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Breastfeeding Tips


Forum: May 2012 Playroom

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  #1  
March 7th, 2012, 03:54 PM
greeneyedchaos's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hey ladies... Since many of you are BTDT moms as far as breastfeeding goes, can you give me your best tips? I formula fed my DS right off the bat and just had no motivation or desire to breastfeed him at the time, but now I plan to try with this baby and I am really motivated this time, not only because of all the health benefits, but also to save money on formula since I will be a SAHM this time. My friends have been giving me tips, but I figured I will take all the advice I can get since I'm pretty much clueless on this! Thanks!
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  #2  
March 7th, 2012, 04:31 PM
ElizabethS's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Don't get discouraged in the first week. For me the hardest part was when my milk came in..usually within 48 hours of delivery..and I would get SO ENGORGED for the first few days or so until my body regulated to how much the baby nursed. I also wouldn't try to schedule feedings...I feed on demand. And if I'm engorged you can darn well bet I'll be waking that baby up and trying to get a little bit of relief and see if he wants a snack.

The other...don't give a binky or a bottle at all if possible the first month. It can cause problems w/latch and with Ethan I had to go back to work at 3 weeks and so it was inevitable for me to put him on a bottle w/ breastmilk but he got to where he wouldn't nurse and only wanted the bottle.

The other thing is to make sure the baby drinks from one breast until it is completely emptied (i.e. he gets the hindmilk which is the "fatty" portion and helps him gain weight). Sometimes the baby will only take one side, but an hour or two later will take the other. Don't get discouraged! And when in doubt, come to Justmommies to get advice!
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  #3  
March 7th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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I always nursed from one side per feeding to ensure that baby got all the hindmilk, plus I had an over supply and that helped regulate it a bit more.

My main piece of advice is to not get anxious about how much milk you're making or how much baby is getting. Nursing means you aren't going to be able to measure every ounce your baby gets, so you have to rely on other things. After the first week, he/she should be wetting 6 or more diapers a day and that's a good indicator that baby is getting enough. Some babies gain fast and some gain slow, but just because baby isn't gaining a ton of weight doesn't mean you aren't producing enough milk. Also, breastmilk goes through babies much faster than formula, so they often seem hungrier more often. Again, this doesn't mean they aren't getting enough.

Feed on demand if you can instead of scheduling feedings. It's common for babies to cluster feed as well (some do it just every now and then, and others do it more frequently). Basically, that means that they'll nurse a big, pop off and then want to nurse again almost immediately and continue this manner for a few hours. It's often a sign of a growth spurt, but some babies just like to eat that way as well. I've known a lot of moms that think it means baby isn't getting enough because they seem so hungry and like they're not getting enough, but it's a normal nursing pattern.
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  #4  
March 7th, 2012, 04:49 PM
*Jillian*'s Avatar Baby #3 on the way
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Like Shelley said, nurse on demand and understand that a baby that wants to nurse more often doesn't mean it's starving. Babies know they have to cluster feed and they go through growth spurts where they nurse very often to increase your supply. In order to make what they need you need to feed them when you notice their cues to eat.

Get your latch down as soon as possible to avoid nipple pain.

Don't try to pump and introduce bottles until you have it down with no issue. If you have a latch problem or a supply problem bottles need to come after that is worked out. And don't measure how much milk you have by pumping. Pumps aren't as efficient.

Hmmm. I'll have to think about it more. I'm sure you'll get great tips.

The key for me was motivation and education. I got books and read websites and made sure to have a lot of support in the form of family and DH.
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  #5  
March 7th, 2012, 07:11 PM
dream2bemommy22's Avatar and baby makes 5
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dont let it stress you out. Go with the flow. The more you stress the more aggrivated you both will get.

After about a month, your nipples will be sore and cracked. When your baby latches on, you will literally have to hold your breath for a second until they get latched on and the pain will go away. This will last for a little while, but eventually goes away.

Lanisoh is amazing in the beginning, use it any chance you get.

Nipple shields are ok to use. My first LC at the hospital told me not to let DD get used to using it ( but i have small boobs/nipples) and she needed it. I got so stressed trying to get her to nurse without it, that i eventually gave up after 2 weeks and stopped. With DS, he had to use the shield on one breast for a few weeks, eventually he pulled out my nipple enough and he was able to self wean from it. So much less stressful.

the other ladies gave you some great advice too!!
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  #6  
March 7th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream2bemommy22 View Post
d
After about a month, your nipples will be sore and cracked. When your baby latches on, you will literally have to hold your breath for a second until they get latched on and the pain will go away. This will last for a little while, but eventually goes away.

