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Thread: Prepare for successful breastfeeding?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2

    Default Prepare for successful breastfeeding?

    I found out today that I'm pregnant with our second child. My first, born 4.21.11 is now 9 months old. I suffered low supply issues with her and it was heartbreaking. The first time I had to buy formula in the store, I fell apart and cried in the store aisle.

    I tried everything, was in support groups, on meds, tea, oatmeal, herbs, water, power pumping, seeing lactation consultants. Finally when my daughter was 5 months old, I gave up out of sheer exhaustion. I mourned like I had suffered a death.

    Now that I'm pregnant again, I want to do everything I can to have success this time. Any suggestions of what I can do before I have the baby? I'm not sure how far along I am yet, but I'm guessing 4-8 weeks. If you have any suggestions of what I can do leading up to labor and delivery, I'd appreciate it!

    -Lauren

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,362

    Default Re: Prepare for successful breastfeeding

    Welcome and congratulations on the baby to come! I'm sorry you had such a difficult time with your first. That must have been heartbreaking! The good news is that every breastfeeding journey is different. The problems you had the first time round may not repeat. Also, a lot of moms notice that they have more milk with their second child than they did with the first.

    If you'd care to share the details of what happened with hour first breastfeeding experience, maybe we can figure out what caused things to derail. If you had a lot of pain when nursing, if your baby was particularly sleepy at the breast, if you were required to supplement from very early on- those things could point to potential explanations for the problems you faced.

    Here are some things you can do to increase your chances of nursing your new baby successfully:
    - Have a happy, healthy, enjoyable pregnancy!
    - Aim for a good, safe birth. Breastfeeding gets off to the best start when mama and baby are both well after birth. This doesn't necessarily mean that you must have the idealized all-natural experience, but the fewer interventions you have the better. In particular, you want to avoid things like induction of labor (which can make birth more painful and increases your risk of having other interventions, including a c-section), and use of heavy-duty painkillers (which can make baby sleepy and unwilling to nurse after birth).
    - After baby is born, have him/her immediately delivered up onto your bare chest. Healthy babies warm up well when skin to skin with mom, and they have a chance to nurse and bond.
    - Delay routine newborn procedures (weighing, measuring, footprints, eye ointment, trip to the baby warmer, bath, etc.) for at least an hour after birth. It's much more important for baby to get a chance to nurse.
    - Room in with your baby. You will learn baby's hunger cues faster, and there will be less chance of a "helpful" nurse slipping your baby a bottle of formula just so you can sleep.
    - If you decide to send your baby to the nursery, make a sign for his/her bassinet that says "I am a breastfed baby. No pacifiers or formula bottles, please! Bring me to my mom every time I cry, or every 2 hours if I don't."
    - Feed your baby on demand. If baby is particularly sleepy, feed him/ her more often than he/she demands, at least every 2-3 hours.
    - Make sure you have a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician, someone who is familiar with the normal feeding and weight gain patterns of a breastfed baby. (Your local LLL is probably a good resource for a referral, if your current pediatrician doesn't fit the bill.)
    - Have the phone number of a good lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, on hand, and set up a meeting for soon after baby is born. If you run into trouble, see the LC ASAP.
    - If you are having a boy and plan on having him circumcised, delay the procedure until he is nursing well. Pain from circumcision can interfere with breastfeeding.
    - Avoid artificial nipples. Pacifier use should be delayed 3-4 weeks, and bottles should not be introduced until 4-6 weeks (ideally). You want all the baby's sucking needs to be met at the breast in the first few weeks.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; January 21st, 2012 at 09:24 PM.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Prepare for successful breastfeeding

    Having confidence in yourself can work wonders!
    You now have some experience and that will help tremendously.
    I gave up way too easily with my DS (because I didn't know any better). Now am nursing twins and they are almost 9 months old. It's amazing what practice can do for you!
    You can do it. The pp advice is great.
    Congratulations!
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Prepare for successful breastfeeding

    I had a wonderful experience when I was in the hospital, until around the third day when one unhappy nurse came on shift. She informed me that my baby was losing too much weight and she would be supplementing her in the nursery. I told her I was exclusively breastfeeding and she said she was taking the baby so she could eat, and that was that. I honestly believe that is where the problem started. Nursing was also extremely painful, and she didn't show any interest in nursing the first hour after she was born. It was heartbreaking. What do you say to an overly pushy nurse who is telling you that basically you're starving your baby?

    You're both so right, I know so much more now, and I'm prepared to do what it takes. This birth will hopefully be all natural as I'm taking VERY good care of myself from the beginning. My last pregnancy had blood pressure issues which required a dose of pain meds toward the end of labor to lower my pressure, otherwise I was headed for a c-section.

    I really hope to do this. I know it's best for my baby. Thank you both so much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,362

    Default Re: Prepare for successful breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*momontherun View Post
    What do you say to an overly pushy nurse who is telling you that basically you're starving your baby?
    "Are you a pediatrician? No? Okay, then get me a pediatrician and I will discuss my baby's weight and feeding options with him/her. And please get me another nurse, as well. I do not feel comfortable with you".

    I know it's hard to assert yourself like that, especially when you are a first-time mom! But even though hospitals like to act like they are doing you a huge favor just by allowing you in the door, you are paying them to provide you with a service. And a big part of that service is respecting your wishes when it comes to your baby. Because your baby is YOUR baby, not the hospital's baby!

    I am really sorry you had such a rotten experience with the grabby nurse the first time around. As you can probably tell, reading about that sort of thing makes me SO MAD!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Prepare for successful breastfeeding

    Agree with MommaL, also make sure to have ALL your supporters able and willing to say this too. IE your husband, mother, etc. Have one of them with you at all times, and ready to defend you and your baby. Make sure they are on board totally to defend you and baby! It will help cause they will be more rested, and have more strength to do this. Plus just having supporters there will keep some people from pushing their weight around.

    ~Heather~
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