The Real Truth About Breast Feeding.

Updated on January 10, 2011
T.M. asks from Gainesville, GA
45 answers

With my first child I didn't breast feed. I was told all these horror stories about how it hurts. You get raw, One breast can become bigger than the other and never return to its original size, Clogged milk ducts that get infected. Some people went as far as to tell me my breasts would sag afterwords. The scariest thing I was told was that my friends friends friend had her nipple bitten clean off... LoL Not sure if there's any truth behind that one though. But it sure put a bad image in my head. I'd like to know the truth behind breast feeding. I'm due in 4 weeks with my second daughter. I'd like to pump and feed so my husband can be involved. I also know nothing about that. How does all that work? How do you store the milk safely? If I were to pop it in the fridge or freezer what's the best way to warm it up when she's ready for it? Should I store it in bags or the cup like containers? Basicly if there's something you think I should know, please do. Thanks!!!

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answers from Atlanta on

Like others have said, breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for some and a bad one for others. I am glad I breastfed as much as I did, but I did have some issues - mainly supply. There is a lot of good information out there. Along with what others suggested I also loved for breastfeeding advice and information.

For me pumping was the worst part, although necessary due to working and supply. If you do pump I would reccomend a good quality double pump if you are going to do a lot of pumping. You can even rent a hospital grade pump. You can store the milk in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for longer term storage. Then you can warm up pretty much like you would formula.

Best of luck to you! If you are interested I think you should try. Don't expect it to be perfect - especially at first.

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answers from Chicago on

The real truth about breastfeeding is that for some mothers it is easy and for other mothers it is a difficult task.

Bottom line? You have to make a decision that works best for you, your baby, and your family.

Most helpful? Do your research ahead of time and learn as much as you can. However, be flexible. Feeding your child isn't an all or nothing task. You're not a failure if it doesn't work out nor will your child grow a tail or second head if you don't give them breast milk. At the end of the day it is most important that your child eats and that everyone feels good about their choices. I'm definitely not trying to discourage you from nursing, but I do encourage you to be open-minded in case things don't work out the way you think they're supposed to.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Ask to speak to a breast feeding consultant at the hospital where you will have your it NOW...don't wait until after the baby is born. This is a decision that you want to make ahead of time.
I breast fed all of my children...yes...sometimes your nipples can get a bit sore if they are sick and nursing a LOT....and yes my breasts do sag a bit but that is going to happen whether you breast feed or not...your body responds to your pregnancy by jump starting your milk production...didn't your breasts get bigger during your first pregnancy?? Do they look EXACTLY like they did before you had your first baby? Our bodies change as we age...(I am 61 years old...we won't go into ALL of the changes I don't want to scare My oldest daughter has been breasfeeding her first child for 3 years now...(he only breast feeds for comfort now...and to go to sleep at night)....her breasts do NOT fact I think she would agree that she looks a LOT like she did before she began breast feeding. Your breasts were MEANT to feed your child...don't be is such a wonderful, warm bonding experience...I would not have missed it for anything in the world!!!
My own personal opinion is that you will want to actually nurse at your breast most of the time...I would think that it would be SO time consuming to pump for all the feedings.....but pumping for your husband to be able to feed her, or when you get ready to leave her a while to go out on a "date"...that is a great!! But there are a myriad of other ways that your husband can bond with this baby without feeding her/him.
Please go Monday morning and ask to speak to a breast feeding consultant at your hospital...and then take her business card and put it in your purse so you will have it call her with any other questions that you may have!!!
Don't listen to all of those naysayers about the horrors of is one of the most wonderful, natural. most loving things that you can do for your child and I do not think you will regret it for a moment!!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I truly believe there are LUCKY ones. It all comes natural without any major issues, and they love it and do it for years. I was the minority with the horror stories. I HATED breast feeding more than any other thing I've done. It was a nightmare. I desperately wanted to, and got into a very deep depression when I couldn't. Weeks and weeks of crying and hating myself for not being able to. I pumped for months so that my children could get my breast milk. I didn't store any in the fridge or freezer, as there was nothing extra to store. I pumped before every feeding, never getting more than 5oz. Although it was extremely time consuming, I felt like I had to do it. It always bothered me how some women would make it sound glorious. And they wondered why I couldn't. Those people are LUCKY. I envy them, but we're not all the same. Hopefully, you are one of the lucky ones.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I think you should get some books on breastfeeding and speak to a nursing consultant from the hospital where you will deliver. Le Leche League can be good, but I've run into too many of them who are a little nuts about it all. Just ask to speak with the nursing/breastfeeding consultant. Especially when it comes to anything involving pregnancy and childbirth/childcare -seek expert advice. For some reason people love to tell you the worst and most exaggerated stories. I was not a very successful breastfeeder. I never had much of a supply and always had to supplement (and despite what many from La Leche will tell you -that can and DOES happen -both of my grandmothers had that problem long before there were commercial formula or electric breastpumps and my own mother's milk NEVER came in). However, if you do have milk you should give it a try. You can even take classes at the hospital before you deliver -you should check that out immediately by visiting the hospital website.

