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Tips for a Successful Start


Forum: Breastfeeding

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  #1  
August 16th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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My baby is due on Monday, and I really want to breastfeed. Two of my SILs just had babies. One is breastfeeding and the other is bottle feeding. The one who is bottle feeding has had such an easier time. I really believe in the benifits of breastfeeding, but I'm worried that I might give up if it gets too hard. Do you have any tips for me to have a successful start at breastfeeding?
TIA!
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  #2  
August 16th, 2008, 07:11 PM
misfitinmn's Avatar little miss needs a nap
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I'm still in the thick of the extremely challenging period of breastfeeding, but I can tell you that it is at times VERY tempting to give up. I even have cans of formula here that were sent from the companies and I have made it almost 5 weeks without touching them! Trust me, there were times when I REALLY wanted to!

But I didn't. What helped me was considering how much formula costs. Plus, I work at WIC and I have seen many women struggle with trying to find the right formula for their baby and enduring a lot of fussing/crying/spitting up in the process, it just seems so complicated. My husband is also always there trying to help me find a solution for whatever is currently happening and talking me down when I start to get frustrated. It definitely hasn't been an easy road so far, but I really don't think bottle-feeding would be any easier. I do pump once a day so that every once in awhile my husband can feed our son, or we can leave him with someone for a few hours.

Also, the support of reading this board and talking with other ladies in my PR who are breastfeeding, knowing that what I am experiencing is not abnormal and that I WILL get through it has really helped as well.

Good luck!
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  #3  
August 16th, 2008, 08:18 PM
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Make small goals for yourself-get through 1 week, 1 month, etc. Once you start reaching them things do get easier!

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  #4  
August 17th, 2008, 05:13 AM
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I had a really hard time in the beginning, I was feeling so resentful of people who just bottle feed without a second thought and have it seemingly so easy (not saying that's true, it's just how I felt). The only advice I can give is to not compare yourself to anyone, and not not even consider that formula is an option. I would just think to myself of what I would have to do if that wasn't an option, if bfing was the only way to feed my baby. Get help! Meet with a lactation consultant as much as you need to! My hospital was great, they didn;t let us leave until we could get Maddie latched on ourselves (in the beginning it took me and Dh just to get her latched). Also, just set small goals. Make it past the first 2 weeks then it WILL get easier and easier as you go! Once you overcome the beginning, bfing is actually SOOOOO much easier! When I work I have to pump and pack bottles and it's such a hassle cleaning them, etc, etc. and I can't imagine doing that always and in the middle of the night! Bfing is easier in the long run in my opinion because you always have food with you wherever you go, perfectly sterile, perfectly the right temp!
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  #5  
August 17th, 2008, 06:16 AM
Jenilope's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'd say if you're using a nursing pillow, take it with you to the hospital. I use the mybrestfriend pillow and I love it, but I didn't take it with me to the hospital and I had a really really hard time there and thought that I wouldn't be able to do it. The pillow made things so much easier at home!

Also, have everything you need on hand by a comfortable chair so you're always ready. The longer you're bfing, the less stuff you'll need and you'll be able to go out and bf with nothing but your boob and your baby, but in the beginning I needed my nursing pillow, my breast sheild (I have inverted nipples) a basket full of burp cloths, nursing pads, the remote, the phone, the baby monitor so I could call for DH if I needed him, a snack, and a lot of water were all always set up by my chair so all I had to do was get the baby. In the beginning they nurse all the time and it takes forever because they're so sleepy. Hang in there, it gets a little easier every week--and a little less time consuming.

I agree that you should seek all the support you can get. I love checking on this board and talking with the moms in my PR, and there's a support group at the hospital too, and I talked with an LC before I even left the hospital.

Finally, REALLY limit your visitors. They'll make you feel like you're super mean, but everything is new to a baby and even if they look like they're sleeping, being passed around is stimulating and an over stimulated baby is MUCH harder to feed.

