Author Topic: "I'm pregnant for the first time and think I do want to breastfeed. Help me?"  (Read 11102 times)

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Offline robynfuller

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Hello, also wanted to add a bit, I am a first time mum and no-one had breastfed, I was formula fed, or given me any guidelines prior to breastfeeding my lo. My mom works at a pharmacy and gave me a wonderful cream to put on my nipples to prepare them for when the time finally came (It is called Lansinhol - hope I got the spelling right, not sure where else in the world this is available - I from South Africa and it is the best stuff on the market) Anyway it really worked, I used it a month prior to birth and for 1 month after, you put it on after feeding) the first few days was quite difficult and it was sore, as this is a whole new experience for mother and child but as you go on and the baby gets better at latching and you learn more about breastfeeding it does get easier (although not for everyone) . Even if you cant breastfeed or if you choose not to breastfeed I do feel it is important to at least let the baby get the colostrum (full of antibodies) - I think it is for the first 3 days after baby is born, thick like syrup and see through. although this is very hard for the baby - they really have to suck - I read somewhere its like sucking syrup through a pin. 

Either way whichever route you choose you are doing the best for you and your baby, good luck to you, try to get as much information as you can and use what suites you and your babies needs, and when in doubt come to these boards, everyone is sooo helpful and I think everyone has been in almost all and any situations so you are not alone.
HTH
Robyn

tstasko

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Everyone has covered most of what I would say, but just wanted to add a couple of things (by the way Robyn, I'm in the States, and I was going to mention Lansinoh as well - it's fabulous!! )great for chapped lips too - lol!):

-First-Give yourself a huge pat on the back for even thinking about giving this beautiful gift to you and your baby!! 
Nobody in my family breastfed, but there is so much support through forums like these and LLL.
It is different for every woman, but just remember that BOTH of you are learning a new skill, respect that time it will take to feel each other out.
Please know that cetain things like a C-Section can make it a little harder in the beginning, but it absolutely gets better and easier - I didn't know that and thought there was something wrong w/ME but my body was just recovering.
Even if you are too shy or nervous about asking questions outright - lurk on boards like these!! ;D  I did, and it helped tremdously!
Take time to enjoy it - even if it's just one feeding your lo is lucky enough to get from you - it's a lovely moment.
Set small goals. My overall goal was(is) to breastfeed for a year - but obstacles do come up and I had to redefine my goals! My first goal was to just get colostrum into my lo.  Then I took it feed by feed until I thought I could make it to 6 weeks.  Then another week and so on (at 7mo and going strong!).  If I looked too far down the line it was too overwhelming. 
Is is worth it?  If you are able to do it you will probably find that it is worth more than words can describe.  I wish you the best while continuing your breastfeeding research.  No matter what you choose to do, or what you have to do, the fact that you considered this an option is lovely. 

Tari





Offline Erin M

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My best advice is to take a class beforehand that tells you what to expect and shows you all the different latch-on positions.  In the US, it seems as if most hospitals offer them as part of their prenatal education classes.  Expect some bumps in the road in the beginning, but it shouldn't be impossible -- if it feels that way find a LLL chapter or a lactation consultant to help you out.  Buy/rent a good breast pump so you can get away every now and then or if you're planning on going back to work.  Most of all, give it 6 weeks -- I'm of the opinion that you can do just about anytyhing for 6 weeks -- even if the beginning is rough, most people I've talked to have seen such a difference at that point, I know I did.  And from my personal opinion (though others differ on this point), it's ok if you don't just adore BF from the first time the baby latches on -- quite honestly, I hated it at first, but it got much, much, much better with time. :)

Oh, and if your family doesn't have any BF experience, find someone who does.  It's great to have someone to talk to about problems/issues/feelings you may be having.  (Or just stick around this site, it's a lifesaver!)
Erin, mom to
Katie Rose and Allie Quinn

and...


Offline elsa and jethro's mum

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OK my advice might sound kind of weird (well one bit of it anyhow) but someone gave me this advice, and we had a really tough time getting started BFing so I ended up really grateful for it:

learn to express before the baby's born. I know that sounds weird, and you won't get much, just  a few drops up to about a capful of yellowish fluid (thats the colostrum). It will just mean that a) you know your way around your own boobs and how they work to get the milk out which helps as you're trying to position the baby, and b) that you know you have access to your milk suply to be feeding your baby in those early hours/days. Don't worry you cant dry up your supply by expressing, it replenishes itself.
also, I had in the house a few 10 mL syringes and some small medicine pots for cup feeding. So when elsa didn;'t latch on for 2 weeks I could be fairly relaxed about it as I already knew how to express and had a non bottle way of feeding her at my fingertips! This meant I could relax and we could learn together how to do it properly.
It was hard work in those early weeks but shes 9.5 months old now, still BF and I promise you it is so worth the hard work if you can manage it!
L





tstasko

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L-
I heard that too - but wondered if you were to do that when the baby is born do they not get the colustrum because you've already started producing milk?
Sorry this is getting off topic - I'll start another thread if needed, but just curious - my LC told me the same thing, that my dr. should have had me start pumping a week or so in advacne since there was a good chance for a C-section.
Curious for next time ..... ;)
Thanks,
Tari

