Share your breastfeeding tips!

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Share your breastfeeding tips!

There are lots of reasons to breastfeed, or not to breastfeed. The more you know the easier it is to succeed at it. No one should have to give it up just because they didn't know the little tricks of the trade that can make a big difference!

here are mine Smile

*see a lactation consultant, even if you aren't having problems! I saw one once prenatally, once in the hospital, and 1 week post partum. They really help you with the confidence that you CAN do this and your baby IS getting enough to eat

* do not to pacifiers for a good two weeks. The baby needs to do all its pacifiying at the breast to build your supply and to help the baby "learn" how to nurse. You will feel like you have a baby on you constantly, but its only a stage and it will pass

* DO NOT SUPPLEMENT! Don't listen to people who say "oh s/he nurses so much because s/he's not getting enough to eat" or "my baby gained weight much faster than yours is!" even doctors can fall into that trap. there is a separate growth chart for breastfed babies that reflects this weight gain difference. The standard growth charts were constructed off of formula fed babies decades ago. Once you start supplementing your supply will drop, and baby will fall in love with those easy fast flowing bottles. As long as your baby has plenty of wet diapers he is doing just fine. Supplementing is probably the biggest mistake a breastfeeding mom can make.

* expect growth spurts. they happen about every 2 weeks for the first several months. Your baby will nurse constantly and you might worry that your supply has dipped because you aren't engorged and the baby ALWAYS wants to eat. This is normal. If you went to the fridge every two hours no one would worry you aren't getting enough to eat. Same for babies, they are eating every two hours to satisfy their calorie needs, NOT because they are starving to death.

*fenugreek and oatmeal both increase supply

add your tips Smile

Jenn0113's picture
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Well you just about covered everything. Smile Let me recall what I did with DS:

At first I nursed and never offered formula in order to establish the supply as well as our nursing relationship

I had DS on a Tuesday and had to start pumping on Saturday because I was so engorged when my milk came in. I continued to pump and BF several times a day. This may or may not have given me more milk but I think my body thought I needed way more than I really did because I was always freezing some every day.

I did offer a bottle and paci almost right away. Paci was in the hospital and the bottle was about a week after birth. Some babies get confused, some don't - you won't know until you have your LO. My son took the breast, bottle and paci all the same.

I ate oatmeal every day and drank Mother's Milk Tea a few times a day.

I referred to kellymom.com daily and usually multiple times a day. Great site!!!

gaidinsgirl's picture
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Keep a basket by your nursing spot with the tv remotes, a book,a burp cloth, some baby wipes, snacks for you, the phone and a book or toy for your other child. You don't want to get up to get this stuff and I can promise that your phone will ring every time you sit down to nurse.

Drink water water water. Try to drink 8 ounces or so every time you nurse in those early days. It really helps. You are never as thirsty as you are while you are nursing.

I also gave a paci from the beginning, it works for some and doesn't for others.

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"gaidinsgirl" wrote:

Keep a basket by your nursing spot keep a basket with the tv remotes, a book,a burp cloth, some baby wipes, snacks for you, the phone and a book or toy for your other child. You don't want to get up to get this stuff and I can promise that your phone will ring every time you sit down to nurse.

YES - this is huge. Nothing more annoying that having your LO latch on and then you need something.

Grab a bottle of water before you sit down because BF makes you thirsty.

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during BF'ing, I was the HUNGRIEST I have ever been in my whole life, and I was still losing weight! I even got down to a weight that was less than I weighed before I got pregnant! Keeping up with the calorie intake is a challenge.

I put my DS on the bbs as soon as they handed him to me in the delivery room. My sister encouraged it to start the bonding and to kick BF'ing off to a good start. He latched on right away and we had our first session within minutes of his birth.

He had a pacifier at the hospital and I gave him a bottle 2 weeks after he was born (as I only had 6 weeks off and I knew he would need to take one for a nanny), and we never had any problems.

When your milk comes in, WOAH NELLIE! I thought I was big during pregnancy! No way, nothing compared to when that milk comes in. Cool wash cloths help with the pain, and I would pump just to take the edge off. That was one of the hardest things... that and the constant thrush.

There were lots of ups and downs to BF'ing throughout the 10 months I did it. We had thrush something like 4 times, when I got sick I couldn't take any medications, it was time consuming, I was the only one who could feed him at night etc etc. But I think it is important to remember how VALUABLE this is to the baby's health... that is what kept me going. It's not easy so dedicating yourself is very important.

