Breastfeeding Tips

Discussion in 'Babies & Toddlers' started by desertgirl, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    Since there are a whole lot of women due in the next few months, I thought I'd start a thread where we can chime in with breastfeeding tips and advice. I had alot of breastfeeding support and advice during my pregnancy and after my baby was born, but I know that's not always the case. I'll start out with a couple tips that I found really helpful--other nursing moms should contribute as well:

    1) Breastfeeding HURTS during the first two weeks. Despite what the websites and lactation consultants tell you, the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding kills the nipples, despite how perfect your baby's latch may be. If it continues to hurt after the first 2 weeks, seek help from a lactation consultant.

    2) During those first two weeks, don't be shy with the lanolin cream. That will help keep your nipples from cracking. Be careful, it does stain clothing. When your milk does come in, after nursing, express a couple drops of breast milk and smear it around your nipple. That seemed to help me alot.

    3) The first month or so is exhausting, breastfeeding or not. Don't give up just because you're tired. It takes just as much time to make a bottle as it does to nurse. Get yourself some good books or a stash of movies, get a really comfy chair, and expect to spend a good portion of your time feeding your baby. Don't let anyone rush you.

    4) If you plan to pump, wait a few weeks, if at all possible. Pumping is a huge p.i.a. My friend's pediatrician referred to it as "the other baby." Establish the bond with your baby first, then "bond" with your pump.

    I hope other nursing moms will add their tips and experiences as well.

  2. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Thanks Desertgirl, I really plan on fully breastfeeding now instead of straight pumping after I couldn't breastfeed (I was in great amounts of pain after having Audrey). I'll be looking forward to reading about tips and advice [​IMG]

  3. Alluring-Ash

    Alluring-Ash Super Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with the lanolin cream 100%!! That stuff was a life saver early on!! My favorite was Medela brand because it was so much easier to apply. The lanishoh (haha I never spell that right) was always so thick and hard to apply for me. The Medela just comes out so smooth it's almost like an oil base.

    As for breast pads the lanisoh where my FAVORITE!! They where awesome, I never had a problem leaking through them like I did with the Gerber brand and the AVENT where nice but bulky and you could see through your shirt that you where wearing them ( Nice for overnight ) I would have done washable but I was just SO busy with the new baby I didn't have the time or energy to make sure they where always stocked up )

    If you plan on building a supply I also like the lanisoh brand bags ( My mommy's milk ) they are nice and sturdy.... Frozen packages in the freezer are not always so nice to plastic bags and they don't take a lot to tear!

    The best advice I can provide is giving birth is a life changing event! Everything is so new and you are so entwined with your new baby that learning to breastfeed does not seem like the MOST important thing because you are so worried about the new baby ( especially first time mommies ) if baby's latch is not perfect or just not working take advantage of the lactation consultant ( Most in the US are FREE and they will help you determine if baby is getting enough milk! )

    I pumped for the first 2 months because Noah was given a bottle at the hospital with my pumped milk because I was pushed into it to get rid of his jaundice well he cleared up and learned he didn't have to work for a bottle, so we kept working at it and he FINALLY went to all breastfeeding at around 2 months and has been ever since!

    Also.. Do not be alarmed or concerned if one breast produces more milk it is just a difference in milk glands same thing goes for all of our organs and limbs no 2 are an exact match [​IMG]

    It really is a bond like no other, and the health benefits are the best part!!

    I had TONS of bottles to wash in the early days and was up at night for at LEAST an hour at a time prepping a bottle feeding the bottle and rinsing the bottle back out, now it takes just minutes before we are both back to sleep! and no dishes to do!!!

  4. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    That's what I am looking forward to, no bottles or pump to wash. I even gave my pump away. I will look for that nipple cream Ashley, the one I have is hard to apply, it's like chapstick.

  5. Penguin-Goon

    Penguin-Goon New Member

    this is great ladies! keep it coming! i am planning on trying to BF julie this time (i tried with kaydee, didnt work......) and im slightly terrified because of the horrible time me and kaydee had until we switched to formula... so im really looking forward to ALL the advice i can get so i dont have to quit this time. i just hope julies more of a boobie baby than kaydee was, she refused!!

