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pregnant and deciding to breastfeed. maybe.

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:14 PM
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I am 16 weeks pregnant with my second child, and thinking I really want to breastfeed. I didnt have the option with my first. My two biggest reasons are because its healthier of course, and cheaper, plus I've heard it creates a better bond between you and the baby. I just don't feel comfortable doing it in front of people, I don't feel weird when another woman does, but I just can't. Idk why it just freaks me out.. I'm also worried about going back to work after the first 6 weeks, I know you can pump, but then what do you do with the milk? And do you send it to daycare? And one more thing, and please no bashing I'm having a hard enough time with it already, I am a smoker. Ever since I got pregnant I have slowed down a LOT, like cut back more than half what I used to smoke. Which my doctor is happy with. I plan on hopefully quitting but right now I just can't completely stop, will my milk still be okay if I smoke afterwards? Once again, please no rude comments, I hate that I'm a smoker myself and am truly trying to do what's best for my baby. I plan on going to a breastfeeding class and talking to my doctor, but just thought I'd ask some moms, from experience. Thanks in advance for your help!
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by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:14 PM
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by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:24 PM
I've breastfed for 13 months now.. I can not do the whole in public thing.. I do it in front of my mom if she's over and of course hubby but that's it! I'm a sahm but I would send my pumped milk with my son to daycare if he went.. A lot of moms actually do this! It seems weird before you actually do it but people don't think about it! As for the smoking, less reaches the baby when you're breastfeeding than when they're actually inside you so I wouldn't worry about it. I read somewhere that breastfeeding while smoking or taking medications is better than feeding formula. The only thing you have to worry about when going to work is keeping your supply up. If I were you I would breastfeed! It's the best for baby and ohhhh so much cheaper!!!!!! Good luck!!
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by Group Admin - Julia on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:25 PM
Are yoy due august? I am too!

Anyways, you dont have to nurse in public, but it is so much easier. It also helps when you are with other moms who do. has a list of leadets and meetings in your area if you search. That would be a great starting pointn also when nursinf in public you can do so without anyone seeinf anythng (practice nakes perfect). Some moms use the double t shirt method, some moms use a sling or cover, depends all on preference. I have to go finihs later
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by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:29 PM
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I have been bfing my first for almost 8 months and I love it. I work also and baby goes to daycare and has been sick once, and never had a fever. I attribute her being so healthy to bfing. I pump at work and send it to daycare. Good for you for trying to quit smoking. No judgment here, but I will say that smoking while pregnant and with an infant increases babies risk of SIDS. Bfing lowers it. So with the smoking, breast feeding is really the best. I'm not saying this to judge, just to point out the benefit of breast feeding. Good luck momma!
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by Group Admin - Julia on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:29 PM
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Ok, as far as smoking goes, same rules as when formula feeding, dont smoke around baby. You can still nurse if you smoke and the breastmilk will still be better than formula.

for working ,you will need to pump while you are gone, and give milk with instructions to your caregiver. has all that info! There are many moms here who breastfeed and work, you r in good hands!
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by Nicki on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM
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As far as the smoking goes, do your best to quit. I'm a former smoker and it's HARD! But you can do it, if you are truely willing. I'm not an expert of course, but I assume smoking would hurt your baby only a little less through the milk then it does through the womb. Not a great idea all around.

Nursing in front of people- You get used to it. As soon as you get comfortable positions down and you realize how much people DON'T see. You'll notice how much of a pain it is to stop what you're doing, pack everything up, round up any other kids and run off to a different room every time the baby wants to eat, it starts to just feel silly and you'll just want to feed the baby and go on with your day.

You can pump, you don't need to have a huge supply saved up to go to work because you'll have to pump while you're at work too. You can store it in ziplock bags, or they make milk bags, freeze it for quite a while or it's good in the fridge for a bit. I don't know the exact times, I don't pump, but someone here will. Plus they'll give you all the info.

Yes you'll want to send milk to daycare. Formula supplementing is a very slippery slope, and once you start it's a constant battle (in my opinion, I'm sure it works for some people) to keep the baby on the breast.

Take a class, I don't know if you're on WIC but if you are they have a lot of help available for BF'ing moms, plus they'll give you a free pump - most insurance will cover pumps now too.

