I just want to add three things:
1. How much you pump has no relation to how much your baby can get out. Babies trigger your let down reflex, pumping is hard work by comparison and less efficient. Pumps don't trigger your let down reflex because you're not in love with the pump and don't have the same hormonal response to it.
2. It WILL change. In probably only a few weeks, baby will start to get much more efficient. About six-eight weeks your baby will really seem to wake up, start smiling at you and interacting with you. They'll be awake longer and become more efficient at feeding so they will feed for less time to get full. Your nipples will desensitise and you can really start to enjoy it.
3. I miss cluster feeding. DS1 now only takes 8 minutes at the most for a feed (he's five months) whereas in those first few weeks he was on the boob pretty much all the time. Now he's a bundle of energy and I wish he would do those long sleepy feeds so we could just sit and relax and cuddle. As above, it will change.
Good luck. You may want to consider visiting a local breastfeeding clinic. Ask your Early Childhood Nurse for info.
Ok four things: @turquoisecoast there an interesting statistic that in developing countries the average age of weaning from breastfeeding is like 30+ months or something like that. By comparison, in western nations, most women have stopped by three months.
I think it's really sad and I think it's probably the fact that our culture has moved so far away from seeing mothers feeding as being a natural part of society.
Imagine if everywhere you went you had a good chance of seeing women openly feeding. You'd get a real sense of how different women do it, what it looks like when babies are latching, and there would be support everywhere you went. You'd go into it knowing you could do it because everyone around you was doing it and that would help get you through the early weeks which are a bit intense and maybe a bit ouchy, to the really good bits where it's wonderful and you gaze at your feeding bubba wishing they wouldn't grow up.
For me, breastfeeding has been a real joy - the one thing that hasn't needed to be medicalised or mechanised and I treasure it. I don't begrudge anyone else's feeding choices but I do think support is essential to help women feel like they can breastfeed because our bodies are capable.
My advice would be try not to over think it, don't look for things that might be wrong, before you've even started - remember there is a tendency for forums to collect worst case stories - (there are many many women who haven't had any issues and hence don't make it on to online forums to share their stories), try to keep an open mind and trust your body. Breasts are amazing.
The best advice I got in regards to breastfeeding was from two separate friends across the world from each other, that around 6-8 weeks something would just click with DS and I and it would get easier. I gave myself permission to quit at 8 weeks if I still hated it, having an end point made it bearable, and then one day around 7 weeks it did all of the sudden get easier.
DS was also never a cluster feeder, I actually was always jealous of cluster feeds because they seem to sleep longer stretches since they 'tank up.' He also was always a fast feeder from day one, rarely took 20 mins for both breasts so when I read in books that I should do 20 mins on each side I used to stress that he must not be getting enough because he wasn't feeding as long as the books said he should. He was always super happy and chill, wet and dirty nappies and good weight gain so he was obviously feeding as much as he needed and the books were wrong. I was convinced he was waking when he 'shouldn't be anymore' because he wouldn't feed longer but there was no way I could get him to feed longer, he wasn't having it. Another instance where I should have ignored the noise.
Arm yourself with the number of a lactation consultant if you do have some issues and just follow your instincts with everything else and I promise you'll be fine. If you're birthing at Royal Women's there's a lactation consultant down the hall in the post-natal ward that you can walk down to and get help from during your stay there ☺️.
Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 23-10-2015 at 21:27.
It is true about the let down. My boobs leak whenever baby is hungry.
One always leaks while I feed on the other. DS might just be not latching it perfectly to get the full milk supply.
Does your bub have a posterior tongue tie? It's the most common reason for fussy babies. An LC or Paediatric dentist will be able to diagnose it correctly.
Bamboobies.com.au make the loveliest breast pads, but yourself some you deserve a present!
I thought I'd better say something a bit more practical after being a bit sanctimonious earlier.
@bbhope if I was in your shoes or if I was going through the early weeks again, here's what I'd do:
1. I'd pack away the pumps and bottles, at least for a few day. They sound like they are adding to your stress. We know that pumping isn't as productive as when babies nurse because babies are better at it so I think it's logical that to really bump up supply you need to find a way to cope with additional baby on boob time.
2. kick DH out of the bedroom. Dress in as warm pjs as you need to sleep without any blankets and lie in the middle of the bed. Get bubba on your boob while lying on your side. Experiment with pillows/no pillows until YOU are proper comfy.
3. Remember the golden rule of breastfeeding - if it's still hurting after they've switched from the "asking" suck (which elongates your nipple and gets your milk to let down) to the drinking such (longer and slower) then detach bubba by sticking a finger in their mouth to release suction remove your nipple and help them to relatch properly. Never just hang pin, it's not supposed to be constantly painful and you can help baby to learn to latch well. Most breastfeeding problems are latching problems (according to the class I took).
4. Your DHs job when you're lying down feeding is to bring you anything you need and keep an eye on you so you can close your eyes doing it and have a nap when you need to.
5. In between feeds, get DH to put bubba in the pram/carrier and leave the house for a walk while you sleep. You should be able to get some good rests doing this as long as they keep moving and get out of your earshot.
Sleeeep some more. Everything will seem more possible when you've had some sleep.
6. For me, lying down to feed and napping has been the best way to catch up on some rest and build up supply. Baby stays on the nipple, you expend minimal effort and get some rest.
7. Get a calendar and count down the days to 7 weeks. When you make it there, count them down to 12 weeks. You'll have such a different baby you won't believe the amount they change.
8. Sign up to the free trials of Netflix, Presto and Stan. I promise even though it seems like you'll be exhausted and feeding like this forever, it's actually not that far away where you'll instead be entertaining an energetic, interactive, noisy bubba who isn't at all interested in a quiet, calm relaxing long feed while you watch TV
9. If all else fails, try to just make it through on day at a time. I gave that advice to a friend and combined with some nipple shields that helped her, she made it through a few more hard days and things did really turn around for her.
10. If none of that works, then you did your best and that's all you can do
Dont mean to crash the party but saw tongue tie mention and thought I would share. My son had a tongue tie that my private Paediatrician failed to pick up. Its was detected at a 'sleep school' by a nurse at 5wks. He screamed alot through the day & turns out he had a tongue tie, he was hungry. Hence no sleep, and the sleep school. It broke naturally around 4mths old and has always had great speech. I did supplement the breastfeeding from 2wks old. Knew something was wrong. Go with your gut... Always!
Now I have to ask about tongue tie! Can the child health nurse check? We don't have any appt with paediatrician until 6w.
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