  6. Bear

    Bear New Member

    Here's a tip...I had real difficultly feeding Grant and felt like giving up...until one of my midwives told me that because I had a short torso, the football hold might work better...I never had a problem after that! Even when Rhys came along, I used the football hold right from the word go and he was always good at latching on. So, if you find it difficult latching baby on, try a different hold.

  7. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    Ash, I use the Lansinoh freezer bags too--they're great!

    Building on what Bear said, the midwives also told me to try to vary the nursing positions if possible, and not get too dependent on just one hold...or on ALWAYS using the Boppy!

  8. JoanieD

    JoanieD New Member

    I know some have said not to pump in the early weeks but if you are like me and have to go back to work at some point pumping once a day especially if you are engorged can relieve some pain and help build a stash for whenyou go back to work. It really reduced my stress knowing I had plenty of milk for Squeaker when I went back to work. I didn't give her a bottle for about 2 months though. Just pumped and froze it.

    I do agree that no matter how good your baby is at latching it hurts like crazy for the first couple of weeks. The lanolin really helps. I also slept in a cami with a shelf bra to keep the nursing pads in without having to sleep in an actual bra.

    I found in the early days when people are visiting that it was easier if I excused myself with the baby to nurse so I did not have to cover up. It was easier for me when I could see what I was doing at first.

    Good Luck ladies!!!!!

  9. Bear

    Bear New Member

    Oh, I was pumping in hospital with my second because my milk came in so quick...I pumped from about day 3 to help myself because I got sooo engorged...maybe I am one of the lucky ones who had plenty and it didn't matter if I pumped right from the word go?

  10. Myste

    Myste New Member

    Breastfeeding is hard - especially the first month or so -you start to feel run ragged. But stick with it and it gets easier!

    I found the La Leche League forums a huge help - just reading about other people having the same problems/questions/exasperations helped a ton! There's definitely something to be said for having a support group

    Oh, and it doesn't *have* to hurt at first, don't worry if it doesn't. Everyone told me that it'd hurt a lot - it didn't hurt at all and I didn't use the nipple cream until I started pumping.
    I actually thought we were doing something wrong!

    if you have latch problems at first or a reluctance to latch, try rubbing some sugar water on your nipples. Learned that one after 14 hours of screaming and refusing to eat our first night home.

    and I can't stress this enough: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HOSPITAL'S LACTATION CONSULTING!!!(if its available of course) Wes had a perfect latch from the get-go, nursed about an hour after he was born. I still had a LC come and make sure it was going well, and then when we *did* have problems, I went back to them and got advice and help.

  11. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    I was thinking more about my nursing experience last night. Except for the 2 weeks of nipple pain (and that only was excruciating for the first 30 seconds of nursing, if that's any help), breastfeeding has been so easy for me and my baby. We really haven't had too many issues. Lately I've had some struggles with being in public and nursing (Piper suddenly decided she absolutely will not nurse covered up, and I'm a little embarrassed still to flop out my huge boobie in public). And I'm out and about quite often-I really just need to get over the embarrassment factor!

    The biggest frustration I have/had was pumping. I started to pump when Piper was 6 weeks old to build up a supply for when I was back at work. For me, pumping sucks. It's a drag on my time, it's uncomfortable, cleaning and sterilizing the gear each time gets old...and now at work pumping, it's just weird. But I have a 3-month supply in the freezer that grows every day, so I guess pumping will serve my baby well.

    Other than that, life with nursing boobs isn't too bad. My breasts are gigantic (DD), but I gained a ton of weight during pregnancy and still have about 15lbs to lose--I bet most of that is boobie. I spent a bunch of money on expensive, supposedly super supportive bras for working out. While I can do moderately bouncy stuff (walking, eliptical machine, etc), I think I'll have to double up if I start jogging again.

    At home I live and sleep in the nursing tanks from Target. They have a little shelf bra for support, are comfy and it's so easy to whip out the breast for the baby. Fairly cheap too!

  12. JoanieD

    JoanieD New Member

    Squeaker refuses to nurse covered up now too. She also likes to move around a lot while she is still attached. I am talking WWF baby here. It is kind of funny.

  13. Alluring-Ash

    Alluring-Ash Super Moderator Staff Member

    Noah does the same thing he is always trying to watch everything going on around him, sometimes with my boob so he will turn his face and stretch it all the way with him it sucks!

