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Breastfeeding Experiences - BTDT Moms


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  #1  
July 6th, 2009, 06:10 AM
Christine_D's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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For some reason, I'm more nervous about breastfeeding than the actual labor. This is my first LO and I'm scared that we are going to have major problems and I won't be able to breastfeed or it will be very difficult.

For BTDT moms, what was your experience? Did it 'work' right away or did it take several days/weeks? What there any physical problems with your BBS or milk? Do you recommend taking a breast feeding class?
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  #2  
July 6th, 2009, 07:40 AM
Snowpeas
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I would definitely recommend taking a breastfeeding class.

The best advice I got was that although it's a natural thing neither mom or baby instinctively know how to do it, it takes practice and learning for both so don't give up.

I'm not going to lie, the first two weeks were NOT fun and I contemplated quitting several times, however I was determined to stick with it. It was very painful for me for about two weeks. My nipples felt so tender & my baby had such a strong suck that it took awhile for my body to adjust (she would completely empty my breast in only a few minutes). The thing to remember is IT GETS BETTER.

By one week it only hurt until letdown. By two weeks it stopped hurting & never hurt again (until pregnancy but that's a whole different story, lol). That's when I started to enjoy it and realize what a true bonding experience it was and how much I truly loved it.

My advice is to get help & make sure you have a good latch. There are lactation consultants available at the hospital - even after you are discharged & go home. They have great advice and lots of tips and tricks.

Also don't supplement with formula unless you absolutely, positively have to. Your body will make what baby needs. Baby will go through growth spurts (starting at 10 days old) where it seems like they are not getting enough to eat. That's not true, they are actually instinctively getting your milk supply up to meet their growing demands, within a few days they will go back to their old nursing pattern & you will find you have more milk. If you supplement, your body will not make the needed milk as it is a supply & demand thing.

Also, rather than specific schedule (every two hours, etc) I prefer to feed on demand (when he/she is showing signs that they are hungry). I also let them completely empty one side so that they get the fatty hind milk, and then offer the second side (which unless she was in a growth spurt she wouldn't take).

I breastfed Olivia for 18 months and it was the most rewarding experience for me. The first few weeks are the hardest, if you can get through them you are pretty much home-free.
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  #3  
July 6th, 2009, 08:49 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Most women don't have any issues with breast feeding other than a lack of support from family members. Having a lot of support can be really helpful.

I'd definitely recommend the class and going over to the BF board here. Check out La Leche League as well. You can go to their website to see if they have a group in your area. They are real women who have been there and done that and can offer support and advice.

I think you have to know going into that it can be hard and it can be exhausting but after the first few weeks things get better. Just like everything else that's worthwhile it can require some hard work.

Just keep reminding yourself that you CAN do this. Before formula was available this is how women fed their babies.
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  #5  
July 6th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Mommy2Olivia – You mentioned having her empty one before offering the 2nd, how do you know when one is empty?
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  #6  
July 6th, 2009, 10:32 AM
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Ditto to what the other ladies have said..

the first two weeks make or break you. With my first DD I was broken after only a week or two. It was so frustrating and she didn't seem to know how to do it and I couldn't figure out how to help her. It was awful.

My first DS took to it awesome and it was so easy but then I had to go back to work when he was 3 weeks old so we put him on formula.

With my 2nd DS Jaigen I breast fed him. The boy just KNEW what to do from the moment he was born. This kid was born to eat. Hehe. It was not hard with him at all though engorgement can and does occur for some mommies. NOT one person had warned me about when your milk comes in and all that jazz so it came as a HUGE shock for me with my first child.

Anywho....if there are breast feeding classes you can go to before hand awesome. If not there is plenty of literature likely at your docs office. I'd definitely grab that and feel free to ask questions here and at the docs.

Good luck with BFing and all if that's what you chose to do. Either way it'll be just fine!
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  #7  
July 6th, 2009, 10:32 AM
MrsSarah1's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Mine was a pretty bad experience. The first three days were great! I had a lot of support from family and friends. After I got home from the hospital however, it got to be terrible. Every time she nursed, the first 15 seconds felt like someone was rubbing a cheese grater over my nipples. I would burst into tears each time she started to nurse. It hurt so bad that I started to push her away and resent her. She hurt me, and I didn't like it. When she would cry, I would do anything else but feed her, and only nurse her if it was the last resort. It hurt so bad!!!

