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#1 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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so this is my third child and ive never breastfed. im nervous! tell me if anything what do you wish you had known when you first tried and what are your absolute must have breastfeeding supplies. thank you! joy.gif

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#2 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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Well, I found that it really does take about 2 months to get into the groove of breastfeeding...before you fall in love with it.

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#3 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 10:33 AM
 
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Now that my milk has come in a little better I find it really helpful to pump about one hour after her 9ish feeding and then go to bed and allow my husband to give her that bottle when she wakes 1-2 hours later and then I do the rest of the feedings. It has allowed me to have some more sleep. I know that's not recommended until your milk is established but after 6 weeks I started and its helpful. Good luck! It takes some practice but once you get it I have found it to be great and so much easier than bottles because the milk is always ready to go
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#4 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 11:18 AM
 
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I agree with the advice that it takes a while to catch on - for me and my guy it was about 6 weeks.  Don't give up.

 

And, you should totally check out this thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1345810/if-you-could-give-a-new-mom-any-advice-or-wisdom-about-breastfeeding-what-would-it-be

 

It's bound to have any and all info you could hope for!

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#5 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 12:03 PM
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Great question and congrats on your pregnancy!

I am also BFing my first baby. My best advice is to tell you that it can be really, really hard at first in a variety of ways. For me it was very painful. But don't give up. My son is 2 1/2 months old and it's only now that it is going well, and I'm not in pain each time. Don't give up! It really is worth it.

I also want to say that every baby and mom is different, and you and your child work it out together. Other people will tell you you should be holding him/her one way, or feeding for this long, etc, but trust your mama instincts. In retrospect I got some poor recommendations from well meaning people- even the 'experts.' You are the expert when it comes to your baby and body.
Best of luck!

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#6 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 12:17 PM
 
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Don't give up.  It is normal for them to eat all the time in the beginning "cluster feeds", big spurt at 6 weeks too.  Read as much as you can, books and online.  Go to some LLL meetings if you can while pregnant to build a support group in case you need them.  I did.  


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#7 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 12:20 PM
 
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As all PPs said, once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back to formula. The health benefits for u and baby, the convience, the bond.
My necessary supplies are lanolin for the 1St couple weeks, mothers milk tea for the 1St week or 2, my boppy, and a bottle of water.
And a couple pieces of advice: even if baby has enough areola in his mouth, it won't be a good latch if he sucks his lips in, so make sure you can see LOs lips. And I truly think Co-sleeping saved my BFing relationship! So when the going gets tough at night, Co-sleeping is worth a shot.
Best luck & congrats!

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#8 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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with my first child i didn't know LLL yet, must have had some sort of poor positioning = 6 weeks of cracked-bleeding nipple but i got some lansinoh cream that i could put on the nipple anytime (+ poor advice from a mid-wife before the birth regarding how to "prepare" the nipple ... advice that might have increased the problems i had at first ....)

- if possible get to LLL meetings before birth, if not possible, there still must be some sort of 24h/24h hotline staffed by volunteers, make sure you have that number written at various places for easy access, you never know, in case you get discouraged (i rang once on a Sunday morning when i felt very lonely with my problem with one child, and another time late at night too ...)

- try to find people in real life who do currently breastfeed ... when i eventually managed to go to a meeting, seeing moms breastfeeding all ages of children was an eye-opener  & i felt "a different person" after each meeting, empowered (at the time i didn't have any mom friends who were breastfeeding)

my must have breasfeeding supply = the main LLL book on breasfeeding

all the rest ... it depends on your lifestyle .... what seems essential to one mom, will not seem useful to another one, there are so many ways to parent ...

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#9 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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Breastfeeding my first child was a disaster. I had everything people told me I had to have. Had the boppy, lanolin nipple cream, a good pump, all the stuff I needed to go along with the pump, reusable breast pads, disposable breast pads, et cetera. Pumping was the biggest mistake I ever made, with disposable breast pads coming in a close second. Not saying you shouldn't pump at all, but I am saying unless you actually NEED to pump, I wouldn't beyond building up a freezer stash just in case.

 

With my DS, the only supplies I had were my breasts, and a boppy that I ended up not actually using for breastfeeding. Washable breast pads would have made things sooo much better, but we survived without. I've had a fantastic nursing relationship with DS from birth, and we're still going. He turns 3 the end of July, after which I intend to start gradually weaning. With DD, nursing was a miserable experience. With DS, sure, we've had our less than stellar moments, but I've enjoyed nursing him, and our nursing relationship is beyond special to me. His weaning will be bittersweet, not a massive relief. I wouldn't part with what we've had, what I've been blessed to give him for anything in this world.

