Breastfeeding and such

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lmiller626's picture
Joined: 07/18/10
Posts: 206
Breastfeeding and such

So I know breastfeeding is best for baby and I have promised my family and my husband (though HE is supportive of whatever I choose) that I'll at least try it. I want whats best for baby but I'm a little freaked out about it. I know that probably sounds stupid but I am terrified and weirded out about the whole idea of it. My friends and family have all breastfed and I know its a beautiful and wonderful experience of boding for mom and baby but I just cant get past these feelings of weirdness about it. Anyway, have any of you heard of nipple shields? Anyone used them? I'm kind of feeling like maybe they would make me feel more comfortable with it but I dont know. Hope I havent offended anyone on this, I think its beautiful thing I just am weirded about me doing it myself.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

Nothing to worry about Smile I never found nursing to feel sexual or anything if that is what you are worried about. I used a nipple shield with my second because it helped her latch. It has its place and if you think it would help you, it would be worth asking about. I found it to be a hassle because I always had to have one with me and keep it clean and maneuver it into place .

If you still feel weird about physically nursing, you could try just pumping. I only pumped for the first 4 weeks with my 2nd because I wanted to be able to nurse when she came out of the NICU and as long as I was pumping at the same frequency that a baby would nurse (every 2-3 hours), my supply was really good.

I think it is great that you are open about trying it even though it weirds you out.

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440

This is my first baby so I have no breast shield advice for you. But I wanted to say that what you're feeling is normal, especially if you haven't been around nursing moms much. If you want to try to do it and get over the weirdness, maybe go to an LLL meeting and meet other nursing moms. I plan to start going to LLL meetings in my last month of pregnancy just to ask some questions.

All of my best friends breastfeed and none of them are modest about it, so for me it seems very much the norm. But my DH on the other hand is a bit freaked out by it all. He doesn't even like the word "breastfeed." We were having a bit of trouble talking about it even. He just didn't like the idea of it. Maybe because he always saw boobs in a sexual sense and mixing the two is weird? He's coming around though. So I see where your coming from. I really think its all about exposure.

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440

Also wanted to mention that as an alternative you could pump exclusively. My friend's sister in law did this and it worked great for them.

Joined: 03/19/05
Posts: 338

I did not have similar feelings with Sam, but the difference may be that I am a nurse and have been exposed to it frequently in my job.
I think it is great that you are exploring your options now!

I know that nipple shields are used by many moms who have issues getting baby to latch due to their nipples being shaped differently. I don't see why you couldn't use them! I know some moms have trouble weaning off of the shields, but that may not be an issue for you. Medela sells them, and I have seen them in stores where the medela stuff is being sold. Go ahead and pick a pair up to have on hand just in case.

I breastfed Sam and plan to for this little guy mainly because I am lazy and cheap. Yes it is nutritious, but breastfeeding is sooo easy (after the first day or so!). No mixing bottles, washing bottles, the milk is always ready to go warmed and in a cute package. And its free.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with formula feeding. A lot of babies (including me!) were raised on formula. You need to do what is best for your family.

Happy New Year!

lmiller626's picture
Joined: 07/18/10
Posts: 206

I have been exposed to it, a lot! My sister breastfed all three of hers and she is not shy or modest at all and my best friend also breastfed not to mention the several other peopel throughout my life I've been around who openly breastfed around me. I'm not weirded out by others doing it... just me doing it. I think its a beautiful thing when I see it. I just freak out when I think about me doing it. I had some things happen to me when I was younger and I'm a little strange about my breast now. I trust my husband but it took a while to get there even with him. Its more of an emotional scar type of thing then it has anything to do with not wanting to breastfeed. I guess I should have mentioned that earlier. I probably should really seek some therapy for my past but its expensive and I've always had a hard time talking about what happened to me. I'm sure I'll get past it, its just going to take some time. I also love the idea of just pumping full time instead but we'll see. I like it not only b/c of my issues but also b/c I feel like it will give DH a chance to have that bonding experience iwth the baby too. We'll see. My sister will have a fit if I dont at least try to breastfeed.

