You are here

Breast Feeding Q and A

Breastfeeding can be really difficult, especially without the support of other moms!
I'd love to open this thread as a place to help each other out and offer advice. I know PG was having some trouble, which made me think of this.

I will start by saying the first 6 weeks is AWFUL-it is painful (esp light skinned moms) and is almost unbearable. If you can make it through the 6 weeks, it's all downhill from there. Also, the 1st 20 seconds of latching on during this time is the worst. Take deep breaths and count to 20 till the pain subsides.
I nursed Noah until age 20 months, and Lyle is still nursing at 20 months.

I can't type for shit right now and have to correct every word, so that is all for now.  :-[

My blocked duct cleared up after a couple days.  I got another one the following week, but I massaged that one while feeding and it disappeared instantly.  I think I did have the white spot on my nipple with the first blockage...I was tempted to poke it but everything I read said not to do it because the blockage was further back.  But I may try it if it happens again.

L2A, that sux that your sister is so critical of you breastfeeding your son at his age.  He's only 2...it's not as if you're breastfeeding a 6 year old...and even if you were, it's none of her business.  That's great that you live in an area where people are more accepting.  I'm so happy to live in Australia where no one minds if I pop my boobs out at a park or cafe or wherever. My mom always breastfed in a bathroom stall if she was out and about, and I think that's really sad (that was in Denver, 25+ years ago, so hopefully things have changed a bit since then).

0 likes

We are pretty much done, except for 5 minutes before bed time. He just looks up at me and says, "I'm done!" and then I put him in bed. So at least he isn't falling asleep while nursing-a harder habit to break. I have been telling him that the mommy milk is almost gone, to try to get him ready for THE END!
He skipped 2 nights in a row a couple weeks ago and I thought we were done (he was sick), and I have to admit, I was a little sad. It's such an emotional thing, and to know it's over for the rest of your life is just a little hard to deal with. Especially when you know it's your last child!

0 likes

I thought I'd be really upset when Caitlin stopped nursing.  Honestly I didn't even notice she had stopped until we were going to bed one night and I realized it have been weeks since she asked to nurse.  It makes me sad to think about it, but it was really a gradual process.  In some ways I miss the closeness and convience, but we have found new ways to snuggle. 

0 likes

Vincent often falls asleep while he's nursing.  :-\ I know it's a bad habit, but sometimes it's the only thing that works.  He's only 6 months though...I still have time to work on it before I wean him.  It's funny how much my attitude towards breastfeeding has changed.  I had such a hard time getting him to breastfeed at the beginning, but I was stubborn enough to get it to work (partly because I knew it was the best thing for him, partly because it's the most convenient (and cheapest!) option for me).  But I was so frustrated with the whole process that I was counting down the days until he was a year old and I could stop.  But now it's a lot easier and I love the cuddle time, and I'd be happy to continue for more than a year...although I don't know if I'd make it all the way to 2 years.  We'll see.

DH and I have been discussing when we should have another baby (I only want one more, and I want them to be fairly close together), and I think it would be weird to breastfeed someone else.  Even though the "someone else" would be my baby too...I'm so used to Vincent that the thought of looking down and seeing a different baby is just weird.  But I'm sure once it actually happens it won't be weird at all.  ::)

0 likes

yeah, don't worry about the falling asleep thing. that is one of the many nice things about breast feeding! Not a bad habit at all. when i was at that stage, i thought I would always have to do it, but my 2 year old now falls asleep on his own after a quick feed before bed.
:)

0 likes

My baby has started biting.  Any tips?

He's almost 10 months old, and has 6 teeth already.  The only times he's bitten before were when he was about to get a tooth, so I didn't think much of it this time and continued breastfeeding as usual.  But it's been over 2 weeks, I can't find any evidence of new teeth, and he's still doing it.  Not really biting as in a single chomp, but sort of chewing while he sucks.  It was uncomfortable at first, but since it's been doing it for so long it's really painful.  My nipples are bruised and the skin is raw.  I've tried telling him "no" and taking him off, and I try to make sure he gets a good latch, but he always starts chewing again really soon after he latches on.

For the record, I'm still pretty sure he's teething.  He's has a lot of other signs as well.  The teeth are just taking forever to show up and I can't handle the nipple chewing any longer.

