Just wanted to share something that I wish I had known from the start with breast feeding, hope it helps someone.
Although I have never been very bothered about breast feeding in front of people because I was confident that they couldnt see my breast etc, the one thing I hated is the fact that when I was feeding my son I would have to have my tummy on show, even if I covered it with a blanket etc I always felt self conscious that people would see my stretch marks etc. A couple of weeks ago I was wearing a vest top that was a little more low cut than normal so I stuck a thin vest underneath the pretty one. I realised when I was about to breast feed that the lower vest would drop under my breast therefore allowing me to keep my tummy covered and not have my whole breast on show, which is why I lift my top up and dont pull it down, also with nicer tops you quickly damage them by pulling them down.
I now always wear a vest underneath whatever I am wearing to cover my stomach and I feel so much happier whether I am out and about or sat at home.
Thank you for the tip
How did you find peoples reactions to breastfeeding? I still have 9 weeks until my baby is born and yet almost everyone I talk to seems to have bottlefed, either because they didn't want to be stared at or they just found the whole idea tiresome, even icky. One friend even said "eugh, don't do it in front of me"
I am really looking forward to breastfeeding though, i haven't let my friends put me off.
I just wanted to echo the wearing vest tops under your boobs - all the mums at my baby group who are BF do it, Primark do vests for £1 in a variety of colours that wash really well. My son's 1 next week and just this week I've stopped feeding him (am on day three - bit engorged but coping ok) so am putting away those vests for when I have my next baby - there's absolutely no need to spend money on 'breast-feeding tops' (they're sooo expensive!). I BF exclusively until I started weaning at 6months and I never wore purpose-made BF tops, just made sure they were loose enough on the bottom to lift up to feed and had a vest underneath to keep my tum warm. Even with JJcup boobs I never had a problem with feeding discretely in this manner, and have never had an issue BF in public. It's true that this country in backwards and most women bottlefeed but if they have a problem with BF that's their issue not yours.
In my experience most women who seem to have an issue with BF are the ones that bottlefed and feel guilty for having done so (though they would rather die than admit it). I personally found BF really hard for the first 8 weeks but am glad I persevered - my son had a temperature for the first time ever yesterday because up to now he's been protected by the extra antibodies in breastmilk whereas many formula fed babies will have been poorly several times by this age.
Good luck with the birth - it's the most amazing experience! And good luck with breastfeeding, if you do decide to stick with it I guarantee you won't regret it. I would reccommend getting some Lansinoh nipple cream (you can get it on prescription) to help in the early days of feeding, and expressing so that someone else can feed and give you a break (I started at 3 weeks and expressed two feeds a day til my son was 5 months) - it definitely helped when I was struggling at about 6 weeks.
Curlydiamond, I just want to say how refreshing it is to have someone agree that BF'ing can be a struggle. Not many do. I too solely BF'd for the first 12 weeks, struggling with PND and BF'ing from about 6 weeks. I too began expressing to take some of the pressure of me and it eased a bit. Unfortunately I was almost forced to stop when a sequence of 2 post uterine infections meant I had to take quite vile tablets, that consequently made my milk taste funny. My son never really fed as well from that point. I was mortified having struggled through that 6 week period. I am determined to make another go of it with this baby too and hopefully go longer than 12 weeks.
Cheers R xx
Hi Tee (and others)
I really struggled with bf at the start and thought about quitting a lot at the start, my baby has a small mouth and couldnt latch on well but I perservered and we worked through it and now I wouldnt want to have done anything else!
I have never had any comments about bf in public because I always take care to protect myself from peoples stares etc. At first my husband used to sit so that he blocked me from view but I soon found that you can do it without people seeing anyway. I get comfy, lift up my top so that the vest top is on view and then lay a blanket/muslin over my shoulder, I bring my son into position and then undo my bra and put him on the boob. This gets a lot easier as they get a big bigger because they can find their position themselves.
In terms of peoples reactions I found some people were embarrassed about me feeding but I didnt let them bother me because you and your baby are the most important. My husband always wanted me to go upstairs to feed when we had family round but I refused because if people care about you then they should want you to feed your baby, they soon got used to it (even my fil who was the most bothered!). I am always discreet anyway and wouldnt want to show anyone my boobs. If people are bothered then ask them to turn away while you get baby latched on and then put a blanket over your shoulder and then the babys head and shoulders and this hides EVERYTHING.
Best wishes to everyone for bf, it is a truly rewarding and bonding experience. It is better for baby and you and as a major plus I attribute bf to losing all my baby weight by the time that he was 5mths old! (and I eat like a piggy so cant be anything else!)
If I can offer some final advice it would be that cheap vests are ideal because breastmilk can stain things, however if you can spend a little more on your nursing bras I recommend the Miriam Stoppard nurture bras from Debenhams (£28 for 2), they are the best ones I have found, comfy and pretty and very good for bf, especially when you are out and about. For at home the Tescos bras are fine (£5) but I couldnt wear them out as they are full drop cups and I felt too exposed! I also recommend the Tommee Tippee breast pads.
Good Luck to Tee and Karen with your babies, here's to a safe labour and beautiful, healthy and happy babies xxxxxxx
Rachel, I agree! Before I had my son I thought that bf was easy!! It isnt, it takes time to get it right but it is worth it for every feed you can give your baby the health benefits are massive!! Congrats on going as far as you did when you were unwell too and good luck for this time.
