The Breastfeeding Thread

Calling all breastfeeding mums and mums-to-be!

I thought it would be nice to have our very own thread, dedicated to all things breastfeeding.

Whether you’re looking for general support and reassurance, have a specific question or problem you want advice on, or just want to chat with other mums who are in the same boat - this is the thread for you!

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I’ll just do a quick introduction:

I’m 25, currently feeding my youngest (7mo), and I recently qualified as a BF Peer Supporter so I have a special interest in this area (though I’m not a medical professional!)

I’m mostly struggling at the moment with sleep - or rather, the lack of it! K is still feeding through the night and most settled when dozing on the breast - not the most conducive situation for a restful night’s sleep for me. It’s more comfort than nutrition at this stage, I think, but if I don’t feed him he wakes up fully. Tips on how to break the cycle gratefully received!

A really good idea!

I’m Jools and I am 30 and I am currently breastfeeding my first child: my little girl Tabitha who is 7 and a half months. Tabitha really easily started breastfeeding when she was born and has been a good little eater but since I started introducing solids she has been really fussy and sometimes the only way to calm her down is to breastfeed - I have cooled it down a little on the solids sides and only introduce new foods once or twice or week and let her have her favourites and I will slowly start to introduce more overtime.

My one issue at the moment is that I am pregnant again and have hyperemesis gravidarum and have not been eating as much and even though I have been put on meds to help I still can’t keep a lot down and I am worried of it affect my milk supply.

Also, how do people deal with judgy eyes and sideways glances or worse some men leering when breastfeeding in public? It’s not like I whip it out, I am very careful and I wear clothing to limit the potential of flashing people but I still receive some judgemental looks if I am in a cafe or something huh and discreetly start to feed Tabitha. I try to ensure that I work around her feeding schedule but babies are a law unto themselves and if they want to feed then they want to feed! I am not an easily annoyed person but this really gripes and also upsets me.

@katinka: I totally get what you mean about it being more about comfort than nutrition, Tibs does the same. You could try and give him something else for comfort: Tabitha loves snuggling with my pyjama vest from the night before as it has my smell over it and she is very sensitive to smells; dummies/pacifiers if you use them; I have sang Tabitha a song everyday (Lavender’s Blue) and it always comforts and distracts her so you could maybe introduce a soft song that’s not to upbeat to him to calm him.

I’m expecting twins and I’m hoping to breast feed. First time mom so ANY advice is appreciated. I don’t even know where to start. I will need to pump as well to build up a supply for when I go back to work at 12 weeks. I’m so nervous about producing enough milk for two babies AND having extra to stock pile.

Great thread idea!

I’m [name_u]Whitney[/name_u] and I’m 26. I’m still breastfeeding my 15 month old. Although he does it more for comfort because I don’t think I’m producing that much milk. He also is really good about eating solids and has bottles when I’m at work/school.

@katinka I still struggle with breastfeeding my son at night as well. He cosleeps with us and some nights he just wants to nurse ALL night. Although lately he’s gotten pretty good about just waking up once to eat. My son sleeps in the middle of us so sometimes if he’s really bugging me to nurse, my husband will move in the middle and move [name_u]Ali[/name_u] to the other side. And Allister usually will go back to sleep pretty fast.

@bluebirdjools I’ve struggled with breastfeeding in public as well! Allister hates having a cover over him, so he would constantly pull down any cover I tried to use. I kinda gave up trying to bf in public and ended up feeding him in my car or the bathroom.

@lainy Congratulations! [name_m]How[/name_m] exciting! What really helped me with my supply was just eating well and a lot! (I was constantly hungry when I first started to bf) and drinking lots of water. I tried mother’s milk teas but I didn’t notice a difference. I also tried the lacation cookies they have at babies r us and I did notice a difference when I had those.

Allister’s new thing when bf is to pull my shirt open and to put his feet in my shirt. He now has to have it like this to fall asleep. Anyone else’s baby do this?

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] everyone!

@Jools, that’s a tough situation - make sure you’re taking care of yourself. That’s a lot of demands on your body, especially with the sickness. Kudos to you for continuing to BF for as long as possible!

As for public feeding, I was careful to be discreet the first time round but this time, quite honestly, I’ve got enough going on without worrying about whether I flash someone a bit of boob! I tend to have oversupply issues in the beginning and there is just no way to feed discreetly when your baby is coughing and spluttering and milk is going everywhere. I just take a huge supply of muslin cloths wherever I go because they can cover a multitude of sins!