Offline chargerfans

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I highly, highly recommend breastfeeding! It is the most awesome experience. Your will have an incredible bond with your child that no one else will ever have. The way he looks up at you when he is latched on is an image you will never forget. And when he cracks a smile while latched on you can't help but smile back. He knows and trusts that you will be his provider. It is a great feeling to know that you are a necessary part of this child's life and that you are helping him get off to a better start. My little one is almost 1 and we are going strong. I will start weaning at 1 and go straight to whole milk. He has only had a few runny noses in his first year of life - very healthy little guy!

My little one was small so I had to nurse and then pump and provide extra expressed breast milk after each feeding until he was at a good weight. Although I was exhausted I never got engorged since I was always emptying my breasts. I also had a tough time in the beginning. I really wanted to nurse and was going to try everything I could. Since he was small and I had to offer him expressed milk in the bottle he got used to the bottle. At 2 weeks he decided he didn't want to nurse, it was too much work! If he had the bottle it was free flowing milk... I was determined to make this work. I went to the hospital and spoke with a lactation consultant. Her #1 piece of advice - RELAX. If you don't relax you might not have your let down. And that was one of my problems. She could see how uptight I was and once I started to breath and focus on relaxing here it came. Another problem was that he didn't want to nurse. So I also used a nipple shield. He did take to the breast after that (must have been a texture thing) but using the shield was a complete pain. You always had to wash it and he would move while nursing and sometimes it would fall off. So slowing we were able to get him off of that by the help of the lactation consultants at the hospital. I would go to breastfeeding support groups (which is recommended if you use the shield, you should have weekly weigh ins to ensure your little one is getting enough milk) and these ladies know just how to get the latch right.

#1 Definitely do not offer the bottle before 5 weeks. If breastfeeding is not established he may decide he likes the bottle better as mine did
#2 Find out when your hospital has their breastfeeding support groups
#3 Definitely take a breastfeeding class

The beginning is tough because you don't know what you are doing. But trust yourself that you are doing it right and it will become natural. It didn't really hurt me at all (just the initial when my uterus would contract) but no cracked nipples, engorgement etc

Don't knock it till you try it - Everything is worth a shot. And if its better for your little one you might as well try it

Offline chargerfans

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About the last topic my Dr never suggested that I pump a week or so before I was due. Doesn't nipple stimulation bring on contractions??

Colostrum is enough for your baby to live off of until your milk comes in. It takes about 2-3 days for your milk to come in.. Until then the baby latches on and gets the nutrients from the colostrum. Since they do not have a lot of milk they do loose weight. This is why it is common for babies to loose a few ounces before they go home. Most babies are born with a little extra fat on the back of their necks/shoulders to help hold them over (that's what my Dr said at least). And my little one was only 5 lbs and didn't have any extra fat. So his blood sugar was too low and they would give him bottle of formula in between his nursings to get his blood sugar within range. Had he been a bit larger he would have been able to loose a few oz before my milk came in. But since he was small they didn't want him to loose anything.

So thats a long story just to say I think you are ok if you just wait until the baby is born. I too had an unplanned C Section...

Offline Maeve

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I have breastfed two babies and I was lucky to have two good feeders that hardly hurt me at all, so for me breastfeeding was great. But, even as a happy breastfeeder, I sometimes feel that there is pressure on women to breastfeed, which might make it hard for those who can't or don't want to. So all I would like to say is that yes for a lot of women breastfeeding may be difficult initially, but the thing is, until you try, you don't know how it will be, and you might love it (or hate it), and it is always easy to change from breast to bottle, but not the other way around. So anyone who isn't sure, or thinks they might want to, they should try, but not beat themselves up if it doesn't work. There are lots of ways to be a good parent.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 22:16:46 pm by Samuel's mum »
Maeve, mother to:
Con, full of fun (22nd may 2004)
Cathal "I'll do it" (9th february 2006) and
Sophie 'so far so good' (31st august 2007).