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Old Feb 2nd, 2017, 13:52 PM   1
kittykat7210
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Hello!


Sorry if this has been asked before, but I really can't find what I'm looking for online!

I'm only currently 11+4, but have known since I was a teen that I wanted to breastfeed our children exclusively. I have rather large and flat nipples, and am worried that latching will be difficult for baby, my mother never breastfed, and my midwife is quite frankly useless, doesn't really give me any information that I am looking for.

anyway, how hard is it to breastfeed, and how long is realistic to getting a good latch and comfortable breastfeeding? and just for my own preparation, how bad will my breasts look afterwards?



 
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Old Feb 3rd, 2017, 07:10 AM   2
noon_child
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OK, number 1 - breastfeeding doesn't cause your breasts to sag. If anything does, it's pregnancy - so nothing you can do about that now! A lot of people feel like breastfeeding made it worse, because they get used to the plump and full feeling breasts that you get in the first couple of moths before milk supply regulates but in reality the ligaments (coopers ligaments) that hold breasts up are not affected by breastfeeding.

Regarding flat nipples, sometimes it cause cause problems, often it doesn't. the difference is in the severity of the flatness/inversion. Do your nipples stretch/stick out when pulled or stimulated? or are they tethered so that they are always flat no matter what you do? Sometimes if nipples don't stick out at all, the baby's suck reflex doesn't get triggered, and this is where a nipple shield can really help. If you decide to use a shield, make sure someone knowledgeable helps you get the right size and shows you how to attach it. However some women with flat nipples (like my mum) feed with no problems - this is because the baby should not be attaching to the nipple itself, they should be grabbing a mouthful of breast tissue around the nipple so that the nipple itself is positioned far back in its mouth.

Most people find the first three weeks of feeding difficult and a lot of people wont feel like they've cracked it until past 6 weeks. How easy it is depends on a number of factors - physical ones like your nipples and the baby's mouth, and emotional ones like whether your expectations of motherhood and babies are realistic or whether you have people around you supporting and empowering you.

If breastfeeding is something you a really committed to do, it may help to educate yourself about what is normal baby behaviour. So many mums think they aren't making enough milk when in reality their baby is just being a baby (wanting to feed often, wanting holding all the time etc.). Find out about growth spurts and supply and demand. If you are a reader, books like 'The womanly Art of Breastfeeding' are great. If that's not how you like to learn, try to find out if there are any support groups near you. Meeting other mums who are successfully breastfeeding can help you set realistic expectations, and when the baby arrives you will already have a support network to turn to.

I've just seen you are in Leeds and I know there are breastfeeding support groups. Search facebook for 'Leeds Bosom Buddies' and you'll find a page which should give you information about all the groups currently operating in the area. Also, your midwife should have told you about PBB - Preperation for Birth and Beyond - classes that run for 10 weeks and are free to all pregnant mums. All midwives in Leeds are supposed to be telling all their mums about these and helping them sign up to them so pester her for info!



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Old Feb 3rd, 2017, 07:36 AM   3
kittykat7210
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Originally Posted by noon_child View Post
OK, number 1 - breastfeeding doesn't cause your breasts to sag. If anything does, it's pregnancy - so nothing you can do about that now! A lot of people feel like breastfeeding made it worse, because they get used to the plump and full feeling breasts that you get in the first couple of moths before milk supply regulates but in reality the ligaments (coopers ligaments) that hold breasts up are not affected by breastfeeding.

Regarding flat nipples, sometimes it cause cause problems, often it doesn't. the difference is in the severity of the flatness/inversion. Do your nipples stretch/stick out when pulled or stimulated? or are they tethered so that they are always flat no matter what you do? Sometimes if nipples don't stick out at all, the baby's suck reflex doesn't get triggered, and this is where a nipple shield can really help. If you decide to use a shield, make sure someone knowledgeable helps you get the right size and shows you how to attach it. However some women with flat nipples (like my mum) feed with no problems - this is because the baby should not be attaching to the nipple itself, they should be grabbing a mouthful of breast tissue around the nipple so that the nipple itself is positioned far back in its mouth.

Most people find the first three weeks of feeding difficult and a lot of people wont feel like they've cracked it until past 6 weeks. How easy it is depends on a number of factors - physical ones like your nipples and the baby's mouth, and emotional ones like whether your expectations of motherhood and babies are realistic or whether you have people around you supporting and empowering you.

If breastfeeding is something you a really committed to do, it may help to educate yourself about what is normal baby behaviour. So many mums think they aren't making enough milk when in reality their baby is just being a baby (wanting to feed often, wanting holding all the time etc.). Find out about growth spurts and supply and demand. If you are a reader, books like 'The womanly Art of Breastfeeding' are great. If that's not how you like to learn, try to find out if there are any support groups near you. Meeting other mums who are successfully breastfeeding can help you set realistic expectations, and when the baby arrives you will already have a support network to turn to.

I've just seen you are in Leeds and I know there are breastfeeding support groups. Search facebook for 'Leeds Bosom Buddies' and you'll find a page which should give you information about all the groups currently operating in the area. Also, your midwife should have told you about PBB - Preperation for Birth and Beyond - classes that run for 10 weeks and are free to all pregnant mums. All midwives in Leeds are supposed to be telling all their mums about these and helping them sign up to them so pester her for info!
Thank you for your reply, my breasts sagged a bit after my first miscarriage, as my breasts produced milk afterwards. So if it's the pregnancy not the feeding that makes them sag then that's fine because I'll just have my pre baby breasts back haha, my nipples only stick out a little when they are cold, apart from then they are just flat, if I pull it just hurts and is like the skin on the rest of my body. I've read all I can find on breastfeeding, and am aware of how often babies need to be fed, so I feel I am very realistic in terms of my expectations. I am very determined to breastfeed because of the benefits it can provide for baby and the bonding experience, and if I'm going to hate my breasts anyway I might as well put them to their proper use! I will search for breastfeeding classes, do you know when abouts in the pregnancy it is recommended to take them? As obviously I am very early at the moment!