The biggest issues most women have, other than adequate supply, are getting the baby to latch on correctly and getting sore and tender nipples. Yes, your nipples can get raw. It's like wearing new shoes that fit, but there's one place that gets rubbed a lot. If you'll just wear them for a bit though, it will toughen up and be fine. Get a tube of Lansinoh ointment at Target. It's perfectly safe for your baby to ingest and it will do wonders as far as helping your nipples. While you're in the hospital, ask for the lactation consultant to come show you exactly how to hold the baby, latch the baby, etc. They will come often (and it's free) to make sure you're having luck with breastfeeding.

Sometimes you do get a clogged and infected duct. Mastitis can be very painful, but it goes away and certainly not every breastfeeding mother gets it. Research different breast pumps. I had a really nice electric one, and you can also rent them from the hospital (I found it was cheaper to actually buy one, but you should check rental fees at the hospital and prices at Babies R Us and compare). You can easily pump. They even sell special bags to put the milk into and freeze it. They also sell bottle warmers. You can store breastmilk in the fridge for a few days.

You should really google "breastfeeding" and go to the library. I'm quite surprised the hospital where you're delivering and your doctor's office haven't told you about lactation classes, pump rental, etc. Have you toured the hospital? Your doctor's office should have information out in the lobby and where you check out about this. You should give them a call and ask. Go to the hospital's website and check for their maternity and childbirth classes and look for ones on lactation and breastfeeding. I'm just really surprised because I had pamphlets and information on all of this thrown at me from every direction during both of my pregnancies. In the hospital, the lactation consultants drove me nuts because they kept coming in my room every 30 minutes to see if I wanted help. Where are you delivering? I delivered at Dekalb Medical and my OB office was Atlanta Gynecology and Obstetrics, and I know they also have offices near Lawrenceville. Everyone I know delivering at Dekalb, Northside, Northside satellites, Piedmont, Kennestone and Emory has received tons of info on this, so it should be available to you.

***Also -no baby is going to bite your nipple off. Your boobs may get saggy after having children regardless of breastfeeding because they usually enlarge (whether or not you breastfeed) and then go back down to their original size -this often happens with stomach skin too! My boobs barely changed size at all through any of it, but if you had small and perky and with pregnancy they become really big -they probably aren't going to be as perky when they "deflate."

Only people who already had one bigger than the other will experience this. Nursing is not going to make one boob bigger than the other permanently. I suppose it's possible while breastfeeding on occasion if one breast isn't emptied completely or something -but not forever.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tuscaloosa on

2 of the best things I ever did were to 1)take the breastfeeding class at my local hospital and 2)meet the lactation nurse before having my babies. Honestly, breastfeeding for me was one of the best things I ever did. It does have its drawbacks (initially sore nipples, occasional clogged ducts, etc.) but nothing happened that was bad enough to make me re-consider for my second child. The positives were SO amazing. It is SO easy to feed your baby in the middle of the night without having to hold a screaming baby while they wait for formula to warm. AND, the hormones your body produces while you nurse a baby make you fall right back to sleep when you are done! It's so easy to food to carry along! I think I saw somewhere that you save $5000-$10,000 per year of formula you don't have to buy. Nursing cuts your (and your baby's) risk of breast cancer, helps reduce both of your risks of obesity, etc. The health benefits are astounding. Might I also add that you can eat almost anything you want while you are breastfeeding and the pregnancy weight FALLS OFF! I even lost an EXTRA 20lbs beyond my pregnancy weight from nursing my second child.

The truths are that there are ways to deal with soreness (lansinoh cream), biting (my kids weren't biters), clogged ducts (hot packs and massage), and these things are only temporary. Breastfeeding doesn't make your breasts sag, pregnancy hormones are responsible for that whether you nurse or not.

Good luck whatever you choose!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

When I was pregnant with DD, I knew I wanted to breastfeed so I signed up for a breastfeeding class at the hospital, along with a childbirth and infant care class. I also read everything I could get my hands on - there is plenty of literature out there, from books to back issues of parenting/baby care magazines. Ask your doctor about working with a lactation consultant as well.

I breastfed my DD for 2 weeks. I got sore raw nipples and they hurt when she would initially latch on, but it wasn't anything I couldn't live with. Lanisoh helped a lot and I figured it was worth it. The Boppy pillow helped a lot too for support, both with nursing and bottle-feeding. Unfortunately, it only ended up being 2 weeks because I developed blood clots in my legs and lungs, and had to go on anti-coagulant medications. So that was it - no pumping either. Which is why I really appreciate M.R.'s answer - sometimes things don't go as planned and you have to adjust expectations accordingly. I was disappointed that I couldn't do the best thing for my baby, but because of my situation, as someone pointed out, feeding formula WAS the BEST thing I could do for HER, given the circumstances. DD ended up on formula after that and none of the horrible things that are supposed to happen to non-breastfed babies has happened to her - she's just fine now at 3 years old. My cousin breastfed her DD (same age as mine) for 18 months and you can't tell the difference between the two. They are both healthy as can be and both really bonded to their mamas!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The truth about breastfeeding is that it's different for every woman, just like childbirth. Some people have a hard time, some people have an easy time, but the more actual knowledge you have, the better off your experience will be. I needed a lactation consultant because I got sick right after giving birth and it screwed things up - best thing I could have done. I did have a hard time getting back on track, but thanks to the help I was able to BF for 2.5 years. I would talk to your OB or the hospital where you delivered and get referrals to several Lactation Consultants prior to having your baby. They can help you prep a little, perhaps give you the opportunity to see BFing up close and in action.