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:54 PM
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That is great that you have been cutting back on smoking. That is not easy, keep up the good work, every little bit counts!

Being a smoker puts your baby at risk, and formula feeding puts your baby at risk. So is you continue to smoke and formula feed your are increasing babys risk twice to things like upper respiratory infections, ear infections, and SIDS, to name a few.

A lot of moms do ot feel comfortable nursing in front of other people. However, most find they quickly get over it after doing it a few times. You can do it!

It is not easy to go back to work with a new baby (breastfeeding or not!) but you can pump and leave bottles of milk for your baby.

Here are some links for you with some more info, take a look, I really think it will help!

Breastfeeding and Smoking:

Breastfeeding In Public

Preparing for Your Return to Work: The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide

Returning to Work: The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide

by Silver Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:54 PM
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It's healthier to breastfeed and smoke than to formula feed and smoke, because there are qualities in breastmilk that protects babies better... of course, NOT smoking is better over all for you AND baby!!! :)

NIP is an acquired skill, and you can start in LLL meetings... :) Also, dressing rooms of stores are a safe place to start venturing out, too!

Pumping at work will KEEP you connected to your baby! :)
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by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:05 PM
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I think this is a great article for someone who is on the fence about breastfeeding!

Help! I don’t want to breastfeed!

And, we recognize what a difficult decision this can be! Women who don’t want to breastfeed are being put under more pressure with little help or understanding for how they may feel, or what obstacles they may face.  We are here to help you. It is no fun being on the fence.

Believe me, I know, because I was a mom who was on that fence! That’s why I’m urging you not to wait until after the baby’s birth–like I did–to make your decision. Do your research now. The fact is, that while breastfeeding comes easily for some moms, for most moms, the hardest time to learn about breastfeeding for the first time, is after the baby is born, when new mothers are exhausted, vulnerable and at the mercy of myths and misinformation. Believe it or not, hospitals, nurses, doctors, families, and friends, while well-meaning and competent, may not be educated on the latest about breastfeeding and frequently have their own barriers to work through (see AAP, Policy statement on Human Milk). Add to that any personal unresolved issues you may have and now you have put yourself at an even greater disadvantage if you do decide to give it a whirl. Breastfeeding is just one of those important life events where you will do better if you are prepared and can hit the ground running. You wouldn’t show up to run a marathon without a strong resolve, some coaching and proper shoes, right? So, the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to explore the feeding issue – both your feelings and the facts about it–now, before the baby is born.

To help you make your decision, I’ve put some suggestions below–these are merely suggestions, the ones that I wish someone had mentioned to me before my first baby was born. I hope that they are helpful, and that you will take what you like from them and leave the rest. In any case, I wish you only the best on this amazing journey into motherhood.

If you don’t want to breastfeed:

  1. Find someone you trust to talk to. Choose someone you respect, admire and trust who will listen to you compassionately and help you sort out your feelings without judging you. I was too afraid to admit that I didn’t want to breastfeed to anyone, and kept my feelings bottled-up, which only made things worse. Whether you choose a friend, relative, or professional, the person(s) you talk to should not push their agenda on you. A good sounding board should neither hit you over the head overbearingly with the benefits of breastfeeding nor should they easily let you off the hook from trying breastfeeding at all. He/She should help you understand yourself, what is factoring into your decision and most importantly, should be positive and encouraging! Becoming a parent is a transformation on many levels, and as you explore your feelings, you will grow and mature and be more ready to take on that transformation.
  2. Get to the bottom of what’s bugging you. There are a million reasons why women choose not to breastfeed, and we’ve heard them all. All of them are valid, because any feelings a woman has about breastfeeding are real and important! Unless you get to the bottom of what’s stopping you from embracing breastfeeding, you won’t have the chance to separate fact from fiction. For example, some women fear they won’t be able to make enough milk, perhaps because their mothers didn’t nurse or had difficulties–but we now know that more than 95% of women are physically capable of breastfeeding. Like a lot of women, I was afraid of what breastfeeding would do to my ta-tas, not realizing that pregnancy itself, not nursing, is the culprit. [Rinker, Brian: “Breastfeeding Does Not Create Sagging Breasts; Study Throws Out Old Wives' Tale, Amer. Society of Plastic Surgeons] Others are anxious about nursing in public, or disapproval from in-laws or friends. Some are plain squeamish. Some women have sufferedsexual abuse —if this is the case for you, as it is the case for possibly 25% of women, we urge you to get help from a qualified professional, such as Penny Simkin (listen to this Motherwear podcast with her, it’s amazing) and join a support group.     You may find and meet other mothers who have been able to work through this difficult barrier and have gone on to nurse successfully or have pumped—for some, it has even become an empowering, positive and healing experience.  In any case, you will know you are not alone). Still others fear that their medications won’t allow them to breastfeed. Unless you are in touch with what’s bothering you, you’ll never find out if there is a way to deal with it—plus, once you get it out in the open, you might find out it loses it’s power over you. Regardless of what you decide, chances are you will have a lot more peace and serenity, and be better equipped to handle questions or even nosybodies.
  3. Weigh the risks. While there has been lots said about the benefits of breastfeeding, research has shown that knowing the benefits alone is not impactful enough, just as knowing the benefits of eating broccoli hasn’t kept us away from fast-food joints. What everyone needs to know is that studies suggest that there are very real risks associated with feeding artificial baby milk (ABM)–commonly known as infant formula.

