3rd 32 that isn't so unusual, except that my current youngest is 10 and my oldest is 14.

It's been 10 years since I've mothered an infant...and I was a young mother with both--which lead me to be very squeamish and misinformed about breastfeeding.

So, here I am, getting ready for the new baby, and I am committed to breastfeeding.

But I have NO IDEA what to do, what to expect, how to prepare, etc. etc...

And I'm feeling really anxious and intimidated by the whole process.

For example...I know it is recommended to "toughen up" your nipples before the babe is born so that they are ready for the rigorous job ahead of them...but, rubbing the nipples is just like stimulating them, right? And isn't nipple stimulation NOT a good thing--can bring on hard-core, early labor?

So, I thought I'd reach out to you pros in here and see what down-home, been-there-done-that advice you have to offer for a new mom who has never done this before!
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#2 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 03:12 AM
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You do not need to toughen up your nipples, that's an old wives' tale. Best thing you can do is first, cultivate a good attitude--you WILL breastfeed your child! Hang around here and read, read books like "So That's What They're For," make sure your family and friends know you're committed to nursing and spell out for them how they can help you--make sure they know formula isn't allowed in your home, nor bottles. If you even think the baby needs to nurse in those early days, they need to give you the baby back to nurse, no questions asked. They can help you by bringing you drinks, keeping you supplied with reading material and/or movies, bringing you snacks, if they feel like they should be helping feed the baby. The most important tools to bring to the table are: your breasts, your baby, your knowledge, your attitude, and the attitudes of family and friends.

Know that it probably will hurt and be difficult for the first month or so. There will be days you want to give up. It will be SO worth it, though!

Congratulations on your upcoming arrival, and best of luck!
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#3 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 03:45 AM
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I am not a "pro", but I have learned a lot in the past 8.5 months.

I learned you do not need to toughen up your nipples before the baby is born. It is good to quit using soap on your breasts when bathing around month 6 or 7 of your pregnancy. Soap only serves to dry them out and possibly cause irritation once you start breastfeeding. The small glands around the areola secrete a fluid to lubricate, clean, and condition the nipple naturally.

The best preparation is to read all you can find (google Dr. Jack Newman). Round up support - here is an excellent place, local support groups are helpful, but I personally found friends and family to be my greatest cheerleaders (not all were supportive, one or two can mean so very much). Learn keep a glass of water within arms reach if you don't already ("I'm thirsty" took on a whole new meaning once I started breastfeeding). Know that your baby and you will learn together, neither of you have done this before.

At first breastfeeding was uncomfortable for me, even painful. Once we learned what we were supposed to be doing everything smoothed itself out. Lactation consultants advice (nursing positions and general support), my husbands unfailing support, and my own determination to continue breastfeeding were the most important things. I also learned to love lanolin cream.

Since you are asking questions now I have no doubt in my mind that you will have a great breastfeeding relationship with your child! Congratulations!

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#4 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 04:00 AM
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If you can find a class on breastfeeding... go for it. That is one class I didnt' take prior to baby being born and we suffered through a poor latch and I still have a nipple wound that will NOT heal and it is very painful. (yes, we still nurse through it, but I am VERY lopsided as I don't nurse him on that side as often)
However, I am very committed to this and we will be nursing for 1 year or longer.
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#5 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 12:07 PM
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strongly suggest getting some nipple cream ahead of time-Lansinoh worked best for me and I had cracked, bleeding nipples for the first 2 weeks. It literally made me sick to think of feeding my babe but once I got the cream after the first week it made such a HUGE difference. I was in the same boat as you, first child was almost 10 before my 2nd came along and I really wanted to do better w/ bfing this time.
Good luck!
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#6 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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You all ROCK...and thank you for taking the time to advise me...

Like I said, I'm trying to grapple with my own emotional issues attached to breastfeeding BEFORE the babe is born so that once she's here, I'll be prepared to contend with the other issues (physical, learning, etc).

I plan to hit the store and grab a book or two so I can start reading, and I'll definitely invest in the lanolin cream.

Thanks again for all of the support and advice. I know I'll be hanging out in here a lot once I get started, too.
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#7 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 02:54 PM
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Kudos to you for being so comitted to changing your approach. I think it must be much more difficult for a woman who is already a mother to decide to do something differently the next time round. (I'm certainly struggling with that in where I have the next babe!)

My favorite book for preperation and for those first few weeks/months is "The Nursing Mother's Companion" by Kathleen Huggins. It has an easy to read reference for each time period so when you have a problem, you are not flipping through the whole book. Also do your best to search out a support group of other nursing mothers. La Leche League is great, also some hospitals have nursing mother's support groups. In St Louis we have a store that offers full nursing support, including a weekly meeting. But knowing other mom's who both have and are nursing is important to your survival. And we even formed our playgroup out of ours which has been equally important to survival

Remember that while it is hard at first, it will get so easy that you won't even have to think about it! Faster than you can believe. good luck.

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
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#8 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 03:37 PM
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I think the absolute best idea for you is contacting a La Leche League leader and going to a meeting or two. Then you'll have excellent support all lined up for when your babe arrives.

Is there a La Leche League Group in your area? The leaders will help you for free and, of course, meetings are all free. Here is the link to find one:
How to Find a La Leche League Leader Near You

An excellent breastfeeding book I'd recommend is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. The Nursing Mother's Companion is also excellent.

Let us know how things progress for you. Good luck!
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#9 of 10 Old 01-23-2007, 03:45 PM
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Bookmark the LLL, Kellymom, and Dr Sears websites. Check the sticky at the top of this forum. Come here and see what other people are having problems with and how they are dealing with them.
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#10 of 10 Old 01-25-2007, 04:06 AM
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I have an autoimmune disorder, so I expected trouble when DS was to be born. I wanted to go to the breastfeeding class at my hospital, but it conflicted with my schedule. so the LC met with me 2 months pre-partum for over an hour to teach me what I needed to know. While in the hospital, she spent an hour with me every day. When I went home, she called me and e-mailed me. She did not charge me ANYTHING. Her expenses are covered by the hospital.

An LC or a LLL can make ALL the difference if you are able to make contact before the baby is born.

Also, you'll want to decide your nursing fashion statement - nursing tops or large button down shirts or lettin it all hang out. Decide and stock up!
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