The Down and Dirty on.... Breastfeeding! — The Bump
September 2017 Moms

The Down and Dirty on.... Breastfeeding!

Okay. We've had some discussions in different places about breastfeeding, but I thought we could use a designated thread. Here we can ask all of our burning questions, share our best tips, tricks, advice... basically allllllllll things breastfeeding. (Also pumping!)

For FTMs, what are you questions or concerns?

STM+, favorite tips or tricks? Anything you'd like to say to the FTMs? Any questions?
lap018IdleFancyawildroseMrsVP614winerenchildcaremama
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Re: The Down and Dirty on.... Breastfeeding!

  • At the hospital use the lactation consultant as much as you can. Drink TONS of water. We bought a bunch of those little ones so I could just grab them and not worry about myself ir other kids spilling a glass. Get snacks to eat just for you while breastfeeding.
    DPandMBmrs_tacostfrangul
  • Best pillow for me was the Breastfriend pillow. It snaps around your waist so if you have to get up or move, it stays put. Initially, I used to start out feeding my kids on our bed, then I'd either move to the rocking chair or just switch positions without having to worry about having to adjust the pillow. Plus it has a pocket where I'd always keep nipple cream AND baby nail clippers - bc during the day once baby passed out from nursing and was right there, I could clip their nails without them flailing around. 

    I also preferred the football hold for right breast and the regular hold for left breast. I would start with one, then swivel the pillow on my waist and do the other. 
    Souptinmrs_tacostfrangulchildcaremama
  • I really loved the My Brest Friend nursing pillow.  I have a bad back and it has been so great for that.

    I had an aggressive letdown and major overproduction with my son, so I expected the same with my daughter.  Nope.  Just enough for her, and very little to pump. (She also has always been a crazy eater so it could be that too.)  So, just like pregnancy, every breastfeeding experience is different.

    With both, however, the first two weeks were agony.  I saw lactation consultants both times, and both times they were able to help with minor things, but told me to be patient.  After two weeks, things got much better.  Again, it's different for everyone, but pain doesn't always mean something is wrong.  Sometimes it really does.  And sometimes it's just part of the process.  Trust your gut and don't hesitate to seek help, even if it's just to be reassured.

    Make sure you are part of the breastfeeding equation - your health and well-being are just as important.  I let my son bite me, at 95% of our feedings, for five months (I nursed until he self-weaned at 13 months).  Even though I was in pain, even though I developed mastitis as a result (which was three straight days of hell), I kept doing it out of guilt.  No one pressured me to keep going or to stop - even my pediatrician encouraged me to take my own needs into consideration.  Again, follow your gut, and don't let anyone - yourself included - make you feel guilty for decisions that are beneficial for everyone. 

    Cabbage leaves for engorgement are a must.  I also highly recommend Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads for sore nipples.  Pop those babies in the fridge, and pop them on after a feeding.  It's amaaaaaaazing.  And if you are planning on using disposable nursing pads, I really liked the Lansinoh brand of those too.  The Medelas are good, but they are also more expensive.  Bravado nursing bras are my favorites, but go get a fitting if you can just before you deliver so you get a well-fitting and comfortable one.  It makes such a difference.

    BabyFruit Ticker
    Souptinmrs_tacoslap018tfrangul
  • I love that you posted this. All of the input has been very helpful! 
    Partly for you sister! 
    msashley2010-2winerentfrangul
  • I went into BFing with an open mind, if it worked great, if not I wasn't going to stress. DS did not want to latch in the hospital so the LCs gave me a nipple shield to try because they thought he may be tongue-tied. I ended up using that the entire time (around 10 months). He ended up not being tongue-tied though. But after about a week when we figured that out, he wouldn't NOT use the nipple shield. Soooooo now I'm kind of nervous about not using one with this little guy because DS never actually touched my nipple. I don't know if I should use the shield again or not. Has anybody here ever used a shield? 