To what degree is breastfeeding associated with a reduced risk of disease?

(excerpted from )

“A new meta-analysis (study of studies) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services helps answer that question. (This study looked over 9,000 studies on breastfeeding from developed countries, weeded out the ones with poor methodology, and came up with an overall percentage for each one. This is harder than it sounds because “breastfeeding” is defined differently in each study. Nevertheless, here is what they found.)”

Breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of the following diseases for your baby:

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): 36% lower risk
  • Type 1 Diabetes: 19-27%
  • Type 2 Diabetes: 39%
  • Leukemia (acute lymphocytic) : 19%
  • Leukemia (acute myelogenous): 15%
  • Asthma: 27%
  • Gastrointestinal infections: 64%
  • Lower respiratory tract diseases: 72%
  • Atopic dermatitis: 42%
  • Acute otitis media: 50%

Breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of the following disease for mothers:

  • Type 2 Diabetes: 4-12% lower risk
  • Ovarian cancer: 21%
  • Breast cancer: 28%

This study looked at the relationship between breastfeeding and only some of the diseases that breastfeeding provides some measure of protection against. More research is needed, but the evidence is growing all the time.

Bottom line is, only you and your doctor can weigh any risks from current medications you are taking vs. the risks of feeding your baby formula, and you owe it to yourself to be educated. You should also be aware that the World Health Organization says that screened, donated, pasteurized milk is a more suitable alternative than artificial milk (formula). They state that formula should only be used as a last resort–a message that certainly hasn’t made it into the mainstream! Hopefully, one day human milk banks will be as ubiquitous as blood banks, and all mothers who can’t breastfeed will have better choices.

4.   Make your decision.

If You are Leaning Away from Breastfeeding:

You’ve done exhaustive research and have confidence that you have made the best decision for you and your family. Some things you may want to consider:

  1. You can always stop breastfeeding if it is not right for you. If you don’t try, it is a lot harder to start (but not impossible) if you change your mind! Consider that lots of women regret not breastfeeding, but we know of no one who regrets having breastfed.
  2. Pumping. Many women who are uncomfortable with nursing directly for whatever reason have pumped successfully, often for a full year. Kudos to them.
  3. Donated, Screened, Pasteurized Breastmilk. See to see if this is a feasible choice for you, if not, become an advocate so that some day more moms have this much better feeding option.  
  4. A friend or relative nursing your baby, or donated milk through a network. This is very controversial due to the risk of any communicable diseases, however we hope that someday through a thorough screening process women who can not breastfeed can be matched with a volunteer who can nurse their baby. Once again, only you can weigh the risks and make the best choice for you and your family.  Organizations that are helping parents connect with informally donated human milk are Human Milk for Human Babies (, Eats on Feets ( and Milk Share (  Please note that for liability reasons, Best for Babes does not officially endorse informal milk sharing, but believes strongly that moms deserve access to information about all milk sharing options.
  5. Organic Infant Formula. If pumping, donated breastmilk or a surrogate breastfeeder are simply not options, then we encourage you to use Organic artificial baby milk (generic is fine) as it will not contain pesticides or milk products from cows treated with antibiotics or growth hormones. Choose one that does not include artificial DHA & ARA as these chemicals are not organic, their efficacy in formula has not been proven and there is more research needed on potential side-effects such as gastric upset in infants.
  6. Have a good answer. Finally, if you choose not to breastfeed, we urge you to have a plan of how to handle well-meaning but overzealous do-gooders, and have a “stop them in their tracks” response at the ready. Unfortunately, we have heard a few horror stories of women who have been hassled for giving a bottle by complete strangers, and we are on your side, babe, no one has the right to intrude upon you! Women who judge other women for not breastfeeding make the problem worse.  Try saying: “Thank you for your concern, and  thank you for respecting that this is a personal decision no mother takes lightly.”    You can even encourage them to read the Best for Babes Mission & Credo!

