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The closer I get to having this baby, the more worried I am about breastfeeding. Mainly I'm worried about the pain. I know the pain won't last forever, but I'm major baby when it comes to pain.
Is the pain super bad or is it bearable? I feel silly asking this, but I want to be prepared.
I'm also worried about colostrum, I know my body is probably already producing it (or at least getting ready to) but I'm worried that it won't happen and I'll have to formula feed until my milk comes in. I know, silly fears, but I'm a FTM, so I'm giving myself a little leeway on the fear section.
The best you can do it educate yourself and have a support system (midwife, la leche league, lactation consultant, etc).
Also, it is good to know that it can take up to a week, especially if you were induced, to have your milk come in, but that is OK!! As far as pain, the pain should be minimal and temporary if latch is good, so having a good support system can really help you get the latch right. If you have not, i recommend attending some La Leche meetings, some are geared towards prepping for baby to come home. Also, read kellymom.com as she has a lot of resources on what to expect in those early days/weeks. There really should be no reason to formula feed if you have no medical conditions that would hinder breastmilk production, so if that is recommended, please get a second opinion.
The number one thing to know about waiting for your milk to come in and colostrum is this (IMO):
- colostrum will be produced in very small amounts. That's fine, because your baby's belly is only the size of a cherry at birth. They need very little to fill it and get enough nutrients as they also have stores leftover from their time in the womb. You may have doubts about whether baby is getting enough - in almost all cases they are.
- milk "coming in" (and supply thereafter) is supply/demand. The more your baby nurses, the more it signals your body to make milk. If you supplement, be it with donated breastmilk or formula, your baby will nurse less often which will further delay your milk coming in. It's really a vicious cycle.
- Your baby will seem insatiably hungry on night #2. My hospital even gives out a sheet about "Baby's Second Night" because most mothers think their baby is starving and run to formula. The purpose of this is so that you nurse the baby a LOT over that night and it aids in bringing in your milk.
- Doctors and nurses don't always have the best education about breastfeeding. Have the number of a lactation consultant, another mother you know who can support you, or so on.
Proud mama of Avery, born March 19, 2012, 6lbs 5 oz, 19 inches