May 2013 Moms

Breast feeding?

I'm a FTM and there isn't anyone that I can really ask for the straight fact on how their experience was. So i'm just wondering how many of you ladies are breast feeding? is it your first time? what are some things that I should expect? When I have the baby i'm going to try to learn everything I can from the nurse's about breast feeding but I'm just really anxious thinking about it because I want to make up my mind. I really don't have the extra money to spend on the breast pump if i'm not going to end up using it (there kind of expensive) and people have said that I can buy a used one, but I just don't know how comfortable I am with that. This is something that I want brand new if I end up going this route ( I don't mean to sound snotty) so please any helpful advice, tips, or any info at all about your experience I could really use the advice. (: 
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Re: Breast feeding?

  • Take a breastfeeding class.  A lot of times you can rent a pump from the hospital to see if you actually need it/will use it/what kind you like before you have to invest in one.
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  • My cousin posted something on Facebook about how insurance is now supposed to help cover the costs associated with breastfeeding.  Not sure if it's true or not, but it's worth looking into.  Breastpumps are seriously expensive!
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  • I am not sure what to expect as far as breast feeding goes, because I am a first time mom too!


    But what I can tell you is that the Affordable Care Act made it so that pumps are now covered by insurance! You will need to contact your insurance company to find out what models & vendors the cover specifically.

     

    Good luck!

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  • FTM as well and I fully intend on B/F. Definitely read lots of books and take classes. I had lots of experience growing up in a family of 9. watching my mom and learning. I think it will be easier than we think. Books and a nurse or specialist will help you the first time he/she needs to latch too. I'm getting a pump through WIC... if they don't have one, my mom has one from my 2yo sister. Definitely do everything you can to B/F, it is painful, but it's also special time too! You can do it!

  • Definately take a breastfeeding class. It can be very helpful. Ask your OB and call your hospital. Most hospitals even have Lacation Consultants on staff.

    I had great experience with boys my boys. As a first time mom breastfeeding was what I worried about the most.

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  • There are so many factors that can come into play that dictate whether or not BF'ing will even work for an individual. Because of that, I refused to but an expensive pump. I rented one from the hospital for the 1st month. I tried pumping while I was still in the hospital so that the nurses/lactation specialists could teach me how to do it. That ALSO got me all of the hook-ups for the Medela brand pumps that were then billed to my insurance & covered. Whoohooo! So, I rented the Medela pump for the first month. By then, I was in love with nursing and pumping, and we ended up buying a pump for about $320, and it was soooo worth it. Why? Because there are few things worse than a crappy pump!

    I didn't take a BF'ing class prior to delivery. But, they hosted free classes/group sessions at the hospital where I delivered, and it just so happened that I got to attend one when I had DS. The lactation nurse was there leading the class and teaching different ways to hold your baby for nursing and assessing our "latch." I can't imagine trying to learn how to breastfeed before the baby is here. So much of it has to do with the latch and you have to have your baby for that! 

    I did the breastfeeding thing with DS 7 years ago. Now, I've heard that more & more moms are getting their pumps covered by insurance, so that's certainly something to consider. 

    I'm a big Medela fan too. I LOVE their pumps. 

     

  • Check to see if your insurance company with pay for a breast pump.  I BF both of my children as long as I could (6 months and 4.5 months) before my supply absolutely dried up.  I was told early on that it can be very difficult so I read as much as I could on the subject and asked friends/family/nurses every question I could think of.  My avid research helped me so very much!  Nursing babies is difficult, but the first week was the worst.  As soon as I got past the toe-curling breast pain during latch on that comes that first week, I really started to enjoy it.  I also want to say that it is very important to keep an open mind.  Not everyone can or decides to breast feed and THAT IS OKAY!  Please don't let other opinions and judgements affect you.  Do what is best for you and your baby.  **Steps off soapbox and says sorry 'bout that** 
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  • I definitely intend on BFing and did semi-unsuccessfully with my first.  I was very uneducated on the topic the first time around.  I didn't make very much milk and got VERY frustrated early on.  I took a BFing class at my hospital before L was born and it wasn't helpful at all.  Made everything seem like butterflies and rainbows and my experience wasn't at all.  This time I think I am already more educated and plan on getting in contact with the LLL group in my area if I have problems this time.

    My best message to you is that it's not easy, even for the ones who don't have any problems, it's not easy.  Don't expect it to be!  :)  Best of luck to you!!! 

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  • image botanicalbliss:
    Take a breastfeeding class.  A lot of times you can rent a pump from the hospital to see if you actually need it/will use it/what kind you like before you have to invest in one.

     

    This.  I rented from the hospital before buying.   

