Breastfeeding: what do you wish you’d known?

Hi everyone, 

We know there are so many new mums out there looking for advice about breast feeding, we thought who better to ask than those of you who are doing it!

Please do come and tell us here, what do you wish you’d known about breastfeeding? It can be any useful tidbit you like, we would love to hear it.

Tell us what you’d wish you’d known about breastfeeding, by posting a reply to this thread, just below. 

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Posts

  • I'm only 10 weeks into breastfeeding but here are two things I wish I'd known:

    Not everyone leaks copiously. I'd stockpiled breast pads on the advice of friends. After using them for 2 days, I realised I didn't really need them! I seem to be one of the lucky ones and, despite having plenty of milk, I just don't seem to leak. Next time I would buy a pack or two just in case, but wait and see before buying large quantities.

    Nursing tops aren't particularly necessary. The shops didn't offer up very varied or attractive (at least not to my tastes) options but I bought a few anyway, figuring I would just have to cope with wearing dull clothing for the next six months or so. I soon realised that a thin strappy top under a normal top did pretty much the same job and am now back in my usual wardrobe (albeit the larger end as I have yet to lose my last few pounds of baby weight!).

  • Growth spurts mean that you are basically tied to the sofa for a few days. They tend to happen at 3 weeks, 6 weeks and 12 weeks. I wish I'd known about them beforehand! I thought my supply was dwindling, when in fact it was nature's way of boosting it for my growing baby. 

    Ask for help. It's not easy, but there are some wonderful services about. 

    Don't think that nipple shields are a cop out. You won't need them forever, but they can be the difference between breastfeeding and giving up. 

    It is hard to start with but once it is established it's marvellous for both you and your baby. 

  • MrsO1, completely agree re the growth spurts! My daughter is 10 weeks so I wasn't really expecting a growth spurt right now. But then I realised it's most likely the 12 week one as she was born 2 weeks late. So the past few days have been feed feed feed, with her getting frustrated and fussy when the milk starts to slow down on one side. Night-time feeding marathons have really made me appreciate my Netflix subscription...

  • Good to see you here Sugarandspice85, I would say I am opposit, I thot I would not leak and didn't get a lot of breastfeeding pads, I was wrong! I ran through 2 boxes very quickly as I was using 3-4 per breast per day...it was hectic...i am currently thinking of ordering some more now, any ideas about where I can get a discount on breastfeeding pads??

    i also agree with the initial worries of growth spurt, I thought my supply was reducing and I started to worry as he seems to want to breastfeed at all times *whew

    we kinda have a routine at night now since LO was 3-4 weeks. He wakes up for 2feeds himself  after midnight and takes a long nap afterwards till about 9am which is great. He doesn't fuss after eating and goes straight back to sleep, he's only 5weeks. 

  • Keep going SugarandSpice85... it'll get easier!! 

  • Should also say.. take vitamin D supplements, no-one told me that.

  • Thanks MrsO1!

    Nice to "see" you again Sharyoh - if only I could give you my spare breast pads! What time does your LO fall asleep initially? We have been through phases with ours - for the first few weeks she was waking for a feed every 2 hours or so, then between 4 and 6 weeks (growth spurt I think) she clusterfed all night long from around midnight to 5 or 6am. Now she falls asleep around 1am so pretty late, but she usually stays asleep for 6 hours, sometimes 7. 

    The other item I didn't need as much of as I thought I might were maternity pads. I did suffer from primary postpartum haemorrhaging but after that my bleeding wasn't bad at all. I also had a skin allergy to my maternity pads so didn't use them even when I was bleeding (I just used normal sanitary towels instead). 

  • It is bloody hard and you do doubt yourself and supply so much. I don't think there is half as much awareness as there should be. I went to a breastfeeding talk with a support worker when pregnant but they do put a rosey glow on it all. I've seen so many friends fail at breastfeeding because they just think it's just pop baby on the breast, and after a week think baby isn't getting enough. Also if they do give up and move to formula the mum guilt is real. But that shouldn't be either! 

    I watched lots of YouTube videos on latching and reasearched about cluster feeding And different feeding positions. I said to myself that the first 3 weeks would be just baby feeding and take it literally one day at a time. I also have a dummy which is usually a big no no but saved my sanity.  I loved breastfeeding and managed 6 months, I gave up as my son was cmpa, dairy allergy and I had to give up dairy in my diet which was hard but my son wasn't putting in weight and refused a bottle at time of bf. 6 months he went into weaning and soya milk. X

  • Minimal blood loss for me during delivery, I was told to get loads of sanitary pads, didn't need the huge ones cos the birth centre I had him supplied us with it while we were there and but the next day it was like "light period" wore normal ultra pads. By day 6 I was only using pantyliner. 

    Sugarandspice85 he initially sleeps between 9-10pm till 1-2am, he only cluster fed during the day when he had his last growth spurt. He sleeps immediately after his feeds at night

  • Thank you to everyone who has posted here - these are all really brilliant insights. 

  • Interesting to see a lot of your comments Sugar :-)

    I wish I had appreciated the fact that my baby would be feeding non-stop for the first 48h of her life before my milk came in. I knew my milk would come in on about day three but I hadn't realised that until then she would literally want to be sucking continuously until she fell asleep for a short while, the second I moved she would wake back up and need to continue. It worked though as she gave herself a really good milk supply :-)

    also, I wish I had realised that BFing in the first few weeks is literally a full time job, on top of all the other bits of looking after a baby, and that I shouldn't expect myself to do anything other than look after her, not even make a cup of tea...

    I have reusable breast pads which are lovely and soft, bamboo I think. I don't leak that much so they have been fine and I just need one pair each day. 

    We are fifteen weeks into our journey now and I have definitely got to the stage where I am able to enjoy everything about my baby, including BFing, and am just making the most of all the cuddles before I have to think about going back to work. 

    Oh and I still dont know how people manage to BF if they aren't co-sleeping, I think I would have given up ages ago 😳

  • I wish I'd known how useful an electric breast pump would be when I had my first child! When I had my second I bought one, and found it really helpful in increasing my milk supply and meant my baby was having at least some breast milk every day until she was 6 months old!

  • an extended breastfeeding mom here(14 months) honestly my little ones obsession with my boobs! It's rather embarrassing and my little one will get his hands into my shirt when he wants his yum yum. 

    For me falling into the co sleeping trap was one I did not expect but have landed myself in . Currently trying to figure out night weaning and getting him to drink more cows milk. 

    For anyone breastfeeding long term try and get your little one to drink a sufficient amount of cows milk before weaning 

  • Hi everyone, thank you so much for your posts - they are so helpful and a brilliant insight for those about to embark on breastfeeding. 

    We wondered if any of you might be able to help a new member with her breastfeeding query - she's currently pumping and feeding and needs some help - her thread is over here if you might be able to help. Thank you!

    Please keep posting on this thread too: we'd love to have some more breastfeeding advice from those of you who've been there and got the (sightly damp) T-shirt...

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