ILoveMyMiniMe's picture
Joined: 12/11/03
Posts: 2333

One thing I experienced with DD is that EVERYONE and their mother is going to have an opinion as to what will work. :roll: If I can offer some advice, this would be it..

1. Be open to hearing what others' advice might be but don't be afraid to cut them off when you've had enough. What works for one isn't going to work for all. Working alongside a lactation consultant at a hospital or your midwife is going to be a better bet - this is their area of specialty.

2. You don't have to flop your boobs out there for all to see while getting the hang of it.. At the root of it all, breastfeeding is between you and your baby. That's it! It doesn't even have to include DH if you don't feel comfy. A cover.. blanket.. private room even are certainly options for you. If YOU feel comfortable with your breasts, that's all that matters. Baby loves every ounce of his/her mommy.. head to toe.. from the moment of conception. Smile

3. Sure breast is best.. but YOU do what is best for YOU! If it's pumping and feeding via bottles, that is ok!!! If it's formula feeling exclusively.. that is ok, too!! If you find a mix somewhere between pure breast milk and formula, so be it!!

4. Don't let someone pressure you either way.. that's the one thing that cuts me to the core.. trying to persuade you that you have to go one way or another. NO YOU DON'T!! What you do have to do is feed your baby. That's it!

5. Oh yeah.. one last thing.. and I wish someone would have told me this Lol When a beginning BFing baby latches on right and sucks, your uterus contracts like a mofo and it's not too comfy ROFL But it only lasts a very small while until it (the uterus) starts to decrease in size or you get used to it. That's one of those "I wish I would have known THAT was coming!" type things. Lol

lmiller626's picture
Joined: 07/18/10
Posts: 206

I dont mean my breast are deformed or anything... I dont like them to be touched or anything. Its more of a psychological thing. I'm really nervous about it. What if I flinch or something. I guess I'm just being stupid. I'm okay with my husband touching them in a sexual matter now but like I said it took a while to get to that point. I guess the only way to know is to wait and find out! I have so many fears about having my baby. I'm a worrier. BIG time! Thanks ladies for the advice!

ILoveMyMiniMe's picture
Joined: 12/11/03
Posts: 2333

All you're experiencing is completely normal! Smile Worries.. fears.. excitement.. concerns.. All normal! Smile I worry, too.. but I think when the times comes you're going to realize it'll all work itself out just fine.

OkieMommy04's picture
Joined: 07/03/10
Posts: 511

It is completely normal to feel that way! I didnt breastfeed my first two because of that exact same feeling.. When I had my 3rd I decided to give it a try and its not anywhere near as awkward or weird as you would think. It just kinda becomes natural to you. The feelings you get when breastfeeding are nothing like those you get with hubby. As for the nipple shield, ive never used one but you could always give it a shot if you think it would help you at all. But in the end, even if you decide not to breastfeed, you shouldnt feel bad for it. At least you can say you tried. Any breastmilk is better than none at all!! If you need any support or advice I will gladly help you any way that I can!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I'm pro-breast feeding for a lot of reasons (it's free, it seems like it has to be easier than bottles, et cetera) but I also absolutely believe that moms have to do what works best for THEM. I don't think you should breastfeed if you are truly uncomfortable with it just to appease your sister. At the end of the day, it's your baby and your boobs, and not really any of her business.