It got a little better after a couple of weeks, and I didn't resent her so much, but I still cried when I nursed her. About 4 weeks PP, I got really sick. I got so cold that it felt like my nipples were going to explode and I stood in a steaming hot shower for 45 minutes. My finger nails and lips were blue. Then, a rush of heat overwhelmed me and in a feverish panic attack, I laid on the tile stark naked trying to cool off. I started blacking out and fainting all over the place.

I want to the doctor and was diagnosed with a severe case of mastisis. I was given antibiotics and within 24 hours, my breasts went completely empty and flat. I switched to formula after that, and was embarrassed to admit that I had. I felt like a bad mother for quitting and it made me really depressed.

After a couple of months, I realized that I'm the mom, and I don't care what people say. I tried and it didn't work.

This time, I'm going to try again, but I won't beat myself up over it either way.
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  #8  
July 6th, 2009, 10:44 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faith2006 View Post
Mommy2Olivia – You mentioned having her empty one before offering the 2nd, how do you know when one is empty?

When you're nursing listen for your baby to swallow what she/he is drinking. When your breast is empty/nearly empty it will feel softer and squishier and the swallowing will slow down. If she's still hungry she may begin to fuss again because she isn't getting much or anything from the current breast.

Check out kellymom :: Breastfeeding and Parenting

It's a great site with tons of info on BF.
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  #9  
July 6th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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While nursing is NATURAL, you and baby will both need to learn!

Classes can help, but I found its hard to really understand till baby is there in your arms. Make sure the hospital has a lactation consultant and request that you get a visit for sure. The nurses some can be very helpful, but others are pushy and not nice.

The biggest thing is try to be calm, try to not stress and get worked up over it, the baby will sense that and have a harder time.

Im not gonna lie, it may hurt at some point... if baby isn't latching right, it will hurt more... once you get past the first 6 weeks you are golden pretty much! After you get past the first few weeks it goes much smoother.

Personally I wanted to make sure breastfeeding would work and I didn't want my babies have bottles or formula, I made sure the hospital new, NO bottles, no pacis. And I never had a bottle or formula at home or pacis. It just wasn't an option.

All you can do is give it your best try! There are times when nursing is physically not possible, but its not often that that happens.
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  #10  
July 6th, 2009, 11:04 AM
Snowpeas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faith2006 View Post
Mommy2Olivia – You mentioned having her empty one before offering the 2nd, how do you know when one is empty?
You will be able to tell. In the beginning once your milk comes in your breasts will feel very full & heavy (full of lots of good milk) and when baby has gotten most of the milk out (the breast will never completely empty as your body keeps making more) it will feel very light and empty and soft.

Baby will also start fussing and/or unlatching at that time.
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  #11  
July 6th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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the hardest part to get through for me anyway, was not the nipple soreness, but the first week or so afterwards when you get the stomach pain! No one seemed to mention that to me before hand and it felt like everytime my son latched on i'd get contraction-like pains. It was NOT fun, but it DOES go away after a bit. I'd also recommend a b/fing class, they have lots of information to offer!
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  #12  
July 6th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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I learned my lesson with Xavier. He was my first breastfeeder. I had a lactation consultant in the hospital. Xavier had issues breastfeeding in the beginning so she IMMEDIATELY gave me a nipple shield rather then taking a little extra time working with Xavier and me. So he was addicted to the nipple shield for about 6 months. He would NOT breastfeed without it. At about 6 months I started LLL and they helped me out a TON and even help me ween him of it. unfortuantely at 9 months he was put in the hospital with low O2 levels and after that he never wanted to bf again. This time I have a LLL person that will visit me in the hospital after I give birth and will help me out with hopefully a nipple shield free experience.
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  #13  
July 6th, 2009, 12:50 PM
*Hayley*
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I might get a lot of heat for this, but I think a lot (not all certainly, but a lot) of the problems related to BFing are mental problems. People get too worked up about it. I definitely recommend taking a class. The nurses at the hospital should help you, and you should try to start feeding not long after baby is born. I think I started less than 30 minutes after Cohen was born and didn't have any problems whatsoever. He took to it naturally, moreso than I did. It was me who had to adjust to holding him and that sort of thing.