@lainy Amazing! I have a good friend who is still breastfeeding her 18m old twins, so it can be done! And they’re her 4th and 5th children… I’m in total awe of her.

Your body is an amazing thing and milk production is all a question of supply-demand, so it’s very unlikely that you will be unable to produce enough for your two little ones as long as you put them to the breast regularly, whenever they show feeding cues (LOTS, in the beginning!).

You can start pumping as soon as your milk comes in and it’s safe to keep for up to 6m in the freezer. Pumping can be hard and time-consuming work and if you’re really committed to doing it, it’s worth investing in a hospital-grade electrical pump to make it as easy and efficient as possible. It’s also worth checking if there is a local clinic/breastfeeding support group/multiple births group near you that offers breastpumps on loan or for hire - some do so it’s always well worth checking before you shell out on an expensive pump.

@girlywhirly We co-sleep sometimes too - K is nigh on impossible to put back down in his cot once he’s woken for the first time. I’m sure part of his frequent waking is that he can smell/feel that I’m near and he just fancies a snack! [name_u]Kit[/name_u] doesn’t do the feet thing put he does punch me in the face and neck SO HARD. He’s a little brute!

Great idea!

I’m 24 years old and currently breastfeeding my daughter (almost 10 months). We’ve had a ridiculously easy BF journey; I’ve never been sore and she never had troubles latching on. I’m super grateful for that. She eats normal food as well and loves it, but still drinks lots of milk during the day. I started working part-time two weeks ago (only two days a week) and am lucky enough that my job is only five minutes away from home. I live in a very BF friendly country, so during the working day I get one hour off (paid) to breastfeed if necessary. She has already been by my job several times and charmed all my colleagues :slight_smile:

@daphodil wave great to hear from you! We were in the same due date thread with L and K :slight_smile: I’m glad she’s doing well and BF has been smooth sailing for you both. It’s important to acknowledge that, although problems are totally normal and at times unavoidable, it’s not always a struggle and nursing can be a real pleasure!

A quick q for you: at 10 months, do you feel like you’re in a fairly regular pattern with the feeds now or not? K is still all over the place and I can’t remember what J was like at this stage.

@katinka - hi there! Good to see another mama from our birth thread. [name_f]Sophie[/name_f] is almost 9 months now and I am in the same boat with nursing at night. [name_f]Sophie[/name_f] wakes up constantly to nurse and it is most definitely for comfort. Trying to break that cycle too but for her if I unlatch her she just cries and screams, even if I cuddle with her. Hoping that this phase will pass soon. This Mama could use some sleep. I think I actually get less sleep than my friend who has a newborn bc of her desire to nurse constantly at night.

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] @jtucker! Yep, I’m in the same boat. My friend’s 6-week-old sleeps better than [name_u]Kit[/name_u], haha…aaargh!

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] everyone

I’m currently breastfeeding my 6 month old, and we’ve definitely had some ups and downs with the process. We had no trouble latching, but my little one was a very frequent feeder and was pretty much constantly on my breast until he was about four months old. I was so sore! I love the intimacy of breastfeeding, but its not always the calm, productive experience I had imagined it to be. This seems to be especially true now, as LO can be very distracted or get very frustrated while eating during the day. He’s getting a little better, but there was a time when he would just scream every time I tried to feed him, and I constantly worried that he was uncomfortable or not getting enough.

@katinka & jtucker - I am also experiencing long and frequent night feeds. I’m guessing that some of it has to do with his short daytime feeds, but I know a lot of it is for comfort too. I can usually get him to fall asleep without feeding him until around 11pm, after which feeding is the only way. He was a great sleeper from about 1 to 3 months, so this has all been quite exacerbating! We hadn’t planned on cosleeping, but we’ve recently started allowing him into our bed starting around 2 or 3 in the morning. We all get a lot more sleep this way and it is so so nice to cuddle up next to his little body, but I he does tend to roll into me so that I’m practically off the bed in the morning! I also haven’t quite gotten the side-lying while sleeping thing down yet - it’s just a struggle getting comfortable I think.