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  • I agree with all the advice. Breastfeeding my first was super easy and he just seemed to know what to do and I rarely had pain. 
    Then my first daughter it took is what seemed like forever to get a good latch figured out. I was tired frustrated and about to throw in the towel and then it just finally clicked and breastfeeding because super easy. 
    With number 3, she latched and nursed great but it was painful for the first few weeks. She did lose some weight and the doctor wanted us to quit breastfeeding and give her formula. But she was having the appropriate number of stools and wet diapers. And meeting all behavioral milestones. I chose to find a new doctor who was more supportive of breastfeeding and never did give her formula. So don't be afraid to follow your gut!! Baby eventually started gaining weight and there was no need to supplement. 

    tfrangul
  • A nursing pillow is an absolute necessity. I was all "I don't need to spend $40 on a pillow just because they say it is for 'nursing.' I have a million pillows at home. I'll just use those." I was wrong. Just buy a nursing pillow.

    Try triple nipple cream if you see signs of thrush or if you have cracking or bleeding (check with your doc first of course) - you can make it homemade using equal parts 1% Hydrocortisone cream, antibacterial cream (like polysporin), and antifungal cream. Dab a tiny little bit on each nipple after each feeding until you're healed. It's like a magical quick healing cream and you don't have to clean it off before nursing the next time (it soaks in pretty fast). Hydrocortisone is a steroid, so if you are concerned about that you can eliminate that particular ingredient (it just won't work quite as fast).

    @iheartichi We used a nipple sheild, I forget for how long. The LC warned us that babies and mommas can get dependent on them, so she recommended that every single time I should try without it first. When we did have the shield on (which at first was every single time) once baby was more satisfied and sucking more gently I could try slipping it out. Over time we were able to slip it out a little earlier, and finally I switched to starting without it. When I could get a good latch after trying just 2-3 times, I would go without it the whole time. When I couldn't get a good latch within three tries I would use the shield after that. Eventually we were able to wean but it was a slow process over several weeks.

    **TW**
    Me & DH: 32
    Married 2013
    Kiddo #1: Sept 2015
    BFP: 1/19, EDD: 9/30

    "I'm having fruit salad for dinner. Well, it's mostly just grapes, actually. Ok all grapes. Fermented grapes. Fine, I'm having wine for dinner."
    iheartichitfrangulkaylaakosua
  • Ask for help when needed! For me, for some reason, when my DS woke up at 3am I was filled with dread - and if he was fussy or cried I felt defeated and like I didn't want him anymore. I realized pretty quickly it might be a form of post partum depression - I HATED feeding him at that hour, like dreaded it. So I told my hubby after the 3rd time of feeling that way and he immediately sprang into action - he made me wake him up as soon as I realized it was a 3am feeding. He then changed our son, handed him to me to just feed then took him right back to burp, soothe and get back to bed. He'd even sometimes give him a bottle of breast milk. Helped SO much! If my son woke up at 2:30am or even 3:30am, it did not affect me, it was something about 3am! When DD was about to be born, i was prepared and ready in case I had the same feelings. But there was none of it - totally different baby with different feeding habits. So don't be afraid to seek help!! 
    tfrangul
  • Thank you, THANK YOU for all this amazing info. I feel a little intimidated to try BF for the first time, but it's good to know what to expect going in.
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
    tfrangulmandt0917DPandMB
  • One of my friends told me I need to get a nursing stool - like a little foot stool that is supposed to put you in the right position for nursing. Has anyone used one and think it's essential? I never even knew there was such a thing until she told me about it. Maybe it only matters for shorter moms (which would include me)?
  • One of my friends told me I need to get a nursing stool - like a little foot stool that is supposed to put you in the right position for nursing. Has anyone used one and think it's essential? I never even knew there was such a thing until she told me about it. Maybe it only matters for shorter moms (which would include me)?
    I've never used a stool! I'm only 5'4" and never felt like I needed to have a stool to help with positioning while nursing. 
  • @lizlann that makes sense. We were both dependent on it that's for sure! I guess I'll try without, and if this one ends up needing it for some reason I will try to be more consistent with taking it away. 

