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thread: How to feed a brand new baby

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2010
    Sydney
    671

    How to feed a brand new baby

    I had a terrible experience with DD at the hospital. She was born amidst a baby boom and I had very little lactation support. She was born 5am and did skin to skin and wasn't interested in doing a breast crawl or feeding after birth. I had a friend visit at 3pm and asked how the latching was going and I said I hadn't tried to feed her, I felt so silly - I thought they would have told me. I spent so much of the lead up to her birth preparing for a calm birth I assumed breastfeeding would happen naturally. It didn't. She never latched properly, the hospital gave her formula the first night and that was that it seemed. I expressed and tried my hardest for around 8-9 weeks then there was nothing left. I don't want that this time. I want to be prepared, IF it doesn't work I'm ok, but I still want to try...
    So, this isn't a debate about breast v FF I just want to know;
    How do I feed in those first few hours / days
    What can I do to encourage a healthy BF scenario with my bub
    How can I increase my chances of him taking the breast in skin to skin
    Can I do anything now to boost my supply

    TIA


  2. #2
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Mar 2010
    1,200

    Sorry to hear you felt so unsupported last time you had a baby. No-one can prepare for the shock and all the new things you have to take in that first time. I would recommend seeing private lactation consultant before birth, I found this incredibly helpful before I had my first baby. She can show you different ways to latch and in's and outs of feeding. Some will even come to you that first few weeks after birth.

    When I have a baby I just feed feed feed that first 24hrs-48hrs or until the milk comes in. KNowing the best ways to put them on help you protect your nipples, the more they feed the quicker that milk will come in, so any time they open their mouths, forrige around or cry I feed them. Skin on skin is a brilliant way to get to know each other. Having support around you is very important. Quiet no talking while you are trying to get them on, people can bring you food and water each time you sit down to feed and lots of rest in between, that first few days is crucial for both of you to get to know each other and learn how to feed.


    Good luck with it all, all you can do is try your best, having a good support system in place before birth will be very useful.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Jan 2008
    Central Coast NSW
    2,160

    The ABA have a great preparation seminar which includes a years membership. Can you talk to your midwife/OB about what support is available post birth?

    I also agree with LadyBF, feed, feed, feed! Keep offering that boob! Have some lasinoh in case of sore nipples!

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2007
    Middle Victoria
    8,924

    after her initial feed, my first baby also went many hours until I offered again. I also felt silly, but though baby would have let me know if she was hungry. we were able to bf, so maybe there were other factors that made it harder for you two.

    have you checked your local library? I got the ABA book 'breastfeeding naturally', and read it many times before and after baby was born. it gave me a bit of confidence that things could come together.

    find out what services your hospital offers, mine had short breastfeeding classes for during pregnancy. knowing how to access the lactation consultant might be handy if you find it a bit tricky again this time.

    my 2nd was very different to my 1st, so this baby may be more willing to feed in the early days.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2009
    In my own little fantasy world
    2,946

    Hi Redgum! As you know, I had no trouble getting my two to feed. I had more trouble getting DD to stop! So my experience might not help if there are other issues. With DS, the midwife suggested I tried feeding him straight away (the placenta wasn't even out!) so that's what I did. Another midwife told me that babies feed EVERY TWO HOURS. For up to an hour at a time. So that's what I did. I nearly died when I first heard that but I did it anyway. Those first few weeks were pretty much non-stop feeding. Round the clock. After the first 3 weeks, it slowed down a bit, but there were still times when it felt like ther were attached for hours on end with only short breaks. Apparently that's quite normal too and is called cluster feeding. I'm no expert but it is my understanding (and it was true in my experience), that everytime a growth spurt was happening, feeding would increase. I would feel empty and think they were getting nothing. But this is what increases the supply. There are some tricks to getting bub to open their mouth wide enough to attach properly, if you can get a midwife or LC to assist early on it will help you. If the attachment isn't right, take bub off and try again or you could damage your nipples. Use lansinoh. Best stuff ever. You can do it! Good luck

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2008
    In a Nice Safe Space
    1,002

    Hi Redgum! Just had to jump in here and say congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm so happy for you!! xx

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2008
    Perth, WA
    2,315

    I know its a bit off topic, but when I had DS, I was told that it's totally normal for milk not to come in until day four or five and that most babies are quite happy/able to go that long, as long as you keep offering, offering offering...they'll get a bit of colostrum and that's all they need. No one mentioned formula at all to me....

