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I recently found out I'm pregnant with my second child. I think I'm around 10 weeks, but will confirm at my midwife appointment on Monday!
First, a bit of background. My son is now 7. When I had him I was so firm on nursing that I didnt even have any formula in the house! I went to a Breastfeeding class at the hospital, read a book, and my mid was set. It turned into a nightmare. I had GD and he was given 2 bottles of sugar water. I have small nipples and after the bottles, he just would not stay latched on. He would latch off and then immediate come off and cry. It was like he didnt realize he had my nipple in his mouth after having that big bottle nipple. I had a lactation consultant finally come and help me the last day in the hospital. She really wasnt much help. Just told me to keep practicing and he'll get hungry enough and start to eat.
I got home from the hospital and Tyler just wouldnt latch on. .. all day long I tried nursing this baby .. nothing .. the next day my milk came in .. tyler was screeming, but would not latch on. My breasts were engourged, and my husband helped me hand express to relieve pressure.. all the while trying to get tyler to latch on, with no success .. finaly, the third morning home, tyler was 6 days old, My husband couldnt stand it and I was miserable, crying, feeling like a complete failure. My husband went and bought formula. I bottle fed my baby and he was immediatly happy. For the next two weeks I did some pumping with a hand pump and some by my husband hand expressing. But, I couldnt keep up the supply in this manner. My milk dried up. And, I didnt expect to have any more kids. My biggest regret was not being able to breasfeed. I felt like a complete failure.
Fast forward to about two years ago. My cousin had a baby. She had flat nipples. She got a breast shield from the hospital and it worked wonderfully for her! Is flat nipples like small nipples? Why didnt anyone give ME a breast sheild?
So, now I am pregnant with my second child... and once again I'm determined to breastfeed. Can I buy breast sheilds on my own, or does the hospital give them to me? Should I be ready with one first thing, or try it without one first. Once you use a breast shield, do you always use a breast shield?
I'm looking for any information and websites and books so that I can learn and be more prepared this time around. I am even more determined than last time. This time I WILL BE SUCCESSFULL breastfeeding mommy!!! I even plan to get a pump and pump at work so I can continue to nurse through the first year of my baby's life.
There were several things that went wrong with your first child and breastfeeding, but there's no reason to dwell on the past. Most moms are able to successfully breastfeed the 2nd time around because they learned from what happened the first time.
I wouldn't reccomend buying a nipple shield before the baby is born, because the size of your nipples likely isn't what caused the latch problems in the first place. I would place the blame on the supplements of sugar water instead, which caused nipple preference from the start. A breastfed baby never needs supplements, even one born to a mom with GD. The hospital made a big mistake by doing that and I would reccomend if you develop GD again, to specify you don't want ANY supplements when your baby is born. A baby will do just fine on colostrum and breastmilk alone.
Nipple size isn't an issue though, big or small, it shouldn't affect your baby's ability to latch on. It is possible, depending on the size, a baby would have the same problems with small nipples as they would with flat or inverted nipples, but that also doesn't mean it's impossible to breastfeed. Remember that both you and your baby are learning, it doesn't always come naturally. If you do have latch problems again, work closely with a lactation consultant to work them out. Remember not to let the hospital give the baby any type of supplement and if they have to, to give it through a syringe, instead of a bottle.
A nipple shield is a tricky thing and should be used with caution. Most woman don't need one, unless they are having really bad latch issues. Some woman are given them if they are in pain from cracks, but I wouldn't reccomend that myself. Nipple shields can cause problems such as low supply or slow weight gain because the baby doesn't drain the milk from your breast as efficiently with the shield on. It can also be difficult to wean from the shield, but you don't have to use it the entire time you do nurse, either. Definitely wait until your baby is born to make a decision, and work with a lactation consultant (a different one this time) if you have any issues.
Andrea, mom to Abigail (6) Annabelle (4) and Alexis (1)
good for you for doing your research early. That will be your best asset as you start nursing your new baby. Have your baby room in with you at the hospital and that way you will be together all the time, they won't be able to give baby a bottle. Also if baby stays in the nursery there can be big lapses in time between when they start crying and when the nurse brings them to you. Once baby is crying they are already hungry. being close will allow you to feed as soon as you see the cues, such as rooting.
sadly, nurses are taught a lot about formula, because schools get paid by formula companies to let reps come in and educate on their product. They aren't taught much about breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding is becoming popular again, nurses are very used to formula, hell, they even send you home with a gift diaper bag full of samples and coupons, again, hospitals are PAID to do that. So be very cautious and don't let yourself be influenced.
There are some great books you can read, one of the most popular is the womanly art of breastfeeding by Le Leche League. Also, you can attend LLL meetings while you are pregnant. This is great because you can be around women breastfeeding their babies, not something everyone has access to. The website we all rely on the most is kellymom. And Le Leche League has a lot of info on their site as well.
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!! All this information has really helped me. I'm going to buy the book "Womenly Art of Breastfeeding" and check out those websites.
Thanks for the info on the breast sheilds. I didnt know that about them. Actually, I dont know much about them at all! And, thanks for the tip about syring instead of bottle at the hospital. I've never heard of that either! I'm so glad I asked!