About The Basics Before Baby Is Born

7 Replies
Olivene - May 21

I know the baby has to latch on the to the whole colored part of the br___t and the bottom lip will be turned out if she is latched on correctly. I know the more you feed, the more the br___ts make. I know the baby must face me completely and be lined up straight across my body. I know Baby's appet_te changes a lot and it can be frustrating trying to keep up. I am planning to avoid bottles, formula, and pacifiers, for about 6 weeks, at least. What else do I need to know? Any good tips? Any challenges I should be prepared for? I really want this to go well!!

 

Mary - May 21

I say be prepared for leaking when you are feeding your baby. When your LO is on one side you may start leaking on the other side. Keep a b___st pad or something there so your shirt doesn't get all wet. I didn't realize that would happen when I first started b___stfeeding.

 

olivia - May 21

I say you should be prepared for it to be difficult. I was well read like you and ready to go, but it was much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. We did it though!. Also, be prepared for lots of other people pitch in unwanted advise. Just stick to what you have learned and be determined for success.

 

Susan W - May 21

The leaking surprised me too. I was amazed. I had to use cloth diapers in my bra because I leaked so much. . I would second being prepared for it to be hard. It might not be, but it could be one of the most difficult things you will ever do. I literally thought of quitting every day for the first 8 weeks, but here I am, 20 months and 2 pregnancies later, still nursing! . . . . I do wish I had done more b___stfeeding specific reading, not just what's in the pregnancy books. I can highly recommend "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" and the "The Ultimate Breastfeeding Answer Book." . .. I also wish I had attended a local La Leche League meeting before the baby came and not 6 weeks later when I was at the end of my rope! You can go and learn from other nursing moms about the pitfalls and how to avoid them and start building a really good network to help you out. And prepare yourself for people to try to shoot you down. I had all kinds of people telling me my kid needed formula, that bottles would be easier, that I needed DH to help me feed the kid, to start solids early, all kinds of junk. Just figure out what YOU want to do and stick to it. But I totally believe that b___stfeeding success is wholly dependent on your determination to make it work. If you really want to b___stfeed, you will figure out a way to make that happen. Additionally, YOUR JOB for the first 6 weeks is to feed that baby. Have help for at least the first 2 weeks -- you should do nothing other than nurse the baby and take care of yourself and someone else should change the diapers, bring you food and drink, laundry, housework, literally everything. After that, you can do what you feel up to, but your primary focus is still nursing. Don't feel bad about it, and be prepared to feel like you do nothing but nurse. It's what you are supposed to be doing :)

 

Jamie - May 22

I wanted to say - it may not be possible for your baby's mouth to cover the whole areola. My daughter is 9 months and still doesn't cover the whole areola. Me thinking that she needed to cover the whole areola caused a LOT of problems in the beginning - she WAS latching properly, but since she wasn't covering the WHOLE areola, I kept breaking latch, until I had taught her how to latch improperly...if I had just left well enough alone, I may have had an easier time of it...so anyway - make sure the baby is off the berry part of the nipple, and covers as much of the areola as possible - but don't break latch just because the whole areola isn't covered. Be prepared for people to tell you your baby isn't getting enough, that you should supplement with formula, that it's "disgusting" or "rude" to nurse in public, that the baby will sleep through the night if you give formula, etc. None of those things are true. You might want to introduce a bottle a little earlier than 6 weeks...like just around 4 or 5 weeks...I waited, and my daughter refused the bottle completely, even though she would take a pacifier. if you're shy about nursing in public, practice in a mirror until you're comfortable...you may also want to invest in a sling. Newborns nurse ALL THE TIME. It's absolutely and completely 100000% normal for your baby to nurse for hours at a time. This comforts the baby, and builds your milk supply. If you don't want to or can't sit around nursing all the time, a sling will let you nurse hands-free so that you can move around and do whatever you need to do. Also, if you don't have a ba__sinet or a co-sleeper, you might want to consider getting one. Co-sleeping is a great help to establishing a good nursing relationship...with a little practice, you and baby will both fall asleep while nursing, letting both of you get more rest. What I did was exclusively co-sleep for the first 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, my daughter would start out the night in her own space (ba__sinet in our room, or crib in her room) and then when she woke for the night feeding, I'd go get her, and bring her to bed with DH and I. As she started sleeping through the night, she stopped co-sleeping, and now sleeps through the night in a crib in her own room.

 

Olivene - May 22

Thanks, ladies, for all of your advice and imput! You're really great!!!! I am in Japan so the environment here is very pro-b___stfeeding- about 90% do. I won't understand if someone says it is rude because my Japanese is very bad- I guess that's a plus! I've met the local LLL group- very nice ladies! I do recommend doing that, too, to anyone else who is in the same boat as me. It is nice to have people to call on. I have a general feeling that b___stfeeding is difficult, but I can't quite figure out WHAT is the difficult part- is it just everything all together?I will be in the hospital for about a week (standard here)- so I think that will be good for getting started- I won't even have an opportunity to worry about the laundry and the midwives are very involved in getting the b___stfeeding going well. Mary, Olivia, Susan, and Jamie, thanks so much! I'll keep in mind all that you said. : )

 

Susan W - May 22

I didn't understand what would be so hard about nursing either. It seemed natural. . . until I put it into practice :) I think the difficult part is that you and the baby are learning a new skill together. It's hard to coordinate your hands, the baby latching, holding onto a floppy baby (and mine was 11.5 lbs!! so he was particularly hard to manage without a support pillow) and making sure your nipple is in there right so you don't get sore. But you may have an easier time of it since you are overseas in a very pro-b___stfeeding country (you lucky thing!). The US is not pro-b___stfeeding, unfortunately, even though it's totally legal to nurse in public in just about every state. Some babies take right away to nursing and others fight it. . . .Do the Japanese still have the tradition of the new mom going to bed for a month with her baby and the family taking care of her? I thought that was a lovely custom, and I found it interesting that postpartum depression is extremely rare in countries that have traditions like that.

 

Olivene - May 22

Susan W, I haven't heard that the new moms and babies go to bed together for a month, but the pregnant woman does usually go back to her home town to live with her parents a wile before the baby is born and then they stay for a while afterwards. The fathers often just go there for the weekends. Also, the general birth philosophy is overwelmingly natural- about 98% have no pain medicine (unless they do a c-section). They pretty much practice baby wearing and are constantly involved in the mothering. It is a good place to have a baby. Thanks for your explanation about the challenges of learning to b___stfeed that does make it a little more clear!

 

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