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How difficult is breastfeeding, really?

11 answers
3 years ago
I am 26 weeks, and would like to breastfeed my daughter almost exclusively, with only some supplementing with the newborn formula, as I would prefer not pump. How hard is it, really, to breastfeed? I am planning to sign up for the breasfeeding class given by my local hospital prior to giving birth.

answers (11)

3 years ago
I think taking classes are a great idea. Really I won't lie it can be difficult. It does depend on your child as well. My first just did not get the hang of it and consistly latched on wrong. There's a lot of things to remember and work with at first but it comes. I know they say it's natural and comes natural but I tend to disagree. It's something learnt and only by actually doing. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Take pain meds if needed for the cramping that can come. When you nurse it releases hormones that makes your uterus contract, it's a very good thing. But it can be painful if it's your first they shouldn't be too bad. A recommondation is not be induced a bottle until breastfeeding is established. I had to with my first son and that's another reason we didn't contuine. All in all it's something you need to be determined at, try, and ask for help when you need it and you'll get through it. Best of luck. Hope I didn't scare you away from trying. I am still nursing my 6 month old and had many problems along the way.
3 years ago
It will mostly depend on you, and the rest on your baby. It takes a lot of patience too because it can be painful and very frustrating, but when you stick with it and get past the painful parts, its so rewarding for you and your baby and you will definitely reap the benefits!
3 years ago
I just had my first child, we were blessed with a beautiful little girl who is now 2wks old.  I have exclussively been breast feeding and plan to continue, only giving a bottle (of my breast milk) when necessary.  As far as hard? Myl little one picked it right up!!! We have had no problems, I think the thing to remember is to remain calm don't get upset if your new bundle doesn't get it right away.  They will pick up on your stress and thats the last thing either of you need.  I haven't had any pain or cracked nipples, I also use Lansinoh for breastfeeding mothers, it is a cream for your nips. well i wish ya luck and just remember don't stress about it, it will happen!!
3 years ago
First off, congrats on your pregnancy and decision to breastfeed :)Breastfeeding, for me anyway, was rough at first, but is now a total breeze, and a complete delight. I have a 4-and-a-half month old daughter who is exclusively breastfed. She had problems latching on that almost prevented breastfeeding, but a nipple shield made all the difference.We went through a lot in the early weeks and months and I honestly wanted to quit many times. I am so glad that I didn't. It is such a wonderful bonding experience and it did get easier as we both got the hang of it!As everyone has said, be patient, try to stay calm, and the more help you recieve (breastfeeding class, seeing a lactation consultant in the hospital and when you arrive home) the better you'll feel if you do hit a bump in the road. A wonderful book that provided me with a lot of practical (really) advice is "The Nursing Mother's Companion" (6th edition) by Kathleen Huggins. It has advice from pregnancy to weaning. Good luck!!!
3 years ago
I have met women for whom breastfeeding was a breeze, but for me, it was a complete nightmare. I am a petite woman with a large breasts that got huge once my milk came in. My baby couldn't latch on properly and when he did, it was terribly painful for me. I tried everything the LC told me to do, to no avail. My nipples bled all the time, and I started dreading nursing my child. I decided to pump (great idea, because I was able to completely empy my breasts in record time and make me feel a lot more comfortable). It worked until I had to return to work 6 weeks later.I am a teacher and we are not allowed to take breaks, let alone leave the classroom for pumping. I practically had to give up my lunchtime to spend the entire 20 minutes pumping in the bathroom. My mild supply decreased, and my LC told me to pump 8 times a day for 20 minutes (even if no milk came out) to rebuil my supply. I was so exhausted and cranky, that I had no energy to enjoy life or my son. To make matters worse, I started having symptoms of postpartum depression.After a long talk with my pediatrician, he convinced me that what my son needed was a happy, healthy mom. That resonated with me and decided to give up pumping. It took me a long time to forgive myself because I felt like I had let my son down. Eventually, I felt better, more rested and energized to spend time with my son. We are now closer than ever and he is a happy, healthy 2-year-old.I feel sad that so many moms demonize others who couldn't or didn't want to breastfeed. While it is true that some couldn't be bothered to try, it is hurtful when many assume I failed because "I didn't try hard enough". 