Oh, and lots and lots of lansinoh (sp?)

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"gaidinsgirl" wrote:

Keep a basket by your nursing spot with the tv remotes, a book,a burp cloth, some baby wipes, snacks for you, the phone and a book or toy for your other child. You don't want to get up to get this stuff and I can promise that your phone will ring every time you sit down to nurse.

Drink water water water. Try to drink 8 ounces or so every time you nurse in those early days. It really helps. You are never as thirsty as you are while you are nursing.

I also gave a paci from the beginning, it works for some and doesn't for others.

You said it perfectly!

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Wow, lots of awesome tips here!

1. I second the kellymom.com site. FABULOUS resource! Virtually any question related to bfing is answered on that site. It's so great to have something to turn to at 3 am when you are frustrated!

2. Your milk will take several days to come in, and in the meantime you will have small amounts of colostrum. This is NORMAL. You do NOT need to supplement because "baby is hungry". Babies are born to breastfeed, and they will be perfectly happy with colostrum until your milk comes in. Your milk might not come in until day 5 or 6 post-birth, and that is completely fine. You do not need to supplement with formula while waiting for your milk, and in fact, formula will throw the entire supply/demand cycle off balance. In some moms, even a tiny bit of formula is enough to nearly ruin your milk supply. Sad

3. For you FTMs, take a BFing class before you give birth, and have your DH/partner come as well! Again, at 3 am when you are frustrated and exhausted, he will be your only support and he can help tremendously if he knows the right positioning, how a good latch looks, etc.

4. How much milk you can express with a pump is NOT an indication of how much milk you are producing. So many times I've heard "Well I could only pump 1 ounce, so I know my baby's not getting enough." That is absolutely incorrect. Some moms respond well to a pump, some don't. Some pumps work great, some don't. I have always had more than enough milk, have never ever had supply issues with either kid and BF exclusively without formula. I have also never been able to pump more than 1 ounce at a time. I just don't respond to a pump very well, but it clearly means nothing as babies are much, much more efficient than pumps!

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"Panonim" wrote:

Wow, lots of awesome tips here!

2. Your milk will take several days to come in, and in the meantime you will have small amounts of colostrum. This is NORMAL. You do NOT need to supplement because "baby is hungry". Babies are born to breastfeed, and they will be perfectly happy with colostrum until your milk comes in. Your milk might not come in until day 5 or 6 post-birth, and that is completely fine. You do not need to supplement with formula while waiting for your milk, and in fact, formula will throw the entire supply/demand cycle off balance. In some moms, even a tiny bit of formula is enough to nearly ruin your milk supply. Sad

I wish this was on a sticker on the bassinet under the name tag for the baby at the hospital.

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Nicole, that's all GREAT advice!!

I forgot about the water thing... its like the second the baby latches there is an INSTANT thirst reflex!!

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WATER WATER WATER. I love my hospital cup and still use it daily to monitor my water intake.

Breastfeeding will HURT but it gets better. Stick through it.

I got an rx for "all purpose nipple cream" that had nystatin (for thrush), some sort of numbing agent to help the pain, and something to help heal my sore nipples. This was a godsend. The hydrogels they gave me at the hospital were nice too and I had 2 sets. One in the fridge to keep cool and one to keep in my bra.

Invest in a few nice nursing bras. You will wear them all the time and it is worth it. Don't try to get by with just a regular bra.

Fenugreek was great for me when I went back to work and had to pump more than feed at the breast.

Baby will lose weight in the beginning. Count the wet diapers. As long as he/she has the recommended number of wet diapers he/she is getting enough. DIAPERS is the best way to measure how effective breastfeeding is.

I felt like the couch, tv, and my boppy were my life for the first few weeks. It's natures way of making sure you slow down and bond with your baby. Take advantage of it and enjoy your special bond.

Know that breastfeeding is a sacrifice that you make for your child. Yes formula is easy, but think of all the great benefits to breastfeeding and KNOW that you are doing everything you can to support the health of your baby!

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Another vote for nursing bras. They are your friend! Biggrin

I need recommendations for nursing pads. I'd picked up some hemp washable ones, but they didn't do so well-- they'd leak through. I had some of the disposable paper ones (gifts at a shower) that held up better. Fortunately, I never used enough to go through the whole box, so I still have leftovers-- but a recommendation would be nice.

