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How often did/do you breastfeed your newborn baby?
67 replies to this topic
Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:52 PM
Can you get to some breastfeeding education classes before bub comes, preferably with your partner (if you have one)?
We did some through our local private hospital and they were so valuable, particularly explaining what to expect, growth spurts, the time it would take, the change that happens when your milk supply settles at about 6 weeks etc, how dads can be supportive etc. I think the ABA run these also.
I also found I then had a good relationship with the lactation consultant and felt comfortable asking for her help if needed once bub arrived. I think this might be an important support network you could begun setting up for yourself in order to make things as easy as possible and avoid the PND.
I think people are explaining the first few weeks not to scare you off but to help you know it's all normal once you get there. It does get better - babies get faster and more efficient.
If you don't know about the breast crawl for establishing breastfeeding find out about it now (google). We were taught at our classes and it was a fantastic start to our breastfeeding relationship.
Get plenty of skin to skin contact in the early days - all those lovely hormones help your milk come on and your baby feel more settled.
I also used the baby Dunstan DVDs for learning about babys different cries. Best $40 I've spent i think. I watched it a few times when pg and then in the first week of coming home. Like the others said though, if in doubt try a feed.
Wishing you all the best for a beautiful breastfeeding relationship with your new bubba.
Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:55 PM
I'll give it a shot but its so daunting knowing I'm the one responsible for his food and comfort, DH can't do it and thats scary huh.gif
Sorry, more from me. The flipside of this is when your baby gets lovely chubby rolls and is feeding with his little hand resting on your breast making little happy noises, then you are also responsible for that At 6 months DS was about 8 kgs already and I would look at him and think "Wow, I made that!" Also, once it all settles down you get endorphins released when you breastfeed, and it used to be very soothing to me...I had lifelong insomnia, and it went away after I had DS!
As a PP said, you can express so your DH can do a feed or 2 a day as well. I also found DH could settle DS better than me in the evenings since he didn't smell like breastmilk and so wasn't confusing.
Edited by redkris, 24 February 2011 - 10:56 PM.
Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:16 PM
I agree with other PP's that bub will take longer to feed and will feed more frequently at the beginning, and will be more efficient, with more spaces between feeds as they grow and get older. The cluster feeds will occur prior/during their growth spurts and in any hot weather. I found the first 6 weeks incredibly sleep depriving and hard, but also really rewarding. And it really DOES get easier as time goes by.
Three ideas from me.
#1: Plan your chair/Home environment now.
My sister advised me while pregnant to get the comfiest BF support chair we could afford. We had no decent lounge furniture then (8 year old couch from the Salvos and armchair that I could only get out of with help). So even before we moved into our new place (and could finally order lounge furniture), we bought the Manhattan Glider chair with footstool. It has REALLY helped my back during preg, and also has been great the past 4mths with all the feeding.
At the start I had it in DD's room while we got used to bf'ing together away from visitors. But now have it out in the lounge in front of the TV, by the lounge suite. Side end of the chaise lounge has water bottle, TV remotes, phones, air con remote, wireless keyboard and mouse (computer is linked into plasma TV). Sorted!
#2 Hydrogel breast pads. I had attachment issues in the first week or so and only learned about these later on. So wish I'd had some at the hospital! I found them much more soothing than any creams.
#3 Bubs can get really hot and sweaty when they feed! I alternate two really soft muslin/bamboo wraps loosely wrapped round my elbow for DD's head to rest on, and only wash them every couple of days. That way they have her, my and BM scent all mixed together, which has been useful for DH to put on his shoulder if he's soothing her, and the same wraps are great comforters in the pram if she is grizzley during errands. And they're part of the whole nursing 'routine', so help when we're out and having a feed then.
You're doing absolutely the right thing in thinking about it now and planning your support. I agree with PP's who've said contact the ABA, lactation consultants, hospital midwives, your MCHN etc - basically whoever can help you when you need it. Ignore family members who try to put you and your newborn onto a BF schedule - all the research now shows that the MORE you feed in the earlier weeks, the better your long term milk supply is.
The idea of artificially choosing rigid times that may not match your newborn's actual needs or hunger just seems.... very wrong.
All the best
Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:56 PM
My DS fed 3 hrly round the clock for a few weeks, then went to 4-5 hours overnight, but 2 hrly during the day. He was also keen on cluster feeding at night, so I was strapped to the couch from 7pm-11pm.
However, this is great!! As long as you are well supplied with remote control, books, laptop and plenty of healthy snacks and fluids to keep hydrated, no problem!!
All that time sitting down quietly staring at your baby is actually really important for recovering from pregnancy and birth. You have just completed a 9 month marathon of making another human being and you need to take it easy.
Your only job is to recover your strength and feed your baby. (As long as other people realise this and help look after other kids and bring you food, your ideal world will be just fine!)
Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:11 AM
it's late, i'm too tired to read all the posts (sorry)
1. you're doing better than you think
2. your baby has a tiny stomach and bladder right now, so frequent small feeds will help them, they'll let you know when they need one (request feeding).
3. ring aba helpline 1800 686 2 686 for free advice on breastfeeding. getting help in this early stage is so crucial, the aba are specialists about bf-ing. i got so much mis and incorrect info from gp's, doctors and hospiatl people - go straight to the source, and the source is the ABA.
My baby got thirsty and requested a few around every two hours as a newborn, but that was her - i'm sure YOUR baby has their own needs, keep them close , they'll let you know.
My bub had this Laaaaaa cry, each time she was thirsty, took me a while to catch on to this, but she had her communicaiton for the most important thing (surviving) all happening. Later i read about the Priscilla DUnstan lady with the "baby language" - four main sounds - and you've guessed it ' Laaaaaa for drink - was one of them. So my DD knew more about it than i did ha ha . (She didn't do the other sounds, just the laaaaa).
breastfeeding a newborn seems like you're CONSTatnly FEEDING, that's just what they need at that particular stage. Plus it helps work out your supply (the baby suckling, stimulates your milk ducts). Plus you holding your baby WHILST feeding, is part of bonding, so i think it's nature's way of helping you get to know your bub. cos you do, all that time gazing at your bub. we had a rough delivery, so that bonding time helped us so much.
no-one really warned me about the time commitment, that "establishing" breastfeeding takes, but looking back on it, now i can see the benefits four years later, i can see the benefit in that time. the lack of illness in particular.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:12 AM
I second the glider chair! They are great. I had a reflux baby so I've spent many an hour rocking ds to sleep.
For the first few months, I used a u shaped pillow. I highly recommend one. It takes some weight off, I felt like bub was more secure. I tried a 'milk bar' feeding pillow- I hated it. U shaped pillows are heaps cheaper!!
Breastfeeding does feel like a big responsibility but it's also an easy way to settle the baby. And it's so convenient- I don't have to wash bottles or carry enough water & formula. I was in Fiji recently and we caught a boat out to a sandbank to go snorkeling. I was surrounded by beautiful pristine water, feeding my ds. lovely experience. I'm also one that uses breastfeeding to get my ds to sleep....
My ds was very unsettled for months, particularly from 5pm-7pm. I would often cluster feed and do skin-to-skin contact.
In regards to kicking people out- part of being in control is making yourself and baby comfortable. Do whatever you have to. I kicked people out or withdrew to a separate room.
Before I had my ds, I saw all these mums put wraps over their shoulders and discreetly feed their bub. On e I hD my ds, I tried doing the same but man it was hard! The wrap wouldn't stay in place, I couldn't see my ds's face, it was hard to juggle getting good attachment while keeping the wrap in place. I felt like such a clumsy git until my sister told me that it wasnt as easy as other mothers made it appear.
So...my advice is in the beginning, find somewhere private where you are comfortable so you don't have to worry about being discrete.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:12 AM
double post, oops
Edited by purplebilby, 25 February 2011 - 12:13 AM.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:21 AM
Oh yeah, and make sure you kick people out. You need to feel free and relaxed to get naked to the waist and really concentrate.
You need to stick up for the baby, who needs the best possible chance at learning to BF, and is relying on you to provide that opportunity. So when it comes down to it and you feel rude or uncomfortable asking thoughtless visitors to leave, remember, "They'll get over it. This is my tiny baby's big chance at getting the best food going. I am the Mummy, and s/he is counting on me to stick up for her/him, put my efforts in BF and not worry about entertaining visitors. My baby's feeding comes first."
This gave me the courage to tell heaps of people (politely but firmly) to bugger off, and take their outdated advice with them.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:28 AM
Thanks so much to everyone who has replied, all of this advice is fantastic and exactly what I needed to know.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:18 AM
Although at the start it seems like a lot, it the long term it is so much easier. No bottles to, steralise, never need to buy new formula tins etc.
Yes you will feel like all you do it feed the baby for the first 6 weeks but it only gets better from there. For DD and me its been the best bonding experience and continues to be one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done
Also I too followed the "if in doubt whip em out" principle. If DD was fussy and she wasn't wet I'd feed. DD had put on 100g by the end of her first week which made me so proud of myself. As they get older they definitely get more efficient and feed less often and thats where all the hard work pays off.
