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  1. #1
    wingate702 Guest

    Default Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    I am due 5/28. I want to breastfeed and go back to work eventually. I am reading a book on the topic but am open for any constructive advice-freezing, expressing, warming bottles in the middle of the night, pumps, etc. etc., ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED.

    Thanks, Cheryl

  2. #2
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    My advice based on my experience would be to be prepared for things to be a little rough initially. Breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems to appear! Personally, I was quite unprepared for this emotionally. Many, many women have difficulty initially. In the hospital, ask for a visit from a lactation consultant if they have one on staff. We needed 2 different consultants to really get my baby latched on properly. So be prepared to be patient and for the feedings to be a little frustrating for you and baby initially. But it does get better!!!

    You probably won't be expressing milk initially until your supply is built up. To do this, you need to nurse 8-12 times a day (around the clock!) for the first several weeks. It is important to pump or feed baby every few hours to build and keep up your supply. When you do get around to pumping, I would recommend buying the best (strongest) pump you can afford to avoid frustration or else rent a hospital grade pump.

    When you freeze milk, freeze smaller quantities (2-4 ounces) rather than larger quantities (6 ounces) since if baby decides not to eat it all, the rest isn't "wasted".

    I've never warmed bottles for my baby, so I can't help you there. But there have been many past discussions on bottle warmer advice.

    HTH,

    Beth
    (Mom to Sarah, 8/14/01)
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  3. #3
    suzska Guest

    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    All I have to say is good luck! :-)

    I had every intention of breastfeeding my son, but he had problems latching on in the hospital, and actually sucked too hard, but wasn't getting anything. It took us a day to figure this out, but by then I had sores, and couldn't nurse. So the consultant showed us how to finger feed him formula (with a tiny tube taped to a finger), the morning before I checked out, and she sent us home with a pump rental to use until I could breastfeed again. Long story short, my son had jaundice, I was worn out, and the pediatrician told us we had to make a decision one way or the other (bottle or breast because we couldn't just keep finger feeding him--he wasn't gaining weight and the jaundice wasn't "clearing up" or whatever you want to say). And at the time I thought I would be going back to work. The pumping took forever, and I wasn't getting much milk (and I freaked out because the sores started to bleed), so I decided I couldn't commit 100% to pumping/breastfeeding. Maybe it was a momment of weakness while my son was under the "billi lights," but it didn't work for me. In hindsight, I was laid off on my last day of maternity leave, so I could have been breastfeeding him this whole time without worrying about all that work stuff.

    I know, that's not what you were asking. I do admire women that can stick to it. I guess my advice is take advantage of the lactation consultant at the hospital if there is one. I've always been stubborn and I just felt like "I'm a woman, I should be able to do this" and didn't ask for, or realize, I needed help with it while in the hospital.

    Good luck, again! And congrats!

    --Sue B.
    SAHM to Evan Jeffrey 03-11-01

  4. #4
    myllam Guest

    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    Hi,

    I would highly suggest finding a lactation consultant you feel
    comfortable with. I really did not click with the one at the
    hospital and unfortunately, she was the one that my pediatricians group contracted with. Since my ds was born early and could not latch on very well, my pediatrician had suggested I call her a few times to set up an appt and the consultant was always too busy and only wanted to talk on the phone, so I gave up on her.

    After 3 months of pumping every 3 hours, I had seriously considered giving up and going with formula. Then my ds suddenly decided he wanted to try breastfeeding (rooting, crying when the bottle was given to him). So I called the lactation consultant from the hospital and luckily I got the other consultant at her office. She was wonderful and talked me through some tips and set up an appt with me to come in the next day.

    My ds started breast feeding some of the time, which was just enough to make the pumping part not so difficult. This continued for the recommended 6 months. My only regret was that I did not go to the 2nd lactation consultant earlier, who knows I may have been able to breast feed full time instead of pumping :-)

    So from a mom who pumped most of the time. I highly recommend the medela pump in style. This pump worked really well and the case made it not as conspicuous when I had to take it to work. I also invested in the hands free kit (which requires that you use the medela bras). They are a little pricey, but the convenience of being able to do something else while you are pumping is well worth it. I found the gerber milk storage bags to be the most convenient to use. Much easier then the medela bags.

    long answer, but I hope this helps.

    Good luck! Even though it wasn't as easy as I had thought it would be, the last 6 months have been a wonderful experience.

  5. #5
    trumansmom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    I agree with what everyone else had to say. My son also had a hard time latching on - except in the lactation consultant's office! He was 3 1/2 weeks old before he latched on at home.

    The only thing I would add is that you should talk about it ALOT with your partner before your baby is born. I knew that it might be a challenge, but I don't think my husband was prepared for how hard we had to work to get everything going smoothly. He tried to be supportive, but wanted to give up and go to formula. Thankfully, we had a WONDERFUL lactation consultant who was a cheerleader throughout the whole ordeal.