I hope you'll try it, because it may not be as weird as you think. The funny thing about babies is that they kind of feel like an extension of your own body. Like, I would seriously puke if I had to clean up anyone else's bodily fluids, but with my kid it was no worse than cleaning up my own. Still not pleasant, but not tfst bad either. Stuff like that. So maybe breast feeding won't be much weirder for you than touching your breasts yourself. But if it is, oh well. Pump, use formula, do what you need to do to be a happy healthy mommy. The thing is, your baby will be fine no matter what. Smile

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440

Sorry I didn't mean to assume you hadn't been exposed to it. I also truly think every mom should do what they think is best for them. But for the reasons Alissa stated above, I'm very interested in breastfeeding and hope I'm able to do it. And it seems like you are too, but maybe just need a little more getting used to the idea. I do think sometimes that it will be strange to have another human sucking on my nipple. Haha. I also thought it would be strange to feel a baby kicking inside me before I got pregnant. I thought it would feel like an alien. But now I absolutely love it. The baby kicking is the best part of pregnancy hands down. However, me and DH were both formula fed babies and we are perfectly healthy human beings, so whatever you decide your baby will be just fine!

crazy j's picture
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 1162

It's good that you're talking about it and keeping an open mind. After what sounds like pretty traumatic experiences, there's good reason for you to have your concerns and fears about it. Pumping and nipple shield are an options, but from my experience, it's hard to reccommend them as an Option A. I pumped exclusively for 10 months and it was a LOT of hard work. Some ladies do it and like it, but mostly, pumping is used because direct nursing isn't successful. That's just my take though. I also feel like nipple shields would only add an extra, uncessessary step into the process that would later wish you could get rid of. Again, mostly those are used when people are having a hard time getting a good latch and ditched as soon as posisble before the baby gets hooked.

Either way, I hope you find something that's comfortable for you and your family. I'm sorry about your past experiences and the issues they've caused for you. All I can suggest is that you try it for a few days and if it isn't going to work for you, then you don't have to keep doing it. It's really hard not to feel pressured by everyone, but its your baby, your body, your boobs ... not your sisters. Good luck!

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937

Can I just say, I'm SO glad you posted this about BF'ing? While I don't have any scars from the past to get by, I've felt that it'll be super weird to BF. I want too, I just...I dunno. I guess because it's been something sexual for so long and now, it's not.

I'm not sure how I'm going to BF, to be honest. There's no where (and I mean NO WHERE) private at my work to pump and I'm worried that if I don't pump, then I can't BF because there won't be any milk.
*sigh* it really would be cheaper ...

crazy j's picture
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 1162

"babywings1" wrote:

I'm not sure how I'm going to BF, to be honest. There's no where (and I mean NO WHERE) private at my work to pump and I'm worried that if I don't pump, then I can't BF because there won't be any milk.
*sigh* it really would be cheaper ...

I'm glad you brought this point up. There seems to be this idea that breastfeeding is either all or nothing. There's no reason, IF that's what you want, that you can't just nurse at night and formula feed during the day! I'm not sure if I can do 100% this time since I'm working full-time now, but I'm not stressing it. I'm going to do what I can and FF the rest.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Yes, I found that even with pumping at work, my day care still had to supplement my milk with formula because pumping was never as efficient for me as nursing. I will say though that I was glad that I continued it because that seemed to be enough of a kick that I could still keep nursing my son when I was with him at night and on the weekends. After I stopped pumping at work, even my night time supply seemed to dwindle.

I agree with Joan that pumping is hard work and that it's hard to recommend it as Plan A. Personally, I kind of hated pumping and really only did it so that I could keep nursing - for me, if I had a choice between letting this noisy machine drone away on me or holding and cuddling my baby while he nursed, there would have been no choice to make. But I say that knowing that it's just my opinion - you may well like pumping better, especially if you have issues with having anyone touch your breasts.

I think the biggest thing is just to remember that this is not a life or death decision. Smile I don't say that to minimize anyone's choice to breastfeed to their fight to do so for those that struggled. I personally struggled to comfortably nurse my son, and I'm so glad that I kept going and didn't give up. BUT the thing that I always tried to remember when it was stressing me out in the beginning is "My baby is not going to starve to death. If I can't do this, formula will keep my baby healthy and happy." I think actually NOT having it feel like this sort of life or death thing is what helped me keep trying and eventually get it to work. So, if you are stressing about it and feeling overwhelmed, just repeat after me. "My baby will not starve to death." LOL!