 

The biggest reason things have gone so well with DS is that I focused more on breastfeeding knowledge during my pregnancy than breastfeeding supplies. With my DD, I took everyone else's advice and followed everyone else's instructions, and it royally bit us on the butts. I pumped from the beginning. The pump was not nearly as efficient as a baby, and it took a ridiculous amount of time to get much milk pumping. Before I was done pumping, DD would be ready to nurse. If I wasn't pumping, I was nursing. I got so engourged, I was miserable at all times. Mastitis set in, I had milk blisters, painfully chapped and bleeding nipples, and both nursing and pumping became excruciating. The disposable breast pads held the moisture against my nipples which exacerbated the problems. My life revolved around my breasts. DD had issues with nipple confusion. There were so many problems. In the end, we lasted about 2 months. With DS, again, I wish I'd had reusable breast pads, but otherwise, I'd never do anything differently. I never pumped, he never had a bottle, I rubbed breast milk on my nipples after nursing sessions and never bothered with lanolin, I went topless around the house to let air get to my nipples as much as possible, and most importantly, I spent months researching breastfeeding and breastfeeding problems, actually had a clue what I was doing, and I learned to trust my own instincts over what other people told me I should do. I never struggled with mastitis, milk blisters, or chapped nipples. Engorgement was never extreme, never unbearable, always easy to manage, and it didn't take long for my milk supply to regulate. I realized when DS wanted to nurse around the clock it was normal, and did not mean I wasn't making enough milk.

 

Anyways, if I were you, I'd focus on knowledge, rather than gear. Sure, certain supplies can be useful, but none are absolutely necessary, and many things can end up causing more harm than good depending on need and use. Get what you end up actually feeling a need for, rather than what someone else has decided to use, do your research, trust yourself, your body, and your baby, and remember that if you run into a problem, there is help out there (such as the Le Leche League).

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#10 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dia View Post

Great question and congrats on your pregnancy!

I am also BFing my first baby. My best advice is to tell you that it can be really, really hard at first in a variety of ways. For me it was very painful. But don't give up. My son is 2 1/2 months old and it's only now that it is going well, and I'm not in pain each time. Don't give up! It really is worth it.

I also want to say that every baby and mom is different, and you and your child work it out together. Other people will tell you you should be holding him/her one way, or feeding for this long, etc, but trust your mama instincts. In retrospect I got some poor recommendations from well meaning people- even the 'experts.' You are the expert when it comes to your baby and body.
Best of luck!

I second everything in this post. The first 2 weeks I wanted to cry. At two months it is a joy. What works for some may not feel right for you. Trust yourself. 

My essentials are burp cloths to catch the spray ( I have a really strong let down), washable breast pads and BFing friendly bras/shirts for out in public. 


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#11 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 04:50 PM
 
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If you can, go to LLL meeting before and be in contact with them in case you need them. My DD is 9 months and I planned to breastfeed exclusively. I didn't have a pump or a bottle (my sister never had one so why would I?). Well my DD was early and didn't wake up to eat for two days and ended up in nicu. I wish I had pump and bottles before! I had to borrow one and go buy bottles and ended up pumping for 2 months till she could finally latch on. I found LLL after about a week but I also wish I had contacted them prior.

Like previous post. Every mom and baby is different. You kind of have to feel it out. What I wold rec is make sure baby's body is facing you. My boobs hang low and because she was so small. I held my boob straight so she could get a good suck. Those were my tricks.

Don't give up! It will work out! And don't be afraid to nurse in public!
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#12 of 28 Old 05-17-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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[quote name="tooraloora" url="/community/t/1383584/new- With my DD, I took everyone else's advice and followed everyone else's instructions, and it royally bit us on the butts. I pumped from the beginning. The pump was not nearly as efficient as a baby, and it took a ridiculous amount of time to get much milk pumping. Before I was done pumping, DD would be ready to nurse. If I wasn't pumping, I was nursing. I got so engourged, I was miserable at all times. Mastitis set in, I had milk blisters, painfully chapped and bleeding nipples, and both nursing and pumping became excruciating. The disposable breast pads held the moisture against my nipples which exacerbated the problems. My life revolved around my breasts. DD had issues with nipple confusion. There were so many problems. In the end, we lasted about 2 months
[/quote]

Well, that all sounds painfully familiar. Which is why my advice is to connect to all the breast feeding resources you can find, and try to plan for a few weeks where you are totally focused on learning to nurse.
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#13 of 28 Old 05-18-2013, 09:13 AM
 
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Lots of good advice. I wanted to add or reiterate that for most women, BFing is significantly easier than bottle feeding but, yes, it takes a few days/weeks to get into the groove even in the best cases. It's just a bit of adjustment but well worth it!  I like MDC for advice and really like Kellymom for wonderful articles on BFing.  Congrats on your pregnancy!! 