    Good luck! It's a decision you will never regret. I would recomend reading "The Breastfeeding Book" by William and Martha Sears, or if you go to www.motherwear.com they have a wonderful booklet that you can either order or read online. They also have fabulous nursing clothes.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    Shirale Guest

    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    Good Luck!
    I am a SAHM to my daughter (2 1/2 months) who LOVES breastfeeding (although she will also take a bottle) while I am not so crazy about it. It certainly is much better than the first couple of weeks but if she wants to nurse frequently (as she often does at night) it is still too sore...In terms of pumps, I am renting a hospital grade pump and it works pretty well but recently I am finding that it does not get all the milk out for some reason...I just bought the Avent Isis (I am going on a trip) so we'll see how that one goes! When it doesn't hurt and you get the hang of it, it is really quite cuddly and nice! It also helps to try and stay relaxed as I found thast the more tense I was about it, the harder and more painful it was.

  7. #7
    KathyO Guest

    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    I also found breastfeeding rough at first - that first two days hurt like heck - but it's been smooth sailing ever since. Any advice I have would boil down to:

    Bring a nursing top or nightgown to the hospital. Hard enough to get started with breastfeeding; even harder to do it with a hospital gown hiked up to boob height, pinned in place with your chin. NOT relaxing. Won't do that next time. Oh, and buy lanolin cream ahead of time too. You'll find it in the baby section of the drugstore.

    If possible, nurse in the delivery room. It's good for you (helps uterus to start shrinking back to normal) and it's good for babe to get a learning session when he/she is relatively alert, right after delivery.

    Arrange two sessions with the lactation consultant before you leave hospital, if possible. The first to get properly started, the second to check your technique and correct any problems before you go home.

    Learn to nurse lying down. It's just a Good Thing.

    Choose a nursing bra you can undo AND DO UP AGAIN with one hand.

    Good luck!

    KathyO

  8. #8
    Geebee Guest

    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    My best advice is that you have to be determined and patient - determined to feed through the initial pain and determined to work through problems. Breastfeeding can be frustrating at first, but the pain goes away and it becomes much easier. And, I have to repeat, the pain will go away if you work through it. My daughter was about 8 weeks old when I realized that I wasn't having any problems or pain and it was easy to pop her on and off the breast. (Both you and the baby become better with time.)

    I agree with the others - use the lactation consultants, especially in the hospital. There is nothing like "real world" practice. Everyone that I know seemed to have some sort of problem. I had flat nipples amd soreness, initally, and then I developed a yeast infection (from antibiotics) in my breasts that was extremely painful (not just during feeding). And the yeast infection wouldn't go away with over the counter treatments. The burning pain was on and off for 8 weeks when I finally decided to ask for help (my dr. prescribed a prescription yeast infection treatment).

    How would you know that you have flat or inverted nipples before you try to breastfeed? I have no idea. To you, you look normal, and everyone else looks weird. It is the same thing with feet - everyone else's feet look gross, but your feet look normal. But I digress...

    As others have said, it also helps to have a supportive partner. Explain to your partner why breastfeeding can be a good thing by appealing to your partner's values. (For example, my husband liked the whole saving-money-on-formula part.)

    Finally, begin giving your baby a bottle between 4 and 6 weeks, and give your baby a bottle 2 or 3 times per week, every week. I did this, and it prevented problems when it came time to wean off the breast. In your case, you will know that your baby will take a bottle when he/she has to (when you go back to work).

    I have to say it again - just be determined and patient. It will become easier!

  9. #9
    KathyO Guest

    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    Looking back at this, I realize that I have failed to mention what I have ENJOYED about nursing!

    You've doubtless heard all the P.R. about the health benefits and the money savings and all that stuff... so did I, but it wasn't until we were right into it that I also realized just how goldarn CONVENIENT it was! Okay, you get a little cabin-feverish when you realize that you and the poopie are joined at the hip (at the boob?) for that first several weeks, but for a perpetually disorganized person like me it was great - I ALWAYS had my breasts with me!!!

    I've never found myself in that soft-focus La Leche League pose of nursing while rocking gently in a rocking chair (in a lovely frilly-but-tasteful dressing gown), but there has been no cosier feeling than being snuggled together under the covers (our house is cold) for a nighttime feeding. I'll miss it so much when this stage passes.

    Oh, and speaking of which, if possible, get your husband to take care of midnight diaper changes, at least in the first few weeks when you're stone crazy from lack of sleep. It gives you a precious few minutes to drowse between the first and second half of the feeding, makes it easier to fall asleep after, and most importantly, keeps you from wanting to crush his head with a rock because he's sleeping and you're up struggling with a squirmy infant. I swear it saved my marriage!

    Cheers,

    KathyO

  10. #10
    Geebee Guest

    Default RE: Any advice on Breastfeeding ??

    I just wanted to second KathyO's opinion on the convenience of breastfeeding. Friends ask me how I sterilized bottles and what type of water that I used for formula (distilled or boiled), and I realize that I didn't have to deal with any of that hassle. You don't have to heat formula, either. Breastfeeding is just sooo convenient, and you are always ready to go!

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