Good luck! You'll really feel proud of yourself!
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  #6  
August 17th, 2008, 10:06 AM
Kalia20's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I had a really hard time in the beginning, I was feeling so resentful of people who just bottle feed without a second thought and have it seemingly so easy (not saying that's true, it's just how I felt). The only advice I can give is to not compare yourself to anyone, and not not even consider that formula is an option. I would just think to myself of what I would have to do if that wasn't an option, if bfing was the only way to feed my baby. Get help! Meet with a lactation consultant as much as you need to! My hospital was great, they didn;t let us leave until we could get Maddie latched on ourselves (in the beginning it took me and Dh just to get her latched). Also, just set small goals. Make it past the first 2 weeks then it WILL get easier and easier as you go! Once you overcome the beginning, bfing is actually SOOOOO much easier! When I work I have to pump and pack bottles and it's such a hassle cleaning them, etc, etc. and I can't imagine doing that always and in the middle of the night! Bfing is easier in the long run in my opinion because you always have food with you wherever you go, perfectly sterile, perfectly the right temp![/b]

everything except the working part, Im on mat leave. I also had a very very hard time starting, there were times where I was so tempted to give her some formula in the cupboard, I also got for free from formula companies. I have been doing reasearch for almost a year now, and formula is not an option for my baby. I know the pros and cons. The first month or so was killer, but it DOES get better!! One day everything will just click and it will be second nature, promise!! Its the getting there that sucks

Oh and I totally agree, bring your nursing pillow to the hospital!! I wish I did. And if this is your first, just so you know, your thirst is going to sky rocket, I was amazed. No one told me!!
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  #7  
August 18th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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Thanks for all the tips and encouragement, ladies!
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  #8  
August 20th, 2008, 11:16 AM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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The #1 piece of advice I can give is to decide that you WILL bfeed, no matter what. Like a pp said, pretend formula isn't even an option. I'm not going to lie, the first few weeks of bfing are super hard and if you haven't made a firm decision to bfeed, it's so easy to decide just to give "1 bottle" and then another and another and before you know it, your supply is compromised and you switch to formula full-time. And while bfing is harder in the beginning, it is sooo much easier than bottle feeding a few months down the line. No bottles to wash, no running out of formula, no fixing bottles in the middle of the night, and you always have 1 hand free to tend to your other kids (or NAK ) while nursing. Not to mention all the health benefits!

This is the 3rd baby that I've nursed, I'm about as pro-bfing as it gets and I'm on week 2 of nursing my little one and have thought of quitting a few times already! The only reason I've kept going with each child is pure stubbornness & determination and the knowledge that it WILL get better. I try to view the first few weeks as a kind of bfing boot camp. Get past boot camp and it's sunny skies and smooth sailing.
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  #9  
August 20th, 2008, 02:12 PM
*~LuckyCharms~*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I agree with the nursing pillow suggestion....I didn't have mine in the hospital and it was REALLY difficult for me to get in position! Once I got home and whipped out the Boppy it was much smoother sailing!

Maybe it seems like your SIL who is bottle feeding is having an easier time right now, but talk to them in a year! It's likely that the breastfeeding SIL will be much more passionate about her feeding choice. It is just an amazing experience all around!
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  #10  
August 22nd, 2008, 10:40 AM
Karlie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
The #1 piece of advice I can give is to decide that you WILL bfeed, no matter what. Like a pp said, pretend formula isn't even an option. I'm not going to lie, the first few weeks of bfing are super hard and if you haven't made a firm decision to bfeed[/b]
That's exactly what I was going to say...the first 2 -3 weeks really sucked but as far as I was concerned there was no alternative.

The one thing that really helped me was having my awesome midwife visit me each morning to talk about how breastfeeding was going. I think having a super support system is really important whether that's a nurse or people on JM. You're going to have questions and probably need some reassurance!!!
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