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#14 of 28 Old 05-18-2013, 12:48 PM
 
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I read all the horror stories in the books and was prepared for the worst, but honestly I have had a very easy time with it.  DD latched on about 20mins after she was born and it was instantly a perfect latch so I never had the pain, cracking or other nipple issues. I did underestimate how much my LO was getting and second guessed a bith the first 2 weeks when she was crying and I assumed she was hungry all the time.  BUT, she gained weight like a horse by her 2wk appt which settled me down and on my own I figured out dairy was an issue and once I eliminated that I had a ver happy baby.  I did pump and use bottles to "fill her quicker" at night and I wouldn't do that again, it's honestly so much easier to whip out a boob :-P  I absolutely recommend some form of co-sleeping/bedsharing/ or at the very least bassinet next to the bed bc getting up every 45 mins to walk to another room to nurse would have pushed me over the edge - far easier to pull out a boob while baby is still half asleep and nurse them back down without ever moving.

 

Still going strong at 18mos here and I love it.  I've never felt it was a hassle and felt more awkward early on trying to get a bottle ready than just sitting down to nurse, plus DD has always prefered nursing to a bottle.  I'm prepared to go for as long as my LO wants regardless of comments from friends and family - it's a very personal decision so don't let others judgement affect you in a negative way.

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#15 of 28 Old 05-18-2013, 04:05 PM
 
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You know something else that I wonder is how the after pains work with a first time breastfeeding mom but on her 3rd birth??  I had no after pains with my first but they were pretty bad with my second - and they were intensified with BFing. This seems very much "by design" in terms of activating the uterus to clamp down and return to shape but, nonetheless, something to be aware of. 


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#16 of 28 Old 05-18-2013, 05:50 PM
 
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After pains are still gonna be rough, the more babies u have the harder your uterus has to work to get it back to normal size. Its more about how many times your uterus has been used as opposed to how many times your breasts have been used. At least u can take motrin.But BFing will help it return alot quicker :-)

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#17 of 28 Old 05-18-2013, 06:48 PM
 
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Great to know!  So, OP, you will feel a stronger rush of after pains as your nurse in those early hours/days but my intuition and this PP's advice is that this is the body doing what it should - breastfeeding stimulating the uterus to go back to size. It can be a little off-putting to have that bit of pain associated with nursing in the early days because you may also have a bit of nipple pain as you get used to nursing...  

 

BUT!!!  

 

I hate that I'm giving you all the "downsides"...

 

IME, nursing really the easiest way to feed a baby. After a week or so, things really start to click (they did for me) and then you have a constant supply of food for your baby and the connection that comes from nursing is just so sweet.  

 

It will be wonderful to hear your experiences.  love.gif


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#18 of 28 Old 05-18-2013, 11:57 PM
 
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in the line of "easiest" course of action

- you don't need to sterilise equipment (one shower per day is enough, no need for soap on nipples ... you wouldn't believe what some mis-informed doctors can still say about that one ...)

- you simply cannot over-feed a baby with the breast (whereas, with a bottle, the baby is a little more passive for the swallowing) and the best piece of advice i think i received from a family member is " if you don't know why the baby is fussy, offer the breast in any case, even if you offered the breast already not so long ago, no baby is going to over-dose with breast milk, there's no danger of that ... if the baby doesn't want to breasfeed he/she won't, but at least you will have tried and in a good % of case, you will have solved your problem of  -what to do ?- ...."

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#19 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you for all youre advice ladies! i havent had after pains with either child before but ive read about them.. as to the why on the 3rd baby question.. im older now.. i think differently.. im afforded the advantage to be a little spoiled this time as far as not having to go right back to work.. now though im wondering do i need bottles cause all that pain doesnt sound like any fun.. im not scared though.. im having a 3rd baby at 36! its alot harder than in my 20s! ive got the LLL number... thank you so much!

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#20 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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now though im wondering do i need bottles cause all that pain doesnt sound like any fun.. 