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  • I didn't know if I'd be able to breastfeed because I have hypothyroidism, but I really wanted to. I did not by a pump beforehand at all, I just thought I'd see how it went.  It ended up going great in the hospital so I bought a pump before we left.  Honestly, I didn't even open it until 4 weeks.  I wouldn't worry about having an answer set in stone.  You won't need a pump right away most of the time and if you do, the hospital will have them on hand.
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  • I tried with my first two boys and it didn't work out, but I fully intend to give it another go this time around! My plan is to read up on it more, and to take a breastfeeding class.  If it works out - great! If not, I know my baby will turn out fine, just like my other kids did.  The most frustrating thing for me was not only having trouble BFing, but then having people make me feel bad for it! "Mommy guilt" is the worst.

     As for the pump, I bought a cheapie Dr. Browns pump and it was awful.  I've heard that the Medela is the way to go.  I'm thrilled that pumps are covered by insurance - I'm definitely going to look into that!

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  • DO NOT RELY on your nurse for breastfeeding info. Nurses are busy and I got frustrated with mine because she only wanted me to do the football hold. The football hold didn't work for DD. Read a book! I recommend the Breastfeeding mother's companion.

    Lactation specialists can be a great resource if your hospital has them. However DD was born Dec 23rd and discharged dec 25th so we didn't get to see the Lactation consultant. Just FYI in case you deliver on a weekend or on Memorial Day!


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  • FTM here, too.  My plan (because of course it always goes that way) is to breastfeed exclusively until 6 months, then intro solid foods as baby is ready, wean around a year.  I was SHOCKED when I called my insurance company and they said they would pay for up to $500 for a breast pump, more with approval.  That is more than enough for most of the store models out there.  My assistant used to be very active in La Leche League and gave me a copy of The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding.  As others have said before, it can be a little extreme and preachy, but I have found a lot of very helpful information in it.  Just like any other book you don't have to take everything it says completely to heart.

    I was planning to take an inexpensive breastfeeding class at my hospital, but found out the Bradley class I'm taking will cover breastfeeding so I will just stick with that.


  • Also - I didn't notice if any PPs mentioned this - but some pumps that you would buy second hand aren't as 'gross' as you might think.  As far as I understand you're just basically purchasing a motor, which never touches the actual milk.  What you would buy new is all the tubes and valves. Experienced moms can probably say a lot more on that.

  • Good luck to you!  I would highly rec looking up your nearest La Leche League chapter and if you can't attend a meeting (pregnant woman are very welcome), you can get a leader's name and they are available by phone as a resource.  I would also also rec reading 'the womanly art of breastfeeding'. It is an awesome resource.  Don't give up!
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  • image jesselayne8:
    DO NOT RELY on your nurse for breastfeeding info. Nurses are busy and I got frustrated with mine because she only wanted me to do the football hold. The football hold didn't work for DD. Read a book! I recommend the Breastfeeding mother's companion. Lactation specialists can be a great resource if your hospital has them.

     Oh, and I totally agree with all of this.  The nurses helped me as much as they could, but they have many other things to do (as well as other patients to see) and couldn't devote that much time to helping me. My hospital supposedly has a lactation consultant, but I never saw her either time I gave birth.  I'm hoping if I go to the hospital's BFing class, I can meet the LC ahead of time.

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  • im a FTM so i only know things second hand but i'll share anyway. My midwife gave me a DVD called from bump to breast and that was really informative. It stresses that the latching is the most important thing to master. The other, which I learned from my cousin who is a midwife and teaches the BF classes was to look out for signs that your bby is hungry before he/she cries. For example head turning from side to side when they wake up, mouth open or hands coming up to mouth. She says the signs from every baby will be different but if you learn what the cues are it really helps. She said at this stage your baby is saying, " I'm a little peckish now and could do with a bite to eat". Once they're crying they're more frantic so can be more difficult to get them to latch on properly.
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  • image botanicalbliss:
    Take a breastfeeding class.  A lot of times you can rent a pump from the hospital to see if you actually need it/will use it/what kind you like before you have to invest in one.

    Ditto this. And actually, the nurses at the hospital were extremely helpful to me as well.

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  • This is my second time I will be Breastfeeding. I have my Medela Pump In Style Advanced it is second hand and is practically brand new. I BFed for a year last time. I really enjoy the bonding with baby. I am making these nursing covers with a pattern I got off of Pinterest that  looks like a chic poncho and covers the front and the back and is a light cotton jersey material. I am a proud public BFer too.
    Your little hands wrapped around my finger and its so quiet in the world tonight Your little eye lids flutter cause your dreamin so I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light To you everything's funny, you've got nothing to regret I'd give all I have hunny, if you could stay like that Oh darling dont you ever grow up, dont you ever grow up, just stay this little Oh darling dont you ever grow up dont you ever grow up, it could stay this simple I wont let nobody hurt you, wont let no one break your heart, no one will desert you Just try to never grow up imageimage Pregnancy Ticker Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • image megsll:
    I didn't know if I'd be able to breastfeed because I have hypothyroidism, but I really wanted to. I did not by a pump beforehand at all, I just thought I'd see how it went.  It ended up going great in the hospital so I bought a pump before we left.  Honestly, I didn't even open it until 4 weeks.  I wouldn't worry about having an answer set in stone.  You won't need a pump right away most of the time and if you do, the hospital will have them on hand.

