Breastfeeding advice

  • What do you wish someone had told you about breastfeeding before you began? Let’s give tips and advice on here to help new moms who are getting ready to feed their babies and want to know what to expect! --Julie, StrongMoms Facilitator

  • I did a lot of looking into breastfeeding before my daughter was born so i kind of knew what to expect. But the best advice i can give is to go into it with an open mind and know that sometimes it takes some practice to get the hang of it for both moms and babies. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. and last but not least know that sometimes it just doesn't work out for one reason or another and that doesn't make you a bad mom or less of a woman. It is ok to supplement or formula feed all together if it just isn't working. 

  • Well said Brinny... I believe in nursing, I have great respect for women who nurse and especially my wife... it's not easy to raise children, work full-time and dedicate much of your time to nursing/pumping. As I have often said on the boards that I like it when mothers choose to nurse because it is what they genuinely wish for their babies, not because they feel pressure from the outside world. Sometimes that pressure causes women to feel like failures if they cannot nurse for some reason. Great posts ladies!

  • This is my first child and I have just started my second trimester of pregnancy and I have been researching breast feeding since I found out I was pregnant. I have found a lot of useful information but I just have some info I would like to clear up a bit. I read on one site that the baby should take about 15 minutes at each breast depending on if they are eating steadily. I just want to know if at each feeding whether the baby will eat from each breast or if you should alternate from left at one feeding to the right the next time? The page didn't specify and I just want to get as much info as possible before the baby comes.

  • You can do it both ways.. Although it's best to offer both breasts at each feeding for a couple of reasons. the first being is it helps your milk supply come in evenly (although this doesn't always happen regardless of what you try), it also helps the baby to adjust to feeding off of each side, 

    if you decide to alternate each breast at each feeding then that's perfectly ok... doing this is good when it seems that you're not making a lot of milk. it gives a bit more time for milk production for each breast. it also gives a bit more time for healing between each feeding. 

    There are a couple of other good things about each, but my fiance is talking in my ear as i type so i can't think straight right now... just know that what ever you choose to do is ok.

  • My advice-

    You may find breastfeeding harder than anticipated.  This is NORMAL!  It looks so easy, and for many people it is, but if your struggling that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you or your baby, it means that a bit more work and maybe some help is in order.

    Use the knowledge and skills of the nurses at the hospital.  Ask questions! Ask for help!

    Ask to see a lactation specialist, they are awesome nurses who can help both you and baby.

    If you get home and it's not going well call your pediatrician and ask for a lactation consult referral.

    My last advice-stick with it.  It can work out.  :)

    -Jess

  • MCler13- The rule of thumb is actually to let a baby eat as long as he/she will eat from one side. Don't switch them based on the time on the clock. Let the baby tell you he/she is done by releasing the latch and coming off the breast or falling asleep after a feeding. Then you can burp the baby and offer the other side if he/she is interested. Many times a baby will only eat from one side. Start with the other breast at the next feeding. You'll do great!! Let us know if you have any other questions! :-) 

  • I think you have taken the all important first step and that is to seek advice from as many experienced mothers as possible. There should also be a nursing expert available for you to access at the hospital when you deliver. The advice above is great and there is a wealth of information and expertise at your fingertips here at Strong Moms... good luck!