    This is what I was told (at BFing classes, through ABA leaflets, and the hospital midwives and LC's)...
    Offer every three hours or whenever baby wakes
    Lots of skin to skin cuddles
    Don't wash nipples/breasts with soap and no perfume (and ask anyone else visiting not to wear perfume), but smother in Lansinoh! Air dry nipples.

    I also called a nurse in every time I was feeding, so they could help with/check attachment. I didn't care if they thought I was a PITA, I wanted to get this right!

  8. #8
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2012
    Melbourne , Victoria
    2,109

    Have you considered having a 1:1 session with a certified lactation consultant pre birth?
    I had a session with Leonie Maybury( in Melbourne) and it was invaluable in learning attachment technique and in documenting a clear plan for bf. Leonie also came and saw us when we got home and called daily for weeks to provide support and encouragement. She was always available to answer questions and was so positive and supportive.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    Hi Redgum! A few things to give you confidence-

    Not all newborns will do the natural crawling to the breast/naturally latching thing immediately. I put my DD straight on but she wasn't interested. Newborns have been on a hard journey too- some will want to feed/know how immediately but others are too sleepy. But the fact you did all the right things early on like skin to skin should give you confidence this time around.just keep trying with the skin to skin, if you can have the privacy just spend a while lying around with no top/bra and soon enough baby will try to feed.

    Not All babies feed a lot at the start either- as in feeding for more than 5 mins. Some will stay on for even less time at first. Again, they can be too sleepy, exhausted, still learning how to feed etc. My advice here is just pop baby on every time he/she stirs, cries, wakes up. If she falls asleep while latched on gently tickle the underside of the chin, change positions, change nappy to rouse her again.

    Milk can be slow to come in. Popping baby on the breast as often as possible will speed things up. If you feel pressured to use formula or if baby is slow to regain the 10% of birthweight (as was the case with my DD) offer to pump / express after feeds then top baby up with whatever you can express. You do not need to or have to top up with formula unless you want to. Most hospitals have electric pumps and a midwife can show you how best to use them. You can also hand express colostrum if no milk shows up yet. Again someone should help you and if they do not then insist

    Keeping in mind you may not express much for a while so don't feel disheartened by this if you do need to express in any way.

    Don't be afraid to try lots of feeding positions. You don't need to be holding baby in the standard cradle position if it feels uncomfortable for you. The skin to skin method (it has a name - I cannot remember, maybe one of the others will/have cited it so you can Google) is great for this as it is relaxed and instinctive and really about giving yourself and baby time to get to know each other and to learn!

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006
    11,633

    Hi redgum
    Sounds like you worked really hard to feed your baby; I'm sorry things didn't work out how you wanted.

    If you can get on to the ABA about a breastfeeding class, that would be a great start. Or just join and read the book you get. Also, don't be shy about calling the helpline - 1800 686-282 - the counsellors are there to help talk you through any questions you may have.

    Being with your baby, and offering the breast lots is a great start. Talk with your carers about what you want - if you want them to be exclusively breastfed, then make sure your carers know. If you have trouble talking with them at all, use another support person as your intermediary (like your partner, or sister, or whoever)

    Learning about how breastfeeding works and what is normal for babies is really, really helpful. This is why I recommend the ABA classes or membership. Most mums leave hospital with little to no idea how lactation actually works and also no idea what's normal for babies. If you know these things, you will be well on the way to meeting your goals.

    Few pointers.
    Babies feed 8-12 times on average. Many feed more frequently than this.
    In the first few days, before your milk comes in, you will expect 1 wet nappy per day of life (so, 1 on day 1, 2 on day 2 and so forth) and some poo, changing colour from black toward yellow as the milk comes in
    after your milk is in, you expect 4-5 heavy wet nappies (disposable) and 2-3 poos (soft, unformed) or more!
    Babies will have short awake times at first, but should have some period of being awake and happy during the day. If they sleep all the time, or are cranky all the time, these are indicators that something may not be right.