I even had to stop BFing for a week due to getting PUPPS and having to go on oral steroids for a week right after we came home from the hospital and Cohen came back to BFing like he had never stopped.
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  #14  
July 6th, 2009, 03:34 PM
BellaBellski's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My dd latched on like a pro from minute 1. I was very lucky.

a few recomendations:

Nipple Cream - you will not survive without this!! It's fantastic.

Breastfeeding pillow I've heard awesome things about this one, I plan to get one.

Different positions

hth!
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  #15  
July 6th, 2009, 05:45 PM
CriscoNinja
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I agree with all the PP's...

With my first, I dealt with a lot of yeast issues, and every time my son would latch on it felt like someone was holding a bic lighter to my nipple... ugh. I stuck with it though, since I knew it was something I really really wanted to do. I had the help of a lactation consultant and attended a new mommy class at the hospital where the LC came to every meeting. The first 6 weeks were h*ll. But after that it was a cake walk. I'm so glad I stuck to it. Turns out my son has food allergies and formula may have made them worse. He's allergic to dairy, soy and gluten, so I'm not even sure if there was formula for him to eat! I didn't know that at the time tho.

I nursed him for 13 months.

With my daughter, it was only 6 months after my son weaned that she started so it was a pretty easy transition. She was much easier to nurse and I knew the signs of thrush (yeast) so when she got it, we didn't suffer, I got treatment quick like.

Now with #3, almost 8 years after my dd weaned, I'm hoping everything goes well again... kind of like riding a bike! lol I just know NO bottles! lol I was watching "Bringing Home Baby" again, it's my dirty little pleasure hehe and this new mom was like "well I'll just give her formula until my milk comes in". I was yelling at the TV, "you're milk WON'T come in like it needs to if you don't nurse!!" lol I know it will still come in, but I think it comes in much better if you are nursing from the beginning. And just know sometimes it takes 3 days for your milk to come in and that's OK. The baby is getting colostrum.

I'm excited to bf again! I'll attend LLL meetings if I start to have issues, but I'm hoping I can wing it.

Good luck!
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  #16  
July 6th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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I've been more stressed about the idea of BFing as well; more so than labor! I just wanted to thank everyone who replied to this, as you had some great words of advice, and so much encouragement! And thanks to Christine_D for asking the question that I'm SURE most of us first-timers are thinking.
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  #17  
July 7th, 2009, 05:14 AM
Christine_D's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Yes - Thanks for all of the wonderful advice. I've signed up for a breastfeeding class at my local hospital for August. I think the more I know, the more comfortable I'll get with it. I also checked out LLL and there are a few in my area...
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  #18  
July 7th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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Great advice here already, I just wanted to add that I found BF to be a lot like pregnancy, really...there's some uncomfortable stuff with it, but you just kind of manage with it, because you know the end result is wonderful.
Besides, you will appreciate not having to get out of bed to mix and heat a bottle of formula in the middle of the night!

Oh, one other tip that I somehow missed last time was to use my pump early! Man, wish I would've thought of that pump when the milk first came in...YOWEE! The girls get rock-hard, huge and hot, so when the LO tries to get on there, you have fountains of milk spraying everywhere (well, at least I did ) This time, I'll pump them down a bit when they start to get that painful.

Best wishes to you -I'm sure with a little preparation, you'll be just fine.
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  #19  
July 8th, 2009, 06:58 AM
Adriana's Mommy's Avatar I <3 my kids
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I'm stressed out too.. I had breastfeeding problems with Adriana.. I tried for a week and a half and she never took to breast feeding, she was a lazy eater.. She dropped to 6 lbs when I finally started to exclusively pump.. Which is super hard and vary time consuming.. I did this for the first 6 months and then switched over to formula.. I personally never saw a growth difference between formula and breast milk.. Adriana still grew at a vary slow rate.. lol So this time around I'm going to try breast feeding and if that doesn't work, formula (organic of course ) is my next option..
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