Breast Feeding Recommendations

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from keywestsunset. Show keywestsunset's posts

    Breast Feeding Recommendations

    As DH and I make decisions about day care, finding a pediatrician, buying a car seat ,etc., I find myself wondering if I'm going to be able to manage BF.

    I've very nervous about trying and failing. Can those of you who've tried and either succeeded or decided to move to EP or to formula, give me any insight of how to prepare, any helpful hints etc?

    I have found all of your recommendations regarding TTC and pregnancy really helpful and would appreciate any advice as the middle of June comes closer and closer.

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    I don't know how new mother friendly your workplace is, but mine has a room for mothers to pump, in each of the buildings we occupy. It made a huge difference for me to be able to pump at work (3 times a day when DD was exclusively on breastmilk). I BFed (with pumping at work) until DD was over a year old, so it is doable, even when working full time. There are many resources to help, if you are encountering problems with BFing, starting with classes offered at most hospitals before you even are discharged. There are even classes that are offered by lactation consultants before you give birth, that can help ease your mind about some things, but unfortunately it is one of the things that you knid of have to wait until your LO is here to know if it will be easy or difficult, if you will have tons of milk or always be "just getting by"
    Also, remember that it isn't an all BFing or you fail sort of situation. You can combine BFing with formula if your supply is low, and your LO still gets the benefits of breastmilk.  And if you do decide to switch to formula, you are NOT FAILING. You will be choosing to do what works best for your family.
    So please don't stress too much about it.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    I tried to BF my twins and just couldn't do it.  Had to switch to formula after only 4 days. I did pump for 7 weeks and they got bottles with formula and whatever I could pump mixed together.  After 7 weeks I gave up the pump because it was like having to feed a third child.
    I felt like a failure, but you know what?  At 8 months old my kids are healthy and strong, and they are good eaters (well...they hate cereal, but whatever).  They got 7 weeks more Bmilk than my mother ever gave me.
    I have three friends who decided right from the start that bottle feeding was the way to go and all their kids are just fine.  As my Pedi said - the important thing is to get food into them - don't worry about whether it's formula or Bmilk.
    So do what work for you and your baby and DON"T FEEL BAD about it.  I realize now what a waste of time it was to worry about it.
    Good luck!!!
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Txgrl82. Show Txgrl82's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    For me it took a solid 2-3 weeks to be completely comfortable and feel that DD was doing it "right". I have large breasts which makes it even more cumbersome, but I mangaged and now she is 8 months old, still BFing and drinking pumped milk.

    I say, if you really want to do it, don't give up! My pediatrician set up an appointment for me with a lactation consultant and I think that helped a lot. Don't do it too late though! We did it at our one week appointment. It helps to have someone tell you you're doing a good job when yo feel like you have no clue.

    I pumped at work up until a month or two ago, and there is no set place to do it. If you have an office with a door, I would suggest posting a "do not disturb" sign when you're pumping, It worked well in our workplace.

    I don't have my own office, so I would find an empty one and just go in a close the door. Or, when my (female) boss would go to lunch I owuld ask to use her office. She was a BFing mom so she understood.

    Good luck with whatever choice you make! I went into BFing with the attitude that I would try it, and if it worked, I would continue, and if it didn't, I owuld not beat myself up over it. I wasn't BF'ed and I'm (sort of) normal Tongue out
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Hi keywest--I think it's really great that you're already thinking and preparing yourself for BF. Here's the short version of my BF story. DS was born with a tongue-tie that prevented him from holding a latch. He did some real damage to my n*pples and got very upset and frustrated when BF. I began pumping at one week old. We had his tongue clipped at 4 weeks and were not able to reestablish BF so I have been EPing since then (6 months this week).

    I took a BF class through Isis in my 8th month and was quite happy with it. The instructor was an RN as well as an LC and she was not "militant" in her views. She gave lots of good advice. I found the LCs at my hospital (BI) pretty useless overall. It was very frustrating because babies generally are not alert enough to really grasp BF for the first 48 hours or so and you're out of the hospital at that point if you've had a vaginal delivery. My LC out of Isis was a life-saver for us, especially the decision to EP. (For example, she got me the correct size phlanges for my pump, I needed two different ones; I never would have figured that on my own.) She was worth every single penny we spent!