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    tfrangul
  • @Jamiern01 thanks! I've never heard of anyone else using one, and it kind of seems unnecessary to me, but my friend was so insistent I should get one that I thought I'd see what others think.
  • @Rhubarb7216- I never had a nursing stool.
  • @Souptin Dangle feeding is not a term I have heard before. What does it entail? 
  • @iheartichi I had a nipple shield with my oldest. We had some latch issues the first couple of days and my LC gave me a shield to use. Her suggestion to wean off was to try without it at every feeding as long as baby wasn't frustrated. It's took several days, but we were able to ditch the shield at two weeks old. I never used it with my second baby. 
    <><><><><>DD1- May 2011<><><><><>
    <><><><><>Angel Baby- June 2012<><><><><>
    <><><><><>DD2- March 2013<><><><><>
    <><><><><>DS1- ETA September 2017<><><><><>
    iheartichi
  • lap018lap018 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    @Souptin Dangle feeding is not a term I have heard before. What does it entail? 
    Basically you get in a position where your breasts dangle over the baby and feed them while they are lying on their backs. This way both sucking and gravity are playing a role in getting out the plugged duct. I always knew I had a plugged duct because I would all of a sudden feel flu like (body aches, low grade fever, fatigue) sure enough feel around and I'd have a tender pea sized (sometimes bigger) lump. This is a screen shot from Kelly mom the breast feeding bible of resources! 

    winerenawildroseSouptintfrangul
  • @awildrose I guess I really didn't try hard enough. Looking back I think that I was subconsciously scared not to use it. I haven't found one person IRL that has used one so it's comforting to know y'all are out there! And that I can probably do it this time. We shall see! 
    I cant tell you how many times my dog found that thing and hid it somewhere, so off to the store I went to get a few more. 

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    tfrangul
  • One of my friends told me I need to get a nursing stool - like a little foot stool that is supposed to put you in the right position for nursing. Has anyone used one and think it's essential? I never even knew there was such a thing until she told me about it. Maybe it only matters for shorter moms (which would include me)?
    The nursing clinic I attended always had me put my feet up for more support. It's really for your neck and back. I preferred to sit on my bed or on the couch when at home for more support. Out in public, I would cross my legs. It's all about what works for you and if you choose to use an upright nursing position. The footrest that often comes with a glider or an ottoman is also a great support.
    Rhubarb7216tfrangulkaylaakosua
  • @Rhubarb7216 I used a nursing stool and liked it. I was using a 30+ year old rocking chair (the same one my mom used for me) and I'm 5'4. It helped keep my legs up enough that I wasn't straining my neck during nursing sessions. Ditto on the footrest or ottoman that other's have mentioned - I would've just used that if my rocking chair had one. 
    ***TW***
    RAD born 6/2015 |  mc at 7 weeks 9/2016 | rainbow baby RHD born 9/2017
    Rhubarb7216
  • @rhubarb7216 I used a stool for nursing in the early days. It was just a little foldable step stool that we had in our kitchen, but it saved me a lot of back troubles by preventing me from hunching over - it lifted my feet up to just the right height. I'm only 5'1" so having the extra little lift was helpful. Once I got better at nursing, I figured out how to situate myself so that I could nurse anywhere and feel supported.

    **TW**
    Me & DH: 32
    Married 2013
    Kiddo #1: Sept 2015
    BFP: 1/19, EDD: 9/30

    "I'm having fruit salad for dinner. Well, it's mostly just grapes, actually. Ok all grapes. Fermented grapes. Fine, I'm having wine for dinner."
    Rhubarb7216kaylaakosua
  • Wow I was wondering why all the rocking chairs come with ottomans now... my mom was like, you can't rock with your feet up on the ottoman, it's awkward! - and was so against me getting an ottoman and Idk what I need so.... but now I'm going to tell her that it helps with breastfeeding?

