I M Gonna Do It

16 Replies
Maggie - January 15

After months of thinking about it, and educating myself, I have finally come to the conclusion that I am going to br___tfeed my daughter. I didn't br___tfeed my son b/c I had him when I was 21, and I think I wasn't mature enough at that point to get past the stigma of br___tfeeding. Now that I'm a little older and wiser I see that it is one of the best things I can do for my baby. I would just like to know if anyone here can give me some useful pointers or advice. I'm due on Feb. 16, but my doctor and I are almost certain I'll go before then, so any advice you new mommies can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ladies!


xXx-Lesley-xXx - January 15

Well done :-) The first week or so will be hard, but stick at it if you can. When you go to feed, remember put baby to b___st not b___st to baby.


Dawn C - January 15

I just had my 1st at 27. He is 3 mth and I have had no problem. I have always heard of horror stories on how b___stfeeding was tuff. I never had one problem. It is hard the first week or so. My nippples were really sore when he would latch on, but I didnt have any problems with engorgement or cracked nipples or anything. It is truly great because I have no mess to deal with by washing bottles and mixing formula. HANG IN THERE. It will be worth it!!!!


Jamie - January 15

My advice is, stick to it. For me, the first 2 months were really hard. I had large, flat nipples, and my daughter had a small mouth, so we had latching issues. I was only able to get her to latch with the help of a nipple shield; then my husband lost the shield and I had no choice but to get her to latch on the natural nipple - she did it, and it's been smooth sailing since then. She's now approaching 6 months old. Set yourself goals - 1 month, 6 weeks, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, etc. It's much easier if you just concentrate on the little milestones, so you don't get to feeling overwhelmed. Be prepared during the first several weeks, your baby is only going to want to nurse, and you should let her. Breastfeeding is much more successful if it's done on demand than by the clock. Also, I don't know what sleeping arrangements you have, but you might seriously want to consider co-sleeping or a ba__sinet for the first few weeks. Oh yah - also, don't let anyone try to tell you that she's not getting enough. Do NOT supplement with formula until you have a firm diagnosis of failure to thrive. Supply is based on demand - the more you nurse, the more milk you'll have. If you supplement too early, you could seriously sabotage your milk supply. A general rule of thumb, as I recall, is that the baby should have 1 wet or dirty diaper per feeding. As long as she has 6-7 dirty/wet diapers a day, she's getting enough - do not let anyone but a doctor tell you she's not, and don't let the doctor tell you to supplement unless she's not gaining weight. Hmm...what else...oh yeah...you're going to be engorged at first. You'll also leak milk at night. The best way to deal with that is to sleep in a bra, and sleep on top of a towel. You can choose to pump that milk and build up a nice stockpile, so that someone else can feed the baby once in a while, but be careful about pumping too much - you can end up overstimulating your production. I make sure never to pump more than 4 oz per day to avoid engorgement, though during the first 4 to 6 weeks you're probably safe pumping 6 to 8 ounces per day. Also, in the hospital, ask to speak with the lactation consultant - she can help you out with any issues you have, and answer any questions you've got. If you want, try to find a La Leche League group in your area, where you can meet with other nursing moms and moms-to-be. www.kellymom.com is a great b___stfeeding resource, also. I hope this helps, and congratulations on your little girl.


Maggie - January 16

Thankyou for the advice ladies. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, and when a friend of mine told me that getting a tattoo was worse than the initial pain of b___stfeeding, I really wasn't afraid of the pain b/c I have 4 tattoos. I have another question, what pumps would you ladies recommend? I'm going to see if I can rent one from the hospital, but I know those are not mobile, so I'll need a good manual pump. I'm thinking that for at least the first 4 weeks I will exclusively b___stfeed, but my husband doesn't want to miss out on that bonding. What do you think?


