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05/05/2014 at 11:49
I'm sure it must be normal to go through stages of worrying about different baby related things! This week its breast feeding! I think its more the lack of knowledge I have that is causing the concern. I definitely would like to try breast feeding, but what happens once baby is here? I'll try and feed, but what if they don't take it? Do the nurses etc instantly suggest you try a bottle instead just so it has something? What are my options to keep trying with breast feeding if the feeding doesn't seem to be working? How do I even know if it is working or not? Sorry - total brain dump going on here! Any help / guidance appreciated.
05/05/2014 at 12:06
First time - I'd had pethidine at the wrong time, baby was way too drowsy to feed. All was well except feeding. When he was about 42 hours old (so not quite 2 days) he still hadn't fed but I demanded to go home. The support for feeding was scarce and I didn't feel at all comfortable. Hated every second of the 'coaching' and being in hospital. I promised to return if feeding didn't soon start. You don't HAVE to stay in. Your midwife will support you too. I get that most people will want to stay if feeding isn't established but I think some folk can feel enormous pressure, and feel tense in hospital, and I hate the idea of new parents feeling trapped or upset.
And - even all those years ago - no one AT ALL suggested I try a bottle. I expressed a wish to BF and it was going to be that route until we decided it wasn't possible. Which is great because there's a very slim chance they could have encouraged bottle to 'allow' me to go home, and I might have taken that option. :)
05/05/2014 at 12:07
05/05/2014 at 12:08
05/05/2014 at 12:11
Look at the Kellymom website, it's fantastic for evidence based information on breastfeeding.
Put baby to the breast as soon as possible after birth and as often as possible - my mantra is 'if it squeaks, feed it!'
You'll know whether it's working or not by baby's health, he/she should be pink and healthy looking, lots of wet and dirty nappies and some weight gain. Ask for help straight away if you need it or if something doesn't feel right and keep asking until you get what you need. Worth remembering that midwives and health visitors don't have any specific breastfeeding training but the hospital should have an infant feeding coordinator so do ask for them.
If breast feeding doesn't work to start with, you don't have to go straight to a bottle, you can express and offer milk through a syringe or cup if you prefer.
Have a look at Kellymom and if you have more questions, just ask!
05/05/2014 at 12:50
05/05/2014 at 14:22
J really struggled to latch in hospital and the midwives helped me express and syringe feed for the first few days. I'd be surprised if anyone suggested bottle feeding as a first port of call if it doesn't work straight away.
05/05/2014 at 15:25
When I was in overnight after having S I must say they did offer to give her a formula top up fairly easily, despite the corridors/waiting rooms being full of posters saying that if you didn't intend to breastfeed they wouldn't provide milk. I asked for help feeding her and a midwife basically shoved my nipple in her mouth and left me to it. When I called again a bit later and said she still seemed to be hungry they asked if I wanted her to be given a formula top up.
I only lasted with BF for a week for various reasons and I've been suffering real guilt ever since as I feel like I gave up too easily and should have tried harder, despite being in tears at every feed and S being really jaundice. We've since found out she has a toungue tie which may have added to the problems but I'm still beating myself up about failing her.
I'd definitely recommend reading as much as you can in advance to prepare and finding out where help is available beforehand as when my hormones were running wild post birth I found it really difficult to be rational about the situations. Don't be afraid to ask for help in hospital and if you're struggling in the first few days at home.
05/05/2014 at 15:33
I struggled to bf. I had one HCA who came in overnight and told me to 'just put him on'. The mw we're too busy to help me despite H going out and asking for help. As a result N didn't feed for 12 hours and spent his first night crying.
When we got home not much changed, he lost 9% of his body weight in two days and every time I tried to get him to latch he screamed. I was convinced I wasn't making any milk, and eventually we went to a wonderful bf clinic run by mw's.
They thought I wasn't making any milk as I'd haemorrhaged after birth and my body couldn't cope. I had to top up with formula, express and try and bf every two hours which was bloody exhausting. Eventually N got diagnosed with a milk allergy and I got diagnosed with an under active thyroid which if not treated can inhibit milk production!
So to be honest the whole process was stressful and exhausting and I felt like a failure for a long time. But maybe I'll be able to feed no.2, we'll see.
I would do your research and find out where your support is before hand so you know where to go if you need to.
05/05/2014 at 15:34
A friend was telling me about these plastic baby bottles they give you in hospital. Thats what started off the worry I think. She was advising me to take some with me - but I couldn't really grasp why they would give me them, or why I'd take them, given I want to try breastfeeding (and so did she). It made me think that perhaps they give you one shot and if it isn't happening they start suggesting other methods!
