Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Nightmares!!

Hi all

 I found out 4 weeks ago that I was pregnant.  I was thrilled of course!  But recently, for the past couple of weeks, I've been thinking about breastfeeding.  I'm imagining it to be really painful.  More than anything I want to breastfeed my baby.  I'm a strong believer in breastfeeding and will do anything and everything to breastfeed my baby.  I'm just hoping nursing mothers can chip in and give me some insight on the sensation and challenges of it.  I'm thinking once I hear others' experiences and thoughts I'll be able to form a better idea on the entire process!

 

thank you mommies! 

Re: Breastfeeding Nightmares!!

  • I don't really know where to begin! I think the biggest misconception about breastfeeding is that since it is a "natural" thing that it comes naturally. This is not the case. My biggest advice fo you would be to take a few breastfeeding classes BEFORE you baby arrives, read some books (my fav: "So that's what they're there for!"), and establish a relationship with a lactation consultant. Being educated on the proper holds, a good latch, troubleshooting, etc. before your baby arrives will get you to a good start. Having an LC that you can contact when you have issues in the early days is critical.
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  • I have been breastfeeding my baby for all most a year. It did not hurt when I first started. I didn't take any classes on breastfeeding either. My baby was a natural, I did not have any problems with her latching on and feeding. Make sure to drink lots of fluids.
  • image julieb00lie:
    I think the biggest misconception about breastfeeding is that since it is a "natural" thing that it comes naturally. This is not the case.

    Amen to that. 

    That was my biggest problem. I thought it should come naturally and didn't really prepare. Plus I'm in the medical profession so I figured how hard could it be?

    OMG did we have our troubles.. but a fabulous lac. consultant at the 6 day PP mark really helped me out. 

    Don't let it go that long. I knew something was wrong ( bad latch and high palate = pain for mommy), but nobody would listen. I pushed til I got my answer. 

    I supplimented with formula the first week just to get a break from the vice of my child's latch. 

    Not saying any of this to scare you, but to let you know that its best to go into breastfeeding being proactive and willing to do whatever it takes to BF your baby, b/c like the PP said, it does not come naturally!

    I read the books afterwards and wish I would have read them beforehand.

    Now im proud to say my 8 month old is EBF and has not received any formula since that first week. :) 

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  • I was pretty worried my whole pregnancy on all the horror stories that come along with child birth, healing, and breastfeeding. I was stressed for no reason.. and so please don't make my mistake. I would get a few books and read up on the mechanics of breastfeeding and how it works and make sure you know of a lactation consultant. Besides that, all you can do it wait and see how it goes. Good luck and enjoy your pregnancy.    
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  • The best thing you can do is be prepared ahead of time so you know what to expect.  Pick up some books at the library, take a class at your hospital, go to a LLL meeting, etc.  Feel free to meet with an LC in the hospital after your baby is born too.  Kellymom.com is another good resource.

    I expected it to be bad too since you hear all kinds of horror stories about bleeding nipples and things like that.  I had some soreness at first but it wasn't that bad.  It went away after a few weeks and I never had any cracking or bleeding.   We went through a fussy phase that was kind of frusturating and I had one clogged duct but that was it.  We made it to 13 months when DS self-weaned and overall it was easier than I expected.

    Important things to get off to a good start: 1) Know what a good latch is and establish it right away.  2) Nurse on demand.  It will feel like you're nursing all the time at first but that's normal, it doesn't mean the baby isn't getting enough.  Their stomachs are small so they need to eat often and frequent nursing is is good for your supply.  3)  Be confident and don't second guess yourself.  If your baby is gaining weight and having plenty of wet and dirty diapers, you're doing fine.  4) Set short term goals and don't quit on a bad day.

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  • Ditto pp about it not being a natural thing! It has been so much more of a challenge than I ever would have imagined. Do lots of reading, like pp said Kellymom.com is great educate yourself on problems you can have so you are not caught unaware. Also find a good LC.
  • Be ready for serious soreness early on. Be prepared to be over-tired but still need to wake up to feed baby.

    But once you get past the first few weeks, it all gets so much better. And it is so worth it! Now at 5 months PP, DD is still EBF and I'm so proud!

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  • make sure you especially read up on how milk production works, how it is based on supply and demand.  This essential information was not understood by me at first and I did not have the information to arm myself against those (well meaning) people who suggested my baby needed just little supplemental help, which I am now convinced has totally interfered with my ability to EBF and I have struggled with a low supply since the beginning. 

    Also it's important to know that for many people, continuing to breastfeeding means overcoming obstacles and staying strong when quitting is the easiest thing (in my case mastitis, thrush, cracks, concerns over low production).  If you know this from the beginning you won't be so shocked when it is so hard and will be very happy you don't suffer any of these things and it just comes easy.   

  • Everyone's experience is different.

    I definitely had soreness, but no cracking or bleeding. I have two barely used tubes of Lanolin sitting in my closet.

    Definitely read some good books about BF. Try not to worry too much. It may not come naturally, but BF is a beautiful thing. Once you get past the first month or so, it is really pretty easy. We're still BF at 15 months mornings, evenings and weekends and I love having that bonding time with my DS.

    Good luck!

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  • image julieb00lie:
    I don't really know where to begin! I think the biggest misconception about breastfeeding is that since it is a "natural" thing that it comes naturally. This is not the case. My biggest advice fo you would be to take a few breastfeeding classes BEFORE you baby arrives, read some books (my fav: "So that's what they're there for!"), and establish a relationship with a lactation consultant. Being educated on the proper holds, a good latch, troubleshooting, etc. before your baby arrives will get you to a good start. Having an LC that you can contact when you have issues in the early days is critical.