0 likes

My best friend had a similar problem.  She would take her daughter off as soon as she bit, gave her a firm "NO BITING" and then ended the feeding session.  After a few rounds baby Kate got the idea that dinner was over if she bit and she stopped.

He also needs a lot of teething soothers right now.  Cold washclothes, even semi frozen ones were our magic item, they sooth and and slightly numb the area that is tender.  When you cut a tooth it actually feels good to the baby to bit on things.

0 likes

Any advice on surviving growth spurts?  DD had her first one last week (around days 10-14) and then things calmed down for the weekend.  Last night around 3 a.m. she started again and has been nursing roughly every 30 minutes (aside from a 3 hour nap with Daddy this evening) since then.  According to the pediatrician, this is normal, but I'm not sleeping and can't even take 10 minutes to eat.  Also, it doesn't seem like my milk even has a chance to 'refill' before she's ready to eat again.  I haven't had any problems with latch, blockage, or supply. 

0 likes

Sounds like a hungry girl hehe The more she nurses, the more milk you make so I wouldn't worry too much about supply. Are you having a "let down" each time she nurses? That way you know she's getting the heartier, more calorie and fat rich milk as opposed to just getting the foremilk. My daughter also went through spurts like that, there wasn't much I could do but grin and bear it, as they say!

0 likes

MDV, this too shall pass. Do you ever try lying down on your side and have her nurse that way? I always fell asleep like that, so rarely missed a wink!

I weaned in October, and I STILL have milk. WTF. So much for if you miss a few days you will dry up! I am not leaking or anything, but I can feel it, and I can squeeze some out in the shower. Is this normal? Seriously. It has been 5 months with NO BFing at all. He hasn't even asked once.

0 likes

I haven't weaned, so I don't know about me personally, but I have a good friend whose son weaned 2 years ago, and she still has milk leak out in the shower. She asked her doctor about it, and he said it was fine - that she could probably be one of those who could easily relactate if needed.

And MDV, I know it's not what you are looking for, but I agree with L2A. It's just one of those "this too shall pass" moments of your life. I felt like the entire first 6 months was one of those moments. I still can't nurse lying down....never really figured it out.

0 likes

MDV, this too shall pass. Do you ever try lying down on your side and have her nurse that way? I always fell asleep like that, so rarely missed a wink!

I weaned in October, and I STILL have milk. WTF. So much for if you miss a few days you will dry up! I am not leaking or anything, but I can feel it, and I can squeeze some out in the shower. Is this normal? Seriously. It has been 5 months with NO BFing at all. He hasn't even asked once.

I had milk for years after I weaned my youngest.  My doctor said I could have been a wet nurse!  If anyone decides to start a breast milk ice cream business in your area you will be able to make some extra money.  ::)

0 likes

Thanks for the feedback & support, ladies!

0 likes

My fucking nipples are sore.  Especially the right one.  He is latching ok.  I've always had pretty sensitive nipples.  What the fuck do I do because I'm about to give up.  My boobs in general started hurting yesterday.  Engorgement??

How long should he be at the breast?  Do I need to offer both at each feeding?  He rangers anywhere from 5-20mins on.  And he has started wanting the breast every 90mins because he's only feeding for like 5-8mins.

Ugh!!!  I am starting to lose my mind.  Someone please help me.

0 likes

My fucking nipples are sore.  Especially the right one.  He is latching ok.  I've always had pretty sensitive nipples.  What the fuck do I do because I'm about to give up.  My boobs in general started hurting yesterday.  Engorgement??

How long should he be at the breast?  Do I need to offer both at each feeding?  He rangers anywhere from 5-20mins on.  And he has started wanting the breast every 90mins because he's only feeding for like 5-8mins.

Ugh!!!  I am starting to lose my mind.  Someone please help me.

First of all, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  The first few weeks are hell, pure hell.  I don't care what anyone says, it is damn hard work.  You are doing awesome for giving breastfeeding a try.  I've only been BFing for 10 weeks, so I am by no means an expert, but I know what it's like to sit around and wait for someone knowledgeable to answer your questions, so here is my best attempt. 

1) When you say that your nipples are sore, are they just tender or are they cracked and bleeding?  Even if it looks like an okay latch, any sign of bleeding is a sign that something is amiss.  Try switching to a different hold if there are specific areas that are sore.  (Particularly if you are only using the cradle hold - try football hold or side-lying.)  If you are able to express any milk, apply that to your nipples and let them air dry, if possible.  I personally HATED the nipple creams, it seemed like it made things worse.  I remember the first week, literally biting my tongue for the first few minutes she sucked.  If fucking hurt - like FOR REAL. 