    Color me ignorant, but why would this affect it? I have sub-clinical hypo and haven't heard anything about this from my doctors...

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  • I will be attempting to breastfeed again. I did it for about 6 weeks with my 1st and about 2 weeks with my 2nd. I had gallbladder surgery 6 weeks after I had my 1st, and it was too hard on me to keep with a 20 month old and take the time I needed to to breast feed #2. Im hoping this time around will work out better.

    They have classes you can take and there usually lactation people at the hospitals that can help you. I have considered taking a class even though I kinda already know waht to do and expect from doing it twice. Maybe try it out before you get a pump and make sure its something you will like and be able to do. I had a manual pump the first time, it was awful. Then I spent the money and got an electric pump but I didnt like the one I got, it was hard to use, but it worked so much better when I had the time to really do it.

    Best of luck in youe decision.




     

  • I extended bf lo1 and we got our bfp for this baby while bfing so I've done it and it worked for us.

    It was a lot more work than I ever anticipated. My husband was willing to do more but a bfing mommy has to either be available or pump, about every two hours at first, for months. I guess my greatest advice would be commit yourself. It will hurt, you will be tired, there will be times that it is totally inconvenient, but it can be done.

    Good luck!
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  • I plan to breastfeed this time as well.  I BFed DD until 16 months, when I started back school and she hit a nursing strike, which led to her self weaning.  There are many difficulties than can come along with nursing, and it takes a lot of patients.  I had trouble with latching, over production, and when trying to decrease my supply, it went down too much and I didn't have enough to fully supply her thirst.  She was old enough to have some cows milk by then so I never used formula. 

    For the first little bit I borrowed a breast pump from my cousin, but bought new tubes, bottles and shields-the only things that can possibly touch your breasts or the milk, and it totaled about $30.  I eventually bought my own pump when I decided I wanted to stick with it.

    If you aren't going to be pumping everyday, or very frequently, hand pumps work fine.  I had one of those also.  They usually cost about $20.

    I loved breastfeeding with DD though.  It's something that you can do and no one else can. 

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  • I nursed both my boys for 15 months each.  My advice is to a) read as much as you can before hand (no specific book recommendations, but I like the Amalah column on alphamom.com and also askmoxie.com for good advice) b) take a class take a class take a class even if it seems unnecessary c) expect it to be difficult.  For me, the first few weeks with DS1 were really hard.  Bleeding, cracked nipples, feeling like a stapler on my boob every time he would latch on, etc.  But I knew it was something I wanted to do and with some calls to my hospitals LC and some advice from other moms we worked out the kinks (corrected a poor latch on one side and only pumped on that side until it healed enough to try to latch again) and by 6 weeks everything was going well.  If you expect problems and do enough reading before hand to anticipate how to correct them you're going to have a much easier time figuring out how to nurse.  

    Oh, and the more support you have at  home the better off you will be.  I dragged MH to the class with me against his will but in the long run it helped.  His attitude was always "it's natural, how hard could it be?" and once he heard more about the problems he was great about understanding what I needed and why it was difficult.

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  • I breastfed both my kids, and loved it!  I nursed my DD for about 10 months, and my DS for slightly over a year.  It can be uncomfortable in the beginning when your nipples are getting used to it, but if you stick with it through those first 6 weeks, the discomfort stops.  After that point, it feels like someone is gently tugging on your earlobe.  It isn't sexual at all...unlike when DH is involved (sorry if TMI, but I know a lot of women don't want to BF for that reason).  A lot of women give up before they get to that turning point where it does become wonderful.  To get a good supply going in the beginning you have to always nurse every 2-3 hours.  You will be feeding more frequently than bottlefeeding moms but, you don't need to mix anything, warm anything, clean anything, so you save time that way.

    Some tips I was given that helped me:

    * Use maxipads cut in half to put in your nursing bra in the beginning.  They really absorb any leaking you may have, and they keep your areola area dry which helps prevent painful cracking.  The thin "nursing pads" they sell just didn't do the job.

    * They also sell vasaline type products to help with sore nipples, but I never used them.  Friends of mine swore by them.

    * Like a PP, try to begin feeding before LO is ravenous.  This will help with latching.