    This

    I was worried throughout my first my second had some issues in the beginning latching  and have been a result of my anxiety but I was determined  to get him to latch. Within about a week he was latching just fine, just very slowly. I nenver had any soreness or bleeding or cracked nipples, just tenderness

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  • I agree that you should take a class on breastfeeding. I didn't take any classes while pregnant and that is the one I wish I had taken. 

    I was terrified of breastfeeding... the pain.  I have really sensitive nipples and the first couple of weeks were pretty brutal for me.  Lanolin really did help and I brought it to the hospital, too. I kept telling myself "just get through the next nursing session".  Honestly, when one nipple hurt the most I would be scared to nurse that side- but once I did it started feeling better...every time!

    The staff (nurses) at the hospital were NO help for me. They kept telling me that "it shouldn't hurt - your latch must be wrong".  It DID hurt and my latch was NOT wrong! I am just really sensitive. The first two days(in the hospital)  were the hardest for me. But, the Lactation Consultants at the hospital were a big help.  Ask to see them right away... it took a whole day before I got to see one.

    Since being home I have dealt with 3 clogged ducts and mastitis once.  Dealing with that has been awful.  Each time something happens I think of quitting... but I always push through because it just seems to be a minor set back... and when you have a clogged duct or mastitis nursing actually (slowly) makes it feel better.  I think taking a class would have prepared me much better for all these things.  

    I am not trying to scare you... it's completely worth it. Just make sure you do some early preparation!

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  • My best piece of advice regarding BFing is "don't quit on a bad day".  I read that somewhere on the bump during those first difficult weeks and it kept me going.

    I would say that DS and I had a bit of a difficult time with BFing.  My milk came in late (5 days), DS was too sleepy to eat well, had some latch problems, jaundice, and lost more than 10% of his body weight.  Even with all that, we never supplemented and we're still going strong at almost 8 months.  Honestly, most women ARE able to breastfeed, you just need to stick with it during those first weeks when it'll likely be difficult.

    Regarding the sensation (or pain) of BFing, it was never painful for me.  Not even at the beginning.  It may have been little uncomfortable, and my nipples did get a little sore during his marathon growth-spurt nurses, but there was never real pain.  Any discomfort was totally manageable.  So, there's no guarantee it's going to hurt. 

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  • I'm not sure anyone is really helping you with your fears. I'll try.

    DD latched fairly well, after some help in the hospital.  My best recommendation is to call the nurse or LC to your room everytime you want to breast feed.   They are there to help.  And it's free.  So, take advantage.  They can help you correct any latch issues early, before you do damage.

    While I had some mild pain in the beginning, I had no cracking or bleeding.  My let down was intense (like a gush of water pushing through pipes that are a little too small), but at least I knew it was working.

    I had a few clogged ducts, which had to be worked out with massage and heat and lots of nursing.

    The only other sensation I had was a little like a "drug addict."  There were times that I was so full, I was hoping she would wake up and "take a hit."  But, I could have just pumped and been totally fine.

    All in all, it is totally worth it - and it's not as bad as some posters describe. You have to remember that most people are coming to this board for help, because something is not right.  The people who have it easy, aren't here a lot.

     

     



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  • Everyone is different. Honestly, I did not know what to expect and in some ways I'm glad and some ways I wish I had educated myself. So, do what feels right for you but don't be anxious about it. There's no reason to be anxious about it before you need to do it.

    For me, it was VERY painful in the beginning because DD had a super strong suck. Everyone marveled at how "natural" she was at BFing however I was in a lot of pain because she was so powerful. But I thought it was normal and it got out of hand and I had to supplement to give myself a break from the pain. She had a good latch and everything so it was really hard for me because I didn't think it would get any easier but it did eventually. I borrowed a pump and took a 2-day break to let myself heal and it made a world of difference and I'm still BFing 6 months later. Formula and bottles are not evil and I think if I didn't have those to fall back on I would've quit early on. Good luck! Hopefully you will have an easy experience. It is very rewarding and I'm grateful every day that I didn't give up.

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  • WOW!! Thank you all so much for your insights, help, and advice.  Sharing your experience with me was invaluable :)  I truly didn't expect to receive so many answers and I'm really grateful.  I will make sure I read up on it and try my best to take a class (I travel a lot of work).  And yes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it goes smoothly! Wouldn't that be nice Big Smile

     

  • I didn't have time to read all the comments, but if it wasn's suggested yet, try to visit kellymom.com, it is a great, to-the-point website on BFing.  I took two classes and although they are helpful, if you don't have the time, reading up on websites before you have the baby is great.  Sometimes there is an overload of info on the web, but a lot of times there is useful info.  My ped dr and midwife never told me about trying Fenugreek and Mother's Milk tea together for extremely low milk supply.  My son nursed like a champ, I fed round the clock and pumped on the side to increase my supply.  None of it helped, I just had a "condition", but when I read articles on Kellymom I tried out some of their suggestions and did get a tiny increase.  Good luck!
  • My advice is to make sure you have a supportive partner. Make she they are on board with your plans and will listen to you when you are feeling like quitting but will remind you of why you decided to do it in the first place.

    Withough my husband's support, I would have quit after 1 week.

    Breastfeeding is tiring, time consuming, sometimes painful, sometimes inconvenient...  But it's also the best thing you can do for your baby and the most beautiful experience once you get it down.

    Good luck! 

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