You've done it! Given birth (it doesn't matter how) to a beautiful bundle of love. You've made the commitment to yourself and perhaps told others you will be breastfeeding. Super! Lovely!
Then you're alone, in the hospital or perhaps at 2am at home and the bundle of love will not stop crying, you're beginning to panic, the stress sweat sets in on your top lip and you're about to break. You're about to head out and grab that formula.
Don't.(I won't judge you if you do - each to their own)
You can do it, you really can. Even if you are a crying mess at the end of it. You will feel like a champion for getting through it.
Here are some top tips for happy feeding times:
- Always keep yourself hydrated - I'm serious, drink lots of water. Keeping yourself hydrated is important for your well being post birth and in general a good habit to keep. When you are not feeding the baby, feed and water yourself.
- Try different feeding positions. The first few days at home I had to hand express to get relief on Righty, we just couldn't get it right. We swapped to the rugby position and she fed like a trooper. It might not magically all fall in to place, give it time and keep trying.
|The ones that work for us.|
@Goriami - MW hated the way I fed E but it worked for us! *
*He latched perfectly and lay with legs facing away from me, he was mostly not on me!
- Before birth read up on the following: Hand expression, good latching techniques, different feeding positions, cluster feeds, what to do if you have a fast/heavy let down and try and get a feel for the basics. You won't feel so lost when the time arrives.
@AusAlice Accept growth spurt feeding frenzies for what they are. Increasing Supply. At the time it feels like you'll be permanently attached to baby forever! But in hindsight, that time zooms by.
@Scatty_Sarah Try not to worry about baby getting enough, with breastfeeding it isn't all about the ounces baby takes in, it's about the fact baby is getting enough to grow and stay hydrated. Keep an eye on hydration (soft spot on the head dipping is a sign) but if baby is happy, content, weeing and pooping then they should be getting 'enough', and remember that babies breastfeed OFTEN! Read up about cluster feeds and growth spurts to know what to expect, it isn't always an indication that you don't have enough milk. Above all be confident!
- Check up on your local breastfeeding support. I don't just mean groups here. I mean places like LLL*, BfN** and Assoc. Breastfeeding***. I had a few chats pre-birth (in the hospital) about expressing colostrum and post birth had a few visits (in the hospital) and lovely long chats with both Breastfeeding Peer Support and BfN Registered Helper about Tiny's latch, previous feeding issues and so on. It helps if you know who is there and can put a face to the name.I feel more comfortable talking to someone more than once.
@Goriami I YouTubed for help with breastfeeding
@PracticalPanda I spoke to my local
@lllgb - they have up to date info & lots of experience
@ThePumpingMama I watched lots of videos of the correct latch. And joined breastfeeding support groups on parenting forums.
@Tattooed_Mummy I had to go back to hospital (in tears) when my milk came in and baby couldn't latch on my rock solid boobs! hubby was all set to buy bottles as I was so upset! but that made me sob more. Lovely midwife sorted me out at hospital.
- When feeding in public go with what you are comfortable with. You don't have to bare all if you can't, nor do you have to hide if you don't feel like it. The first few times can be a little stressful, so try going somewhere you go often and are comfortable. If you are relaxed, baby will be relaxed and it will be as enjoyable as when you're at home.
- No dummies (or maybe hold off)! If you pop a dummy in their mouth you might find the time between feeds goes up, your milk supply going down and things can become difficult. The commitment you make to breastfeeding is to be the source of food and comfort. Expect to feed often and sometimes for extended period to begin with.
@Tattooed_Mummy my top tip would be, don't panic the baby won't die after a day with no food, and get some help, but persevere!
Thing is, everyone is different and what works for me might not work for you. But knowing there are real people around who know what a bad latch can really do while feeding - not just physically - can help. Knowing that I'm here, she is here and we are all here with our fluffy nipples ready and willing to help you through it - can help.Sticking with it is so worth it.
So very, very worth it.
* LLL GB - http://www.laleche.org.uk/
** BfN - http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/
*** Assoc. Breastfeeding Mothers - http://abm.me.uk/I am not involved with, affiliated or working with any of the organisations featured above. Nor have they commissioned or endorsed this post.