I agree with KansasMom - BFing is much easier and more convenient than pumping, so if you can BF, do like she said. There are some very cute nursing covers out there for modesty, etc. They take a little practice, but are helpful in providing coverage when nursing in a public situation (I nursed at a baseball game, on a park bench, at a store, etc.). Be prepared for the occasional non-supportive or even downright rude comments - some people are just uptight about the human body, and several generations of US moms didn't BF (thanks to the development of powdered milk/formula around WW1). Luckily I didn't have to deal with this, but some of the mamas have written to ask for help with this. Just be secure in your decision and you'll be fine.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Lots of encouragement and good advice here. I'm not going to overwhelm you with details, instead I'll suggest two books that I found to be helpful.

The first is "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding", which discusses a myriad of issues and addresses more FAQs than you thought you had. This, as well as a lactation consultant, will give you all the proper information regarding freezing/storage.

The second is more about the experience. "Spilled Milk: Breastfeeding Adventures and Advice from Less than Perfect Moms" by Andi Steiner. I actually found this to be very encouraging because such a wide range of voices were included, from those who are pro nursers to those who tried, tried again and dealt with the disappointments of BF not working/being as easy as one would have hoped.

It sounds like your immediate community isn't as supportive as you would have hoped. I don't want to say 'it's an east coast thing'; but I do believe it's regional. Here in the Pacific NW (and a lot of places on the Left Coast) there's an opposite pressure on moms-- some people are very dogmatic about Breastmilk Only and "how could you not nurse your baby!!! OMG!!!" . My sister moved from here to VA and she got all sorts of cross-eyed looks for nursing her boys, and no real support for that socially, but happily nursed all three. And boy, she heard a lot of doozies too.

The point of mentioning this is that you have to decide, ultimately, what works for you and what doesn't. And it's okay to do what's best for you and baby and family without apologies. When my son was 4 months old, visiting family wanted to tour the Oregon coast with us. Some of them were visibly annoyed that I was spending a lot of time in the car nursing our son. Especially when they were all ready to get to the next destination; We had to send them on ahead several times and follow in our car. Thinking through hypothetical situations and planning ahead (in our case, taking two cars) will be one of your best strategies. I had great support and was able to nurse our son up until I was *done* (my son would still nurse if I let him), but I'd be lying to tell you it was always incredibly convenient. I spent a lot of the first months with him nursing on the couch, and rented a lot of dvds to make the time pass more pleasantly. I was too tired to read, so I indulged in a Kathyrn Hepburn marathon instead.

Best wishes and good luck whatever you and baby decide to do.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Seriously, those are some scary friends! :) The truth about breastfeeding is that it is a wonderful bonding experience with big health benefits for both mom and baby. Some women do have bad experiences, and if you go into it expecting them, I am sure that's what you will get. Many of us have wonderful experiences with it. The early weeks can be problematic, I cannot say it was all pain free for me but I wanted to do it and overcame the issues with help. There is a learning curve for both mom and baby (though left on their own babies will seek to nurse). Some take to it more easily than others. But if you educate yourself in advance it can be really helpful. See the lactation consultant at the hospital, usually they will come by I think. One piece of advice I got that helped is pick one person to listen to their advice, each nurse will tell you different stuff about it, pick the one that's working for you and go with that.

Usually if you have the kind of nipple problems you listed up there, then the latch is wrong. That can be overcome. Sagging breasts, well that can happen bc of the hormone changes of pregnancy, that is certainly no reason to not breastfeed. I have never heard of a nipple being bitten clean off. That sounds like fear mongering if ever I heard it! I am sure that friend's friend's friend does not exist. Clogged ducts happen and can be overcome to avoid breast infection. One breast bigger, well that can happen whether or not you breastfeed. Nobody decides not to get pregnant bc we might be left with stretch marks! Benefits include lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer for mom and there are a bunch of health benefits for the baby including lower risk of infection, lower risk of allergies, better jaw development, lower risk of childhood cancer, and the list goes on. Google it. I'd take the possible benefits of breastfeeding over the possible detriments you listed any day. It's not socially acceptable to talk about the negatives of formula feeding, but if you want to compare a list of negatives there are plenty of those to come up with.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a great book. Full of practical information in a positive package, not clinical. Dr Sears also has a Breastfeeding Book. There are plenty of books I'm sure you could find in the library to answer your practical questions. I went to a La Leche League meeting while I was pregnant. That was really helpful to me, you may want to consider it. I didn't find it was a bunch of vehement lactivists with an agenda (though I am sure those groups are out there too). I found it a group of moms who wanted to help me breastfeed for whatever my goal was. When I had difficulty with DD's latch the first week, a leader came to my house to help me. It was helpful to me to have a group of breastfeeding moms around to ask questions of in the early days as I didn't have anyone around that was breastfeeding otherwise. They have hand outs on milk storage, pumping, getting breastfeeding off to a good start, etc, that answer all your questions. The hospital I birthed at also had a breastfeeding group that met daily with a LC. That is really helpful for many moms (it was too far for me once I got out of the hospital). Though it is definitely a great idea to get some info before the birth, so if you can get to a La Leche League meeting or if your hospital has a breastfeeding class before the baby you should consider it. Check to find a local group.

