Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

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Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby HoneyBee » Wed May 15, 2013 3:53 pm

So, I'm in no way an expert ladies, but thought I'd post this to give an honest, hands on account of how I've found it & maybe answer some questions you might have - I really had to research online when I got stumped so I'm hoping others might find this post handy & help them avoid all that!

Firstly, no matter what you've heard/read - bf does not hurt!! The first few feeds were uncomfy as me & baby learned how to latch on properly but once we got that sorted it just feels like a light vacuum/suction and now that I'm used to it I can watch tv, read, txt etc & I don't even realise she's on there!!

After baby is born, they get you to feed as soon as you can - the first few feeds are just colostrum (first 'milk' produced by your breasts, full of all the good stuff/antibodies) and then about 3-5 days later your proper milk comes in.

Some hospitals advise bf mums to feed as if you we're bottle feeding - so on a 2/3/4 hourly schedule - and others say 'on demand'. Really, I'd say go by your baby.
I started off doing the 2 hourly as advised by hosp, baby hates being woken & baby nurse advised me to leave her longer (3hours) and feed when she wanted. Now, I do a little of both - for example this morning she fed at 9am, was 'due' at 12, but slept until 12.30 - I let her sleep & when safe woke she took a good feed. Then woke for a smaller feed at 2pm even though she wasn't 'due' - as the 2pm feed was quite short, I wouldn't leave her another 3 hrs (5pm), so I will wake her to feed about 4pm if she hasn't woken already by then.

The other thing I worried about was how long to feed for. There's no right answer really :-( again, you judge based on your baby. At the start lo would feed for 30-40 mins, now that my milk is established & she's found her pace she generally takes 25mins on a big feed (first thing in the morning or after a long nap) or 15/20 mins on a normal 3 hourly spaced feed. If she's upset/looking for a comfort feed I can generally tell because she'll latch on for 5/6 mins & then fall asleep!!

The thing to make sure, is that baby is on long enough to get the fattier high cal 'hind milk'. Your milk is split into fore milk & hind milk. For the first 7/8 mins what baby gets is fore milk - its thinner & has more water content. Then after that the hind milk flows - this is the high cal stuff & its important to make sure baby gets enough of this as its the one that will fatten em up :-)

I worried about my milk & how to tell if baby was getting enough. They say a decent guide is to watch the nappies. Breastfed baby's nappy should be yellow, seedy in consistency & they are very liquidy. If they are green/foamy it could mean too much fore milk/infection so just keep an eye on it. We've had a couple of green ones but its generally then followed by 3 massive yellow ones so we know she prob just took too much fore milk & we don't worry about it once everything else is normal

Pumping - some people prefer just boobs, some pump there milk & bottle feed lo and then you can do a combo of both. I do both!
It's still very hard in Ireland to find discreet places to feed so if I know I'll be out for 3/4 hours I'll hop into the pump & express a couple of bottles.

Now, I found it VERY hard to figure out how much expressed milk I should be feeding vs. number of minutes at the breast. The best rule I found was that a bf newborn generally eats about 25oz milk in 24 hours, do you divide 25 by the number of feeds your baby is taking in a day & that's how many oz per feed you need (based on newborn). My lo takes 8/9 feeds a day, so that's about 3/3.5oz per feed and generally that's spot on, however I do recommend saving your milk in 1/2oz servings so that you can give an additional oz as needed without wasting a full bottle of milk.

As for pumping - again, I was so worried!! - don't freak out if you pump and very little comes out! It takes a while to even out your supply & pumps are no indication of how much milk you have. Babies are a lot more efficient at getting the milk out than pumps are.

In general electric pumps are better & faster. I got a great set from tommee tippee. It was in special in mothercare & along with the pump there was a 5oz bottle, teat, milk storage pot & a little box that acts as a microwave steriliser too. The whole set cost €89. I bought 2 extra 9oz bottles separately just so I could stockpile 3 bottles at a time & I've found that's plenty for now as I only use bottles when we're our for a full day.

Storing milk:

Freshly expressed & left out on the counter top - 6hrs
In the fridge (refrigerated after pumping) -3/4 days (some sites say 6/7 days but I've never been comfy leaving it that long
In the freezer - 6 weeks (although I've never frozen milk, so I'm just going by online research)

If you take a bottle from the fridge, heat it & baby only takes half the bottle, from what I've read, it seems acceptable to put the bottle back into the fridge & use it at the next feeding. If baby doesn't finish it then, dump it.
I've never come into this problem so again, just going by what I found online.