    As I said in my EP thread, BF has been both really hard and really rewarding. Just go into it with an open mind and spirit and be prepared for just about anything. Definitely lose any sense of "guilt" or "failure". In the end, the only reward is a happy and healthy baby, mommy, and family. There are lots of different ways to achieve that!
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Notanewbie. Show Notanewbie's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    My story starts similar to kiwi's.  My son was born with a tongue tie and had trouble getting my supply established.  He latched fine and my nipp1es were fine, he just never got enough suction going to really bring my milk in.  The tongue tie was snipped at 3-4 weeks old and the situation improved but we were forced to start formula since he still hadn't regained his birth weight.  I did a combo of mostly BF and about 4-12 oz per day of formula until I returned to work.  I pumped until fairly recently when my son turned one.  Now we just nurse in the morning and at night.  You can be successful at breastfeeding even if you have to return to work.  A positive attitude and a really good lactation consultant do help.   I found that the hospital nurses sucked, but I really liked the LCs. 

    Although many people manage to successfully EP, I would have gone nuts since the pump never really got enough milk out for my son's needs.  Strangely enough I could satisfy him just fine on weekends and vacation by exclusively BFing, but at work I could only pump about 2-3 oz per 1/2 hour session.  I guess what I'm saying is that BF is much is easier than pumping and it helps to get your supply off on the right foot if you can nurse for at least 6 weeks.  If you can make it through those first few weeks, you'll be all set.

    That being said, my son did get some formula and he's just fine.
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from keywestsunset. Show keywestsunset's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Thank you all for your comments, you've made me feel better already. My office is pretty breast feeding friendly and has a dedicated breast feeding room with hospital grade pumps available for use.

    I also have signed up for ISIS BF class. I appreciate the advice.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Like the other's have pointed out, if BFing doesn't work out, you didn't fail.

    My BF story: DS was a NICU baby, so the critical time of trying to breastfeed so my supply would come in was missed for me. I got to cuddle up with a hospital grade breastpump. So I never got enough milk to sustain DS. At most I would get 1.5 to 2 oz for a half hour to 45 min of pumping. It was heart wrenching! I was on meds to try and up my production, and it didn't work.

    But I would BF every chance I could, but would always have to follow up with a bottle of formula.

    In addition, my work was not friendly to BF. I was allowed to go to the handicapped bathroom to pump, or go to our health center which was in a different builidng, and depending on the exam schedule use one of the exam areas to pump. I did this for 6 months. Then one day when DS was abou 5.5 mo he decided he was done with BF. Couldn't get him to take the breast at all. A few more weeks of pumping and I'd had enough.

    Don't beat yourself up if BF doesn't work for you. Tell your husband how to help you out, either to encourage you to stick with it when/if you want to quit or let you end it all on your terms.

    Set boundaries at work, pick your schedule to pump, put it on your calendar and pump. It's easy to let work creep in and miss a pumping session.

    As for help in the hospital-the nurses and the lactation consultants are a wealth of knowledge. And everyone will have a different suggestion/opinion. Take what works for you, you are ultimately the expert on your LO. You'll know what feels right for you. BF didn't work for me until I got home from the hospital and didn't have everyone butting in.

    My DS is now a healthy happy 15 mo guy whose tall, lean, and totally bonded with both his parents.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    I think the best advice is as PP said: Good luck with whatever choice you make! I went into BFing with the attitude that I would try it, and if it worked, I would continue, and if it didn't, I would not beat myself up over it. I wasn't BF'ed and I'm (sort of) normal

    Give it a shot, and give youself a break if it's hard, or it doesn't work out.

    I set 6 months as my goal (I went back to work at 3 mo part time and 6 mo full time, so figured it was acheivable)  At 4 mo I was ready to quit, but then it got better and at 6 mo, saw no reason to quit... one day around 7 mo it just started to seem to hard, and it took another 3-4  weeks to wean due to teething/sickeness etc.  I had to pump 3x just to get enough for the 2x she got fed while I was at work (I have about 10 min commute, so would nurse right before work and directly after, sometimes actually at daycare)  I started a new job about 3 weeks after I returned, and it was getting hard to keep up, with spending so much time pumping plus arriving a little late and leaving a little early.