I'd suggest rather than pumping from day 1 you concentrate on getting breastfeeding off to a good start and don't worry about that initially. There are plenty of things DH can do to bond with the baby other than bottle feeding him or her and many ways for him to help you other than feeding. Some babies can be confused by going from breast to bottle in the early days and it can lead to latch problems and make breastfeeding difficult. Get the nursing off to a good start for a few weeks and then worry about pumping, there is plenty of time to share the feeding with DH.

Since you are asking about it, I think you should get some info now and try breastfeeding. I would NOT talk to all those friends about it though. I made it a policy during my pregnancy not to hear horrible birth stories and certainly would have included horrible breastfeeding stories in that too if anyone had offered them. What ever happened to being supportive and if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all?! Certainly it is important to get a full picture of what is involved so you are not expecting it to be all puppies and rainbows but I don't think telling someone horror stories about all the negatives is in any way constructive or educational. Breastfeeding can really make the early days of mothering a new baby much easier (not to mention much less expensive) than having to worry about bottles and all that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I would take a breastfeeding class at the hospital, sounds lame I know, but you'll get some useful info. I would also agree to make sure you put your name on the list for the lactation consultant as soon as you arrive at the hospital. Also make sure they know you haven't breastfed before. With subsequent babies I feel the nurses don't pay as much attention to you b/c you're "supposed" to know what to do! ;)

I had to pump exclusively after a miserable attempt with my daughter. I have flat nipples and she had a small mouth and the story goes on from there! My son was easier, but not that easy and it wasn't worth the fight for me. I did have very chapped nipples, mastitis, the works. Anything is possible, which means it could go very easy for you...or it couldn't. I think that for the most part people who breast feed successfully (and fairly easily) just don't understand the struggle. That's not to say you shouldn't try, but ultimately you have to decide what it's worth, and for me, it wasn't worth my sanity.

With my first I pumped for 4 months and it was hard b/c I was tied to the pump. I would suggest getting a good pump...Medela double pump. I got the messenger bag variety and I took it with me if I had to. Pump as much as possible and store the extra in the freezer. In the middle of the night I would just leave the freshly expressed milk out until the next feeding. It's safe to be out for like 3-4 hours so I just left it there ready for the next one this way I didn't have to warm it up, etc. Eventually (like after a few months) I started to get my kids to take cold milk b/c warming it up everytime is for the birds! ;) The safest way to do it though is to submerge the bottle in a glass of super hot water and let it soak until the milk is warm enough.

Good luck! I hope it works out for you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Butterfly21, I am currently breastfeeding as I type this response. My son is 12 weeks old and I have returned to work. Breastfeeding is different for everyone. It can be rewarding, such as the best thing for your baby and to get back down to prebaby weight or smaller. Not to mention the money you save for not havng to buy formula. Breastfeeding is something you have to dedicate yourself to. I pump at work for about 15 to 20 minutes each time. I pump at home as well. I put them in the bags and put thm in the freezer. You have to make sure you get the air out of the bag when you freeze it. Sometimes I get caught up with errands or working and I feel my breast getting very full, but for the most part I try to stay on my schedule. I love Breastfeeding and I said I would breastfeed all my kids and this one is number 3. My oldest is 11 years old and I breastfed her for a year and a half. I would recommend it. It keeps your baby from getting diseases as well. Read into it when you have some time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

The first week, it hurt! There is an ointment you can put on your nipples and we were best friends during that first week. My ex husband wanted me to quit because it was hurting me so bad. But I am so glad I didn't. The pain went away and then it was so easy. No measuring. No watching to make she ate enough or didn't eat too much. No extra big money bills. In the middle of the night it was so easy to just pick her up and nurse and doze while she ate. I suggest you try it. If it doesn't work for you, you can always quit.

I only pumped at night while at work. I was not a good pumper. Even w/ a very expensive pump, I wouldn't have been able to pump for as long as I nursed. There are so many other ways your husband can bond w/ your baby.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I haven't read the other answers.
I am SO SORRY that you had such terrible advice
when your first child was a baby.
I sometimes wonder why women
do such mean things to one another.

Anyway . . . . in addition to whatever wonderful advice
you have had from the other moms here,
I do hope you'll check in with LA LECHE LEAGUE.

Also, if there's a lactation consultant associated with your doctor
or the hospital where you give birth, have at least one (if not more)
meeting(s) with her to help you get started and later, if necessary,
a follow-up session to help keep you on the right track.

Your older child will probably have a lot of curiosity about
what you and baby are doing together. Please answer her questions
as honestly as you can . . . . especially how this is very special milk
for baby and it's not for bigger children. If she wants to taste,
I recommend expressing some into a cup for her.
She probably won't like it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

The best free resource I have found is

I was able to nurse both my kids past 12 months, sometimes it was easy, and sometimes we had some **significant** obstacles that I was determined to work through. It was absolutely 100% worth it for us overall. The difference in long-term health risk/benefit made it a no-brainer for me. Plus, it's *sooo* much easier to pick up your baby and nurse him than it is to deal with the hassle of making up a bottle and heating it, whether it's late at night or you're out and about. And if you're planning on traveling at all... oh man! I can't even imagine a road or plane trip and dealing with bottles.