 
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Old Feb 3rd, 2017, 10:26 AM   4
noon_child
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Originally Posted by kittykat7210 View Post
I will search for breastfeeding classes, do you know when abouts in the pregnancy it is recommended to take them? As obviously I am very early at the moment!
It depends when they are running in your area. If your midwife doesn't know, just contact your local children's centre. This link might be helpful http://www.leedsth.nhs.uk/a-z-of-ser...nd-parenthood/. The classes operate on a cycle so that some people are in the later months, some are a bit earlier on.



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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 19:24 PM   5
mara16jade
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I also wanted to add, you can use a nipple shield in the beginning while baby and you get the hang of nursing. Nursing was incredibly difficult for us, and the nipple shield saved us! Eventually we both learned how to do it without the shield, and I nursed him for 21 months.

Every single doctor and lactation consultant told me not to use the nipple shield - "you don't need it". I never should have listen to them! It was the best thing ever and saved breastfeeding for us.



 
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Old Feb 6th, 2017, 01:12 AM   6
noon_child
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I also wanted to add, you can use a nipple shield in the beginning while baby and you get the hang of nursing. Nursing was incredibly difficult for us, and the nipple shield saved us! Eventually we both learned how to do it without the shield, and I nursed him for 21 months.

Every single doctor and lactation consultant told me not to use the nipple shield - "you don't need it". I never should have listen to them! It was the best thing ever and saved breastfeeding for us.
No one should be telling mothers what they should and shouldn't be doing. They should be giving you info and letting you make your own choice. Yes there are disadvantages to using shields and they don't work for everyone (I still had a lot of pain using them and my baby found it harder to latch) but as long as you know the disadvantages (such as possible lowering of milk supply) you should be able to make your own choice. Many things are worth trying before giving up on breastfeeding if you really want to do it and no health professional should make you feel like you have only a choice between giving up or soldiering on in pain or feeling like your baby isn't getting what it needs. Nipple shields might not be my first suggestion for everyone but they are designed to help in cases of flat nipples like the OP, and I know people who swear by them.



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Old Feb 6th, 2017, 16:56 PM   7
mara16jade
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Noon - it was awful. Baby lost weight, and we struggled hard for 6 weeks. No lactation consultant could "fix" our struggle. At 11pm one night my dh said he was tired of the struggle and ran out to a 24/7 Walmart. From that night on, we NEVER struggled. It helped when I had a plugged duct (it helped dull the pain), it helped when I was super engorged and baby couldn't latch, it helped when I had mastitis and it hurt so bad to nurse. It was our saving grace. I used it a lot from week 6 to about 12 (so until Ds was about 3 months old). And then on the rare occasion for about a month after (i.e. that's when the plugged duct, engorgment was happening).

I was told by so many people, lactation consultants and doctors alike, that the shield would ruin breastfeeding. Baby would never take the breast, my supply would drop, etc. LOL No, none of it happened. What did happen was pure bliss and slowly we both learned how to breastfeed. Pretty soon, all I had to do was have my breast out, and he took it from there.

When I see mom's struggling and about to quit, like I almost did, I tell them to try the shield. I wish I hadn't listen to everyone in the beginning. It would have saved me and Ds a lot of tears and frustration.



 
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 12:09 PM   8
BlingyGal
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Flat nipples here! And I had no problem breastfeeding my daughter (and she was a month early). I used nipple shields at first (maybe two weeks?), the lactation consultant in the hospital encouraged me to use the shield. She recommended that I start each nursing session with the shield and then once baby has made a good latch, just slip the shield out. If your baby has a good latch, that will pull your nipple out. Once the nipple is out, you can remove the shield and the nipple will stay out.

Shields are also very handy on the days where you're very sore from all the nursing.

Best of luck in your nursing journey! My daughter is almost 21 months and is still nursing - it's a wonderful relationship.



 
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 13:03 PM   9
campn
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Hey kitty good to see you here!

I had a flat inverted nipple on my right side with my first and he couldn't latch on it, a breast shield could help but it's hard to wean from it. I'd try to pump before latching for a few minutes cause it'll pull it out. Now with my second and nursing my first for 19 months my nipple isn't flat anymore.

My breasts never sagged but they weren't as perky, but that's not related to breastfeeding, it's related to pregnancy when your breasts grow and stretch like your belly, also it's a part of aging sadly.

My nipples hurt badly with both kids, it's not supposed to hurt with a good latch but it does take some getting used to since your nipples have always been so protected. It took me a month for them to heal, but it's different for everyone, just make sure you've a great latch (see a lactation consultant to help you) and moisturize your nipples. Mothers love nipple cream saved my life. Let them air dry after rubbing breastmilk on them after every feed.

My most important tip is to nurse skin to skin within the first hour! To me this makes ALL the difference in the world. Ignore the nurses if they say oh let the baby sleep or th baby's too tired, fight them on it and demand you nurse right away.



 
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Old Feb 8th, 2017, 13:36 PM   10
smileyfaces
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I have flat nipples but it causes no issue. They soon stand to attention when he goes near them. When your baby latches, he/she will take a lot of areola too, its not all about the nipple!



 
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