Joined: 01/04/05
Posts: 543

I have used a nipple shield w/ my dd she was preemie and for awhile w/ my son his latch was a bit lazy and my nips were S~O~R~E!!!! For me, the shield worked for what I needed it for... and weened them off of it in time. I think after bfing 3 babies my only advice is don't kill yourself trying to do it. I got SOOOO stressed with #1 and #2 but by #3 it was a cinch. I expected it to this magical, beautiful NATURAL experience and it is but it took awhile for me to get to that point ! lol but after a few weeks of awkwardness we got there Wink there's a HUGE learning curve w/ it just give yourself some slack in the get go.

akpufa's picture
Joined: 01/31/08
Posts: 3078

:lurk:

I just want you to know you arent alone! While I don't have a background causing emotional trauma (so sorry to hear that is the case for you), I feel compelled to share that BFing isn't necessarily a wonderful bonding moment for everyone. I've BFed two kids and I still feel a little strange doing it. Less so with my second than my first though and after a while, you do it so often you don't think much about it anymore. But I will 100% admit I felt so strange shoving my boob in my baby's face when my first was born and for quite some time after, it just didnt come natural to me at all. And even through the whole process, I never had special bonding feelings towards it like many moms do. It was just feeding the baby. I had aunts who would tell me after she was born how much they LOVED nursing their babies and I always wanted to be like "Really, why?!" It probably doesn't help me that my mom was weirded out by it (I was 100% formula fed) an my DH had never been exposed to it really having only brothers (even though he was BF'ed) and he doesn't care much for it. Not that he isn't supportive, just doesn't see the beauty in it. Plus I'm very private so I'm not about to BF in public (aside from covered up in front of select friends) so it's not super convenient for me because I'm always looking for somewhere to go BF. I know plenty of people argue that it's just baby eating so feed it but I'm not comfortable with that at all. Doesn't bother me when others do, it's just not my personality.

In the end, I weaned both of mine around 7-8 months. Considering how awkward it came to me I pat myself on the back sticking it out (especially through 3 cases of thrush with DS...horrible!). I guess my looong reply here is to say, give it a shot. It doesn't have to be a big magical moment for you, but with all the benefits it is worth trying to make work. And if you try and it doesn't work out, personally I think a less stressed out mom is probably most important and you can at least feel like you gave it a solid effort. You never know, it may come more naturally to you than you think. Feel free to PM me if you need someone to chat to about it.

Cherrychip's picture
Joined: 01/31/09
Posts: 1134

"babywings1" wrote:

Can I just say, I'm SO glad you posted this about BF'ing? While I don't have any scars from the past to get by, I've felt that it'll be super weird to BF. I want too, I just...I dunno. I guess because it's been something sexual for so long and now, it's not.

I'm not sure how I'm going to BF, to be honest. There's no where (and I mean NO WHERE) private at my work to pump and I'm worried that if I don't pump, then I can't BF because there won't be any milk.
*sigh* it really would be cheaper ...

"crazy j" wrote:

I'm glad you brought this point up. There seems to be this idea that breastfeeding is either all or nothing. There's no reason, IF that's what you want, that you can't just nurse at night and formula feed during the day! I'm not sure if I can do 100% this time since I'm working full-time now, but I'm not stressing it. I'm going to do what I can and FF the rest.