    DD is a healthy 2 year old now... #2 is on the way in August, and I'm not sure how it will go with nursing him, but we'll give it a shot and see how it goes again!
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Hey Keywest.  There has been lots of great advice on these posts here.  One of the greatest advantages you have right now is those hospital grade pumps right at work!  What a $$$ saver!  And if work is supportive, all the better.  And if things aren't going the way you want, then formula feed, there is nothing wrong with that at all!

    I worked hard to breastfeed and ended up having to supplement as well but all the hard work was worth it.  If you are going to be a pumping working mom, I have some key advice ...

    1. Hospital pump all the way, the Medela Symphony is the best, don't bother with anything else.
    2. Find a lactation consultant from LLL International, DO NOT go on the advice of the nurses at your hospital.  I got some really bad advice from nurses at a pro-breastfeeding hospital.
    3. It's all about the latch and getting your supply established early on.

    The best website for breastfeeding instructions is as well as the LLL local sites.  I can't tell you how helpful the breastfeeding videos were.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from beniceboston. Show beniceboston's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations


    My first suggestion is to bring Lanolin to the hospital when you give birth and use it as soon as you feel any pain.

    I had a feeling before I even gave birth that one side was going to be easier to nurse on than the other - and I was right. The more difficult side to latch onto had some serious pain the first 2-3 weeks (which is an eternity when you're feeding a baby every 2 hours).

    They will tell you that if the baby latches on properly it doesn't hurt... true BUT it takes the baby a while to learn exactly how to latch on... so don't feel like you're doing something wrong if it hurts, there are two people in this equation.

    Also - they will tell you to nurse on both sides at each feeding for 10-15 minutes per side, but I soon realized my DD had no interest in feeding on both sides, so I only did 1 side per feeding which gave me more of a break, and I didn't have any issues with supply.

    After the first week of dealing with the pain I did pump here and there to give the one side a break (granted I barely got any milk at that point - but DD didn't need need much either) but even taking a break for one day gives you a lot of time to heal the skin. I first bought an Avent ISIS manual pump and the sprung for the Pump in Style which was more efficient. I wish I had bought them before I gave birth so that I was ready instead of having to drive out to purchase them while I was dealing with the pain.  

    I really love b-feeding though going on 6 months now.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations


    If you are anywhere near South Shore Hospital in Weymouth they have a lactation clinic free to anyone from 1-2 every M-F on the second floor.  They welcome anyone even if you didn't deliver there and they are IBCLCs.  

    So you've received some good advice here and first and foremost it's good to educate yourself as much as possible.  It's great that you have the ability to pump comfortably at work.  But for anyone out there who doesn't have that option I will share with you the fact that I managed to keep pumping 2-3 times a day at work for the first 13 months despite the fact that my job entails me travelling to clients all the time.  Therefore I have pumped in many odd places, and many bathrooms over the course of those months.  It's a determination thing at that point and as long as your supply is good and you really want to keep doing it, you will find a way.  

    Be sure to seek out help early and often in your breastfeeding journey.  It's invaluable and oftentimes the hospital nurses are not good in that regard.  I ended up at SSH multiple times a week and it was great to really establish nursing.  

    Good luck!
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations


    You've gotten awesome and detailed advice, so I won't repeat any of it.  But I think the best piece is this from Kiwi, and one to always remember as you go through the process.  I've had four children, and each handled nursing a different way, from refusing (I EP), to nursing nonstop, to developing GERD and needing prescription formula plus meds, to doing fine for a few months then developing thrush and never wanting to go back.  All are now happy and healthy.  So is their mom.

    Here's the quote from Kiwi's post:

    As I said in my EP thread, BF has been both really hard and really rewarding. Just go into it with an open mind and spirit and be prepared for just about anything. Definitely lose any sense of "guilt" or "failure". In the end, the only reward is a happy and healthy baby, mommy, and family. There are lots of different ways to achieve that!

    I wish I'd heard that with baby number one!  Would've saved me a lot of anxiety.

  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Hi again.  As I read through the posts, they are all excellent.  And yes, benice is totally right, it can hurt even when the latch is good.

