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First Time Mom Trying to Breast Feed Any Tips?

Posted by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM
  • 14 Replies

I am 33 weeks and 3 days pregnant (due august 24th) and plan on trying to breast feed exclusively (if everything works out the way I want) does anyone have any tips or advice that might help learning how to breast feed easier?

by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM
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MattsLilly
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Don't give up. It is hard at first but does get easier and do invest in some Lanolin It's a nipple saver. Do your research and find LC's around you because you may need assistance at one point. Kellymom.com is a great sight for information, as is google search for any other inquires, and don't be afraid to ask questions here when the time comes the ladies here are wonderful and very helpful.

Khuerta
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 9:25 PM
do not let baby out of sight at the hospital. most hospitals/nurses will shove a bottle in babies mouth and a pacifire in babies mouth even if you say no the moment your back is turned. dont allow anyone to pressure you into using even a drop of formula. nurse on demand. do NOT time feedings, do NOT limit time at the breast. If it hurts, re-adjust the lasch. never never ever pull baby off of you. use your pinky and insert it into the corner of babies mouth to break suction. when in doubt check kellymom or here FIRST. ummm... thats all i can think of for now. oh and put baby to breast as soon as possible.
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merrr
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 9:41 PM

First, let me say that's great you are trying to breastfeed. I find it completely rewarding and I am so happy that I am. My son is now 7 months old and has not had formula.

Here's my advice:
1. If you are having the baby in the hospital, plan on asking a Lactation Consultant to come see you before you are discharged. Even if it's just to check, they can make sure the latch is correct and give you some pointers. It's much easier to see the LC when you are in the hospital than making a seperate trip later when you are having problems. It's a proactive step.

2. IMO the first 6 weeks can be tough. Your supply is different, you are recovering from birth, you are experiencing a new level of exhaustion... it's tough. But just know that after around 6 weeks it should get much easier. At times, I had to make myself do it and resist the temptation of formula. But just promise yourself 6 weeks, and you got it in the bag.

3. Don't allow formula in your house. The hospital may give you some for free-donate it. Because there may be times, especially during the first 6 weeks, that you are exhausted and just want to give him/her formula for that one time... well, then you give in and do it again... then before you know it, you start to dry up and end up quitting. It's just easier to resist temptation by not keeping it in the house. If you decide breast feeding is not for you, that's one thing... go to the store and get formula. But don't make it too easy on yourself to give up.

Good luck! :)

MattsLilly
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Oh  make sure you drink plenty of water and do not forget to eat. Even if you have to chow down while breastfeeding you will need the calories and water to stay hydrated. 

tessamalk
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I agree on the plenty of water... I'm horrible about staying hydrated. I just came home from shopping and started in on a big glass of H2O and immediately noticed my boobs swell up a bit in preparation for DD's next nurse-a-thon.

Like others have said, the first few weeks are the hardest. Chloe is just about four weeks old and sometimes, she'll want to be attached to my boob almost all day long. Sometimes, she'll fuss and cry if I don't have her latched on.

Invest in a ring sling or a wrap carrier for mobile nursing, so you're not stuck sitting around while your LO is being fed. That's one of the things I found most frustrating so far, is feeling just... stuck. I haven't tried using my wrap yet, but I plan on it soon.

If you're going back to work later and your LO will be in daycare, start pumping as soon as you can to build up a supply in the freezer. I didn't do this and now, two weeks out from daycare starting, I'm really worried about getting enough ready.

MumsTheWord571
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 10:08 PM

nurse within the first hour, the first 15 minutes is better. lots of skin to skin contact! Pick up a copy of "So That's What They're For." Good book, funny and informative. put Kellymom as a shortcut or bookmark in your computer. read the posts here now. and just be confident in yourself.

I also agree with the nurse on demand, don't time anything, no bottles, no pacifiers, no formula in the house!

good for you wanting to nurse! It really is very rewarding and it's far easier than formula feeding (after your adjustment period!).

Ammie25
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Nurse baby within an hour of birth. And follow others advice on LCs.