05/05/2014 at 16:28
I was really lucky in that my daughter took to it really easily. I put her to my breast within minutes of being born & she stayed there for an hour & then I put her on the other side & she stayed for a further 45 mins. When we went home I tried to do a lot of skin to skin feeding as I'd heard this really helps to promote your milk coming in. I also attended Le Leache League meetings whilst pregnant and this really helped me to see real women feeding their babies & toddlers in a relaxed setting as it is was in someone's home. It allowed me to ask silly questions and see how it actually worked. For some reason I thought your milk only came out through 1 hole in your nipple instead it's more like a shower head hence why it sprays in all directions!! It also meant I had experts to ring to ask. x
05/05/2014 at 17:18
Does anyone know where I'd even start to look for breastfeeding support etc? I.e someone I could turn to should I need it? I've tried googling in my area but no avail. Will ask midwifes but to be honest they haven't been very helpful so far.
05/05/2014 at 17:42
05/05/2014 at 17:55
Pep - what a fantastic thread and thanks to all the ladies for their contributions. So interesting to read.
05/05/2014 at 18:10
Pep, I googled 'breastfeeding support group [my area]' and there's quite a lot of info, but actually only a couple of options, but I don't live in a big town/city. One of the groups operates from the children's centre where my midwife appointments were. So my midwife would probably know, or I could call the centre and they'd give me the info. The maternity ward would also have contact details, you could ask before you're discharged. :)
05/05/2014 at 18:45
Where do you live? I will try to find a LLL contact for you. My local group have a Facebook group which is a great place to lurk and read as well as asking your own questions.
I won't lie to you, I found the first few weeks of feeding the hardest thing I have ever ever done. It's not like that for everyone by any means and I'm not saying it to put you off, but I spent a couple of days feeling completely betrayed that not one person had warned me about how hard it was and how emotional I would feel about the whole thing. A struggled to latch and also was very sleepy post-birth so we had a rocky start, in fact he wouldn't latch on one side at all and fed so frequently once the post-birth drowsiness wore off that I was in agony on the very over-used side he was on! I luckily had a lot of support; the birthing centre were fabulous and helped me express and syringe from the side he couldn't feed from, and my community me was amazing and came to see me every day. She also put me in touch with the local authority breastfeeding support worker, who was like the Mary Poppins of boobs and waltzed into my house and revolutionised my entire feeding technique. A friend gave me the details of a LLL leader who texted me regularly and had a good long phone chat with me (I was going to see her in person but ended up not needing to as things very suddenly got more bearable).
It isn't an all or nothing choice between breastfeeding or formula and there's nothing wrong with mix feeding - A had small formula top ups on day 4 which I was convinced would be the end of bf for me but that's because I knew nothing, of course it wasn't. A turned 6 months yesterday, is exclusively breastfed, and in fact I've typed all this while he's having his bedtime feed!
05/05/2014 at 19:36
I think you may have to be forceful about wanting to breastfeed, certainly that was my experience. C was syringe fed formula for his first feed as I'd had a general anaesthetic c section and morphine afterwards and I felt I couldn't have safely held him. I've since been told he could gave been given bank milk or better still the midwife could have latched him and held him on for me.
I'd say Google breastfeeding support groups in your area and try to get along before baby arrives to ask for advice and experiences which might help. I didn't get the opportunity to do that as C was slightly early, but I've learned stuff since that I wish I'd known to help when we were in hospital.
Oh and don't be afraid to ask for the latch to be checked at every feed and stay in until you are comfortable that it's going well.
05/05/2014 at 20:01
For me personally, like Tina Teaspoon, I found the first few weeks (well- actually, upto about week 7/8) incredibly hard. T had tongue tie when he was born and we got that sorted within the first week BUT it massively affected his latch (I still have to whack him on the boob even now, he has terrible aim!) I was expressing to give my boobs a rest as they were in a bad way from his bad latch which was a result of the TT, then had to get him to get back on the boob. We did it, and I'm incredibly proud that we've got to 3 months and he is EBF -what I didn't expect was how emotional and upsetting I found it all. Even now, I still get quite upset thinking about it - those first few weeks were very hard, I dreaded every feed and felt almost resentful that T wanted feeding- which of course made me feel incredibly guilty etc.
We got through our various issues with the help of the local breastfeeding counsellors (I had them out to me three times- don't be afraid to be persistent if you need the support, they are there to help!) and also my H- he was incredibly supportive which makes a big difference so maybe clue your OH up on it too?
Finally one thing I remember is when I was struggling with BF, I remember the BF Counsellor telling me I would 'get it' because I wanted to (that's not to say that people who don't, didn't, but I do think that if you are forewarned that some of it is going to be perseverance and sheer bloodymindedness then it helps). I hope you don't find it hard but I think preparing yourself is a good idea - forewarned is forearmed!
05/05/2014 at 20:03
Oh and I meant to say too, in hospital we were told to ring the bell to get the midwives to help if baby was having trouble latching (we could hear bells dinging all night so it was fairly common!) But I found they just literally shoved the baby's head on my boob rather than actually showing how to latch and what was the correct positioning etc. So while they were supportive of the BF, they didn't seem to have the time to help in the same way the BF counsellors did.
05/05/2014 at 20:07
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