Pumping is a bit of a hassle. If you're returning to work, it's necessary or your supply will drop. But if it's just so that your husband can be involved, I would (personally) advise you to find another job for him - snuggling the baby down to sleep, storytime, lullabies, bathtime, baby massage, carrying in a baby bjorn or a sling when you're out and about ( and of course laundry and diapers!) There are *plenty* of other ways for dad to be involved that won't make life more complicated (like pumping will). That whole bit about pumping in the day so that the husband can do the middle-of-the-night feeding sounds very egalitarian, but it has a downside, and that is the effect on your milk supply. But he can change the baby's diaper after the 3am nursing, (which you can do lying on your side, and I highly advise, so that you won't fall asleep sitting up and drop your baby, as I nearly did a couple of times trying to sit up and nurse in the middle of the night. )

Finding a lactation consultant can also help. You can also probably find a breastfeeding class with a local hospital, a local doula, or La Leche League group. (LLL is also all volunteers, so you can get a lot of help for free!)

Why it's worth whatever "hassle" it may be:

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Scranton on

I breastfed my 1st baby untill she was 6 months old, my 2nd for 3 months and my 3rd refused to latch on so I didn't. Its not as bad as the horror stories you heard about lol. At first your nipples do get sore and sometimes dry and cracked but there is stuff you can put on them to help. I forget what it is called though. I found i liked the little storage bags the best for storage. To thaw I just put in a bowl of warm water.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Don't take 'can't' as your final answer. You CAN do it, as can 97% of all other females - it just takes some initial effort and patience. I have NEVER heard of a nipple being bitten clean off by an infant.

Breastfeeding - once over the first hard 4 weeks - is the easiest and best choice you can make for your newborn. Not only are they getting the optimal form of nutrition for their development, but the constant skin to skin contact and cuddling boosts their development too.

Please don't allow bumps in the road, or the occasional issue stop you from getting help to correct what ever the problem was... it will be worth it!

There are TONS of online forums, support groups, educational websites and real life/in person groups and people who are there to help you! Use it, don't be afraid to ask questions when the issue FIRST starts, rather than when you are wits end.

Do not use bottles until about 4 months - that will have given your baby time to perfect her latch, nurse effectively and allow you to get comfortable with your nursing relationship.

Starting bottles too early can cause nipple confusion and will start issues with breastfeeding, such as lazy latch, preferring the instant gratification of the bottle vs nipple, etc. You get into that, it takes a lot of consistency to get it back to normal.

Start pumping by the 3rd week, and don't stop!! ;) You want to build up a stockpile as soon as you can. Store it in specialty milk bags or containers in 4 ounces each. I say 4 ounces, because once you should start introducing bottles about 4 months - that's how much baby should be eating if given a bottle.

To warm up expressed milk - boil water or get running water very hot, and dip in storage container/bag until thawed. Once thawed, get more hot water (not boiling) to allow it to sit in to warm up.

Remember to keep yourself healthy, rested (nothing better than nursing little one to sleep and sleeping with them!!), hydrated and eating about 500 extra calories in foods like veggies, fruit, oatmeal, etc to keep your production in top shape.

Any other questions before you start, don't be embarrassed or shy to ask. Tho breastfeeding is normal, in America it's hidden behind a sheet where women feel isolated. Don't let that happen. More and more Moms are going back to giving their babies the best stuff on Earth - breastmilk isn't called liquid gold for nothing!!! Medical research is trying to create goats and cows into making human breastmilk for cancer treatments, burn victim ointments, supplements - breastmilk is just an amazing fluid that cannot be synthetically duplicated - no matter how much formula companies say they can... they just want your money and breastmilk is FREE!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

Why is it people think it's helpful to tell horror stories? I was expecting my son through adoption, and I heard about every adoption story gone wrong you could imagine! I got so used to it, that when a friend started her adoption story, and it ended happily, I stood there waiting for the REAL ending where she lost the child because something didn't work out. I said, "That's it? You lived happily ever after with your child?" She gave me the oddest look and said, "Yeah, pretty much."

I actually tried to induce lactation with my adopted child because I wanted it so much. It didn't work, but at least I tried.

Breastfeeding works for some and doesn't for other, but you'll never know which you are unless you try. If it works out for you, it'll be one of the best experiences of your life. If it doesn't, don't feel guilty about it.

There are lactation coaches all over the place. Your OB should be able to recommend someone.

