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Old Jan 23rd, 2018, 04:34 AM   1
Pregnant (Expecting)
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How to start?!

Iím about to have baby no 3 and my previous babies were formula fed. First baby was bf for about 10 days but my nipples were bleeding and agony so I put him onto formula.
I would love to bf this baby and was hoping for some advice?!
Some of the things Iím wondering are;
Would you have bottles and formula at home just in case?? Should I buy dummies?
Any tips on making sure it works this time?

Any help or advice at all would be really appreciated! Thanks!

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Old Jan 23rd, 2018, 07:15 AM   2
Mum (Mom)
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I think the best things to do to make breastfeeding more likely to be successful are:

1) get to know your support systems now - what support groups are there in your area, what voluntary organisations might do home visits (e.g LLL or NCT), what help from the hospital are you entitled to and maybe contact/visit them while still pregnant

2) educate yourself on what is normal/not normal in terms of feeding patterns/pain/pooing etc. Pain is common while you learn this new skill (you aren't going to get it right every time!) but continued agony during every feed and/or significant nipple damage means you could benefit from some help to improve the latch or investigate whether baby has physical trouble feeding properly (like a tongue tie or tight neck muscles etc.)

3) educate those around you so that you have their support and they aren't undermining you

4) give yourself a break - who is going to be looking after the other children in those first few weeks, doing the school run and cooking meals? Have you reached out to friends and family to help with these things so that you can stay in bed, rest and get to know your baby. Often with newborns the most comfortable feeding positions are lying down or reclined ones - pressure to be up and about while the two of you are learning how to do this new thing together can make it all the more difficult. Stress also makes breastfeeding harder, so anything that others can do so that you don't have to will be a help

5) normalise what it looks like - get on you tube and find videos of what successful newborn feeding looks like (or if you are in UK the baby Buddy ap has great videos). Look at how asymmetrical the latch is (loads of areola above baby's top lip and only a little or none below botom lip, how baby's head is tipped back and chin leads and how squished in close a feeding baby looks.

In other cultures where breastfeeding is usually successful they don't have a magic ability to latch their babies on better (although they have seen it happen more so might have a sixth sense about what looks off and what looks good) but they do have different expectations, and while they expect it to be difficult they also expect:
to get almost constant help and support to learn to do it better
to be looked after while they learn
to spend all their time learning this and doing little else

If you can make a success of breastfeeding, then past those early weeks it is really the quickest and laziest option and you wont even have to think about how baby is latching, whether he/she is on right, whether he/she is drinking etc. you'll just do it on autopilot in two seconds flat!

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Old Jan 26th, 2018, 05:33 AM   3
Trying to conceive (TTC)
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CAN only echo what pp said. Make sure you have support in place from breastfeeding team, it can be painful initially but latch problems are usually to blame for ongoing pain. Good luck and it does get easier after the first 2/3 weeks x

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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 11:22 AM   4
Pregnant (Expecting)
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Everyone will tell you that nursing should not hurt, and that if you feel pain you're doing it wrong. This is the biggest load of BS I have ever been told. With all 4 of my babies, i had excruciating pain for the first 2 weeks. Cracking and bleeding was all a part of toughening up and getting used to it. Use LOTS of lanolin cream. I used before and after and it made things so much better.

I never had any formula in the house because i didn't want the temptation to be there, and I was told not to give a pacifier until 6 weeks. Let your baby comfort nurse to help bring your supply in. Make sure you have some support/resources around you. When you're in the hospital have a LC check your latch and make sure baby is latched on correctly and then wait it out. I promise the pain will go away (as long as latch is correct) after about 2 weeks when you 'toughen up'. good luck!

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Old Mar 20th, 2018, 11:34 AM   5
Mum (Mom)
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When I was pregnant i was scared and I had many questions related to breastfeeding and newborn's first days. Try to read books by Susan Urban, these books have solved many of my problems with newborn. Check out 'How to make breastfeeding pleasant and easy'.

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Old Mar 21st, 2018, 16:03 PM   6
Mum (Mom)
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Agree with all above.

To add, when you feed, get comfy as in the early days can take a while, go to the loo, get a large glass of water ( bf makes you thirsty!) and settle down with the telly, phone, book whatever you want. Support from others is so important, let them help you, get you drinks and nibbles etc

The thing to remember is breast feeding is tough for the first 3-6 weeks, then it's easy and so much easier than having to prepare a bottle.

I breastfed my first, no problems at all, hard work with the cluster feeding but no issues. My 2nd has been way more challenging, problems with latch etc but now at 7 weeks I feel we have got there. Every baby is different!

Oh and get some nipple cream, a godsend if you get painful nipples, which not all women do.

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Old Mar 22nd, 2018, 02:15 AM   7
Mum (Mom)
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Originally Posted by luz View Post
Everyone will tell you that nursing should not hurt, and that if you feel pain you're doing it wrong.
I think I would probably say "Pain is very common but don't think you just have to endure it - the pain might be a message that something isn't quite right and a bit of help to make a few adjustments may help". I would never tell a woman she was "doing it wrong" - I'm so sorry if anyone has ever said this to you. However I wouldn't want someone to think pain was totally "normal" either as a poorly latched baby that causes pain to the mother may not be getting enough milk, and that's something that needs identifying early. Now sometimes only time helps, which is what you have experienced, but for me my pain was an indicator that something wasn't right and I needed support and help to get to pain free feeding and weight gain for baby.

Normalising pain is a double edged sword: it's good in that it lets women know they aren't alone, or failures or "doing it wrong" (which was the kind reassurance meant in your original post), but it can lead to people giving up because they can't bear the thought that their pain is just 'what breastfeeding is like' and that they just have to power through it.

Pain is very common because mum and baby are on a steep learning curve but there are newborn babies that cause no pain when they feed because they seem to 'get it' quicker than others.

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