I’ve also recently started pumping more regularly (in fact I’m writing during a pumping break!), as we just started him in a part time daycare program (4 hrs/day). I had been trying to work with him both at home and in my office, but it proved just too difficult to focus on both him and work at the same time - especially since he never wanted to leave my breast. Pumping has mostly been going fine (although it is a bit more painful and really limits my morning flexibility), but right now I’m struggling to keep up with him. My period already came back and it seems to be decreasing my milk supply. It increased again during the middle of my cycle last month, so I’m eager it to go away again soon!

Is anyone else dealing with allergies? [name_m]Ives[/name_m] seems to be allergic to dairy, eggs, and possibly soy. I did have a small freezer stash of milk, but, alas, I cannot use any of it, as it was pumped before I cut all of these things out of my diet. I’m not sure what I mourn more - my old diet or that milk that is now sitting in the back of the freezer in case he grows out of the allergies before it goes bad. I was a vegetarian, but now I am essentially a soy-free vegan and therefore very limited. I have started eating some fish for the protein - both for me and the LO! I want to nurse for as long as possible and will do whatever it takes to keep us both healthy.

waves back
I don’t feel that we are or ever have been in a regular pattern, to be honest. Well, perhaps at night. She wakes up around two times to nurse, but in the day it’s all over the place. Some days she can go hours without milk, other days she wants to feed pretty much every 30 minutes. She has always been a frequent, but fast (never more than 4-5 minutes) feeder. I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse, hah.

I’m currently still breastfeeding my 16 mo. I’m kind of leaning toward trying to be done soon ish, but she is still pretty attached, so it might take a while. Most urgently, I want to night wean. She’s been waking up 2-3 times a night to nurse for about a year now. I usually just fall asleep nursing her, so I’m not that sleep deprived, but it would be nice to sleep for more than 4 hours consecutively haha. I’m likely going to attempt to fully wean in the next few months, because I still don’t have my cycle back and want to TTC #2 later this year hopefully. Also I have had a really hard time losing baby weight, and I’ve wondered if stopping breastfeeding would help. But, we have had a really easy breastfeeding experience, and so far I have been too lazy to try very hard to even night wean, so I feel like it’s going to be a while still. She is such a good baby… AFTER she has had her milk haha. She is inconsolable if I’m there and don’t let her nurse when she’d like to though.

I breastfed my first for about a year and a half and have plans to do the same with #2 on the way in [name_f]May[/name_f]. We had a pretty good breastfeeding experience especially with some of the obstacles we faced. He was in the NICU for the first few days, so I pumped while he was on the feeding tube and went to breast on the 4th day. Then, because of unfortunate circumstances, I had to return to work full time only 4 weeks postpartum so I had to pump a lot to keep up, but we were able to do it. He got on a pretty regular schedule of feeding after a few months, maybe because I was forced back to work so soon and wasn’t available on call for much of the day. I’d say he was sleeping mostly through the night by around 6 months. Sometimes, I would wake up so engorged I needed to pump because I didn’t want to wake him up.

This time I have a different work arrangement so LO will be 3 1/2-4 months when I go back to work so I am excited about that. I have a long commute currently and hoping to change that before I go back, but we shall see.

@katinka - hang in there Mama. Sorry that you are like me getting very little sleep, but good to know that I’m not the only one with a baby this age going thru the same thing.

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] all,

Thanks for starting this thread!

I am currently breastfeeding my 19 month old. We have been fortunate to have a really great breastfeeding journey. He has been a total milk monster and I have been thinking lately that I was ready to have my body back, however, yesterday he woke at 8, had some milk and then didn’t feed again until the late afternoon. Today has been similar and both days we have just been around the house, which is usually prime time for lots and lots of milk. So I think that he might be self weaning. I am really happy for him that we’ve been able to nurse for as long as he has needed, but I am surprised that I am actually feeling quite sad about the end of the road. He still breastfeeds to sleep and throughout the night as needed, so we’ll see what happens. I guess it is good timing, because my husband and I are ttc number 2 this year.

Sorry for the long post, just feeling a bit emotional!!

Hello everyone! It’s nice to see that there’s a little group of us at a similar stage on here :slight_smile:

@raptreverie Allergies can be a real pain. My friend had to give up dairy while she was BF and found it really tough on top of all the added worries and sleep issues that come with having a baby (though she did lose quite a bit of weight!) The good news is that her daughter is now 2 and no longer sensitive to dairy or anything else. They do often grow out of it.