2) For engorgement, taking a warm shower and using hot compresses really helped.  Based on your little man's age, I'm guessing that your milk is just starting to come in, right?  When mine came in, I jumped from barely a B-cup to busting out of a D-cup nursing bra.  (I'm back to a B now, :P)  Although you have to be really careful, cabbage works wonders when the pain gets really bad.  You don't want to leave the leaves on for more than a few hours though because it can make your milk dry up!  To use the cabbage, just shove a de-veined leaf in each bra cup until they wilt (the leaves, not your boobs). 

3) The length of time he eats will vary pretty drastically the first few weeks.  DD eats for about 30 mins on one side.  I have a good milk supply, so I don't switch between breasts.  I know that MOST women do switch and burp in between, and lots of babies don't eat for quite that long.  Maybe try 15 mins (I know it feels like forever when you're hurting <3) on the first side, burp, then let him eat until he unlatches on the second side.  Although it's tempting, don't avoid feeding on the sore nipple, or it can screw with your supply. 

4) Um, 90 mins from beginning to beginning is pretty fricken good for a newborn!  DD usually goes 2-3 hours during the day and 4-6 hours at night, 30 mins per feeding.  Also, sometime between Day 10 - 14ish, he will hit his first growth spurt.  During this time, he might want to eat as often as every hour, as much as 30 mins of that hour.  You will want to scream, binge drink, and pull out your hair, and then it will pass.  (The first one lasted 5 days for us, the next spurt lasted 3 days, and the one we just finished lasted 48 hours.)  My advice is to have lots of snacks and drinks at the ready as well as some movies, books, whatever, so you don't get bored sitting around.  I literally almost quit during the first one.  I actually went out and bought a can of formula (that I returned a few weeks later, LOL) because I couldn't take much more. 

5) Also, your breasts will stop feeling hard and full pretty soon, particularly if he's eating regularly.  This is NOT an indication of a low milk supply.

If you haven't already done so, check out kellymom.com for some really good advice.  Is there a La Leche League nearby? 

DD and I send you lots of happy good vibes and love!

0 likes

First of all, congrats on the baby!!!

All of mdv's advice sounds good.  It really does hurt at first...I think I had sore nipples for the first 4 weeks or so (although he wasn't latching correctly for a lot of that time).  Just stick with it for a while and it will get better.  I always had really sensitive nipples too, but they desensitize after breastfeeding for a while.

If your boobs are engorged, it's probably your milk supply coming in a bit too strong.  Your boobs will take a a little while to figure out how much milk to make (depending on how much your baby eats).  DON'T express milk to relieve the pressure...it'll just make you make more milk.  It'll taper off naturally soon.  I don't know what kind of nursing bra you're using, but I found the sports bra kind that you pull to one side to be the most comfortable, since it stretches and shrinks to fit your boobs (I would go from a B cup to a D+ cup several times a day).

From what I've heard, there is a lot of variation with how long it takes newborns to feed.  Vincent took FOREVER at the beginning...like 40mins each side.  Other babies only take 5-10mins.  I always offered both sides at each feed, and let him nurse until he came off on his own, but I was probably being overly paranoid since we had such a hard time getting him to nurse in the first place.  It's fine to offer just one side at a time...I just didn't want lopsided boobs. :) If your baby is gaining weight, seems alert when he's awake, and his coloring is ok (not pale or jaundiced...although a little jaundice is normal for newborns, but it should be fading), then he's probably getting enough milk.

Try to stick with it for a little while longer.  It will get easier...and once you're comfortable with it, it's a lot more convenient than having to mix up formula and wash/sterilize bottles all the time.

Good luck!

0 likes

First of all, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  The first few weeks are hell, pure hell.  I don't care what anyone says, it is damn hard work. 

1) When you say that your nipples are sore, are they just tender or are they cracked and bleeding?  If you are able to express any milk, apply that to your nipples and let them air dry, if possible.  I remember the first week, literally biting my tongue for the first few minutes she sucked.  If fucking hurt - like FOR REAL. 

2) For engorgement, taking a warm shower and using hot compresses really helped.  Based on your little man's age, I'm guessing that your milk is just starting to come in, right? 