If you do want to try to pump at work, it can be done in the restroom-I did not have a private office so I pumped in the ladies room. I did not want to go into a stall to pump (gross!) so I stood by the sinks-I had a set up with a shirt over a cami and my nursing cover-I would put the cover on then pull my bra and shirt up, cami down and position the horns under the cover-that way my breasts were not exposed to anyone else walking in. I have also pumped in my car with that set-up on occasion since my pump could run off a battery. However, I realize not everyone may be comfortable to even be seen pumping, covered or not, so if that is not for you then ditto what crazy j said. I personally don't have a lot of inhibitions when it comes to breastfeeding lol! The idea seemed a bit strange to me before DD was born, but once I started, I quickly lost all inhibitions and my boobs no longer felt like sexual objects to me, just another baby thing like a diaper or burp cloth. My DH was actually kind of embarrassed because I was in my hospital room with my robe wide open trying to master breastfeeding for most of my stay after delivery and hospital personnel were constantly in and out, lol!

For the original poster, I think you have received some excellent advice. I would suggest to try it and see how it goes-even if you only breastfeed for a few days, those are a few days that your baby gets the benefits of colostrum and breastmilk and you can always stop if you find it is too stressful.

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937

I think if I were to pump in the restroom at work - I'd get complaints. I work in a grocery store and there's not a separate bathroom for employees. If it were all employees, I'd tell them to stuff it and get over it! LOL

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Jessica - Is there anywhere in the back of the store that you can go to have some privacy? I don't have my own office either, so I used the "guest office" that we had for when the bigwigs come to visit. I'm not sure if we have an open office any more, so I may end up using a conference room and just making a "Do not disturb" sign for the door since the conference room doors don't lock.

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937

Alissa, I was doing some serious store walking the other day to see if I was forgetting anything. Every dept has a freezer (that's not happening! it's 30 below in there!), we have one breakroom that's completely open, the door WONT close and doesn't have a lock. There's two engine rooms, but we aren't allowed in there for safety purposes. There's two offices, one has a camera, one doesn't. The one that doesn't is constantly filled with people. There IS a little storage room in the back with me. It's for pharmacy related paperwork. It doesn't have a lock right now, but no one ever goes in it and I think they're thinking of putting a lock on it for HIPPA reasons. That could work, it's in the back corner of the backroom (where I work anyway) and it's so loud back there, no one would hear the machine AND I could peek out and know if anyone was coming. I'll ask my boss about that later, it's super weird asking my male boss about where I can pump my breast milk. LMAO

lmiller626's picture
Joined: 07/18/10
Posts: 206

Thank you everyone, I do plan to try it. I'm just really nervous about it and about how I'll react. I dont want to stress baby out b/c I'm all tense the whole time, ya know? Thank you for all the advice and support! I really do appreciate it.

Cherrychip's picture
Joined: 01/31/09
Posts: 1134

"babywings1" wrote:

Alissa, I was doing some serious store walking the other day to see if I was forgetting anything. Every dept has a freezer (that's not happening! it's 30 below in there!), we have one breakroom that's completely open, the door WONT close and doesn't have a lock. There's two engine rooms, but we aren't allowed in there for safety purposes. There's two offices, one has a camera, one doesn't. The one that doesn't is constantly filled with people. There IS a little storage room in the back with me. It's for pharmacy related paperwork. It doesn't have a lock right now, but no one ever goes in it and I think they're thinking of putting a lock on it for HIPPA reasons. That could work, it's in the back corner of the backroom (where I work anyway) and it's so loud back there, no one would hear the machine AND I could peek out and know if anyone was coming. I'll ask my boss about that later, it's super weird asking my male boss about where I can pump my breast milk. LMAO

That sounds like it could work, if it doesn't have a lock you could always make a sign to put up while you are pumping. That should warn off anyone who might try to go in and if not, I'm sure they won't make the same mistake twice, lol! Hopefully your boss will be accommodating!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Cherrychip" wrote:

That sounds like it could work, if it doesn't have a lock you could always make a sign to put up while you are pumping. That should warn off anyone who might try to go in and if not, I'm sure they won't make the same mistake twice, lol! Hopefully your boss will be accommodating!

Yes, I agree. Hopefully even a sign on the door will be enough to give you the privacy you need. Smile