For mum:
Breast pads - stock up, as your milk supply evens out leaky boobs are par for the course!
Nipple balm - if baby feeds a lot your nipples can get sore. I'm using the Multi Mam nipple balm & find it great :-)
Nursing bras - some are good, some are as awkward as normal bras. The best I found are M&S non wired non padded ones. They do a 2pack for about €20.
For comfy nighttime bras I've just been using a seemless sports bra/crop top type bra I got in Dunnes - it's not a nursing bra but its so comfy for bed & pulls down very easily :-)

Think that's most of the basics but hopeful it helps any of you considering bf. Any questions just ask - I may not have the answer but ask anyway :lol:
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby MummyBear » Wed May 15, 2013 5:42 pm

Thanks for these tips also.
I hope to try breastfeeding when babs comes.

To say breastfeeding doesn't hurt anyone is wrong I think though.
You've been very lucky & it looks like yourself & babs caught on V soon, which is great, but I have pictures in my head of my poor sil with tears streaming down her face from the shear agony of trying to feed her baby. Those tears weren't just from it being uncomfy.
Now, in saying that, she gave up, & I don't blame her. (like you said, there's V little support). But I'm sure if she probably just kept at it for a little longer they'd have gotten there & she would've sailed through. My sis also tried 2ce & gave up due to pain. (Not to the same extent though)

So, while I'm under no illusion that it can hurt & hurt bad if it's not being done right, I also know that if I just keep going & seeking as much help as I can, that it'll get easier.

No doubt, when that time comes, I'll be back here asking for so much help & advice!
Thanks yet again for another V useful & helpful thread.
You're a star. :thanks
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby HoneyBee » Wed May 15, 2013 6:04 pm

It's a real shame they didn't get the support they needed - chances are the baby wasn't latching right & that causes the pain :-(

Latched wrong a few times and it did sting but you have to take them off & start again. I can imagine it would be painful if you let them feed like that though.

Give it a go though & see how you get on. It's not fit everyone but you won't know until you try. Before having bubs my attitude was to try it & if it didn't work out then I wouldn't beat myself up about it and thankfully its gone well for us.
Best of luck with it :-)
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby MummyBear » Wed May 15, 2013 6:38 pm

Yea, Honeybee.
That's my attitude exactly
I'm going to give a good go, but if it doesn't work out I won't let myself feel like a failure.
I've told myself I'll keep going until I really think I've to give up & then I'll go a little further.
If after that it's still not working for me I'll stop.
I'm quietly confident though that we'll get it to work. :breastfeeding
(Famous last words, eh?)
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby Anon1424 » Wed May 15, 2013 8:16 pm

Wow honeybee, you're so lovely to take the time to share all this.... I've saved it on my computer so I can read all this advice when my baby's here! I'm definitely planning to exclusively BF my bub until 6 months and longer if I can! thanks :)
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby omgbfp » Wed May 15, 2013 9:32 pm

Honeybee you're a pro! Any chance you'd post your mobile number on here so we can all ring u when we need your advice?!! (I'm absolutely joking about that by the way!)
I'm printing off this & yesterday's advice & sticking it in my diary, I'd say it will be like my bible by the time I need it in October!
Thanks a million! Any other advise will b much appreciated as well! When u have the time & energy of course!!!
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby mamaw » Thu May 16, 2013 4:06 pm

Thanks HoneyBee, that's a really helpful post. Going to copy and save it for when bubs arrives. Staerting to get nervous about breastfeeding so every little helps.
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby MrsEL10 » Fri May 17, 2013 10:35 am

Thanks a mil Honeybee :)

I'm of the same attitude, I'll try it and if it works great if not no worries

Did you try any breastfeeding support groups? I saw that Cuidiu do a breastfeeding support morning so thinking about trying that when the time comes
TTC # 1 Dec 10 - Dec 12, currently pregnant on # 2 :)
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby tippmam » Sun May 19, 2013 12:04 am

That's absolutely fantastic advice thanks honeybee!
I'm hoping to try bf too but my sis had an awful time a lot of pain so I'm hoping it works for me! How long did it take you before you could feed your milk to baby from the bottle? Do u mind me asking?
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby HoneyBee » Sun May 19, 2013 2:54 pm

Not at all - we did it right from the start. Lo wasn't gaining weight as quickly as they wanted her to, so the lactation consultant suggested I express bottles & give her top up feeds as well as breastfeeding on demand.
Lately though - prob cause I now only express & do bottles when we go out for the day - I find she is reluctant to take the bottle. Prob cause she's that little bit older now and starting to know the diff & prefers boob :-(
I'm now expressing daily & DH gives her the last feed before bedtime to try get her back used to it so that if I do need to be away from her for a few hours he can feed her while I'm gone. At the moment I can't even book a hair appointment because we can't be sure she'll take the bottle when I'm gone :-(
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby tippmam » Sun May 19, 2013 9:44 pm

That's brilliant I thought I would be completely tied for the first few weeks till he/she got used to the boob & then I could introduce the bottle. Just to know that ill be able to get out for a walk you know! I really hope it works for me & is it helping you with baby weight too?
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby HoneyBee » Mon May 20, 2013 10:47 am

Yeah it all depends on your baby - if he/she is happy to take boob & bottle happy days! The hospital will probably tell you to avoid bottles & soothers until bf is well established, but its really your call - as I say I've had no problems with lo rejecting breast - if anything she kicks up about the bottle!

