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Breast is Best

Posted by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:59 AM
  • 7 Replies

So my son was born 13 weeks early, and spent the first 2 months of his life in the NICU. I spent ALOT of time pumping, and it really helped, because once we came home, I had a TON of frozen milk.

I was a first time mommy, and wasn't too comfortable breastfeeding in front of anyone. Pumping was majorly hindered because I wasn't living on my own, and would basically have to go in the bathroom (ew) for any privacy. So all in all, I may have gotten 2-3 months tops of actual breastfeeding in with my son, and it was very sporatic.

Well, now my son is 6 yrs old, so even that experience seems like a lifetime ago! I would love to make it to 1 yr of consistent breastfeeding with the one in the belly. But I feel like I will be breastfeeding for the first time, and was hoping all you wonderful mommies have some words of advice (suggestions, etc) on how to, thru discomfort with being on front of people, and discomforts that come physically, stick with it, and really make the most of it.

Thanks in advance!

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:59 AM
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by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:13 AM

As far as BFing in public.

If I was at a restaurant I would use a bottle I had pumped. Not for embarrassement for me it was just easier. If I was at a Mall or at Families house I used a cape. (PRACTICE with this at home before you try it out and about). I never used a cape at my family's house, but always with my in-laws because my sibs in law didn't have a good impression of BFing and so I did everything I could to give them a positive opinion.

Be determined (sounds like you are already :-)

Find a LLL group ( ) for support.

Use SOOTHIES (even if you store in freezer) they are amazing for sore/cracked nipples.

Use pillows to prop baby up and bring baby to you instead of hunching over. Trust me, your back and neck will thank you!

If you haven't already, join the BFing group on here. They are very helpful and pretty prompt in replying to problems as they may come up :-)

Good luck!

Mommy to Alexander Jayce 05.21.09 and Kalea Brielle EDD 06.15.2009pregnancy

jun10modgn1l by you.

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Just stick with it. I nursed my daughter for 14 months. It is painful in the beginning, and for the first 6-8 weeks you feel like all you do is nurse. It is completely normal from the baby to nurse every two hours (from the start of one feeding to the start of you may only have 1.5 hour of baby off the breast) at least is natures way of establishing a good and healthy supply, so don't think that he/she isn't getting enough. The first week of life they should have a diaper for however many days old they are (ex 1 day old/1 diaper...2 days/2 diapers) until you get to 6-8 diapers a day.

It really is amazing! Just stick with it!

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:22 AM

The above poster has one of the key pieces of advice...don't assume you don't have a good supply because the baby is on the breast constantly the first 4-6 weeks.  It is normal! 

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:27 AM

Get people around you who will support you.... being your mom, friends, or even going to the La Leche League for support. There are many free resources out there for women that would even come to your home, but many don't know about them and don't try to find them. The first couple of weeks can be very difficult, or it can be very easy. If you are having a difficult time either with breastfeeding, dealing with the tenderness, or ect... just make sure that you try to relax as much as you can before and during breastfeeding. If you don't relax, it will make it more painful (I think cause you are waiting in suspense for the pain to start) and it will also not let your milk come down as easily making it more difficult to fully feed your baby. Make sure that you try to feed your baby within the first hour of its life... the sooner being the better! This will not only help your milk production and help your baby learn how to breastfeed, it will also help your body cause breastfeeding makes the uterus contract so it will assist your uterus is going back down into it's more normal size after labor! My biggest suggestion is not to let anyone make you feel like you are doing something wrong! You are doing what is best for your baby, and you have the right to be able to feed where ever and whenever you please. If you are not comfortable, they do make hiders so no one would be able to see anything but a big cape over the front of you. A lot of women have this fear (including myself) in the beginning, but over time you will grow and feel less ashamed of feeding your child in front of anybody.

With my first my milk did not come in until a good week after the birth of my son, so we ended up having to supplement him with formula... and even once it came in I always seemed to have only 'skim milk' and he would want to eat every hour during the day. It was very difficult and time consuming, but it was the best experience and bonding time that there was. Even with my difficulties, I breastfed my son a year until he decided to wean himself off the breast. Now that I'm pregnant with my second, I am anxiously waiting for that first moment that I can breastfeed! It is a very cherished moment!

Good luck!

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Like the PP said, it is completely normal for a newborn to constantly nurse for the first 4-6 weeks.  The absolute best thing you can do is just let him!  Breastfeeding is a matter of supply and demand - the more milk baby demands, the more milk your body will supply.  The first few months are the toughest.  For me, the first three months were pretty close to awful - I had thrush and mastitis 3 times!  I almost gave up several times but I am SO GLAD I stuck with it!  After those first 3 months, nursing became like second nature.  I had a really great support system around me.  When it got really hard, DH would tell me he would support me if I quit, but he knew I could do it and he wanted me to stay strong.

As far as nursing in public, I was always perfectly comfortable as long as I had my Hooter Hider (it's a nursing cover with a strap that goes around your neck so baby can't pull it off).  In the beginning I would try to seek out secluded areas while I got used to it, but after that I could pull out my cover anywhere.

When it comes to nursing for 1 year or past, it can seem really overwhelming, but remember that babies do not nurse around the clock like newborns forever!  Katherine had stopped a middle-of-the-night feeding at around 9 months.  Then at around 18 months, she never needed to nurse outside the house anymore (although she would nurse several times a day if we stayed home all day).  By 2, she was nursing maybe 4 times a day, and then she started going days at a time without it.  She just turned 2 1/2 and right now she hasn't nursed in 2 weeks, which is her longest stretch so this could be the end!

You will definitely want to bookmark - this is the best breastfeeding resource in the internet.  It has all sorts of information from what to expect in the beginning to what OTC medicines are safe to take while breastfeeding.

by on Apr. 2, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Thank you all so much! You have all been tons of help, and are all greatly appreciated!

by on Apr. 2, 2010 at 6:14 PM

 The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to not worry about what other people think. Don't be embarrassed to feed your baby in public, and seriously, don't get a nursing cover. Those make you stand out like a sore thumb, and generally, babies don't like them. The beginning of breastfeeding in gereal is going to be tough, but stick with it. The first 6 weeks, all my kids did was pee/poo, eat, and sleep. Seriously. My youngest is 4 months old tomorrow, and she slept about 20 hours a day. It may be painful in the beginning, but at the hospital, talk to the lactation consultant to make sure that you have a good latch. A bad latch will really hurt things! Oh, and invest in a bunch of nursing tank tops to wear under regular shirts. Pull up the regular shirt, pull down your nursing tank, and voila! Baby can eat, and no one else can see what's going on. Good luck!

Follow me on my blog A Year of Gratitude

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