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Thread: Don't know if I can breastfeed?

  1. #1

    Default Don't know if I can breastfeed?

    Hello ladies, I am a mother of a 5 yr old son and am pregnant with my 2nd child. I want to breastfeed for this pregnancy but Im not sure if I'm able too. When i was pregnant with my first child my breast didn't get big, sore or produce any milk. While in the hospital the nurse and I tried to breastfeed but I had no milk supply to give. With this pregnancy, I want to breastfeed but what are some ideas or any help onto breastfeeding? I need to know what are some things that I should do now (32 weeks pregnant) to prepare for breastfeeding when my second child arrives. Please, any help or dvice will greatly help!! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    NE PA
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    Default Re: Don't know if I can breastfeed?

    I think probably the best thing you can do right now is to get a hold of a good IBCLC. http://americas.iblce.org/find-an-ibclc and talk to her about the issues that you had last time. The issues you had could have been due to any number of things so getting hands on help would be a good idea.
    Jessica

    Moma to DS1-the monkinroanie (3/09) and DS2-the sweet pumpkin (5/12)
    Strong Women- May we have the delight of knowing them, the courage to be them and the privilege of raising them.
    And yes I know my spelling terrible (is that spelled right? )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,398

    Default Re: Don't know if I can breastfeed?

    good grief, please do not think you cannot nurse because a nurse told you you had no milk while in the hospital with your oldest. Nurses typically do not have any training in breastfeeding assistance let alone the expertise to make this serious medical diagnoses!

    What evidence do you have that you 'had no milk?' Some moms do not see noticeable changes in their breasts during pregnancy & certainly, leaking milk or not leaking milk during pregnancy or even after means nothing at all, and 'soreness' is also meaningless. Also Babies typicaly lose up to 7% of birth weight and sometimes more in the early days and it is normal and fine.

    The earliest milk is colustrum. It is very scant, seldom leaks, is a light honey color, is hard to see, and it is the only food baby needs the first several days. I have two ebf kids and have never seen my own colustrum, seen my colustrum leak or seen it in my babies mouth. It is SCANT, by design. It's meant to be. If mom's breasts filled up with tons of milk the minute baby was born, before baby, who has never eaten this way in its life, had a chance to learn to latch and nurse, there would be big trouble. In fact, even after milk does start to become abundant after a few days, a mom who is nursing baby well and frequently may never feel super full or have engorgement. This is good, as it is best to avoid painful engoregement!

    Very, very rarely, a mom has physical or hormonal issues that causes low milk supply or difficulty making milk from the start. I agree, see an IBCLC and/or read the book Making More Milk and see if you fit the profile for a mom who MAY have difficulty making milk. But even if you DO have difficulty making milk, that does not mean you cannot nurse! There are tons of ways to improve a low milk supply, and, in the extremely rare case it is necessary, there are ways to supplement as necessary and continue to nurse.

    Besides Making More Milk, PLEASE read the first 4 chapters of the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition, 2010) and go to a LLL meeting and/or call a LLL Leader. Learn what is normal and expected in the early days with a newborn and how to get your milk supply off to a good start, which is (basically) by nursing very frequently starting as soon after birth as possible. This article also gives a quick idea of what is normal in the early days: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; April 15th, 2012 at 11:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Don't know if I can breastfeed?

    Excellent advice from the PPs. I strogly agree that seeing an IBCLC and knowing what is normal in the first few days/weeks of breastfeeding could really help you understand why things derailed with your first baby and help you get off to a good start the second time around.

    Here are some common "booby traps" that often cause problems:
    - Early mama-baby separation. Often when babies are born, they are immediately whisked away to the nursery, and often spend a lot of their first few days there. Breastfeeding gets off to the best possible start when mama and baby room in together andlearn each other's cues.
    - Early introduction of artificial nipples (bottles and pacifiers). Babies latch onto and suck on artificial nipples differently from the way they latch onto and suck on the breast, and this can make it difficult for them to nurse. Also, when a baby is fed formula or given a pacifier to suck, he doesn't nurse as often as he should, and the lowered level of stimulation means that it takes longer for milk production to begin.
    - Unnecessary supplementation. As lllMeg said, it is normal for babies to lose weight after birth. There's no need to supplement "just until your milk comes in". Routine supplementation is also not necessary for babies who are unusually large or small, or babies whose mothers have gestational diabetes (particularly well-controlled GD). If supplementation is necessary, it should be discussed with the pediatrician, and not just suggested by a nurse.
    - Unrealistic expectations. New babies feed all the time, and it is normal for them to want to nurse every hour or even more frequently. You never want to stretch out the time between feedings with a new baby, even if someone is trying to convince you that babies "should" feed only every 3 hours or something bizarre like that.
    - Not seeking help. Many moms try to tough it out on their own, and don't call the LC when they should. If you find yourself in pain, or with a baby who resists latching, or with a sleepy baby who is having trouble staying awake to nurse, or if you have nipple damage, call the LC immediately!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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