    * Once your milk comes in, you'll feel full in your breasts. It's almost like you need to pee.  If LO is sleeping longer than usual, you may want to try and pump to begin building up a supply so DH and others can try bottlefeeding.  I wouldn't do this though until after you are really established...maybe three weeks in.  I would still offer the breast first even after I've pumped, because it helps build your supply.  Somehow, they can usually still get more out to satisfy them.  If not, use the milk you just pumped.

    I went back to work full-time after 4 months, and pumped at work for 6 months.  I had the Medela Pump In Style which is an electric double pump and it worked quickly and efficiently netting me 12 ounces each time.

    I know there are women who have tried BFand just couldn't do it, and you shouldn't feel guilt in that case.  But, if you try really dedicate yourself to it, it can work for many women and it really is a wonderful experience. 

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    AMA: 43 DH: 49 DD: 07/09/98 - 15 years
    DS: 11/09/00 - 13 years
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  • I tried breastfeeding with my daughter as a FTM and it was SO much harder than I realized.  It was not as simple as sticking a boob in their mouth and they just eat.  I had to figure out how to get her to latch right, the best positioning, how to unlatch her without it feeling like she was ripping my nipple off, using lots of lanolin, leaky boobs and breastpads, and the roughest part was cracked nipples and mastitis (3 times). Mastitis happens when you bacteria gets into the glands, and it hurts like hell and your boob turns red.  I also got high fevers from it and had to get a script for antibiotics to get me back in shape. 

    When you get into a groove and baby learns the latch and you relax, it's wonderful.  For me, the stress of it all really had an impact on my supply...plus the fact that I know I didn't drink enough water.  I feel confident that I will be more successful this time around!  For what it's worth, I EBF for 3 months and then supplemented with formula.  Lasted 6 months before we went 100% formula.  

    Also, don't forget there is a breastfeeding board on this site that is very helpful!

  • I've read a few responses here talking about it hurting. It didn't ever hurt when I nursed my son. My nipples never cracked or bled. Just so you know, that doesn't happen for everyone.
  • I nursed DD for 18 months. I would definitely wait to buy a pump until you know BFing is best for you and your family but not until the day before you go back to work. It really helps to have some in reserve. I pumped at 3 weeks and got nothing, tried again at 6ish weeks and had much better luck.

    I read books then took a class at my hospital with DH. It made everything more real and helped get DH on board.

    And it hurt like a *** the first weeks when she latched and when I took a shower but after a short while it was not painful at all. Until she bit me. Also I did not lose any weight until she weaned. Everyone said the weight would fall off. Apparently not for everyone.
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  • Breast feeding is difficult but very well worth it. It's usually only difficult for the first month or so the it gets easier form there. My insurance covered a lactation consultant while I was in the hospital, but she was worthless. With that said there was some great lactation consultants out there and also free breast feeding support groups that are run by experiences LCs usually at the hospital.

    I do recommend you take a breastfeeding class, also visit the Breast feeding board on here, those ladies are very helpful.

    As far as the pump, I would not have survived without it, but I ended up exclusively pumping by month 4 because of a growth spurt and I was trying to increase my supply and it was never the same... I will fight to the end not to go down that road again. But with all of that said, a pump is a must. If you don't have one you can not leave your child's side until they are weened, which means no date night, DH can't feed the baby, someone else can't take over when you are sick, etc.

    Good luck! It's rewarding!! 

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  • I nursed DS for 13.5 months until he self-weaned.  I definitely also recommend taking a breast feeding class.  Mine really helped me understand baby behavior, such as cluster feeding.  Many people assume that if baby cluster feeds (i.e. nurses every 20 minutes or half an hour)  it means he's not getting enough food when in actuality he's telling your breasts to produce more.  

    I also recommend finding a lactation consultant and doing weighed feedings if you feel insecure with your supply.  They weigh your baby...you nurse...and then weigh again to tell how much he ate.  You CANNOT determine how much milk you produce by pumping because baby is a lot more efficient at removing the milk.  Many people,  I think,  wrongly assume that they are not producing enough when in actuality they are.  

    I can't say this one enough...but if you have issues and want to solve them...seek help.My pediatrician told me when DS was 5 days old (or so) that I'd have to supplement with formula unless he started to gain weight.  At that point,  I found a lactation consultant and realized what my problems were and we were golden.  My problem was that DS didn't want to wake up to eat...and would sleep unless I woke him up.  I started waking him up every three hours and he gained great.  La Leche League is also a free great resource. 

    Sorry for the novel....

    I am very passionate about BF-ing and would be willing to answer anyone's questions. PM me if you like! 

     

    Lob:Laura & Rob.
    Happily Married, Fans of Lobster.

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