Lanisoh is amazing in the beginning, use it any chance you get.
I actually had the sore nipples/cracking occur in the first week to 2 weeks with both my girls. It was just getting used to the nursing and with Vi, it was also because of a bad latch. It does get better like Shannon says though! I used Lanisoh to treat them. I had one nipple crack and bleed and my midwives had me use Neosporin on it, but then wash it prior to nursing just to ensure Vi wasn't getting the ointment in her mouth. It healed within about 2 days and we were good after that.
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  #7  
March 7th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twhylite21 View Post
I actually had the sore nipples/cracking occur in the first week to 2 weeks with both my girls. It was just getting used to the nursing and with Vi, it was also because of a bad latch. It does get better like Shannon says though! I used Lanisoh to treat them. I had one nipple crack and bleed and my midwives had me use Neosporin on it, but then wash it prior to nursing just to ensure Vi wasn't getting the ointment in her mouth. It healed within about 2 days and we were good after that.

Just wanted to third how important nipple cream is! I put it on after EVERY feeding and in between if I start to get sore. I went through tubes of the stuff with my last one and it helped a lot!
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  #8  
March 7th, 2012, 07:55 PM
*Jillian*'s Avatar Baby #3 on the way
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I used a nipple shield too. It saved me. I had allowed a bad latch for about 3 days and that was enough to cause cracked bleeding nipples. I would have to stop myself from screaming when he latched. The shield made it where I could nurse and still heal. Once I healed I never hurt again!!!
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  #9  
March 8th, 2012, 06:21 AM
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The one thing that truly got me breastfeeding was AFTER she was born I went to a LLL meeting and those ladies were such a life saver. The nurses at the hospital were no help at all.
SO my biggest tip is to try and find a local meeting and go to a meeting or 2 and get some contact info from leaders because they are typically more then willing to meet with you after baby is born if you are having problems.

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  #10  
March 8th, 2012, 07:10 AM
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I think the other ladies have covered the basics. But I just wanted to add how important it is for YOU to stay hydrated. Those first few weeks you will want to drink a ton of water. Also snacks..find some healthier type snacks that you enjoy and have those on hand and close to where you plan to nurse most of the time, or show someone where they are so they can get them for you if you are nursing and get the urge to eat.

The first 6 weeks are normally the hardest, but don't get discouraged! If I had given up when my son wouldn't latch(due to hospital giving a bottle without my approval) then we would have had a year of puking with formula from a lactose/dairy issue. But he is still happily nursing at 16 months, and will likely tandem nurse when baby sister gets here.
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  #11  
March 8th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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Just know your body was made to breastfeed. Just like your body was made to carry the baby you are carrying. Don't let anyone tell you differently! If you have the confidence in your body's ability to feed your child then all things will fall into place.

With my son, I was determined to breastfed, there was no other option for me. I struggled with latch issues for the first 3 months... Cracked nipples, painful feedings, bleeding nipples, etc. Finally we got the hang of it and it stopped hurting. After that it was easier to breastfeed than it would be to bottle bc I always had a warm fresh supply of milk for him... No washing bottles, no mixing formula, etc.

I'd say the latch is the most important part - make sure baby has as much of your aerola in its mouth as possible. Make sure his/her bottom lips are puckered out. I recommend asking for a location specialist at the hospital to show you a good latch and/or go to a free LLL meeting in your area.
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  #12  
March 8th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Newborns need to feed very frequently, so just be prepared for that. I would set up a nursing station at home with bottled water and snacks. It probably will hurt, it will be hard, but just stick with it, and you'll make it. Good luck!
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  #13  
March 8th, 2012, 11:53 AM
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Im not a BTDT but these are the tips Ive picked up so far from LLL meetings

Remember that you are both learning how to do it and it will take some time to get it down perfectly

Remember it will get better

Use lots of lansinoh

Try to feed baby unwrapped, if you try to nurse them swaddled or dressed too warmly they will most likely be sleepy and lazy

If you are struggling, nursing in the bathtub is supposed to be really helpful but I never tried it.