BFing advice is hard because on the one hand no one wants to scare a new to BFing mom off by mentioning these things. OTOH, it's not fair to not discuss it and especially for a third time mom, I felt like it's important for you to know what will be a bit different this time around, yk?  I also mentioned some of the things I did in my post specifically because in the long term (or really even relatively short term) the early weeks, even with some challenges, are a blip for most moms. 

 

I've never bottle fed but I feel like the PIA of someone getting up, mixing formula, washing bottles and etc. every time a child needs to eat far, FAR outweighs the mild pain associated with early BFing for most moms. Really!  

 

Oh, gosh...and not to mention the cost associated with formula and having to go to the store and etc. I get stressed about running out of cat food - I can't imagine how many times I'd have to make a special trip for formula. 

 

ALSO, there are benefits to BFing that we haven't touched on. 

 

Bottom line - try to expect the best and that this will be a really fulfilling thing for you as a mother, take heart in the health advantages for both you and your baby, and try to keep in mind that any minor discomfort is a.) by design - meaning it's actually a good sign or b.) likely very short lived!  

 

I hope you make it back to this thread and condemn us for freaking you out because you have the easiest time of it!  

 

BTW, for my first - I thought BFing was WAY easy. 


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#21 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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I personally would not buy bottles till LO is at least a month old. It's tempting for *some* new mamas. And the first days are so important for the colostrum, and building your supply! The after pains should subside in a week or less, each day getting a lil bit better. They definitely suck, but all the cuddling, and gazing at, and smelling your sweet new baby are far better things to focus on. My 2 cents.
And if the pain gets so bad, you can take Tylenol and Advil/Motrin together, but I think you have to wait 30 mins in between.

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#22 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 06:50 PM
 
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Imo, the after pains weren't bad at all (with either babe), and it didn't last long. I noticed more pain during let down, though only with my second, and it was still very much bearable. Though I've heard it can go differently, in my experience, the "normal" pains are no big deal. As someone who has both bottle fed and exclusively breastfed, I can honestly say bottle feeding was more of a pain, even if it was in a figuritive sense. I got a heck of a lot more sleep this time around, not having to wake up in the middle of the night to fix a bottle.

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#23 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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That it is hard those first 6 weeks. Like really hard. That you have to sometimes calm a baby before they will nurse and that at around 2 months it all of a sudden gets so much easier. That my partner was awesome and getting the baby to latch when I couldn;t and holding the baby in weird positions when i couldn't.
 

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#24 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 09:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by suzyfsunshine View Post

thank you for all youre advice ladies! i havent had after pains with either child before but ive read about them.. as to the why on the 3rd baby question.. im older now.. i think differently.. im afforded the advantage to be a little spoiled this time as far as not having to go right back to work.. now though im wondering do i need bottles cause all that pain doesnt sound like any fun.. im not scared though.. im having a 3rd baby at 36! its alot harder than in my 20s! ive got the LLL number... thank you so much!

 Don't assume there will be pain! I never had any.

 

Don't focus on what breastfeeding STUFF you need. All equipment is optional. Just read a good book about breastfeeding, perhaps, like Dr. Jack Newman's or something, or read a bunch of stuff at Kellymom.com. A little book learnin' might give you a few tips to try if you get stuck.

 

Even more important than that, feed the baby whenever the baby is hungry, don't listen to anyone else's advice, feed the baby, feed the baby. It isn't more complicated than that: there is no "right" way to position the baby, no "right" amount of time to feed or wait between feedings. If the baby's hungry, he'll eat. It's between the baby and you: no one else is involved, so it's none of their business.

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#25 of 28 Old 05-22-2013, 04:07 AM
 
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Agreed, Michelle.  And on that note, the whole latch thing - my first had a latch that didn't look right to the LC's at the hospital, or to my MW for that matter.  If it feels right, it probably IS right! 


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#26 of 28 Old 05-22-2013, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you ladies! im excited and nervous but i have made the decision to breastfeed. any and all advice is appreciated this is like the loch ness monster of baby raising for me!

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#27 of 28 Old 05-31-2013, 02:20 AM
 
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Don't over think it, don't give up and don't spend any money - seriously, this is natures way you don't need equpment, teas etc .get that stuff if and when you have a drama.
Saying that can highly rec hotmilk nursing bras and a small cylinder pillow for nursing in public.
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#28 of 28 Old 05-31-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Everyone's different but for me, a nursing pillow was/is the only absolutely must-have! Besides a pump, which I used exclusively for the first several weeks due to latching problems.

 

Earth Mama Angel Baby makes a good nipple butter if you get sore. Smells amazing. I also like Bamboobies washable nursing pads, they're really nice. They're heart shaped, what's not to love? ;)
 

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