3 years ago
I forgot to mention that there is a book that is a wonderful resource for pregnant and lactating moms. I just wished I had found it sooner: http://www.amazon.com/Breastfeeding-Mothers-Guide-Making-More/dp/007159857X/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1298643643&sr=8-4 It is a MUST have! 
3 years ago
Breastfeeding is often difficult in the beginning.  For me and my little one (turned 1 year old on Saturday!) he wouldn't suck at first.  We had to use a bottle for fear of him getting jaundiced.  I tried pumping, but, I was spending all my time pumping when I needed to sleep (and no sleep wasn't helping my milk supply keep up).  After a few days of this I decided to try some formula for a couple of feedings so that I could get some sleep, while my husband fed my son.  This helped a bit and then my son started to figure out how to suck.  Unfortunately, a week later I started having a lot of pain while he was feeding and he's never slept well, so I was miserable.  We saw a breastfeeding consultant and she checked us feeding, told us and showed us what hold to do and sent us home.  It wasn't instant, but after a couple of days, things started to get much better.  For a month after that, we were only allowed to do one breastfeeding position with a pillow in the proper chair only, but by the time he was three months old I could feed him anywhere, without a pillow and we didn't even think about it.  By four months I could even feed him in bed half-asleep and we'd both fall asleep with him feeding.  This was fantastic and saved me because he was often hungry at night and I kept finding myself falling asleep in the chair feeding him at night, which made me nervous, since I might have dropped him.
3 years ago
Congrats on your decision to breastfeed.  I will start by saying I was lucky my daughter latched on and never looked back (literally she brestfeed for 19 months).  It is all what you make of it.  Breastfeeding class is a great idea, I would also suggest reading "So that's what They're for" it is really informative and quite interesting.  The more information you have the more confident you will feel when entering into and it really does make all the difference.  I'm not saying its the book but everyone of my friends who read the book didn't have difficulty feeding, so I would highly suggest it.  Also, for me I can say it never really hurt except when my milk first came in, then you just want a really supportive nursing bra.  After the first few days it doesn't really hurt it just feels weird (for lack of a better word).  Or when they finally get teeth then that can be painful.  *an added benefit of nusing is it really does help the weight come off, I ate so much more when nursing then I ever did pregnant.  When it was all said and done I was 15-20 pounds less than when I got pregnant with my daughter.  Good Luck!
3 years ago
Breastfeeding is the mos wonderfully natural way to feed your baby. You never have to trust a manufacturer besides yourself. But all that aside, I successfully nursed my first child for 13 months. Not easily at first. There was the frequency in which they nurse at first (every 30 minutes sometimes). And even some potentially sore nipples. For me the first 6 weeks was the hardest. Once you can make it past the lack of sleep delierium....lol.... and get back to rational thinking, you will be so glad you stuck with it! I am also nursing my now 8 1/2 month old exclusively and it is even easier the 2nd time around. I hope that this helps you. Good luck mom. Those babes are beautiful!
3 years ago
Congrats on the baby to be!  I have to say, breastfeeding was very difficult for me, but I am glad I tried with both children, but be ready to feel every emotion possible - elation when they do latch and nurse well, disappointment and frustration when they go through periods of refusal to nurse, bad latches or if you have cracked nipples, low milk supply (i did both times!).  I agree with Ilianacorey, I tried EVERYTHING to exclusively breastfeed and it didn't work out, so I ended up supplementing. It is great that you are chosing the best method to feed your child, but don't beat yourself up or feel inadequate if it doesn't go as smoothly as it did for some of the other lucky moms commenting here.  My advice is to read www.kellymom.com now, before giving birth. Tell the hospital you will be pumping they will let you use their pump while you are there & you get to keep the kit, then rent a hospital grade pump if baby isn't nursing well at the breast. And ask to speak to a lact. consultant while you are at the hospital, immediately postpartum, before there is a major problems so your supply doesn't dry up.  You will be too busy with the baby to get help and house visits are expensive.  Good luck!

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