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
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    BigBadWolf12
  • We haven't picked which glider we're going to get yet, but all the ones we've considered come with ottomans. It sounds like I'd be fine with using that and don't need to get a special stool. Thanks for the feedback!
    JNR6510upnorthmom
  • You could even play around with a regular stool (or even a box of diapers can be a footrest) to see if it's comfortable for you before you shell out for something you're not sure about!
    Lilypie Maternity tickers
    Rhubarb7216
  • jlf1019jlf1019 member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    @iheartichi I used one with my daughter and I really regretted it. The LC in the hospital told me I had inverted nipples -- like within only about 2 minutes of even trying to get my daughter to nurse. So she automatically said "you're going to have to use a nipple shield." I was a FTM and anxious about nursing anyway, so I agreed and thought she knew best. But, I do NOT have inverted nipples. This is weird to say, but my nipples aren't naturally erect. But I can get them to be if I just kind of pull on them for a few seconds lol. But anyway, we went with the shield and I sort of blame it for my low supply issues, because it prevented us from having direct skin-to-skin contact while nursing. My daughter also had a weak suck, and I think the shield made it even weaker. While we still nursed occasionally, primarily for her comfort, naps, etc., I ended up EP'ing for a year because we just couldn't get nursing to click. While I don't regret EP'ing, because all I cared about was getting her breast milk in some way or another, I'm really hoping nursing works this time and I can just pump when I need to (when I go back to work, etc.). I feel like I missed out on so many moments of just sitting around holding my baby because I had to immediately put her down after feedings so I could pump. Plus, I know hooking up to a pump 8 times a day for 20 minutes is going to be even harder with a newborn, plus a toddler. 

    I'm pretty adamant about trying to avoid the nipple shield completely this time. I may break it out occasionally if my nipples need a rest, but I'm not using one first thing. If you have to use one, though, buy multiples. It's such a pain to have to wash it after every feeding. And then you wake up for a middle of the night feeding and have to go all the way down to the kitchen to get the shield from the drying rack, etc. 
    tfranguliheartichi
  • I have a really weird, probably dumb question for STMs, and I'm not sure exactly how to word it, but....being that women's breasts are so sexualized, and the fact that they are usually involved during sex, did breastfeeding cause any kind of psychological distress or confusion or make you uncomfortable in that sort of way? Did it weird out your husband at all? Or does instinct just kick in and it seem natural? I'm not super worried about it, but I'm curious if that is going to be an adjustment during learning how to breast feed.
    BabyFetus Ticker
    Me: 34 | DH: 31
    Married: Nov. 7, 2015
    TTC Since: February, 2016
    BFP: December 20, 2016



    fitlady21
  • stephy_p said:
    I have a really weird, probably dumb question for STMs, and I'm not sure exactly how to word it, but....being that women's breasts are so sexualized, and the fact that they are usually involved during sex, did breastfeeding cause any kind of psychological distress or confusion or make you uncomfortable in that sort of way? Did it weird out your husband at all? Or does instinct just kick in and it seem natural? I'm not super worried about it, but I'm curious if that is going to be an adjustment during learning how to breast feed.
    I've heard of this before but I never had that issue, it's kind of completely different when you have this tiny little newborn trying to latch on to feed. Doesn't feel sexual at all. Plus my milk was late coming in so I had to squeeze out some colostrum first so he would get the hint, and that was definitely not sexual lol.
    stephy_pDPandMBtfrangulmandt0917
  • With my son nursing was pretty easy from day one. When I say "easy" I mean I never had any real issues with pain, other than a blocked milk duct. He did nurse all of the time and I kind of felt like a prisoner, but it was a great experience overall and we continued our nursing relationship for a loooong time!
    Nursing my daughter was a whole different experience. Despite her having a "good" latch, nursing was extremely painful and I ended up with a cracked nipple. I dreaded every feeding! @iheartichi I ended up using a nipple shield to help protect the cracked nipple for a few days while it healed. It really helped and didn't seem to cause her any nipple confusion. After about two weeks, nursing got so much easier! She is still nursing now at 19 months. Nursing while pregnant was pretty painful during first tri, but it's much better now. She is still pretty into nursing even though I am producing very little ( a few drops per let down) milk. Any moms still nursing that can chime in on their supply at this point?

    imageimage

    TTC #1 January 2009
    January 2010 SA results: Count 16 million, Motility 40%, Morphology 2%
    January 2010- Surprise BFP! DS born 10/1/2010 :)
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    September 2013 Repeat SA: Count= 1.7 million, Motility= 24%, Morphology= 2%
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    After seeing the uro, DH is currently taking lots of supplements and clomid to try to boost his count. We will have a repeat SA in February to see if it works.
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    Uro wants us to have another follow up SA 5/9 to see if we see further improvement than we are back to the RE to make a game plan.

    SA 5/9/2014 Count: 12 Million, Motility: 60%, and Morphology 2%. We will be doing iui #1 in late June

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