I used Tommee Tippee breast pads too, I found them so much easier. I have already bought some for this PG. THey are half price in boots at the mo I usually grab them in tesco's when they are half price too.
I'm glad I breast feed. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I know there are reasons why people don't and I understand that, but for me, it was all part of pregnancy and motherhood. It was also nice to know that my mother tried and failed iwth both me and my brother, I was BF for 3 weeks and my brother less. It made the difficult times more real and slightly easier to handle. I was motified when I had to stop, it was like a peace of me no longer existed. I am hoping that the PND doesn't hit as hard this time and I will be stronger. We live and learn!
I too fed in public for those first weeks without concerns. I was stared at a couple of times. It did come a shock just how many places have NO facilities for BF'ing even though they say they are baby friendly!! But like you said finding places and positions get easier as time goes on. I once had to rest my son on a blanket in rugby ball position to get him to latch. Only place I could find was in the ladies toilets resting him on an turned off radiator. I got some looks that time!! The things you do!! I don't regret it for the world. I have a healthy son who now has no idea he was ever breast fed!!!
Good luck all.
thanks for the tip. it is something that i have done but never conciously so will def try wearing a vest every time i go out.
my dd is now 9 months and i am so so proud of myself for managing to b/f for all this time. i am in the same boat as all of you who had problems with breastfeeding. i had a terrible time of it. i had the usual sore nipples and full boobs, but i had mastitus 5 times and nipple infections, thrush of the nipple and at one point i was so blocked and engorged i had sour milk coming out which made chloe so very poorly. i was lucky in the sense that i had b/f my other dd for 9 months so was prepared for the hard times but this was a terible time for me. and if she had been my first i possible would have given up. my view is you have to be 100% ready and prepared for hard times ahead if you want to bf well. because those first few weeks its so so tough. and there are so many other issue in those first weeks like weight gain, sleeping, crying wind etc that its easy to immediatly blame it on the b/f and worry about it. it is so tough but ebven when i was woken at stupid o clock in the morning, the satisfaction of knowing my baby was getting all those nutrients and antibodies that just arn't as present in formular got me through.
not to mention that it was greatly reducing my risk of so many female cancers and other health issues.
i am not against formula feeding and have given chloe top up feeds and supplimented feeds. i have now introduced a bottle in her lunch feed as i have returned to work now. but i am a great believer that breast is best. its great for bonding and gret to help releive stress. harder with other children in the house but a great bit of alone time when there are other chlidren demanding time!
as for feeding in public i think i worry more about what people might think. being big busted i wonder if people think i am being an exhibitionist! even tho most people wouldn't even notice i was doing it! silly really. but when i give her a bottle in public i also feel i ahev all eyes on me and i feel very guilty. i tend to say loudly "oh honey, sorry mummy isn't feeding. this milk isn't like mummies milk is it" or similar!just so people know imi do still feed. lolnowerdays most people dont give a monkeys how you feed anyway.
i still have a few probs with feeding from time to time. she is unfortunatly still on a nipple shield. i used one when i was having lots of problems also to try and reduce my milk as i had so much, and she still will not feed of my bear breast!! she pulls her head away even when i offer lol! but i will continue to do it. i want to do it until she is 1 and then will look at what other options i have. i would be interested to hear otheres points of view on when a good time to stop will be? in my head i know at 1 i should but i am being pulled by my heart that just loves it! XXX
Hi girls I BF my LO exclusivley for 3 months and then with bottle and breat till she was 5months when she started having solids and not interested in feeding from me anymore and I BF in public plenty of times Starbucks sofa is a good place!!
the vest ides really works I had a spring baby so all through the summer I was in vests of every type colour and pattern, my draws are bulging I really must get on to sorting them soon!, Primark also do long and 3/4 sleeve lengths in a similar fabric for £2 £3 each they are good now the weather is turning a bit, I started off with those in march. Not tried nursing vests before but will have a look when number 2 comes round!!
I was so lucky to not have any cracked, sore etc etc of the nipples and I put this down to prevention rather than cure, from my Due date I applied kamilosan nipple cream at night and then after every feed when Freya arrived, it is amazing stuff and doesn't have to be cleaned off to feed, the smell of it takes me back to those early days!!
its cheaper than most creams and can be used for nappy rash too! I know its kind of off topis but for all expecting mums get your nipples ready like every thing else you are preparing for baby they are going to be working hard!
BF as everyone knows is best for baby and every day for BF is a bonus for you LO's its such an itimate time between you and baby, if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable that is their issue not yours saying that you need to be relaxed so BF in public isn't for everyone
I totally agree with Annie you cannot BF alone you will need support from daddy! my DH was worried about not feeling involved but he would sit and rub my shoulders while I fed and get me a drink cushions etc and when we were out he'd feel all primal finding his family somewhere safe and warm to feed!!( silly boys!)
any who enjoy every precious moment it is all over too quick and imagine when you feed you are on an island, just you and baby having a lovely quiet milky cuddle!! absolute bliss! (not at 3 in the morning but nothings perfect!! lol))
love vicky and freya xxx
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