A few very important things I tell alot of new breastfeeding mamas:

1. Trust your body...that it will provide (its biologically made to do so.

2. Trust your baby...and that they will "demand" what they need. Thus, feed on demand!

3. Don't base how much milk you have by how baby acts or how your breasts "feel." Breasts only feel "full" in the first few weeks when your supply is still adjusting to babies needs. One and only way to know if baby is getting enough is diaper counts.

4. If you eventually start pumping for any reason, don't judge how much milk you have by how much you pump. Every mom reacts differently to a pump, and some just don't. It's no indication of how much milk you have. :)

5. No plastic aka bottles or pacifiers, at least for the first 6 weeks. It is of utmost importance that you take this time to allow your baby to nurse on demand night and day so your supply is adjusted to his/her needs.

Hope this helps! And be sure to revisit this thread after you have the baby. :)

Congrats on the new lil one and the choice to breastfeed!!

tessamalk
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Another thing--the first few weeks are difficult. I wasn't expecting it to be tough, and I ended up giving my daughter forumla two or three times out of frustration and exhaustion. If I'd expected to be up all night every so often, or expected her to want to nurse almost constantly? I probably would have been able to mentally prepare myself for it and I wouldn't have given her formula.

The first few weeks are not a walk in the park, but getting through the rough patches is worth it for your baby's health. I agree with the other moms about not keeping formula in the house. I shouldn't have kept those ready-to-use samples.

maegansilva
by on Jul. 9, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Check out the videos on this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/thebirthden  I love the videos done by Dr. Jack Newman.  I use his "chin in, snout out" method (meaning the chin should be touching the breast and the nose should not) and it has made a huge difference!

Also, use lanolin after ever feeding, at least in the beginning.  Your nipples will toughen up quite a bit after the first few weeks (took mine about 2 weeks).  The lanolin will help soooooooo much in the meantime.  And the lanolin is great for chapped lips and my husbands dry, cracked feet, too!  Before applying the lanolin, express a small amount of milk and rub it around the nipples, let it air dry, then apply lanolin.  I also put a small amount of lanolin on my breast pads just to make sure my sore nipples wouldn't stick to them (ouch!).  

I'd recommend keeping track of everything you eat in the beginning.  Just in case your little one is fussy, you are already ahead of the game with a list of your food, drink, and medication intake so you can try to find the culprit.  Keep in mind that sometimes it's not the food or drink, it's the medication you are taking.  I have found that taking my prenatal pills was causing my son to be fussy (and because I took my pills at night, that means no one slept at night!).

I have found that the "cross cradle" hold has been the most effective in getting my newborn to latch on properly.  This has worked so well for us because I am able to control his head more easily and guide it to the breast with better ease.  Try several positions and find the one that works best for you guys.  And keep in mind that as your baby gets older, different positions will  be easier for you guys to use.

Come up with a system ahead of time as far as how you and your significant other will handle your baby's night time care. My husband and I have finally figured out what works best for us - I am "primary" from 10pm til 4am and I am "secondary" from 4am til 10am. So I feed him no matter what; when I'm primary I also do everything else unless I really need my husband's help; and when I'm secondary, my husband does everything but feed him unless he really needs my help. Also, my husband takes our son downstairs from 7 to 10am (our son typically wakes up at 7am) so I can sleep peacefully, and hubby brings him to me to feed, but otherwise lets me rest.

So think about your schedules and figure out what might work best for you guys and then play around with it until you have a system that works well.  Also, keep in mind, that even when you have a great plan in place, it might go out the window sometimes when your baby is fussier than normal.  Remember that you and your SO are allies and it's best to support each other at all times rather than say "it's your shift, you deal with it!"

Good luck!

mamabens
by Miranda on Jul. 9, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Go into it with the attitude that you will NOT fail unless your breasts fall off, do NOT have formula or bottles JIC, and have plenty of support even if it's just us on here. Know that most dr's have no clue about bfing even though they think they do.  Your baby WILL act like they are starving all the time...it's normal, whoever tells you that babies should act satisfied after eating is wrong, they are never satisfied. When baby nurses 24/7 it's NOT because you haven't got enough milk for baby it's because that's what babies, especially new ones, do!

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