I vote for going for it and ignoring all the really bad advice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I, like you did not breastfeed my first child. But I did try for two weeks and then alot happened and I quit producing. Anyway, I did try again with the second baby. And though it's not for all, and does somewhat take getting use to, I'm glad I was able to have that experience the second time around. I breastfed him til he was 8 months old then I was wanted to go back to work. And I did find that my breastfeeding hurt nearly that whole 8 months. I like you, was scared of not returning to the normal size and I don't think I did. I was smaller afterwards. It did help me keep my weight down though. And I didn't have a period the whole time I breastfed! As far as storing I couldn't give you much advice on that. I rarely stored because I could always fill my baby up, but I could never pump off alot to store for some reason. And it's also important to have a pediatrician/dr. that supports breastfeeding. I have to baby doctors that did not support it so they weren't very helpful in that area..but I didn't keep them as dr's either. Another, when you have your baby they will most likely (they did me) want to try to feed your daughter within the first 30 minutes after birth. You will think you are starving your baby (if you haven't gotten milk yet-as I didn't get mine until after having the baby) the first few days, but your baby is eating. It's collecting collustrom (however spelled). The more you try to feed the baby the more milk you will produce. And you'll actually get on a schedule with when your milk "drops" aka baby's ready to eat. The only bad part was I did the "co-sleeping feeding" with my baby and believe me, if you ever do that, you find it's easier for you and the baby and you actually rest more! BUT-if your child gets really attached to you like bonding thru breastfeeding, you will have a hard time breaking him to go into his own bed! I told myself I could NEVER and would NEVER breastfeed until I got pregnant with the first and I constantly looked at and read baby books and magazines! You really should try it if this is going to be the last child you have!

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answers from Des Moines on

I am so sorry you received the input that you did before your first child. There is some truth to some of the items, but not so horrible as it was made to sound when relayed to you.
I would greatly recommend finding a local brestfeeding support group as they can quickly and easily answer your immediate questions and also be there if assistance is needed as you are breastfeeding. I am sure you will also get great continued input from this site as well.
Perhaps my experience is not typical as both my daughters breastfed readily and easily and I also had a large volume of milk production. Too much at times in some regard to be honest.
You will find it a wonderful experience for both you and your new baby. It was always very comforting for myself and for my daughters.
I noticed in one reply there was a mention that your older child may become curious. I did have that occur with my older daughter when I was nursing her younger sister. It was kind of an awkward situation initially as they were five years apart in age, but it allowed us a fantastic time to talk and I think in some fashion set a great groundwork for open discussions in the future between mom and daughter. Don't be afraid to openly discuss the curiosity your oldest may have and if you need further input in regards to that sort of situation I would be glad to discuss more.
Look at this as something positive and to look forward to rather than a possibly scary situation.
Best of luck!!


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answers from Madison on

I only breastfed my daughter til she was six months old but even if you decide to try it for even a few months it will be a major benefit for you and your baby and you may even like it and BF longer! It would be worth a shot! I lost all my baby weight by nursing even though I was hungry and snacking ALL the time I nursed and it's very comforting for babies to have the skin to skin contact. I hope you find a local group, class, or nursing consultant who can help you get started. I get the most amazing sense of closeness and love when I am breastfeeding my son who is now two. I admit sometimes I am tired of it and say "that's it, I"m done nursing!" But then the next morning when he wakes up and smiles and says "nurse?" I can't refuse. I nurse and cuddle him and sometimes he doses back to sleep for another hour! Also with my first child getting her to take a nap when she was tired was a huge struggle that took hours of the day but with my son all I have to do is lay down with him and nurse and he falls right to sleep. I wouldn't worry about babies biting because they don't even attempt that til they are closer to 6 months old or so, so if that worried you, you could always just nurse for 6 months or what I did was every time he nipped (he didn't even have teeth yet) I said "no biting mama" and stopped nursing for a few minutes or til later. He got the picture real quick because he loves to nurse.

You can get little bags or bottles for pumped milk and stick it in the fridge or freezer and you can find the guidelines online for how ling to keep them there. It's nice to have a bottle in the fridge or freezer for someone else to feed the baby once in a while if you want to go out or in case you have an emergency or need to go to an appointment but honestly it's much easier to nurse or bring the baby then pumping milk. I personally hate pumping because it's not as comfortable as nursing but some people are fine with it. Sometimes the hospital can help you get pumps for a cheaper rate then the baby stores or a program called Women Infants and Children (WIC) can get some parents pumps for free if they qualify. A double sided pump makes it go quicker. When you first start pumping you will learn that only a tiny bit of milk comes out at first but after a few minutes you feel your milk "let down" and then it comes out more quickly but you still will only get a few ounces at a time at first and when yourt milk supply increases more will come out.... That's all I got for now Good luck!!

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answers from Atlanta on

I had no trouble with breastfeeding or supply -- nurses had great tips and East Cobb Pediatrics has a killer newborn/lactation dr. I had no trouble with the pump, only supplementing 30% formula while working. Cosleeping helped me keep my sleep marginally. With each day, week, month, my children's needs changed and I had to remember to move with the target.

For me, breastfeeding was a bit of a marathon sport -- both uphill and downhill aspects, so when feeling stretched thin, I had to psyche myself on the good aspects (healthy, lovely cuddle moments, money-savings, only I could do this for them) and remember the downhill slope was approaching, the uphill almost over:).

I loved my Medela Original pump (tried the variable and hated it) and loved the Gerber milk bags because they expanded at bottom to stand up while filling. If you are interested in anything detailed, please email me and I'll try to give the unvarnished:)

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answers from Anchorage on

I would find a local class, check with your local hospital. Breast feeding is not horrible. I used both breast and formula with my kids.



answers from Wichita on

I wasnt able to breastfeed either, my baby just refused to do it, but my sister did, so sometimes I would feed her baby after she pumped. She would store them in milk bags, and to heat them up, I would just run them under hot, running water in the sink. They do make bottle warmers, which I used with my daughter, but I'm not sure how well they work with breast milk.

