i'm having this baby soon and really want to breastfeed for as long as i can... i'm looking for some advice/tips. i went to a class recently, have been reading up on it in books, and have gotten some advice from friends too.
i'm hearing alot of "it's difficult" (especially in the beginning), but that it does get easier...
just wondering if there's any tips out there from BF'ing moms on this board - e.g. boppy or my brest friend pillow? what pads do you like? what creams? any lactation consultant rec's? any advice is appreciated!
Re: looking for BF'ing advice/tips!
Ok, so back to you and your beautiful soon-to-be-hungry baby. I have been breastfeeding since June 1, 2007 (DD was born May 31st at night, so I didnt get to BF her til the next day) and love it! I delivered at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and they are very pro-bf and have 2 LCs on hand and a class every single day for new mothers who are still admitted, - you bring your baby with you and they teach you - check with your hospital to see if they have someting similar to this class on the maternity floor. I had a great experience at this hospital. They also have a program every Tuesday afternoons for new moms and their babies up to 3 months old who need help BFing, etc. Its also a chance to meet other moms. I never went because the hospital is too far from where I live.
Breastfeeding was was hard at first because the baby is still learning the whole latch, suck swallow breathe motion, and your nips have never been used like this before! In my experience its best to keep your nipples clean and moisturized especially at the beginning. I use Lansinoh Lanolin, and my pedi suggested just rubbing it on the areola and around the sides of your nipples, but not on the top so it doesn't get in. They also say to use a bit of your own breastmilk to help soothe the area. At first you will feel very irritated as your baby is learning to latch on but once your baby latches for that BF session it goes away. This is normal and lasts for about 4 weeks.
Breastfeeding might also seem difficult at the beginning because your baby will have their days and nights confused so they will want to eat when you want to sleep. You will be sooo tired. I hope that you get lucky and get a baby who sleeps through the night from the get-go. Mine did not
It also helps to keep a log of when they last ate, when you changed their diaper last, and anything interesting or noteworthy that happens. This will be a lifesaver at your first few pedi appts when they ask how your DC is eating peeing and pooping - you can show them instead of saying "I think its going ok" because you are so tired you can't remember.
My log is really simple: start time, side (L or R), end time, I also used codes for activities to help me remember what I did last:
D=diaper change, P=pee, PP=pee and poop, N=nap, etc. so it looks like this:
Weds, Jan 30
12.30 L 12.45, N
PP 2.00 R 2.15, N
It depends on how OCD you get about writing these things down.
Here is a negative - I had a crack in my left nipple at first and thought it was part of me getting used to BFing. It was full on balls painful. Brought tears to my eyes every time dd latched on. Coincidentally I mentioned this to my dd's pedi at her 1 month appt and she prescribed a cream to help heal it. It only took a couple of days before it felt soooo much better and didn't hurt, and it was healed completely in about a week and a half. After that breastfeeding was pure love!
There will also be times at the beginning where you think you are not making enough milk because your baby seems to want to eat and eat and eat and eat, but just keep in mind that they are growing really quickly soon after birth and going through many growth spurts during those first few weeks. I forget the growth spurt ages now, but i think it was 3 weeks, 6 weeks and 12 weeks where the two of you will be velcroed to eachother. They are eating this much to signal to your body to increase your milk supply and don't worry, you will catch up! Also, try to drink a glass of water everytime you BF. Water is important. If you still feel paranoid, like me - you can do simple things at home. I read about this Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk Tea that is supposed to help you increase your supply. I bought it but never used it because I also read that eating oatmeal makes you produce more milk - and it does! But you have to use real oatmeal that you have to cook on the stove, not the crap that comes in packages and flavors like peaches n cream. I swear that within a couple of hours after eating a bowl of oatmeal, I am full even if its the end of the day! Which brings me to breastpads - I love Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads - they contour nicely and show through the least and absorb the most.
I can't tell you much about pumping and bottle feeding - I have a pump and used it a couple of times - Medela Swing Single Electric Breastpump. Its a good electric single pump, but DD is a bottle snob, and I am a SAHM with no dishwasher (other than the one my DH calls Beth) and bottles and pumps have many, many parts to wash and sanitize. That's not how I like to spend my time.
Its also a good idea to bring your boppy or brest friend to the hospital. I can't tell you which will be better for you - that one always seems to be split 50/50, but I use the boppy and couldn't imagine getting through BFing without it at the beginning - I even used it for tummy time. Now I use it to help prop up dd in a sitting position. Before my DH brought the boppy to the hospital, they hospital let me use one of their brest friends and I personally found it to be uncomfortable.
My vote is for the boppy - I think the uses last longer.
Hmm, I didn't realize this was going to be so long, so if you are still with me, bottom line is I love BFing eight months later, but the beginning can be tough and you just have to set little goals for yourself, like today is tough, so I will get through today and see how I feel about it tomorrow. Before you know it you will have made it a whole month! Then two months, then its second nature and your baby is 8 months old!
GL and let me know if you have any other questions!
Wow, that was some great info. Thank you. I was hoping someone would answer NYCali's post.
When my DH went home to get the boppy for me to use in the hospital it got so much more comfortable for me on my back. I LOVE my boppy!