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Normal breastfeeding behaviour
44 replies to this topic
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:15 PM
Baby number 2 is due end of Dec and I desperately want to try breastfeeding. DS was never able to breastfeed due to medical issues so I really want to give this a go.
But I’m quite anxious about having no idea what breastfeeding behaviour looks like. DS went straight in the bottle (I expressed for a month), but was basically on 3-4 hourly feeds from early on. It was very straightforward.
I’ve tried reading about cluster feeding and all different sorts of things but I still feel so blind to it all.
If you had one tip about breastfeeding, what would it be??
Or if there is any literature you’ve come across that might help, would you be able to point me in the right direction?
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:17 PM
Join the ABA, they’ll send you a book that goes through it all. They also have classes you can do while pregnant, and a support line for when bub arrives.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:18 PM
Go to the ABA class. It tells you more than any one book in my experience, and take your partner. They need to see how they can best support you both and how much work it can be in the early weeks.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:21 PM
My one tip would be feed on demand.
Don't do as a friend of mine did and say "But she fed 2 hours ago, I don't want to feed her for another 2". Breastfed (and all babies really) don't work that way. They need to feed when they want for the first 6 or so weeks which helps establish your supply. Breastmilk is digested really quickly because it's a perfect food for them and doesn't have anything they don't really need.
Drink lots of water.
Expect it to hurt for the first few weeks when they latch on and start sucking.
It will pass but it can be toe curlingly painful at first.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:29 PM
Everything Jenflea said! And remember, it’s not just you, or just the baby, it’s how your two bodies work together. If it doesn’t work, it’s not a failure. My first fed fairly much all the time for the first 3 months - feed, snooze, feed, snooze, then fed regularly until almost 2yo. My second fed in 5 minutes and was done until the next feed, and is still feeding at almost 2.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:37 PM
I agree with the suggestion of a lactation consultant. I also agree that you have to be ok with demand feeding. You have to be willing to just follow the baby’s lead and to relax into whatever works for your child. It is perfectly normal for it to feel sore, uncomfortable, painful, weird etc when you begin - this doesn’t mean you’re having problems - all perfectly normal in early days. You might also have one breast that is more comfortable to feed on than the other. Perfectly normal. Good luck!! Ask for as much help with it as you need.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:37 PM
Get a space set up with everything you need - the feeds in the first few weeks took up to 1.5 hours for me. I needed water, snacks, phone, tv remote, cushions, blanket etc so I could make sure I was comfortable no matter what. Train your husband to also check that all those things are ready to go for you so you don’t get caught out during middle of the night feeds.
It will hurt - if you can get to day 10 you’ve made it 👍🏻
Tap into the ABA. Follow The Milk Meg on Facebook. Ask about support through your local council. Mine has a fantastic drop in breastfeeding clinic.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:38 PM
Best advice I got. If you are having a bad day, baby is grizzly, go to bed for the day, watch telly, eat yummy food and feed, feed, feed and sleep, sleep, sleep.
I did this a few times, with all of mine.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:39 PM
Get your partner to do the nappies at night after you feed too.
That way you're less likely to feel resentful at having to get up at night.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:44 PM
One tip only? Ok. If in doubt, whip it out.
Don’t believe anyone who says ‘he/she can’t possibly be hungry again, it’s only been 30min/2hours/whatever’. Feed the baby.
Or worse ‘she/he just wants to feed for comfort’. So what if they do? What is that person actually saying? Don’t comfort your baby? That one always left me things WTAF person! My baby is brand new, defenseless and trying to get used to this whole life on the outside thing and you want me to NOT comfort him when he’s asking me to? Bizarre!
Also, yep join the ABA and get to a breastfeeding class before your baby is born if you can manage.
And familiarize yourself with the signs your baby is getting enough milk.
And good luck! I hope you’re fortunate and it just clicks, and if not just remember it’s a learned skill that can take time so give yourself and your baby some time and be kind to yourself.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:45 PM
Three great tips-
Check out aba. Breastfeeding.asn.au heaps of info and you can ring the helpline or try the live chat or even see if there’s a local group you could go along to with your toddler now.
What goes in must come out. Nappies is a great way to check supply.
Some days you will get nothing done except feeding the baby and other children. That’s ok. You’ve done a great job.
You did a huge thing by expressing for a month! That’s a huge achievement!
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:46 PM
Thank you all so much. I’m definitely going to join the ABA and have the date set aside for a class with DH in November. Our hospital also has a class which is highly recommended so I’ll be doing that one also. I figure it can’t hurt to cover all my bases.
And I worry that DH has even less idea than me, but he is very keen to come with me so he knows how he can help too. Unfortunately he works shift work, so after the first month off, there will be times when I’m responsible for days and nights in my own for 4-5 days in a row. Lucky my little 5 year old is a champion <3
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:52 PM
I found when I googled with breastfeeding questions the site that came up consistently with really useful answers was www.kellymom.com . Definitely a helpful resource.