If you are leaning towards breastfeeding:

Take baby steps. If you are one of those people (like me) for whom adopting healthy lifestyle choices is challenging, treat it like deciding to work out: set small, achievable goals, and give yourself lots of praise and rewards. I am not one of those people who could commit to training for the marathon, but I was able to get myself (kicking and screaming) to sign up for a 5 mile race. Similarly, when I was nursing my son, I kept saying, “okay, I’m going to do this just until Sunday, and then I am going to quit,” and then by the time Monday came around, I postponed weaning for another 7 days. Try committing to the first 6 days, then commit to another week, and so on, and you might find that the first month has gone by before you know it! Add another week at a time, and soon the first 4-6 weeks of the Learning Curve (link to ( will be over and you will have gotten the hang of it. In fact, just like those of us who hated going to the gym at first but came to enjoy the incredible feeling they have after an intense workout, your feelings about nursing may change as time goes on. You may even succumb to its ambrosia-like effects and fall in love with it!

Surround yourself with a cheering squad. It’s really, really important (did we say VERY!) to find people who believe in you, will cheer you on and remind you that you can do it! To lean on the sports analogy again: my husband bought me a membership to the gym and for four years I used it maybe 10 times. He liked to tease me that every time I went it cost him $500. Now I go to the gym at least twice a week. What changed? Two girlfriends roped me into going to an exercise class (the same ones that proceeded to sign me up for that 5 mile race), and what I would have hated doing alone, was actually fun to do with some friends. When my son was born, I thought I would never make it past a week of breastfeeding, let alone six months, and with the encouragement of others, I ended up nursing my son until he was almost a year and a half! If you don’t already have these women in your life, then go find them. You will find a ready-made cheering squad at a great breastfeeding support group. You’ll meet some great moms, learn lots of tips it would take you hours of internet surfing to find, and you’ll probably enjoy the whole transition to motherhood and nursing even more. You may even end up surpassing your expectations!

Here are some tips to find other nursing moms:

  1. “Store front” birth and breastfeeding education centers: These are springing up all over the country, particularly in and around urban centers, and are a fabulous resource for prenatal classes, support groups, doulas (labor coaches and postpartum assistants), and postnatal help from LCs.
  2. Many lactation consultants (LCs) run their own groups or can steer you in the right direction. You can find the LCs in your area at
  3. La Leche League ( This is the largest and oldest resource for free mother-to-mother breastfeeding support groups and help.
  4. Some hospitals offer breastfeeding classes and support groups, but do your homework first: Don’t go to a class at a hospital that has a low breastfeeding success rate! We’ve attended some classes that were dull and a turn-off, and worse, presented incorrect information.
  5. Yoga Studios and Gyms: Many offer prenatal exercise classes — a great place to connect with other moms who are planning on nursing. Some great yoga studios offer post-natal classes that include baby and nursing time!
  6. ”Natural” or eco-friendly baby stores and health food stores. Healthy and green living is hip and there are lots of cute and stylish baby stores selling slings, organic baby clothes and bedding and the like, some of them are running support groups during off-hours or can point you to other resources. Many health food stores have seminars for moms, plus they often have seating/eating areas where you can have lunch and nurse on a future shopping trip. Important: if the first group you go to turns you off, keep trying different groups until you find one where you connect. If you don’t want to commit to breastfeeding, try committing to going to a breastfeeding support group at least 4 times during the last two months of your pregnancy. Even if you just listen, you’ll learn a lot, and you’ll feel a lot better about your decision.