    Most of the time, if you feed your baby when they want to feed, everything works out.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Oct 2006
    In a house, on a hill with a big fat welcome mat!
    6,772

    Kick your visitors out!!!!
    I'm mad when I think about how many visitors I had. At the time I had no real understanding of what was happening.
    My milk didn't come in for 5 days I didn't know why... Now I know it's the fact that I had so many visitors I didnt have enough skin to skin time. I became scared of feeding because it hurt and she would be unsettled.
    I was too polite to kick people out even after they were asked not come visit! Be strong get naked and cuddle!!

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2010
    Sydney
    671

    Wow! Thank you to everyone for your supportive responses. I had a wonderful private LC last time, she has released a DVD I might order it online. This thread has been full of the most amazing and practical advice I feel much better right now I hope I have a really positive experience this time. Due to SPD inflamed I'm now on bed rest till the birth, so lots of time to look after myself and prepare for bubs arrival and prepare for successful breastfeeding!!
    Thanks again ladies.

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    I'm very excited for you. When is baby due?

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2010
    Sydney
    671

    Lady Love, I'm 34+1. Ob wants to induce me at 38 weeks due to SPD. So we will see... DH wants me to wait till 39 weeks. DD was born at 38+6.

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2009
    913

    Hugs Hun. Sounds like you didn't have an easy time of it.

    I hated lansinoh - much preferred the hydrogel breast discs (Coles and good chemists - ww don't stock them).

    Have you checked about the requirements of the hospital you're birthing at re formula? The 2 places I went to had to have my signed permission to give any formula. I couldn't see ds2 for about 5 hours after birth. Def not an ideal start, but he was in special care and the epi hadn't worn off so I was bed- bound. I passed some of the time by hand expressing those tiny drops of colostrum for them to finger feed him.

    I am passionately pro-breast feeding. HOWEVER... I look back on the horrible time I had (despite lots of support from healthcare professionals and aba) and I wonder if I should have gone to formula. I've had mastitis 14 times (4 for 1 and 10 for the other, including a trip to the hospital), I endured MONTHS of agony and I expressed full time for a year. It was a really traumatic experience. Not really ideal when you have little babies to look after and (hopefully) enjoy.

    So my gentle advice is to be kind to yourself and enjoy your little one. If breast feeding works, it works, but if it doesn't and YOU feel satisfied that you've tried everything you want to try to be able to fix it, it's ok to give up.

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2010
    Sydney
    671

    Re: How to feed a brand new baby

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who replied to this post, all the advice given has been so helpful. Although we are still a long ways from establishing good breastfeeding I am in a much better situation than last time, at least my little guy likes to be on the breast, we have been comping him as I don't have the supply (working on that). On day two he wouldn't take to the breast at all, but thanks to this thread I knew what to do (hours of skin to skin) meant i was able to turn things around. I also limited my visitors this time. So thank you ladies.

  17. #17
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2012
    Melbourne , Victoria
    2,109

    Re: How to feed a brand new baby

    Good on you Redgum for persisting. I took Motilium (8 a day) for 13 months to increase my supply. I also took fenugreek and I'm still taking it at 15 months.
    Both of these plus an unwavering determination means I'm still bf with diagnosed low supply.
    Good luck and keep us posted.

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2010
    Sydney
    671

    Re: How to feed a brand new baby

    Good on you Redgum for persisting. I took Motilium (8 a day) for 13 months to increase my supply. I also took fenugreek and I'm still taking it at 15 months.
    Both of these plus an unwavering determination means I'm still bf with diagnosed low supply.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Thanks Frangapani, I can't take motillium due to a pre existing heart condition, have been drinking welada tea & munching on lactation cookies. I have an apt tonight to see a paed surgeon re: tongue tie, they ultrasound the feed & if its affecting his suck they then cut the TT. Much better than just doing it I think.

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