If your baby is having difficulty latching at first, check to see what they're doing with their mouths. I kind of expected DS1 to just sort of instinctively know what to do, but getting him latched involved gymnastics, extra arms from DH, and freezing in place like a woodland creature once he was on. One of the student mw's from our birth center even came by as a lactation consultant, to no avail, and we were wondering if there was some medical issue we needed to identify. I was getting a little worried about it--- and then I checked to see what, exactly, DS1 was going on with his mouth during the failed nursing sessions. And he was trying to nurse with the nipple under his tongue, lol. Blum 3 No wonder he couldn't latch! Once I really paid attention and made sure to direct him properly, he figured it out and could handle it on his own, but it was a worrisome first week for sure.

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"midori_" wrote:

I need recommendations for nursing pads. I'd picked up some hemp washable ones, but they didn't do so well-- they'd leak through. I had some of the disposable paper ones (gifts at a shower) that held up better. Fortunately, I never used enough to go through the whole box, so I still have leftovers-- but a recommendation would be nice.

I used the lansinoh disposable nursing pads. They were ok- nice and thin but you can see them through a non-padded bra. I would really like to get some washable ones but I heard they are bulkier and less comfy.

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I am 100% all for breastfeeding. Only problem is I have what they "diagnosed" with DS 1 as "inverted feeding nipples" When it's time to feed I have the accurate amount of milk and the baby has good latching abilities, but my nipples invert and become flat so he can't get the right flow into his mouth. They have a few things they can do if you know about it before hand. So I am really excited to try really hard this time with all of the knowledge about it this time around.
So advice here I suppose, never give up, if there is a will , there is a way. positivity!!

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Thank you Ladies SO MUCH for this advice - I will print this thread off so I have it handy when baby arrives.

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I just bought "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" at a library book sale. Has anyone read it? Does it have good info?

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In the hospital, DS had no problems latching, but when your milk comes in, it's a whole different story (at least it was for me). It's very different trying to get the baby to latch- it's like they are trying to latch onto the side of a balloon. lol You might need to pump some of the engorged milk off before you feed so that your nipples are easier to latch onto. Also, my nipples were a tiny bit inverted, so pumping beforehand helped to "draw them out" too. I also ended up using a nipple shield per the advice of my pediatrician (who was very pro-BF and encouraging, thank goodness). I know some BF experts do not recommend niipple shields b/c they say they could decrease your supply but I had no problems in that area. They were a lifesaver for us - and I ended up using them for a couple of months.

Def. have lots of water on hand- gosh, you would not believe how thirsty you get when you BF.

You will feel like a nursing machine at times- please don't get discouraged when it seems like that's all you do. It will get less frequent eventually!

You will learn what works for you- it's mostly just trial and error, but hopefully some of these tips will help. For instance, out of necessity, I had to learn how to nurse in the side-lying position b/c my bum hurt so bad from the delivery. LOL And that's how we nursed most often from then on.

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November lurker Smile

Relax and trust yourself and your baby! Assuming you have a healthy full term baby I wouldn't spend too much time fretting about feeding every so many hours OR the fact they are feeding allllll the time. We'd have times of the day Evan would cluster feed and eat non stop and then times of the day when he'd sleep for hours and not wake to eat. Feeding all the time doesn't mean he needed formula and he didn't need to be woken up to eat if he was content (well except when I was trying to get his days and nights straightened out....).

And I so agree with Kelly Mom! I had no real support system in place at hand - no friends or family who BF'd and I never saw a LC. So when I was confused or concerned I'd look it up on Kelly Mom and sure enough almost everything he did from cluster feeding to preferring a side over the other was there. Such a great site.

Once BF'ing gets easy it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy. The early days/weeks can be hard. But no one can tell me formula is easier after those first few weeks. I just can't believe it. My boobs are always with me I could feed him anywhere any time. It provided instant comfort for Evan. I was all about on demand and pretty much any time he fussed my first response was to offer and 90% of the time it worked. You just can't do that with a bottle. AND I didn't have to do dishes constantly (well except for work days - and I HATED it -- I would intentionally avoid doing anything that required a bottle on non work days b/c cleaning bottles is a PITA)