Edited by macysmum, 25 February 2011 - 09:24 AM.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:26 AM
All I can remember about DS was the midwives giving him a huge formula feed after birth and he was so groggy, we never got to a good start. He had such poor attachment and I can remember trying everything from tube feeding, to feeding with a habermann teet for suspected reflux. It was such a nightmare. I found that bottle feeding was very rigid though with a few hours break in between and as a young, stressed out and depressed mother I grabbed that option and went for it.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:30 AM
I fed whenever he needed it and for as long as he liked. Initially it was every couple of hours, at 9 months he now feeds about every 4hrs during the day before solids.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:53 AM
I haven't read all the replies but just a few options that I felt helped at different stages:
1. Pre-birth: book into a lactaction class with your partner/support person so you are both aware of the challenges and rewards of breastfeeding. It really helped me that DH was very supportive of BFing and was able to offer suggestions when I had problems.
2. At birth: try and get immediate skin to skin contact and the first breast feed before you are moved, showered etc. Also all the midwives in hospital will have different opinions/strategies. Listen to all of them but use what works for you and your bub.
3. At home: hook up with you MCHN and ask to join a mother's group ASAP (they often won't automatically do this if it's not your 1st). I felt it was great to be around other mums in the same stage of confusion and we could all use each other as sounding boards and share ideas of what was working or not.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:25 AM
i love that 'if in doubt whip em out' definately what i did!
Kick em all out - in fact when i had DS (on wed) my text to everyone said 'baby boy born blah blah visitors welcome after Friday, no flowers, and please call before visiting.'. Some people thought i was rude. I told them they were rude for me even having to say this!
Drink lots - enlist help - at least your current child is old enough to fetch you a glass of water etc.
Agree with PP about getting comfy chair - also think about feeding lying down! i often fed lying down, so relaxed and helped when feeds were frequent. When they are frequent just remember that they get better and easier.
It sounds really strange 'baby will tell you' but it is true - they dont cry for much babies! I did the same as other PP - changed nappy then fed - that way you eliminate both being wet/pooey and hungry at same time.
Midwives should help you heaps - our hospital had a chart thingy you filled out with whether nappy was wet/dry/poo and when fed and for how long - this helped when you were tired so you could remember and learn the babies signels.
Now, as the first few weeks passed i started working to a routine - i knew i had to go back to work. Work was supportive fo breastfeeding, and i went to my baby or had him bought to me to feed, but work has standard lunch break 1 - 2 so i wanted to get him into having a feed at that time to be less disruptive. So when he was pretty regular on 3 hourly feeds, i would just either push out a feed a by 10 minutes, or encourage it 10 minutes earlier til i had a feed between 1 & 2. I would push out by going for a walk or something - never by just letting him cry!
Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:04 PM
I just wanted to add I would put in your birth plan that you don't want any formula given to your baby. That way your bub doesn't fill up on formula and it will give you the best possible chance from the start.
Also try not to give your bubs a dummy til 6 weeks, the more they suckle on you the more your supply will be stimulated.
The hospital I had DD was very pro breast feeding so in the first day I had a session with a LC and don't be afraid to ask the middies to watch you attach bubby. They were very happy to do this for me and helped iron out the kinks.
Try to push through it all. I found that the moments I almost failed were the ones where I had lost confidence in myself. Good luck!!!
Edited by macysmum, 25 February 2011 - 01:05 PM.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:26 PM
I fed on demand. When DD was a newborn she would take about 45min - 1hr to feed and she was feeding every 3 hrs with cluster feeding in the early evening. After a few months she was much more efficient and was only taking 10mins per side to feed.
Drink heaps of water
Ask for help if you need it - public hospitals have LC, Child Health nurse, ABA
Kick out unwanted visitors
Specify that no formula is to be given to baby
Find somewhere you are comfortable learning to feed
Try different positions and use aids if you need - pillows, nipple shield
Be confident in yourself
Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:30 PM
Interesting about the formula...DS's first feed was formula, but only because my milk took its sweet time coming in. The second night after DS was born he just wanted to be attached constantly and wasn't getting anything so was just howling! When a midwife came the next morning to see how I was going I burst into tears
They ended up taking him for a little bit and gave him a small formula feed (with my agreement as we had no attachment issues) and we continued our BF attempts with him being a little calmer (he was just getting frantic, poor little mite). That evening the milk started to come in and I woke up the next morning as a G cup From there it was all go and we fed for 20.5 months!
Not saying that it was the best way to begin, just that it didn't ruin anything for us and i didn't even realise it was a no-no until I came onto EB.
Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:02 AM
My experience had some similarities with redkris, in that DS started with some little formula bottles. In one way, it took the pressure off, as I knew he wasn't starving, and as long as I expressed religiously every 3 hours, I was still working on supply and we could work on attachment without him in distress. We ditched the formula on day 3 and never had any since.
I wouldn't jump to the formula, and it's important to get baby to suckle, suckle, suckle in the beginning, but I also wouldn't feel like a single formula feed in hospital was the end of the BF world.
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