Find women you trust, and then take what you like and leave the rest. Just like an athlete would never hire–and would actually fire–a coach who said “give it a try,” didn’t have faith in you, or couldn’t bring out your best and help you succeed, you should take no less from the women (and the professionals) in your life. If you don’t like a particular breastfeeding group, keeping trying different ones until you find one that you do! All too many women get turned off by one person and then throw in the towel. Just remember, one overbearing militant breastfeeder does not speak for the rest of us–there are lots of great groups out there. Even if you only find one other nursing mother you like, at least you won’t be doing it alone! Beware of friends who have unresolved feelings themselves. You want to stick with the winners–women who have succeeded at breastfeeding and women who are self-aware enough not to rationalize. Basically, you want to find women who can cheer you on and bring out your best.


after you get over "the learning curve" hump of the first few weeks, this is what you can expect--easy nighttime feedings!
after you get over “the learning curve” hump of the first few weeks, this is what you can expect–easy nighttime feedings!

Find out what motivates you and make a list.

If you breastfeed, know that you will have days when you feel like super-nursing mom, and days when you’re tired, cranky, rushing around, and not in the mood. For those days, having a handy list that reminds you in your own words why you are doing this will help you get over the hump. When I felt like throwing in the towel, I thought about how my older sister would probably never let me live it down that she had breastfed for a year (granted, she lives in Europe, where it is much easier to breastfeed). I thought about the unpleasant smell of formula and how my initial reaction the first time I smelled it was that I wasn’t sure I wanted to give something artificial to my perfect, new, and clean baby (plus when I supplemented it made him painfully constipated). I thought about how the hormonal surge during let-down helped my post-partum depression, and that bonding with my baby during nursing made me feel good about myself as a mother. I reminded myself that I did not want to deal with washing and sterilizing bottles (I’m very forgetful and dreaded screwing up the mixing or leaving something behind). I think I turned the corner for good the day my mom pointed out how adorably my son quivered with joy every time I unbuttoned my blouse. In short, you may be motivated by breastfeeding’s incredible health benefits or you may not, but the key is to use whatever works for you. Also, try using imagery (See Learning Curve: See Yourself Successful) to help you achieve your goals. Imagery–positive mental imaging of your success–is a terrific tool and is what great athletes, entrepreneurs and leaders do and it works. In the early days and weeks, you may have to take it one feeding at a time, but you can do it!

Know what is truly second best. We understand that for many women, the hurdles to breastfeeding are truly too great. For example, although most medications are perfectly safe to take while breastfeeding, there are a few that are not. There are also some women who have been sexually abused and are too scarred from their experience to breastfeed. Still others face intense family and peer disapproval (another good reason to attend a support group–you’ll get lots of great strategies for dealing with disapproval). But here is the deal: as per the World Health Organization the second best thing to your breastmilk is not formula – it’s donated, pasteurized and screened human milk! So, even if you cannot — or choose not — to breastfeed, consider the second best and safest alternative for your babe. Let’s make donor milk as widely available as donated blood–your baby, and all babies, deserves the best! For more info, contact The Human Milk Bank Association,

by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:09 PM
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Good advice from the previous posters!

I will also second amberleigh on keeping the connection with baby while at work. I went back full time when dd was 11 weeks and pumped while at work and nursed at home. When I'd break to pump at work, it gave me time to just sit and think about her for a few minutes, and at the end of the work day, the first thing I do when I get home is spend a few quiet moments with my little girl.

Don't sweat it too much. You'll make it work if you want it to. Nice work on cutting back on smoking...keep going! :) Congrats on baby number 2!!
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by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:16 PM
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Smoking during nursing is really a non issue. It's incredibly easy to not smoke within the hour before you nurse. During the stressful first few weeks I must have smoked a cigarette every single time this kid went to sleep. It gets very easy to plan out when you can smoke. I've been nursing for thirteen months and now it's just second nature to not smoke at certain times when I know I'm going to have to nurse within the next hour. Nursing in public is super easy. It's a lot more stressful for me to be out in public with a crying baby than when I'm nursing. Breastfeeding makes life a lot easier than using formula. Night time is a piece of cake when there are no other issues (colds, teething, loud husbands...) good luck. I hope you choose to breastfeed.
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