Monday, August 29, 2011

advice needed for first time breastfeeder!

Question from a Breastfed reader: 
Hi! I'm Sara. I'm a first time breast feeder.. I was so excited to breast feed my baby when he was born, but he was born a month early due to some breathing complications i couldn't breast feed right away like a wanted. I didn't even get to see him till 35 hours after he was born. So naturally they told me to pump till he was strong enough  to suck on my breast. Now he is 3 weeks 3 days old and strong. 

I am slowly starting to get him on breast but it seems now that he only eats for a while then screams and cries till i give in and give him the bottle but cause i don't have the pump any more he is now getting half BM and half formula. I feel so awful giving in and giving him formula but i don't know if i'm going about this right. My mom doesn't help much cause she was grossed out by breast feeding and didn't do so with me I am happy however cause of his 8 feedings a day 4 of them are on breast and the rest unfortunately are either half or full bottle... help please!! Also my nips are sore is this due to un proper latch?? Or is it normal for them to be sore the more u breast feed?? 

Hi Sara! Congratulations on your healthy baby! I'm glad you found us. Hopefully I (and other readers out there) can be of some help.

My thoughts and advice to you:

1. Hang in there and don't give up! You should be proud of yourself for making it this far, especially with all the obstacles you have had in your path (unsupportive mother, preemie baby, lack of hospital-to-home breastfeeding help). Also be proud of yourself for seeking help and advice.

2. Find a lactation consultant. An LC can help you with all sorts of breastfeeding issues, especially proper latch. First, call your hospital and see if they have one. If not, call La Leche League's help-line and they should be able to help you find one in your area. LCs are such a huge help- read about my experience with my LC!

3. Talk to your insurance (call the number on the back of your card) and see if they can get you a breast pump. I got mine for free through my insurance! If not, call your hospital and see if they have any resources for financial help with pumps. Also, WIC gives out breast pumps, although I think they just do manual pumps. Still, a manual pump is better than nothing

4. Breastfeeding is hard. There will be periods of crying- it's not necessarily because baby is hungry. It might be other things (perhaps the formula is hurting his stomach?). Just hang in there, it will get better.

5.  Keep putting baby to the breast. Breastfeeding runs on supply and demand- the more baby eats, the bigger supply you will build.

6. Every mama experiences nipple pain. I've listed some of my ways of dealing with it here. Don't worry- it won't last forever!

Now I'll turn it over to the other mamas out there- any advice, thoughts or encouragement for Sara would be greatly appreciated!


  1. I very seriously second the lactation consultant. If your hospital doesn't have one, try other nearby hospitals. An LC can help fix almost any BF issue.

    As for the screaming while eating, try massaging the breast before latching, and when baby gets upset, to help stimulate let down. Your milk may not be flowing out fast enough so baby gets frustrated. This happens to everyone at one point or another. When it does happen, try to relax. If you can, try laid-back BF. You get comfy in bed, laid back at an angle, topless and put baby on your chest skin to skin.

    Hope this helps. You're doing awesome, keep it up!

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