A coworker of mine pumps every day at work and she just keeps it in a container in the fridge until she goes home, then she puts it in a cooler with a blue ice to keep it cool.

When I was still trying to do it, I used lanolin (bought a medela brand tube at Target) on my nipples which were super sore, (bad latch when she would try I discovered later) and that helped alot.

Good luck!!



answers from Augusta on

Glad you are wanting to try breast milk for you new baby and hey, it's sooo much cheaper then buying formula. Like others, I had issues to work through with latching on, but there are some great resources out there and I really feel like it was the best start I could give ours. is a good resource, as well as getting support and questions answered here. Also, definitely get in touch with a lactation consultant - I know most hospitals in the area have them on staff.

My biggest piece of advice is that if this is something you want to do for you, your baby, or whatever the reason; it is something you'll need to prepare to work at. Some people are naturals and have no issues and other's really do have to work for every drop. What ever breast milk you are able to give your daughter will be excellent for her and if you end up giving her formula she'll be good then too.



answers from Los Angeles on

I tried to breastfeed my kid. I was able to do it for 6 weeks. I had so much pain I could not take it. Pumping helped a lot, but I quit in about 2 weeks. Started formula and me and my child were much more happy. My breasts did not sag at all, but I got few stretch marks on them ( they got so big, I had to heads on my chest...) before they went back to normal size.
If I had another child I still would try to breast feed. You never know, some woman enjoy it a lot...



answers from Eugene on

First, let me personally apologize for ANYONE who said such awful things to you! That is certainly NOT what breastfeeding is or does, though yes, it, like ANY new skill, will have it's discomforts and challenges at first as you and your baby get used to it and develop what works best for you.

Breastfeeding, above all, is the very BEST way to feed your baby a constantly changing and developing, fully digestible, complete nutrition that is exactly what humans are designed to feed human babies.

This part is less well-known, except by those of us who chose breastfeeding, but it is also the very BEST way to soothe a crying, uncomfortable, sleepy or nervous baby. It is the BEST way to calm yourself and give yourself the hormonal boosts YOU need to get through the postpartum year with your emotions and connection to your new baby feeling strong. It is an excellent way to grow not only that all important bond with your baby, but to also let your baby know that, as in the womb, love is the first thing to expect, Mommy is there, and he/she is safe.

Not to mention that, unlike bottle fed babies, breastfed babies' diapers are NOT nasty and stinky until they begin solid foods. Really! I swear!

Now, yes, it is true that you may experience sore, overfull breasts for a few days (and that few days may seem like years! but it's not, really), as your body and your baby adjust to what is needed. This is normal because your body needs to learn how much milk to make for your baby and at first, it will tend to err on the side of overproduction. Makes sense if you think survival of the species! But this soon calms down as your body responds to what your baby actually drinks.

Can your nipples get raw? Yes, for a short time...but often that is a result of poor latching on, and can be helped immediately and easily by working with a lactation consultant or a midwife who is experienced with nursing help.

It is also true that it's possible to get an infection--this can be prevented by nursing often and on demand, by eating well and drinking enough fluids, and by getting rest as much as you can. If you do get an infection, there are comfort measures that work--comfrey leaf poultices are very soothing and antibiotics as a last resort. Plenty of rest. But this is rarer than you probably think and is usually very minor.

Storing milk is easy. There are all kinds of systems available to do that nowadays, although for myself, I'm partial to avoiding plastics as much as possible, so I looked for glass bottles. You could also store in little glass jars in the freezer, then when you heat the milk, pour it into whatever bottle you decide to use. It's really simple to warm--place in a small pan with water and gently heat on the stove until it's the same temperature as the inside of your arm. You can tell when a drop placed on that sensitive skin can't be felt--not cool or warm--then it's body temperature. The easiest time to pump is during the baby's longest sleep periods, especially late at night, but you can do it other times as well.

I wouldn't start a bottle with Dad until both you and baby are well adjusted to breastfeeding...about 6-8 weeks is good. Then you can begin introducing a bottle feeding once per day with your milk--I would start with you giving the bottle, so it's most familiar to your baby, and then have Dad try.

Ultimately, your best advice will come from someone local, preferably find a group of other moms who are committed to breastfeeding and are successful at it, or contact La Leche League for help right off the bat with a lactation consultant. They are wonderful and can give you all the help you may need.



answers from New York on

Hi Mama-

I am so sorry that you were scared away from this lovely bonding activity with your first child and I give you huge kudos for considering it this time around. I am going to be a Mommy for the third time and plan on BFing this child as well. I nursed my daughter till she weaned at about 15 months and nursed for about 9 or 10 months with my son. The time with my son was shorter as that was about when we learned we were expecting number 3!

The greatest advice I can give you is to be patient - both with yourself and with the baby. It takes time to establish a nursing relationship. It also takes time for your body to adjust to either baby, the pump or both.

After about 12 weeks, I return to work so I need to pump so that Daddy (aka Mr. Mom) can continue giving the baby the BM so I have a fair amount of experience with the pump. I would invest in the best electric pump you can afford, especially if this is going to be your primary method of removing milk.