Christy - January 16

Maggie- I wrote this to another user last month and I think it will help you too. "I will tell you about a few things to expect, bc I think there are some things about bf that you can't find in books easily, etc. I would have liked to have known these things so I would have been more prepared and would have had known what to expect. First of all, it is akward and painful in the beginning. And I don't mean for a day or two. It can be a few weeks or more until you feel really comfortable with bf. You may feel really frustrated in the beginning- that is okay and normal. My son is 7 weeks old and I still have to fight w/ him to latch on properly at times. Secondly, your milk will not come in for a few days, and when it does, it is really uncomfortable. That is normal. Do not freak out if you don't have milk pouring out if you b___bs right after delivery. It takes days, maybe even a week, for that to happen. The first milk that comes in is transitional milk. It could take a week or two for the mature milk to arrive. Until any of your milk comes in, colostrum, which is the very nutrient dense yellow stuff, is what you baby will get from you the first few days or so. I guess one tsp of colostrum is nutrionally equivalent to 2-3 oz of formula, so baby doesn't need a lot to get adequate nutrition. My parents kept asking me if he was getting enough food and if he should get bottle-fed until my milk came in. (The answer to that question is "no," by the way. ) On the flip side, the hospital staff may give your baby a bottle if his/her blood sugar is low or bilirubin is very high. They gave my son formula his first night there b/c his blood sugar was very low. That was the only time he got it. They usually do not have to give formula for the bilirubin (it causes jaundice in newborns)- bf is just as good in helping eliminte it from the body. This leads me to the next thing- let the hospital staff know you are bf so they don't give your baby a pacifier or bottle, b/c believe me, they will. You don't want the baby experiencing nipple confusion and preferring the bottle over you. (See the thread about the gal who feels like a failure- she got a lot of bad advice at the hospital.) The only way to build up your milk supply is to nurse, nurse, and nurse some more. That means every 1.5-3 hours which is about 8-12 times a day with a newborn. You will feel like all you do is nurse. You will not get much sleep at the hospital either, as the will wake you every 2-3 hours to feed your bub. That is why they say to sleep when baby sleeps and to take whatever help is offered to you. Otherwise you will breakdown after a few days, like I did. Luckily I have supportive family and my mil came over to help for a few days. It was great to just sleep for 3 hours uninterrupted after days of sleeping sporadically. (I sleep 6-8 hours a nigh tnow, so that not sleeping thing does not last forever.) Last two things- you may think that you are not producing enough milk. If baby has 5+ soiled diapers and 7-8+ wet diapers a day, is eating at least 8 times a day, and is gaining weight, then you are producing enough milk. Lastly, they have growth spurts where all they do is eat eat eat. It does not mean you do not have enough milk. They eat a lot to increase your milk supply, which will happen after a few days of baby manga- manga-ing. Please don't think I am trying to scare you or discourage you from bf. I just think people deserve to know what they are getting into when they bf. Two books that I have found really helpful are "The Nursing Mother's Companion" by Huggins and "Spilled Milk" by Andie Steiner. The first is a practical guide and resourse for bf mothers. It is great. The second is a book my friend got me. It has great stories about bf mothers- good and bad. It offers a healthy dose of reality with humor. It has been a good read during those late night feedings. I think having and reading both books before you have a baby will help you mentally prepare for what is ahead. Also, if you can sign up for a bf cla__s at your hospital, that would be helpful too. I wanted to go to one, but procrastinated on it an then my baby arrived three weeks early. Anyway, I hope I didn't scare you and I wish you lots of luck for the remainder of your pregnacy and for your labor and delivery. If you have any more questions, keep 'em coming. We are a nice bunch that want to help on this forum and over on the infant care forum too. Again- best wishes to you. :) "


Christy - January 16

BTW- my baby is now 10 weeks old. :) Also, the person I wrote that to was a first-time mom, so some of the stuff you probably already know.


AutumnsMommy - January 16

I'm so happy you have made the decision to BF!! Jamie and Christy have pretty much covered it all I think. Just stick with it! I can't stress that enough--during the first 2 or 3 weeks, you will be so tired and so worn out that at 3 in the morning, you will be like "just give her a bottle" PLease DON'T!! It gets so much easier and soon it just becomes second nature. Breadfeeding my daughter has been the most fulfilling experience of my life and I'm so happy and excited for you to experience it too! Good luck!