3) The length of time he eats will vary pretty drastically the first few weeks.  DD eats for about 30 mins on one side.  I have a good milk supply, so I don't switch between breasts.  I know that MOST women do switch and burp in between, and lots of babies don't eat for quite that long.  Maybe try 15 mins (I know it feels like forever when you're hurting <3) on the first side, burp, then let him eat until he unlatches on the second side.  Although it's tempting, don't avoid feeding on the sore nipple, or it can screw with your supply. 

4) Um, 90 mins from beginning to beginning is pretty fricken good for a newborn!  You will want to scream, binge drink, and pull out your hair, and then it will pass.  My advice is to have lots of snacks and drinks at the ready as well as some movies, books, whatever, so you don't get bored sitting around.

5) Also, your breasts will stop feeling hard and full pretty soon, particularly if he's eating regularly.  This is NOT an indication of a low milk supply.

If you haven't already done so, check out kellymom.com for some really good advice.  Is there a La Leche League nearby? 

DD and I send you lots of happy good vibes and love!

Thanks.... this post helped me not think I was crazy.  I still feel like I'm losing my mind some times.  There is an LLL nearby and they have a meeting this Wed AM that I am going to (I've already spoken to one of the leaders).

My nipples are not bleeding or cracked.  I don't know if I'm paranoid or if what I am feeling just takes getting used to....

My milk came in and the engorgement pain went away (for the most part).  *sigh*  His eating patterns are changing from day to day and I'm just trying to keep up with what he wants when he wants it.

0 likes

First of all, congrats on the baby!!!

All of mdv's advice sounds good.  It really does hurt at first...I think I had sore nipples for the first 4 weeks or so (although he wasn't latching correctly for a lot of that time).  Just stick with it for a while and it will get better.  I always had really sensitive nipples too, but they desensitize after breastfeeding for a while.

If your boobs are engorged, it's probably your milk supply coming in a bit too strong.  Your boobs will take a a little while to figure out how much milk to make (depending on how much your baby eats).  DON'T express milk to relieve the pressure...it'll just make you make more milk.  It'll taper off naturally soon.  I don't know what kind of nursing bra you're using, but I found the sports bra kind that you pull to one side to be the most comfortable, since it stretches and shrinks to fit your boobs (I would go from a B cup to a D+ cup several times a day).

From what I've heard, there is a lot of variation with how long it takes newborns to feed.  Vincent took FOREVER at the beginning...like 40mins each side.  Other babies only take 5-10mins. If your baby is gaining weight, seems alert when he's awake, and his coloring is ok (not pale or jaundiced...although a little jaundice is normal for newborns, but it should be fading), then he's probably getting enough milk.

Try to stick with it for a little while longer.  It will get easier...and once you're comfortable with it, it's a lot more convenient than having to mix up formula and wash/sterilize bottles all the time.

Good luck!

Thank you.  I am still trying.  Gavin's feedings range anywhere from 5mins per side to like 25mins..... it just depends on the time of day (and the day for that matter).  He doesn't look jaundiced at all to me.  He has another appt tomorrow afternoon, so we'll see what is happening with his weight then.  From his birth on Monday to Friday he was down a total of 9oz (and they said if he went down 12oz then they'd worry).

I just want my nipples to stop hurting now.  My boob size doesn't seem to range that excessively (probably D to DD or something...).

0 likes

Nipple pain for the first 6 weeks might be the most pain I was ever in during my entire life!
What I did for the first 20 seconds of the latch was close my eyes or bite down on something and count to 20 and take deep breaths. After 20 seconds or so the pain sort of numbed and it was fine.
I know, it totally sucks right now. Don't give up! Pretty soon it will be so easy and you will be SO glad you didn't give up. Your nipples will become totally numb and you won't be able to feel him latch at all. And yes, this will go away when you are done BFing.
Light skinned people tend to have more pain than dark....at least that is what I have heard. Mine were blistered and sore (even with a good latch), but I got over it. You will too!

0 likes

OMG L2A!  I think I would have given up if I were you.

So, I made it to a lactation class where I delivered yesterday and got some much needed help.  I'm finally latching him on correctly and there is only slight discomfort from my nipples already being bruised.  They should heal soon though.

I did go out and get a minor duty pump because all I need it for is for 4 months for the occasional nighttime (or outing) feedings given by Evan while I'm away or sleeping.

0 likes

Pages

Log in or register to post comments