Breastfeeding help and tips...

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gruffalo
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Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:12 am 
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Sophia is just on three feeds a day now, so usually i am at home when i feed her, but what i found useful was to wear a vest underneath my top. I used to yank that down, and pull my outer top up, thus not showing hardly any flesh at all! Worked really well.

You get more confident as you go on but i did feel so self conscious at first. I tried the little feeding rooms, but i just dont get on with that, makes me feel like i am naughty for doing what is natural. And often, its the same room as they get changed so it often smells bad, so i tend to be brave and just go for it. so far, i havent had any comments to my face, a few discruntled looks but tough really, lo needs a feeding!

They really dont tell you how hard it all can be at the beginning do they!? I wish i had more warning, but in a way, if i had, maybe i would have been put off the idea?

So glad i persevered with it, i plan to feed till just over a year.

This thread is a great idea!

MAndy xx
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mand1
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Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:00 pm 
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I used a bump band when I was out in public so my big belly didn't show, but weight fell off in a couple of months which I put don't to BF.

I'll feed anywhere, I think other people are more embarrassed than you are! I just fed her in front of everyone from the beginning, I remember my dad walked into the lounge when she was 5 days old (not knowing that I was feeding) saw me and got all embarrassed and walked out again! I shouted that it was ok and from then on he's been ok, father in law was the next hurdle. All the local cafes they're quite used to me feeding! Although now as its only 3 times a day I am usually at home.
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MrsZargon
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Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Hi there - my LO is 5 weeks and I have just come through the worst BF nightmare (I would actually say 1000x worse than my 36 hr labour and emergency c section!), blood all over E's babygro's from my nipples, such awful pain that after a few days I was caning my prescribed painkillers for my boobs rather than my section, clockwatching and dreading every feed.

SO just wanted to reassure anyone reading this and going through the same thing that it is possible to get through it. Take ALL the support you can - my local NCT branch run a weekly bf cafe with councilors and there is a weekly clinic at the hospital so the help is out there and does really help - I would have never made it on my own - don't be afraid to ask for help.

Oh - and I'm pretty sure that the only reason I am still bf-ing is that I did not have any bottle, formula or expressing equipment in my house as I did not want the option of caving in.

If you are really determined you can succeed x
mariandelijah
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Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:57 pm 
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im so proud of myself Smile i fed at a friends house today, so thats the first time i have been 'out' (kind of!) and not in our car, mums house or our house. it was fine and i felt ok doing it, but it wasnt as comfy as at home and im still sure i couldnt do it in a cafe or anything Confused

i feel such a hypocrite as i firmly believe women should have the right to feed wherever they want, and here i am not taking advantage of it!

i think thats really good advice mrs.zargon - i found having formula in the house really reassuring and helped me keep going (im stubborn like that!) but i can see how it might be temptation to some people.

where do you other ladies get support from? my g.p/ health visitor/midwives were really not much use, all they had to say was 'keep going, dont use a bottle' and i felt that wasnt enough - thank god for ask baby! i was really at my wits end (and still am at times) with problems with painful nipples and thrush - i am going to see if there is anyone else i can talk to but having trouble finding anyone Confused
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StaceyRD
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Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Well done for persevering, MrsZargon, I hope the rest of your time breastfeeding is easy and painfree. I didn't have bottles/formula in the first few months and am very glad I didn't - and even more so that I had no problems with BF.

mariblake, are there any NCT classes that MrsZargon mentioned near you? I haven't needed to ask, but I would have assumed HV's should have pointed you in the right direction! Do you go to baby groups? Maybe ask others mothers there if you do? Good going for feeding out - it seriously does get easier! Remember others are busy, they're not there to watch you. I can't see anyone can have a problem with BFing mothers!! If you do feed in a cafe - which you should not be afraid to do! - you can easy cover elijah with a blanket while he feeds and have your back to everyone. Some places offer great baby rooms - though I dislike the ones with a loo in too, and the ones designated with the changing station too bug me because someone always tries to come in when I'm feeding, then I get angry that someone can't change their baby because the blooming place has made me feed in a corner. So I go and use the cafe instead Razz

Wonder if anywhere possibly CAN stop you from feeding, though?