Kaylynnsmom - January 16

And after a month or tow of b___stfeeding, your baby will only poop like once or twice a day & that is completely normal. Some bf babies only poop once a week & that is completely normal as long as they keep getting the wet diapers throughout the day. ANd when your milk comes in, it will be a little more than just "uncomfortable" at least mine was. I felt like I was walking around with footb___s on my chest. My b___bs were ROCK hard and HOT too. I laid on my bed & put these things that Gerber makes - like ice packs for your b___bs on & then just froze washcloths and laid thos on my bare chest. I fell asleep like that & leaked all over the bed, but I felt much better. Gerber has a whole line of b___stfeeding stuff. I suggest these little gel patches they have & get some Lansinoh. Start using the Lasinoh & gel packs within 24 hours of starting to nurse - even if your nipples don't hurt yet. That;s what I did & I really only had 2 or 3 days or sore nipples. The worse part really was the engorgement when my milk came in. Try to nurse immediately after giving birth, ask the nurse for some help & pointers and get a good latch from the start. Work on perfecting your latch technique a LOT those first few days - it will pay off when you get home. Don't be afraid to ask for a lactation consultant to come in & give you a hand. I actually had one from the hospital call me about day 4 of b___stfeeding to see that everything was going well. She then called me weekly for the first few weeks and offered help & advice each time. I recommend taking the b___stfeeding cla__s & MEETING people in your cla__s. You will want to have some b___stfeeding buddies to talk to & hang out with. Its much easier at first to go out in public & b___stfeed if youhave someone right next to you doing it too. Good luck & you always have this forum for help too!


Tara O. - January 16

I have successfully Exculusively BF my daughter, and my son, and now am BF my twin boys, but am having to supplement because I'm not producing enough. know that there are things you can do to help increase your supply if you need it, and don't just give up. Also, if you get frustrated, like I have been lately, (recently I was contemplating just quitting BF and going to formula. They are 3 mo. old today) but then I went online to remind myself of WHY I'm BF and found sites about statistics of health issues, etc. and am now confident that I can't do that to my precious little boys! I am determined to continue to BF- even if it's only a couple feedings a day, and supplementing the rest. You can do it, and they deserve the best! Good luck to you! If you ever have supply issues, JUST ASK! Don't just give up! Tara O.


Hi Maggie - January 16

The one warning I didn't get is: Babies nurse for comfort as well as nutrition, so be prepared to spend time nursing. Sometimes it feels like that's all you do, but the pay off is a happy baby and a good milk supply. It's also very likely you'll worry you don't have enough milk, happens to so many. However, it's very rare that someone doesn't have enough. I recommend finding a lactation consultant or even attending LLL meetings, if you have any near you. I'm happy you've decided to b___stfeed!


Me Again - January 16

Maggie, your husband doesn't *have* to feed to bond. There's many other ways: holding, diaper changes, talking to, playing with baby and so on. If he *must*, use b___stmilk, not formula. Our two b___stfed babies bonded to their dad and he's never once fed them. The first loved to nap on his chest and the second one loves being held and cuddled by him.


Kristina - January 16

awesome! you made a great choice! I am 19 and b___stfeeding Tasia who is now 11 weeks. It hurt at first, I almost gave up, but it gets alot better and it is sooo worth it. I am so happy I never gave up!!! =)


Sarahsmommy - January 16

Maggie, congrats on decideding to bf, it's a great decision. I'm so glad I did and have stuck with it so far even though I've felt like giving up more then once. The two things I would say is it HURTS in the beginning, especially if you have any trouble with latching on. My baby was tucking her bottom lip in instead of out and it hurt like crazy and nobody noticed this until almost a week after birth when I was about to give up. So make sure both lips are tucked out and not in. The other think I would suggest is going and buying some lanolin now and start using it 2 times a day. I didn't but it's supposed to help, I know after I started using it, it really helped. I would also stock up on nursing pads, (I like johnson and johnson, and HATE gerber) and especially use them at night because you will leak after your milk comes in. Good luck and keep asking us questions, I'm not too expeciened yet but the other ladies are great helpers.


Sarahsmommy - January 16

One thing nobody has mentioned is make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your supply up. I hope I didn't scare you with my post, it is SOOOO worth it after you get the hang of it.


Dawn C - January 16

looks like they covered it all. DONT GIVE UP it will be well worth it.


Maggie - January 16

You ladies ROCK! Thankyou so much for all the support. I appreciate the honesty, and don't worry no one has really freaked me out or turned me off to it. I can't believe that my daughter will be here this time next month. Right now I'm at the point where I am ready for it to be over. My back hurts and my b___bs are soooo itchy. Well I'm at the final stretch at least. I'll be sure to check back because I know I will have more questions. Thanks again!



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