  14. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Glad to know that the pain is normal at first. The nurse I spoke to on the phone said it wasn't right to have pain, but I've only been nursing for a day and a week and it's been going great. Some times it's painless other times it's painful, but I keep putting loads of Lansinoh over my nipples and it seems to help my nipples stay in one piece. I still worry about latch problems but I'm going to keep going at it [​IMG] My little Jasper is a gulper so it's a quick feed, forever burp and bum change, then we are done. I'm sooo happy I got rid of that pump!

  15. Raunchy-Row

    Raunchy-Row Super Moderator Staff Member

    Couple of early nursing tips (these are the ones that work for my Mums on L & D the most often!):

    Practice hand expressing even before baby comes--make a C around the back of your breast with your thumb and index finger, then squeeze your fingers together behind the nipple and bring them forward--most people think that nipple stimulation is what brings breastmilk, but it's actually the stimulation of the ducts and tissue BEHIND the nipple that brings more milk. This is why babies won't get much if they're sucking just at the nipple (and that will cause MUCHO pain) but will effectively stimulate the breast if they latch behind the nipple and massage that tissue with their chin and draw the milk down that way. This is a good NCBI video to illustrate!

    When your baby is born, if having him/her skin to skin directly after birth (or as soon as possible if there is meconium or resuscitation is needed in the warmer) will help to really kick that instinct to nurse into overdrive. It is entirely possible to delay the erythromycin for up to 2 hours, and the vitamin K for up to 6 hours after birth, so if you feel strongly about skin to skin, let your healthcare team know that this is your decision! I find that my moms who have an initial skin to skin contact (vs wrapping baby and passing him/her around for an hour) have a better first breastfeeding experience as baby is really interested in that first two hours!

    If you have colostrum visible already, rub it onto baby's upper lip, face, and tongue to help stimulate him/her to be interested--you can do this at any stage of feeding, and it acts like Myste's suggestion of sugar water (please boil the water and then let it cool if you're going to do this when baby is very small, and never use honey!!) in getting baby interested in the nipple and feeding in general.

    Most of my Mums do have initial discomfort with latching, and I think that's normal. It's sensitive! But if the pain persists or you have cracks, bleeding, signs of yeast, visit your LC or try a La Leche League meeting, there is so much good information in peer support there!

    I think the most important thing that I try to impart to my moms is that breastfeeding might be a natural bodily function but that does NOT mean it is easy. It's not. It takes practice and practice and practice for both Mom and Baby, because neither one has done it before, and even if you've already breastfed one baby, the next one might have a completely different personality! So remember when your baby is coming on and off and on and off and on and off for what seems like eternity that you are not doing anything wrong--your baby and you have to learn what works together, and that can take time.

    Good resource for latching videos:

    I was lucky enough to get to spend a day learning in his clinic, and they do great work there! They do take emails and calls from Moms outside of Toronto so they can also be a very good resource!

  16. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    What kinds of foods should I avoid eating?

  17. Alluring-Ash

    Alluring-Ash Super Moderator Staff Member

    I was told broccoli, cabbage, beans really most foods that would make you gassy. Meats you wants to have them cooked fully and watch for milk intolerance's.

  18. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    My baby is gassy alot due to the foods I eat (see above [​IMG] ), but it doesn't seem to bother her. She farts alot, but no crying or discomfort that I can tell from being gassy. I've never really burped her, so maybe that's part of it? I finally correlated that when I eat ALOT of cheese, she tends to spit up (she hardly ever spits up, so when she does, I do notice). But, like I said, I have to eat alot of cheese for that to happen.

    The one food that my baby could not tolerate was asparagus. I think it changed the way my milk tasted. A few hours after I ate asparagus (right as my urine started to smell asparagus-funky) she'd try to eat, pull away and grimace, try to eat, pull that was a horrible night for both of us.

  19. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Ugh it's just that Jasper has about 1 hour crying fit in a 2 hour span (normally at night [​IMG] ) and I think it's cuz he's gassy but I'm not sure why...?

  20. Alluring-Ash

    Alluring-Ash Super Moderator Staff Member

    Noah had a LOT of gas issues early on and I think it attributed to why he had so many crying fits. When I asked the ped what I could do to help him with gas pains he said there was really nothing that could be done, babies take air in when crying,eating,making noises,sleeping and they just have to grow out of that really we did LOTS of bicycle legs early on and it just sort of took care of itself by the time he was 3-4mos.


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