Bit of an odd question, how do you all hold LO when feeding? Isabelle is getting SO sweaty hot recently while feeding, and my top ends up damp from our heat. I did feed her laid in bed the other morning which felt odd but kept us both cool, but obviously can't do that when am out and about. Any ideas?
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mariandelijah
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Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:35 pm 
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hmm i had a look at nct but they seem to just be antenatal? will be an avenue to pursue though. my h.v is just hopeless - i had put off researching groups as we were meant to be moving, but now we arent so i need to get onto that too.

i think in scotland at least its illegal to discriminate against a woman because she is breastfeeding - or at least gives women the right to breastfeed in public (i wonder if those two things are the same!)

i generally hold elijah to my tummy - i prefer him to have his tummy facing mine, but he prefers to be on his back with his neck stretched to the side, so we often have a little argument about it Laughing

we tried the rugby hold and have tried wriggling about, but keeping it simple seems to work for us Smile
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gruffalo
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Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:48 pm 
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Well done MAriblake! Its scary at first, so thats a great first step. I know what you mean about the comfort, I also struggled at times with this, finding a comfy chair when not at home. I find that chairs with low handles and are quite wide work best.

I genereally feed Sophia with her tummy to mine laying across my lap. I tried the rugby ball position, which i would imagine would be slightly cooler, but i really struggled to maintain the position and i found it very hard to find a seat that was comfy for this position. I also tried the laying down thing, but both me and Sophia never really got to grips with that one!

Have you got children's centres near you? A lot of them do offer breastfeeding cafes so may be worth a look. You should be able to find the local ones to you by looking at your local councils website.

For support, my main has been from my partner and my mil who with ou her helping me through demand feeding (which i found really hard to get to grips with in the beginning) i probs would have given up. But also, my community midwife was really good and helped me ditch top ups and breast shields, just by tweaking my position slightly. This was the biggest help.

MAndy xx
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JafflePie
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Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:55 am 
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Just a quick question, at some point I intend to share our experiences on this thread (as I know I've put a few bits in diff forums etc so intending to gather them together and hopefully there'll be something of use!)

Sooo... the Q - are you feeding one sided?! I was told this from the start but with hindsight I had a very hungry baby who would feed every hour if awake and never slept through - it was only at about 5 months and we fell into more of a routine that I thought sod this, why am I not making use of both boobs?!! Confused I did have other factors going on but did find we were both the better for it, more routined, went longer between feeds etc.

Just wondered what other experiences are - I'm still trying to get my head around actually being pregnant and trying all this again though Laughing xx
mand1
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Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:03 pm 
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Mrs Zargon - Well done you!!

Mariblake - Well done you too!! You'll be feeding cafes before you know it!! You legally have the right to feed anywhere! I got support from bf cafe at local childrens centre (although not much) and also called La Leche League a couple of times, they were great.

JafflePie - I was always told to offer both boobs, but LO only ever really took one side and fell asleep so next feed she'd get other boob. When she got to about 8-10 weeks she's have one full boob and a bit from the other, then on next feed start on side that she had the bit from. So as you offer both sides they're getting what they need.
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StaceyRD
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Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:09 pm 
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I offer both too and do the alternating that mand1 said. Now Isabelle normally only feeds from one - how would you only offer one side though, surely you'd get engorged on the other and it would make babe unsettled to only have had half a feed to start with?!

It's so odd how everyone and everywhere seem to have different opinions on everything. To be honest I never really thought at all how I was going to feed, I never accepted there'd be a baby until I was holding her in my arms Laughing That was a shock! So I took for granted I'd be able to breastfeed, but so glad it worked in our favour.

Hmm, I do the tummy hold with Isabelle but that's how she's getting hot. Trying to keep the house cool and I don't grip her to me too much so hopefully there'll be a happy medium soon where she'll be able to feed and not sweat! What is the rugby ball hold? Is that semi to your side?
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mariandelijah
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Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:36 pm 
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hey ladies Smile

jafflepie - i know what you mean about being a bit lopsided; when i was having trouble with painful/damaged nipples i was feeding from just one side at a time, so each side had a bit of a chance to heal, and that was ok when elijah was very little, now i try and offer both sides (although i will admit that on the 3rd feed, at 4am if he has fallen asleep sometimes i just pop him back in his basket). i find that i get a bit impatient sometimes, but make a real effort to offer both sides even if hes sleepy and he seems to be much more settled and sleeping/staying awake for longer. that could just be that hes older though Smile and hooray for being pregnant again, rather you than me though Laughing

i have looked for centres and things and it all seems a bit rubbish round here, so i will just have to get on with it i suppose! i had forgotten about La Leche League though so will get onto that.

stacey, the rugby hold is where you have the baby's body sort of lying down under your armpit, and your forearm supporting head/body so she is facing up at you almost (literally like you would hold a rugby ball to run with it). i havent managed it and elijah seems to feel a bit vulnerable like that, but i know its recommended and works for lots of people. it might give you less contact so isabelle is cooler? this explains it better! http://64.143.176.9/library/healthguide/en-us/images/media/medical/hw/hwkb17_039.jpg
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looby82
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Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:46 pm 
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great sticky! Very Happy

breastfeeding is not easy at first but sooo worth persevering with, i love it and it just gets easier and easier all the time.