Second recommendations of having a comfy chair with quick access to the necessities. If you don’t have any streaming services (Netflix etc) I’d sign up, and make sure you have the relevant app on your phone in case you get stuck somewhere for a couple of hours with a baby attached to your nipple!
Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:54 PM
Join the breastfeeders in Australia fb group for tonnes of support and advice. They were a huge reason I've made it to just over 2 years with my 3rd.
Feeding all the time is completely normal. Babies feed for reasons beyond just llhunger.
There's been some great advice above.
The best indication that your baby is getting enough milk is if they have at least 5 wet nappies a day and poo frequently in the first 6 weeks. Formula companies have invested tonnes into making vulnerable women doubt their ability to provide enough for their babies.
Reach out if you need support.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:01 PM
Take a breast shield into hospital and use lansinoh after each feed initially
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:02 PM
My first couldn’t breast feed for a range of reasons and had his first bottle at 3 hours old and was bottle fed (99% expressed milk) from then on. Ds2 didn’t have any of the same issues and was exclusively bfed. I found it incredibly difficult to trust that he was getting enough. Ds1 I was easily able to measure from the bottle but ds2 I had no idea and it took me a while to feel confident he was getting what he needed. So I guess my tip is to trust the process as hard as it is. Good luck!
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:12 PM
There has been plenty of great advice above so mine is more about clothing.
I found breastfeeding tops to be great - the thing that caused me stress about feeding was trying to hold a crying baby and fiddle with my top to feed. Same with nursing bras - you need to be able to manage it one handed.
Breast pads are definitely needed when the supply is still settling and I would leak everywhere. Or when the baby latched on one side and the other started squirting.
And be gentle with yourself. It takes time to establish feeding, and feeds for the first few weeks can take a long time. Perhaps have an activity pack with you for your older child in case you need to provide distraction while you are feeding.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:18 PM
Look at a hakaa to help catch some milk as it leaks in the early days. It can also be used as a manual pump. It was excellent for help with top ups after pressure from midwives in the first few weeks. It meant we were able to avoid formula. Although, in hindsight i shouldn't have let them scare me into doing top ups at all.
Having the support is key to successfully breastfeeding.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:28 PM
Heaps of great advice already. Without repeating any, I’d suggest that you both need to be happy with the latch. It’s better to insert a finger to break the latch and get baby to relatch than persist in a latch that is painful (difference between initial pain that settles quickly ie by 30secs, and pain that is ongoing). Even if it takes several times! Better than causing damage and leading to cracks.
Watch heaps of YouTube videos about latching too.
Definitely the ABA class and book, I read it cover to cover.
Wishing you all the best, and remember to be gentle with yourself, you’ll both be learning together!
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:34 PM
All the previous posts have been good.
Milk Meg was so so great for advice.
I think that breasts sizes are just different breastmilk storage capacity. I have small storage so I have to feed more frequently. This really helped me with feeding on demand. Some ppl can space feeds further apart. But I always fed on demand. They don’t just need sucking for milk but also comfort and it’s okay to comfort your baby. Breasts feeling empty doesn’t mean your not making enough milk.
When in doubt whip it out (boob)
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:36 PM
i fed whenever the baby cried.
3 kids - about 5 1/2 years all up.
despite that it wasn't easy for any of them - in the beginning. i had my share of cracked nipples and a couple of doses of mastitis.
But I am really stubborn. There was never any other way this baby was getting fed so I just kept going until one day it really was perfect.
So two pieces of advice
Feed whenever you can and be prepared for lots of top ups -their stomachs are little and breast milk being designed for baby humans is digested quickly and
Anything worth doing takes effort - be prepared to put it in
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:43 PM
In the first few days, just before your milk fully comes in, babies have a “feeding frenzy” for about 12-24 hours, where they just want to feed continuously. It’s pretty torturous, but necessary. If you can get through that period (hopefully without too much nipple damage), it gets a lot easier.
A really good, deep latch is really important. There should be no flattening or ridges on your nipple after a feed. If it hurts, take baby off and start again. A really good latch won’t be painful for more than a few seconds. Even with really damaged nipples, it shouldn’t be excruciating. If it is, it means the latch isn’t quite right.
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:54 PM
All that above advice is good. You will learn quickly how it works.
One thing that helped me after the initial few weeks, when I was getting out and about more, was deciding that I would never let myself feel embarased about breastfeeding in public and that I would just damn well learn to manage doing that and who cares if someone in a cafe or wherever gets a momentary sight of a nipple or whatever: they'll survive and so will I.
Having bub in an ergo or similar carrier helps, though...
Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:56 PM
The ABA breastfeeding class is designed for couples - it specifically addresses how the non feeding parent needs to help so make sure your DH goes with you!
Find out now where your local International board certified lactation consultants are . Some do agP clinics, others will come to you, some will be at free council drop ins...
Know now, have their contact details ready so you can quickly book in when/if you need to.
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