It's better to be reclined with baby resting on your chest/stomach than to be hunched over with baby resting on your lap/pillow

As it gets on to summer and hot weather, baby will probably want to nurse more frequently for shorter amounts of time. They aren't messing with you, playing around, or using you as a human pacifier, they are just doing it to stay hydrated because the milk at the beginning of a feeding is lighter and has more water content.

Also Im another one to say go to LLL and read the book womanly art of breastfeeding
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  #14  
March 8th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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Such great advice here. I just wanted to second all of it! Pretty much anything I would say here has already been said. We had a great nursing experience for a full year.
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  #15  
March 8th, 2012, 08:30 PM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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The other ladies had some great stuff to say!

My tip would be to find a book about breastfeeding (from the library or wherever) and read up on proper latch, what to look for, and the pictures! I'm sure you can find some online too, but I found some books very helpful with their illustrations. Just knowing some of what I was trying to accomplish really helped in the hospital with Kate. Get that lower lip on your aereola, then pop the nipple in their mouth. It helps them get a nice deep latch.

some people say nursing shouldn't hurt if you're doing it correctly. Well... no.... and yes. The thing is, your nipples aren't used to to the wet/dry and suckling, the baby is still learning and so are you. Plus they have tiny mouths as newborns! If there is continued pain then definitely get a LC or LLL leader check it out, but sometimes the first couple weeks it really does hurt. But know that it's temporary and goes away!!

It can also seem really complicated at first. Baby is sleepy, latching takes time, baby nurses for what seems like *forever*, your nipples are sore.... yeah it's a little hectic. But then once you both get the hang of it then suddenly it feels super easy. I used to love going out with Kate knowing that I didn't have to worry about packing anything but diapers. It took her 5 minutes to nurse, whenever she wanted to, no prep or clean up. And it was an instant calmer.

Most of all, just know that you CAN do it. Like the other girls said, our bodies were made to feed our babies. It takes some determination, but it's worth it. I loved laying down to nurse my little baby. I miss that!
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  #16  
March 8th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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2 more things I thought of:

1) Don't feel bad if you don't focus completely on baby while you nurse. Lots of doctors, lactation consultants, etc say you should be looking at your baby while you nurse to bond, etc. Well, yes you should take the time to look at baby and bond, but if you're nursing constantly, then read a book, go online, watch some shows, etc.

2) Some babies only nurse for a few minutes and others want to nurse for long periods of time. Lily nursed for 30+ minutes at every feeding for months (she'd usually fall asleep), but Vi only nursed for 5-10 minutes from the start. Some babies just like to comfort nurse, while others just want their milk and then they're out of there. Just because your baby only wants to nurse for 5 minutes doesn't mean you aren't producing enough, just like if they want to nurse for longer it doesn't mean you are producing more or less either.
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  #17  
March 9th, 2012, 12:05 AM
Devan'sMama's Avatar ♥Devan's Mama♥
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I second everything that's been said in this thread. Just know that it's not always easy, especially in the beginning but stick it out. It's totally worth it.
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  #18  
March 9th, 2012, 05:24 AM
dream2bemommy22's Avatar and baby makes 5
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I wanted to add ( not sure if it has been mentioned) That while our bodies are made to breastfeed, that DOES NOT mean that it will just come easy to you or your baby. Remember like anything else it is a learning experience. You have to teach your baby how to each, just like you have to teach yourself what works when it comes to breastfeeding them. Its not an instant thing, sometimes it takes a few weeks of frustration and long feeding sessions, figuring out your babies feeding schedules ect.

Dont give up if you want to do it though, its hard in the beginning but eventually becomes like second nature to do.

I had a hard time with DD- i was so determined to make it work that when it wasnt i immediately gave up. ( makes no sense, right) With DS i was more go with the flow, did what worked for him, and i made it almost 10 months before he weaned. I know my body could have done it with Mackenzie, but i was given terrible info and struggled and had no confidence becuase of it. It wasnt until i believed in myself and mine and Charlies abilities that i was fully able to breastfeed.
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  #19  
March 9th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Only two things I can think to add-

Start with the nipple cream a few weeks before baby is born. It can help condition your nipples.

Unless you have to use some other type of ointment on your nipples, do not use soap on them when you shower, bathe. Just use warm water. Sometimes scented body wash and soap can mask your smell to baby.
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  #20  
March 9th, 2012, 01:09 PM
greeneyedchaos's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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You girls have given me so many great tips... I'm making this thread a bookmark on my iPad so I can refer back to it!
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