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Name: missmara
[ Original Post ]
A.S. - Do you have more than one child? I just read an article that said when a women has a baby and breastfeeds after reduction, the breasts can repair themselves, so that if you only had a partial supply with the first baby, you may actually have a complete supply with subsequent babies. So I was wondering if you had more than one baby and if your supply was different with the second than with the first?
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Name: atomicsnowflake | Date: May 12th, 2007 8:33 AM
I have two sons. I didn't breastfeed with the first one as I was under too much stress from the father - my eldest went straight onto the bottle I'm afraid!

With my second I was determined to give it a go and I had no problems at all. My midwife told me that I wouldn't have enough supply at all and she more or less told me to give up on the idea when I was pregnant. She was very surprised when I did have a supply.

I'd recommend giving it a good go. I took the herb Fenugreek - and lots of it! There's also prescribed medication which can boost milk supply. When your baby is born do nothing buy breastfeed - all the time if you have to - the more the better - this will help to establish a supply. It takes a few days for the milk to 'come in' properly. Don't supplement feed during this time - newborns can survive without much milk at all in the first few days - don't get anxious. You'll soon find out if you do have enough supply. It's easy to tell if the baby is feeding properly - you can hear them drinking and swallowing the milk and a little bit runs out of the side of their mouths too.

Breastfeeding during the first few days is hard work, but it gets easier. You'll feel like you can't get the baby away from the breast - you end up doing nothing much at all apart from feeding! This is normal - don't panic. If your baby is settled for a little while after each feed then he/she's getting enough. Don't worry if they wake up after an hour and want yet another feed.

Give them 20 minutes on one breast then swap to the other. It's a bit painful in the beginning, but it gets better. Make sure that you stuff the whole nipple - areola too - into their mouth in order to get them to latch on. Don't be too gentle - you have to be assertive and just stuff it into their mouth. If it hurts too much then they're not latched on properly. Take them off the breast and start again. It takes a bit of practise - I used to sit and cry because I couldn't manage to do it properly. Get the midwife to show you.

If you have problems latching them on then try a different position - lie the baby under your arm with it's head to your breast and it's feet towards your back - this is a useful position and makes latching on easier. It sounds like a silly position, but it works.

Use a pillow to support the baby's body when you're feeding otherwise your arms will ache like crazy and you'll get tired.

Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids and take healthy snacks during the day. Nuts, bananas, muesli, fruit, cheese, crackers etc. will help to keep your energy up. It's difficult to get proper meals when you're first feeding. Get your husband to keep you supplied with plenty of snacks and drinks.

If you want to breastfeed in bed then lie the baby beside you and plug them in that way. It takes a bit of practise. You don't have to let them sleep with you. You can place them back in the crib afterwards if you want. Don't keep getting up during the night to feed otherwise you'll become very tired - try to feed them whilst lying down, but don't nod off. I used to take a flask of tea up in the bedroom for during the night, but obviously don't have it near to the baby. It just helps to keep you going.

Don't be tempted to give formula! Once babies get the taste of this stuff they don't want to give it up! It tastes nice and fills them up a treat - they love it and will quickly reject the breast once they've had this stuff! Try not to resort to this unless your supply is really poor and you're simply not managing at all.

When is your baby due? 

Name: missmara | Date: May 12th, 2007 3:00 PM
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm due June 22. This is my second. My daughter turns 1 next week, and I breastfed her for 4 months - until I got pregnant again. I had about a 75% supply, so I had to supplement with her. She actually did really well going from breast to bottle and back again, and never rejected the breast. In fact, there were times when I would offer the bottle and she wouldn't take it, so I would offer the breast and she would be on like a barracuda! I now know that is pretty unusual, but it fits her personality. She's a very cuddly and affectionate little girl, and I think she liked the closeness of breastfeeding.

I'm really hoping to be able to breastfeed more and supplement less or not at all, and I also want to breastfeed longer. I would have done it longer with my first if I hadn't gotten pregnant again so soon. I also was completely naive and uneducated about breastfeeding with my first - as are many new moms! I have been doing a lot of research about BFAR and I'm planning on hooking up with LLL. There's also a BF support group that meets twice a week at the hospital where I deliver. The consultant that I worked with the last time was amazing. I called her so many times during the first two weeks!

Anyway - where do you live? I'm in Arizona - in the states. 

Name: atomicsnowflake | Date: May 12th, 2007 8:36 PM
I'm in the UK.

It sounds like you handled things really well the first time. Are you going to take some supplements to boost your supply?

Support Groups sound great - there isn't one where we are - the UK midwives etc. are useless when it comes to supporting breastfeeding. It's not promoted or supported enough at all. My midwife was very negative and was very surprised to find that I had any kind of supply at all. 

Name: missmara | Date: May 12th, 2007 10:01 PM
I do plan on using Fenugreek. I've also read that eating oatmeal can help, and I'm not opposed to taking medication if it will help. 

Name: Randi | Date: May 14th, 2007 2:21 AM
You're daughters awesome Mara. AWESOME. I love her. 

Name: missmara | Date: May 14th, 2007 2:20 PM
Awww...thanks Randi. I'm pretty fond of her myself! I must have told her a hundred times yesterday how happy I was to be her mommy. I say to her- that stork picked out the best baby for me! I'm sure every mom feels that way! But I try to tell her all the time how much I love her before she becomes an eye-rolling teenaged monster lol!!! 

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