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Thread: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    86

    Question Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    Hello all,

    I am looking for beginner information on breastfeeding. Here is my background: I have one child and I bottlefed her from the start and that was about 12 years ago and that's all I know (I don't know anyone who breastfed, seriously). I am currently pregnant with my 2nd (16 weeks today) and my husband wants me to try breastfeeding this go around. I have no idea where to start. What I mean is, what should I know now about breastfeeding before I get into taking the classes and buying books and researching products? I haven't talked to my OB about it yet because I'm not sure about what I want to do yet.

    Here are my first questions.

    I am a working mom so how will I be able to breastfeed effectively if I choose to do so?

    How long do I breastfeed?

    I remember painful breasts from the birth of my first which lasted for about 4 weeks and I had a backup occur which put milk into my armpits (too much info sorry) which caused me so much trouble. I had a hard time getting the milk out even with a manual pump. Can proper breastfeeding prevent this?

    Where do I go for help if I am having problems? I don't want to underfeed my child.

    How will this effect my emotional self?

    What are other things I should know about breastfeeding at this point? I know about all of the benefits, but physically, what happens and what potential problems that I may face?

    Help. I worry a lot about failing if I take this task on.

    Thanks,

    Monique

    P.S. Sorry this is so long.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    Breastfeeding isn't without its challenges, but the benefits to your child, yourself, and your relationship are well worth it. Without having been around someone who has been successful at bfing, good for you for considering it. There is a big learning curve to bfing at first, but when your lo is older, you will really appreciate the work in the beginning. Bfing becomes almost effortless. Attending LLL meetings now can help you get some good information and see moms who are breastfeeding. It also gives you a network of support. LLL Leaders are available by phone if you have problems (or just need some encouragement) and IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultants) are great resources if you have more complex or involved problems.

    Yes, bfing correctly does help prevent most engorgment, although it is possible to become quite engorged for a couple of days when your milk comes in. A baby is much more efficient at removing milk than a pump.

    It does take a different mindset to trust your child to get what he or she needs without knowing the exact amount s/he's taking, but in the long run, the trust is very healthy. It helps your child develop good eating habits that reduce childhood obesity. By watching output (5-6 wet diapers and at least 2-3 poopy diapers at first) can help you know they are getting enough.

    Getting informed now is a great first step. You can do this!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    Quote Originally Posted by OnMyWay View Post
    Hello all,
    Here are my first questions.

    I am a working mom so how will I be able to breastfeed effectively if I choose to do so?
    Many moms succesfully work and breastfeed- I do! It was a pain in the beginning, but now that I'm used to it, it's no problem at all. I pump while I am at work and give the milk to my daughter the next day. I don't pump quite enough so we supplement with formula, but many women are able to pump plenty of milk for their baby and a back=up supply,

    How long do I breastfeed?
    As long as you and your baby want. The AAP recommends one year, the WHO recommends 2 years. Any amount of breastfeeding has significant benefits for your baby, though.

    I remember painful breasts from the birth of my first which lasted for about 4 weeks and I had a backup occur which put milk into my armpits (too much info sorry) which caused me so much trouble. I had a hard time getting the milk out even with a manual pump. Can proper breastfeeding prevent this?
    Like the pper said, babies are much more efficient at getting milk out than pumps, but engorgement can still be a problem. I haven't really had any problems with it at all, but I know some do.

    Where do I go for help if I am having problems? I don't want to underfeed my child.
    This is a great place for help, as are local LLL meetings, and your pediatrician- if s/he is supportive of breastfeeding (best to ask about this before the baby comes if you want a supportive one). As far as baby getting enough, just watch the diaper output as the pper said.

    How will this effect my emotional self?
    It has different effects on different women, but I can speak for myself. I absolutely love breastfeeding. It gives me a sense of fulfillment and love that is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. I love the bonding that I get with my baby and knowing that I am giver her something that no one else on earth can give her.

    What are other things I should know about breastfeeding at this point? I know about all of the benefits, but physically, what happens and what potential problems that I may face?
    It can be really difficult in the beginning. The first few weeks are tough because you worry about the baby eating enough, worry that you aren't doing it enough, worry that it won't work,etc. Also it is hard on the nipples in the beginning. But it really does get easier and nearly effortless after you get it figured out. I recommend you read through some posts here to get a good idea of the kinds of problems and questions that might come up.

    Help. I worry a lot about failing if I take this task on.
    Don't worry about failing. You'll never know if you don't try, right? And it sounds like you are getting informed and you have a supportive spouse- both of which are really important and helpful.
    Good luck!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    Hi and welcome to the forum! You have come to the right place for information! Breastfeeding can be challenging, especially when you don't know any other BFing moms. You have done the best thing to get off to a good start by looking for information early in your pregnancy. This way you can build yourself a support network before the baby comes. Let me see if I can answer some of your specific questions.

    I am a working mom so how will I be able to breastfeed effectively if I choose to do so?
    Many moms do successfully combine working and breastfeeding. Most who do this pump while they are at work to provide breastmilk to be given to the baby by the DCP. Some moms are also able to go to the baby or have the baby brought to them during lunch or break times to nurse. If you scroll down a bit on the main menu, you will find a couple of forums on these boards dedicated to working and breastfeeding issues. You might find some more information there. There are also books on specifically this topic.

    How long do I breastfeed?
    This is completely up to you and your baby. In general, any breastmilk is better than no breastmilk and the more the better. Some moms set small goals and then build from there. Since the most challenging time is usually in the beginning, many moms find it quite easy to continue for as long as they'd like after they've mastered it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, with BF continuing along with the introduction of solids to at least one year, and as long thereafter as mutually desired by mother and baby. The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend continuing to at least age 2. I don't think you really need to worry about how long you are going to do it in the beginning, though. Just focus on getting started and the first few months, and then you can reevaluate from there.