mariblake and anyone else a little self -conscious of feeding in public - i use a 'bebe au lait' feeding cover, it is fantastic, use it out and about and when have visitors ( http://shop.bebeaulait.com/originals;jsessionid=0a0105501f43d6eae6386db841228f6ac16483fbbcb7.e3eSc34OaxmTe34Pa38Ta3aKchb0) also sell them in some shops now (think mothercare), try googling it x

the first few days or so were tricky, think everyone worries if they are making enough milk (but babies tummy is so small when born they only need a tiny amount at a time) and the attachment takes some practice - luckily the midwives here are so helpful. i thought once it 'clicked' that would be it, but it isn't as easy as that! was some time before amelia was going on straight away. on day 8 a midwife suggested the breastfeeding support midwife come round with advice. i nearly said no, i'll be ok, but so glad i didnt. she suggested i pinch a 'wedge' of breast for amelia so she got a good mouthful, and when her mouth was wide open, very firmly push her head and shoulders onto me. i was being too gentle, amelia's tongue was finding my nipple first and just sucking that sometimes, not getting the big mouthful first.

i have solely breastfed so far, not even expressed at all and have not had to use nipple cream or anything, so not everyone will get sore. i have cream in just in case need to use though.

if baby having growth spurt, you can feed on one side till empty, then on other side - then if still hungry go back to original breast, i had to do this a few times before, the first breast will already have started filling again.

baby will go through little phases of wanted to feed all the time if having a growth spurt, or having little feeds now and again when hot weather to just have a 'drink' not a 'feed', so the feeding pattern alters all the time. i find i need to drink a lot more since breastfeeding! thirsty work!

yes rugby ball is where the baby is kind of under your arm sideways onto you, amelia and i didnt get on with that way!

i used to do tummy to tummy, but amelia getting heavier and i find it easier with her bum kind of sitting on my knee with head facing me! sometimes in this hot weather back of her head is getting bit sweaty where rests on my arm bless her.

anyone with questions or doubts or worries share them here, we are all going through the same thing! good luck xxxx
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womble29
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Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:42 pm 
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I have only just found this and think it is a great idea.
I have posted in Newborn section and thanks to all who replied, as Polly doesnt seem to be putting on weight v quickly and has dropped centiles. I think I am going to give it another couple of weeks and see what happens. She is such a happy baby and developing so quickly that I just can't imagine that she isn't satisfied with what she is getting. HV did suggest that I may not be drinking enough and this could be causing low milk supply so will make sure I drink loads in next couple of weeks to see what happens.
Anyway I have a couple of questions...
How do you know when your breast is empty, as she can be sucking away for ages and if I squeeze my nipple when she has come off there is always a bit of milk that comes out?
also- do your babies all detach themselves cos Polly tends to fall asleep on me a lot and will just move without coming off which hurts and so I often have to detach her myself.

I have only ever bf til 6 weeks before and so although I am certainly not new to the whole experience of having a baby, I am new to feeding them myself for so long. I am also v old (43) and I think this affects my confidence in the whole process and whether Polly is ok.


Sorry for rambling on!!!
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gruffalo
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Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:00 pm 
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hi womble

When Sophia was that young, she also would often fall asleep on me and i did sometimes have to disattach myself by pputting my little finger inside her mouth.

I found that if Sophs had drunk me dry, i would feel a pain in my breast at the end of a feed. This only happened a couple of times though, usually because i had expressed and then she decided she wanted more from me! and i had very little left!

Expressing did seem to help boost my supply though. Sophia lost lots of weight in the beginning and i was advised to boost my supply by expressing in between feeds.

I found in the early months, i needed to make sure i ate regularly, snacking through the day and eating more cals than usual, and i needed to drink at least 2 litres a day, often a little more!

hth,

Mandy xx
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mariandelijah
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Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:03 am 
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heya Smile i think the thing about dehydration is true, i find i get really thirsty (although i was thirsty through pregnancy too) and hardly pee these days, so maybe i need to boost my fluid intake too!

im not sure elijah has ever completely emptied my breasts - i thought he had but as you say womble, there always seems to be a little bit left Confused eli also falls asleep on me a lot, especially in the night, but will occasionally detach himself when he is full. i think he would just keep eating if i didnt 'unlatch' him - he has overeaten a lot in the past and made himself sick.

womble your situation sounds quite stressful Confused its tricky not knowing exactly how much milk your baby is getting, hopefully some of the more experienced ladies on here have some ideas Smile
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