    And I did some crazy pumping at one point too.  I had a long drive one time and I was bursting and couldn't stop so I was pumping and driving at the same time.

    The one thing I almost forgot about that is VERY critical when pumping is to get a pumping bra.  It is a band that goes around your chest and has two holes where the pump flanges stick out.  This makes hands free pumping a total cinch.  Lots of the non hospital grade pumps come with these attachments that you can use to attach the flanges to the bras but in the end, the quickest and easiest way was to use this bra.  Once you figure out which the right size is, get two!

    And another good pumping resource is this website which has all the Symphony accessories you could ever want.

  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kaydo. Show kaydo's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    My short & sweet 02 cents: don't let anyone make you feel bad if/when you decide to stop.  DS didn't latch well, I wasn't producing, and stopping (after 2 weeks) was one of the most agonizing things I've ever done, made worse by pressure from my SIL who kept saying I should "keep trying."  I finally had to have DH tell her to back off because it wasn't working for us, DS and I both spent a lot of time bawling our eyes out, and it was ruining what precious little maternity leave time I had with him.  Once I stopped, the clouds lifted, skies opened, and my world changed.  Thank god.  And although I did feel guilty for a while, I definitely don't now.
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from hot-tomato. Show hot-tomato's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Keywest, good luck. I echo what others have said, especially about not putting too much pressure on yourself ... whatever you do will be right for you and your baby.

    Things I wish I had prepared for:

    1. Having lanolin, for soreness & dryness.
    2. Nursing pads, for leaking (especially at first).
    3. Having a plan in place if things didn't go well. I had flat n*pples, and it took my oldest three weeks to latch on. I didn't know that could happen. I didn't seek a lactation consultant for more than two weeks and went through a lot of frustration I still regret. If you have any difficulty at all, seek help right away!
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from MM379. Show MM379's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Hi Keywest,

    I BFd for about 8 weeks.  My full intention had been that I would do it for a year and pump when I returned to work after maternity leave.  We had latch issues and my son was a very, very, very slow eater and would unlatch frequently.  It would take a very long time to get a feeding in once I finally got him latched and the only position he would feed in was football hold which isn't the most comfortable.  I also had cracking, soreness, and yeast issues.  I did not consider EPing b/c I knew what I was able to pump was not enough based on how DS would still act hungry after pumped bottles and how long it would take me to pump.  After much guilt, soul-searching, consultation, I decided to switch to formula with much kind support from my pediatrician and from my OB. 
    'm glad I tried BFing and I would try it again if I have more kids.  What helped me last 8 weeks and not give up the first week was going to the lactation support group at South Shore Hospital - I went multiple days per week - they were amazingly helpful and reassuring.  Talking with friends who BFd and others who formula fed helped too.  Ultimately, my struggles with it were detracting from my ability to enjoy my son and bond and switching to formula was the best decision for me.  When I returned to work, although I have my own office, I realized I never would have been able to pump often or long enough to feed him.  It worked out well for me with formula - he took well to Good Start Protect Plus.  He's now a thriving 15 month old and I'm happy with the decisions I made.

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from nooshmom. Show nooshmom's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    I want to add the perspective of someone who was also intimidated by the idea of BFing, but found it to be a lot easier than I thought. I know that makes me lucky, and I don't say it to downplay anyone else's more difficult time with BFing. I say it to hopefully encourage you and to remove some of the stresses. A lot of people struggle with it, but not everyone, and you won't know where you fall until you try.

    And if you do have trouble, as many have noted there are almost endless resources to support you as far as you are comfortable.

  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    Congratulations in advance! Try not to psych yourself out too much about breastfeeding -- just like anything with a baby, it's confusing and difficult at first, and then becomes natural. We had a lot of challenges at first -- she had reflux and I had oversupply and overactive letdown, so I was basically waterboarding her every time we tried to nurse, and my milk was spraying all over the place and soaking us to the point where it was hard to hold on to her, and then she'd throw up over both of us and scream. But we took advantage of breastfeeding support groups offered through our hospital and got lots of advice from friends, and I spent an enormous amoung of time on, which is, in my opinion, the BEST resource for breastfeeding advice on the web, and 14 months later we're still going strong. Nursing had its ups and downs -- first teeth, nursing strikes, 2 am feedings -- but mostly ups! And when I went back to work after 3 months, it was the most important time of the day for both of us, where we could just snuggle up and reconnect. And aside from the nutritional benefits of nursing, there is no easier, more expediant method of calming a screaming baby than to stick your breast in her mouth and watch her instantly bliss out. The feeling of nursing is hard to describe -- a wave of loving well-being washes over you and fills you with intense, glowing pleasure. I know that sounds weird but it's true. We're starting to ween now, and it makes me a little sad.

