My best advice is to pass on your research to a support person. Or even better- have someone there who's BFed successfully before. When I was fresh from my emergency c-section and kind of loopy- I was so glad I'd made DH learn what a good latch looks like. He could check for me when I couldn't function.
1. When your milk comes in after a few days, you will be beyond tired and possibly unable to latch baby on...your breasts will be solid and engorged, baby cant get enough nipple in to latch properly. I say, have a partner or mum around to shut the door, let you sleep for a couple of hours. Start again. Or, go for a bath, put hot flannels on your breasts and take away some of the engorgment, try latching baby on again.
2. Do NOT have formula in the house, in the early days the temptation will be too much, and once you interrupt the supply of breast milk with formula it'll take longer to establish.
3. Trust your body
4. Slap on Lansinoh at all moments, i did efter every feed and before and inbetween!
5. The first month will be knackering and very worrysome, but surround yourself with people who have breastfed and can offer support and words of encouragement, not those neutral or who have never done it.
6. Go to breastfeeding classes before baby comes.
7. Grit your teeth, curl your toes, silently scream, count to 30....the pain WILL fade....the enjoyment is yours and YOU CAN DO IT!
*Mummy to Booful Baby Izaac*
Wash your nursing bras/tops with your LO's stuff. I found out quickly that I wash his stuff much more frequently than my own, and I need clean nursing bras every day.
I was told in the hospital that I had flat/inverted nipples. I tried nursing, and it just didnt work out- until I found nipple shields. Officially my favortie invention. I dont know if I would have had pain nursing without them, but with them, NO pain nursing at all, and I am able to nurse with no problems.
My advice is for engorged breasts... DON'T try to latch your baby onto a very engorged, rock hard breast. He will not latch properly and will mess up your nipples! Ouch, trust me, my baby looked like a vampire with blood dripping out the sides of his mouth... Instead, use a warm wash cloth (do this over the sink) and gently squeeze your breast until enough milk comes out to make it softer so that the baby can latch on correctly. Hand expressing is easy, requires no machinery - and will SAVE your nipples if you are truly engorged.
Also - don't give up! The pain does get better, I promise. In the mean time, take those pain relievers!
Katie - April 2010 . . . Drew - May 2007
As per the question above about "preparing" your breast for bf: your body does all it needs to do. You do not need to scrub, pinch, poke, or prod your nips into shape. You'll just end up with sore nips, when your nips are already so sensitive from pregnancy.
Check with your delivery hospital to see what services they offer for bf, and what products they give you. My hospital gave me a hand pump, a tube of lanolin, nipple shields, breast shields, and other stuff. Everything I could possibly need, much of which I didn't use. Saves you from buying it if they are already going to give it to you.
Also, if you are going to get a pump, check with your insurance company. They may cover the costs if your doc writes you a script.
Keith & Martha 7/24/1999
Levi Nathanael, 3.25.07; Evelyn Fayth, 4.16.11
I have nipples of steel so BF never hurt that badâ€¦. The thing that help the mostâ€¦WATER WATER WATER! Drink water all the time. No bottles or formula in the house period! The hospital will give you â€œfree formulaâ€ leave it at the hospital or donate it to a food bank. If you have a problem with your milk letting down, donâ€™t wear a bra or at least a lose sports bra. Set up a little cubbyhole somewhere in your home where you and your baby can feed in comfort. Have a drink, cordless phone, remote controls, ectâ€¦. With newborns, tell your husband he is going to have to cook or call for take out once or twice a week. And donâ€™t be afraid to ask for help from a nursing coach or a family member.
When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist. - Dom Helder Camara
In the hospital the nurses told me that the second night is the hardest, but the most important. The baby goes through what they called a "feeding frenzy" that makes your milk come in. If you feed her EVERY SINGLE TIME she demands it (which for my LO was constantly for about 8 hours), you will get a good solid bountiful milk supply. By morning I was in tears and completely empty (had been for hours but just kept at it), but she was happy and as the nurses put it - her milk order had been placed.
Edited to add: I don't mean to scare anyone with the fact that I was in tears. I was, but I at least I understood why she was feeding so frequently and with such a frantic attitude. If I hadn't been told by the nurses what was going on, I would have been in an absolute panic. Knowing what was coming I was able to prepare (I stayed in the hospital one extra night so I had the nurses' support) and my husband was able to support me as well. And I've had an amazing milk supply ever since.
remember when nursing in public, everyone really is NOT watching you. as a matter of fact, with Secily the first time i NIP with her was while waiting for Santa Claus pics to be made at the mall. the place was crawling with shoppers. i proceeded to plop down on a bench and nurse her. i don't think anyone paid any attention at all. sometimes the most "hidden" place to nurse is in a crowd!
and if you haven't NIP, just go for it. if you don't b/c you're scared then it becomes a bigger deal in your mind and you may never feel comfortable doing it. nothing is more convenient than being able to NIP when you need to.