Defo helps with weight loss. I left the hospital heavier than when I arrived :-( because of the section & not being able to move much after she was born I had tons of fluid in my arms/legs/belly - the maternity clothes I wore in to hospital wouldn't even fit me!
Once got home, started breastfeeding properly (my milk came in 5/6 days after birth) the pounds starting falling off. By 10 days after birth I'd lost 15lbs & by 17 days I'd dropped 2 stone. It slowed down after that but I'm still dropping about 1/2 lb every ten days now - not bad considering she's just 6 was today & I haven't had my check up yet, so I haven't been able to exercise at all apart from walking.
Also breastfeeding makes you STARVING!! So I'm eating tons - all good stuff, but I feel hungry all the time, so I make sure I have the fridge packed with salads, fruit, yoghurt, cheese, crackers, bagels etc
My evening snack just before bed is soda bread toasted with jam, glass of milk & an apple - otherwise I find I'm ravenous when I wake to feed during the night.
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby justCANTwait » Mon May 20, 2013 11:13 am

honeybee have you experienced sore nipples yet?my lil guy is 2 weeks tmro and im breastfeeding.im doin well hes putting weight on really well.he was 7lbs 15.5ozs at birth but dropped to 7.1.hes now at 8.3.so im delighted.but only prob is that my right nipple is really sore its not bleeding just very tender.i gave it a break since 5am yday and just pumped from it.im dreadin using it again today.
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby tippmam » Mon May 20, 2013 11:24 am

That's brilliant well done you! Silly question now but is baby not starving then till your milk comes in? Or is the colostrum enough for them...
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby HoneyBee » Mon May 20, 2013 2:02 pm

Justcantwait - yeah I've had them on/off if lo has a growth spurt/feeds a lot in 24hrs. Are you using anything on them? I find the multi mam balm great & if they are really bad I freeze a breast pad in the freezer & put it in my bra for a few hours. Then I feed on the other side until it feels a bit easier. Once its not you sore I feed from that side again & actually I find nursing helps it heal. I had an awful cracked nipple when she was about a week old - so bad that when I pumped my milk was pink :-( so I feel your pain. Well done on the weight gain though, really sounds like you have the hang of it now :-)

Tippmam - the colostrum is plenty for them for the first few days & you do actually have milk after 3days or so but when it 'comes in' is when it really establishes a proper volume & is plentiful (or at least that's how the hosp explained it to me!)
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby justCANTwait » Mon May 20, 2013 3:03 pm

upon pumping ive noticed that the nipple has a crack not bleeding but very sore.im using multimam balm and the compresses and sterile water to clean them.i like the sound of the cold pads.im so scared that i wont be able to contine feeding.
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby HoneyBee » Mon May 20, 2013 3:07 pm

No it'll be grand hun, mine got very bad & I was still able to feed. Even when they bled the hospital still said it was fine to feed & pump even with blood in it so just keep taking care of them & you'll be grand :-)

How are you funding it? Is your lil fella sleeping & eating well for ya?
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby justCANTwait » Mon May 20, 2013 3:18 pm

its just the pain of him latchin on that makes me scream inside.ill keep pumpin today an start fresh tmro.also gona go to bf consultant tmro to help with diff positions.
everything else is good he had a few bad nights where he didnt settle for hours but i think he had a sore tummy.i got infacol to help with wind and its fantastic.last night we gave him formula at night feed just because i couldnt keep up with him, hes very hungry.he settled brilliantly and we all got a great sleep.hes great overall very chilled out baby.im absolutely exhausted though and trying to recover from c section on top of it all is tiring.but everyday is making me better if i could get my poor boobie better we'd be sailing.
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby tippmam » Mon May 20, 2013 3:25 pm

Great stuff thanks a mill! I really have a lot to learn!!
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Re: Breastfeeding - a few tips if considering

Postby HoneyBee » Mon May 20, 2013 3:39 pm

Sounds like we had a really similar experience hun, the section really does take it out of you :-(
I'm 6wks post section now & although I've been back walking & driving the tiredness is only just starting to get better now. With bf it doesn't help either as you know you can't share night feeds with DH, so its all you doing the hard work :-(
How come you ended up a section?

You'll get there tippmam, before all this I knew nothing either!!
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