    The best bit of practical advice I received before beginning breastfeeding was to toughen up my nipples. I've also read strictures against the practice, but I found it very helpful. Every night I'd chafe and pull them. Everyone has some sensitivity when beginning nursing -- it's just not an experience one's breasts have had before, to be sucked and pulled for two weeks straight -- but I think I had a lot less sensitivity than any of my friends.

    The best bit of emotional advice I received was to chill out about it and not get worked up. Your milk will leak, you might get one overproducing breast and one underproducing one, the baby will scream at the breast, you'll be tired and hungry, and half the time the baby will barf all over you right after nursing and you'll have to start over again, but that's just part of having a baby.
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from bean78. Show bean78's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    i went into breastfeeding very gung-ho with my first son and it started out terribly. While I had "support" from family, I was the first woman on either side to really do it so no one could offer  help or advice. I had one friend that had already had kids and successfully bfed and her best advice was "give it two weeks and THEN decide". I cried from the pain and the frustration every day and then finally before his two week pediatric appt, I called the office to see if they had an opening with the lactation consultant. THey did and she was a godsend. We left the office knowing how to teach our son how to latch and with a prescription for APNO cream..(all purpose ni**le ointment). THAT stuff is amazing. I was cracked and bleeding and was healed within 24 hours...lanolin never worked for me. So, after all that, give it two weeks. THen decide if bf is for you. If you are wanting to do it now and from what it seems like, you have a good setup for pumping when you go back to work, it will work out fine. Just don't stress over it.
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    APNO rocks, get it before you come home from the hospital because you need to go to a compounding pharmacy (not CVS, Walgreens).
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    I can't believe that nipp-le is blocked. How stupid.

    keywest -- I wanted to add something which is probably obvious but confused me at first. The typical schedule for a newborn is 20 minutes on each breast, every two hours. In other words, you nurse the left side for 20 minutes, the right side for 20 minutes, and then you rest for 80 minutes before starting again on the left side. I know that sounds awful but if I could get through it anyone can.

    Also, you might want to watch this youtube video to hear what  a hungry baby sounds like: I found this woman's analysis of newborn "talk" very helpful when trying to decide which end to address during an outburst.
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from EZola. Show EZola's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    keywest - I had a few friends who had babies before me, and they let me watch them breastfeed. It was so helpful to be able to see the techniques firsthand. Nursing a newborn is tricky because your breasts are HUGE after giving birth, and rock-hard when your milk comes in, so you have to hand-express a little to soften them and then squish them into a flat point, like a diagonally-cut pressed sandwich, and insert them into the baby's mouth at a certain angle (it was a while ago, so I can't quite remember, but I think you want to hit the roof of the mouth, which stimulates the sucking reflex). And there are tricks for getting them to nurse, like stroking their cheek. If you don't have friends you can ask, you could hit an La Leche League meeting.

    Also, you should tell the midwives or nurses at the hospital that you want to breastfeed, and ask them to put the baby to breast immediately after birth (if possible -- if you have complications this might not happen). At Mount Auburn, they pull the baby out, do a very brief check, and pop her right onto your breast. It's the most amazing feeling. And it also gives her body a chance to absorb the stem cells from the umbillical cord -- some places are too eager to cut it.

    I'm very excited for you! Good luck!
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from harpswell. Show harpswell's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    I breastfed happily and successfully until my daughter was about two when she weaned herself.
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from harpswell. Show harpswell's posts

    Re: Breast Feeding Recommendations

    If you have questions, hesitations, fears about breast feeding, please visit the La Leche League web site (above) for reassurance, understanding, tips, etc.  The organization has been in place for decades and is the mother's best and only reliable resource on breast feeding.