@katieree You did a great job getting BF off to such a good start while your little one was in NICU! It’s not easy at all. Amazing that you fed him for so long, too.

@shalexis It’s such a tricky decision how and when to wean, isn’t it?! I really struggled first time round because we didn’t want a large gap and I absolutely plummeted in weight while BFing and my periods didn’t return, so in the end I decided to wean at around 10 months in order to gain back some weight and give my body a break before TTC #2. In the end, it happened pretty quickly but I was worried it would take a while. I felt so guilty about my daughter though! Determined to be more zen about everything this time (ha!)

I’m actually trying to get K to accept a bottle alongside continued BFing to ease the transition whenever it happens, but he’s not a fan. He likes to bite the teat as a teether, but that’s about it.

@katinka
It has been really tricky! I feel fine about stopping soon, I know she doesn’t NEED it (although the official recommendation from the WHO is to try to go until 2). And I’ve been breastfeeding longer than anyone I know personally (most stop at a year here, if not sooner). So feeling pretty “zen” about it for those reasons. One kind of selfish reason that I don’t want to stop is that it’s all she really wants me for these days. She will only let her dad help her get whatever snacks or drinks she wants from the kitchen, she only wants to snuggle with him. Until she decides she wants to nurse. Then she will bug me to let her nurse, and then the second she’s done, she gets up and wants to go see him again. She gets mad when he comes in to get her at night though, because she just wants to nurse. So I’m a little worried that if I stop nursing, she’ll stop liking me for even that long haha.

My daughter took a bottle and drank pumped milk really well until about 6 months, and then she started just chewing on it whenever we would try. Next time around, I want to keep my baby drinking out of bottles so that I can transition when I’m trying to wean, or let other people feed her before then!

[name_m]Hi[/name_m], im [name_f]Hayley[/name_f]. 28 and i need some help.
I am currently breastfeeding my 7mo boy.
A few months ago he had a growth sprurt and i had plenty of milk(i could pump and fill a bottle) but since then, hes calmed down and had a lot of short quick feeds and i feel like now at 7mo i dont have enough milk for him.

Iv been trying after everyfeed to hand express milk to get my milk up but i can just about get an oz. [name_m]Even[/name_m] without feeding beforhand
I feel like there should be more. Hes still hungry after naps and in the evening but there’s nothing in my boobs to full him.

Iv been weaning him the last month and a half but anything pasta or cerial, biscuit based gives him bad constipation so iv cut it back to fruit and veg.
I weighed him with a large gap between weighs and it seems after his growth spurt hes either lost weight or not gained alot. Not a serious amount. So im feeding him yogurt also and adding cheese to veg meals as surgested by the HV, and am wondering now that his ideal portion size should be as he gets constipated easily and im possibly low on milk. Should i cut back on foods and breastfeed more?!

Im desperate to get him on to bottles and iv bought many types of bottles and beakers and formulas so i can feed him better and make sure he gets the right amount, and also so can leave him with my OH and go outside by myself, but he HATES all formula and any type of bottle teet. I can get him to drink my breast milk from a sippy cup or a cup. But not formula milk at all. :-?

I am unsure of myself now as of how to get enough breastmilk and also persuade him to take formula.
Im thinking of going to my gp tomorrow to ask if there is meds for increasing breastmilk.

Any advice would be amazing.

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] @mead, I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling uncertain but it sounds like you’re doing a great job - you’re really switched on as to what’s going on with your son and that’s absolutely key.

I’ve found that 6-12 months can be a tricky age in terms of gauging how much a baby needs and how much they’re actually taking. They get so much more efficient and so does your body in terms of producing only what’s needed, so short feeds and breasts that don’t feel full are actually pretty normal once a baby is out of that newborn phase, especially once they start on solids.

But if you think he seems hungry and he’s not gaining much weight, you may need to try and up your supply. Pumping and expressing are good for this, but the best way is to feed feed feed! Bringing baby to the breast lots is the best way to stimulate milk production, which works on a supply-demand basis and is helped by the hormones you release when you’re snuggling up with LO!

If he eats a lot of solids instead of milk feeds it might be worth cutting back, but if it’s just fruit and veggies it’s unlikely that he’s filling up too much on those, and cutting down could make his constipation worse. [name_f]Do[/name_f] you always offer a milk feed before and after solid foods? And does he drink anything besides breastmilk?