    I remember painful breasts from the birth of my first which lasted for about 4 weeks and I had a backup occur which put milk into my armpits (too much info sorry) which caused me so much trouble. I had a hard time getting the milk out even with a manual pump. Can proper breastfeeding prevent this?
    YES. Many moms do still experience some engorgement and other issues, but a major part of relieving the problem is usually to nurse.

    Where do I go for help if I am having problems? I don't want to underfeed my child.
    A local LLL leader will be a great resource. Here is a link to find one in your area: http://www.llli.org/Webindex.html. It is a good idea to go to an LLL meeting during your pregnancy if you can. That way you can get to know the leader(s) a bit and you'll have a face to put with a name when you call for help after the birth. Also, check into how much help is available at the hospital (if this is a hospital birth). Many hospitals will have people to help you, and may have a hotline or even a staffed lactation center where you can go for help after you go home. The most qualified professionals to help with breastfeeding have the credential International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Some hospitals employ IBCLC's, some also work in private practice. Here is a link to find IBCLC's in your area: http://gotwww.net/ilca/

    How will this effect my emotional self?
    Well, this will vary from person to person. Most likely, though, it will be positive overall. Breastfeeding causes your body to release the hormone prolactin, which has an overall calming effect and encourages "motherly" feelings. Breastfeeding has been shown to help with PPD (though nursing moms can still get PPD). Of course, if you have problems, it can be frustrating, but so can lots of things involving a new baby. Usually the problems can be solved. Breastfeeding can be very challenging in the early weeks/months, but the vast majority of nursing moms will say that it is well worth it in the long run.

    What are other things I should know about breastfeeding at this point? I know about all of the benefits, but physically, what happens and what potential problems that I may face?
    I'd suggest getting one or two good breastfeeding books and checking out some more information online. Here are some links to good breastfeeding sites:

    http://www.llli.org/
    http://www.kellymom.com/
    http://www.breastfeeding.com/

    And here are some good breastfeeding books: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International), The Breastfeeding Book (Sears), The Nursing Mother's Companion (Kathleen Huggins), Breastfeeding Pure and Simple (Gwen Gotsch) - this is a nice short one with lots of great info. I'm sure other's will have recommendations for their favorite books as well. There is no need to read lots of them, just choose one or two that look good to you.

    Help. I worry a lot about failing if I take this task on.
    Many many moms feel this way. It can be a daunting task when you know little about it. Try not to let a fear of failure stop you from trying, though. If this is something you want to do, YOU CAN DO IT!!! Most breastfeeding problems have breastfeeding solutions. With the right support, you can be successful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    Thank you! All of your repsonses help! I've been reading a lot of the forums on this site and I'm learning. I may still have questions. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    I HIGHLY recommend a book called Breastfeeding Made Simple. I was in the same boat as you and had no breastfeeding support around me. That book gave me all the information I needed before my baby was born. It was a life saver! You can get it on Amazon.com or any bookstore I'm sure. If it wasn't for that book I think I would have quit because I didn't know what to expect. This website (which I only discovered 3 months after baby was born) will be a great help to you too!
    Loving mama to S - 11/06, and F - 1/09

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    258

    Default Re: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    1. Many, many women are able to successfully breastfeed upon returning to work. You'll need a good pump(probably electric). But it absolutely CAN be done. There's a lot of info on the forums about good pumps. And an entire forum just on working and breastfeeding. You'll find lots of info there.

    2. This is up to you. The recommendation is 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding(meaning no formula and no solids, just breastmilk). Then the AAP recommends at least one year of continued breastfeeding. The WHO recommends at least two years of breastfeeding.
    But, all of these choices are up to you.

    3. That's engorgement. That happened because birth cues your body to produce milk for the baby you birthed. Because you weren't breastfeeding, engorgement was likely worse, and lasted longer, than it would have had you been breastfeeding. About 2/3 of breastfeeding women will also experience engorgement. But the best way to relieve it is to breastfeed!
    You may, though, get lucky and never get engorged. I didn't

    4. There are lots of resources. LLL, of course, is a great one! Find your local group, and contact the leaders before your baby is born. It's even better if you attend a few meetings before your baby is born. LLL is a great support.
    There are also lactation consultants. I suggest you find one who calls herself an "IBCLC." This means she has extensive training. It's easy for someone to call themself a "lactation consultant." But that term alone doesn't mean much.

    5. Breastfeeding actually lessens the effects of post-partum depression, and has been found to help improve a mother's mood. I did not breastfeed my first child, and suffered awful PPD that lasted a very long time. With my second, who is exclusively breastfed, I have had none.
    Many, even most, breastfeeding mothers very much enjoy breastfeeding. I do. I love the time spent with my baby, and I love that he loves it. It is extremely gratifying to be able to provide that for him.
    And the fact that your husband is supportive of it! That makes a world of difference!

    6. I suggest that you read, read, read. I read a LOT of books on breastfeeding. I especially liked Dr. Sears' books, the LLL books, and another book called "So That's What They're For!" Attending LLL meetings is also very helpful. One of the best things there is getting to meet other breastfeeding mothers in your area. It helps a lot to just see other women breastfeeding.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Clueless Needs Breastfeeding Starter Info

    Hi There
    You've gotten a ton of good info from the other posters. I just wanted to chime in and say that there's a FAQ page where many of the common questions are addressed as well. We're always happy to answer them here, too!

    Hugs
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

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