I would definately spend as much time BFing the first few weeks (2 or 3) then I would introduce the bottle. Now, this does not mean that you can not collect milk during that time. My breasts are generally overstimulated during this same time period so I would use my pump to either drain them (when baby didn't) or to manage "extra" in between feedings as I don't like drippy nipples or feeling hard and engorged. Ewww. In the beginning, this is usually not much - an ounce, if I am lucky, but it is enough to make me feel uncomfortable and I hate the idea of wasting it.

For storage, since this milk will most likely not be used immediately, I would freeze it directly. I have used both the Medela containers (about 3oz) or bags (about 5oz) and really have no complaints about either. Initially, the smaller containers work better for my Husband until the baby starts getting really hungry and needing more. I found a bit of tape with a "tag" leftover for peeling it off and a sharpie on that tape worked better than marking the containers directly. The bags already have a place to write-on.

One thing you might note is that if you freeze an ounce then add another on top of it (which is okay for a few days but not forever), there will be "layers". This is okay. The milk you produce changes as the baby grows. This usually has to do with the thickness and fat content. We have noted that when left in the fridge, the milk will sperate into a creamy layer and a thinner watery layer. This too is normal and a few shakes stirs things back together.

I use a rule of "5" for storage - 5 hours wihtout refridgeration (although I at least try to have an ice pack handy), 5 days in the fridge, 5 weeks in the upright freezer or 5 months in the dep freezer. I always feed the oldest milk first - starting with defrosted milk if that is around.

Never heat BM directly. Always use a water bath. This is another good reason to use the smaller containers (or put less in a bag) to start with. If I know that Hubby will need a certain amount of milk for a given day, we try to take it out the night before this way it can defrost naturally at a slower rate. When making the bottle though, it is still a water bath to warm it up. This takes a little longer so you should know baby's cues so you don't end up with a screaming raving mad infant and can start a bit earlier than it is needed.

When you do have your husband give the baby a bottle of BM, make sure that you pump at the same time, especially if you are feeding on demand. Your body needs the stimulation to keep producing. This is one reason why I usually take the night feedings - it never made sense to me to have both of us up at the same time - someone should be getting some sleep! LOL.

You can make this work the best way you know how and again be patient. While I am a bit "zealous" about BFing and will do anything I can to make it work, do what is best for you. As an example, I have a girlfriend (who just had her second child) who only BFs in the hospital and pumps and gives bottled BM after that. She is just not that comfortable with the BFing and perfers the pump. So don't worry too much about the stories.

Good luck.

PS. I am more than happy to help out any way I can - a support group can be critical - so message me if you have any more questions or concerns.



answers from Spartanburg on

I recommend freezing in ice cube trays and then transfer to a double freezer ziploc bag. I found a wasted a lot less milk this way and was more easily able to adjust bottle ounces. but the ice cubes only fit in the wide mouth bottles so you may have to defrost and then pour in the bottle. I hated the bags, i found them hard to empty without spilling. Also, they say that it is the pregnancy that makes your breasts sag, not the breastfeeding so might as well try! Good luck.


I recommend freezing in ice cube trays and then transfer to a double freezer ziploc bag. I found a wasted a lot less milk this way and was more easily able to adjust bottle ounces. but the ice cubes only fit in the wide mouth bottles so you may have to defrost and then pour in the bottle. I hated the bags, i found them hard to empty without spilling. Also, they say that it is the pregnancy that makes your breasts sag, not the breastfeeding so might as well try! Good luck.


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sooooo sorry you had heard horror stories....I heard horror stories about child birth too...but tried to put them all out of my head.

Breast feeding CAN be a VERY rewarding experience. It CAN be tiring too. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! RELAX!!! This is a great way for you to bond with your baby. Make sure you have a quiet spot to relax in - I always fed in the same place - rocking chair in the nursery (unless we were out of course!) I admit - I never let a baby stop my schedule. I went shopping and did laundry and vacuumed. I did NOT keep my house quiet.

Talk with your pediatrician - they should have a BF consultant on staff, check with the hospital prior to leaving as well - there are many avenues that you can go down. There is the Le Leche League (some are true hard core BFers and are somewhat fanatical.....)

Getting the proper latch is the hardest part. A nurse should be able to help you with this. The tongue should be on TOP of the bottom lip. BE COMFORTABLE - some women use Boppy-pillows, other use pillows, do what works for you. I can't stress enough - EVERY BABY and EVERY W. is different!!!

Babies do bite nipples - both of mine did - a firm NO usually does the trick. My second one thought it was funny when I said OUCH and giggled like a madman when I would say OUCH! NO!!!

You can go to Babies R us and buy the nipple cream - it does sooth sore nipples. This can come from pumping (having it set too high), breast feeding and life in general - just like skin, our nipples can get dry and cracky after breast feeding.

The most common problem with BF is lack of milk supply. Stress is the #1 contributor in lack of milk supply (at least it was for me) stress comes easily when you aren't getting a lot of sleep - up every few hours, trying to be super W. and getting it all done! :) Caffeine is also another trigger for low milk supply - coffee and Coke/Pepsi/Mountain Dew - all high caffeine products can lower your milk supply.

Be prepared for VERY LITTLE milk at first. It will develop over time. DO NOT STRESS over the quantity you put out. The baby will take what he/she needs. Trust me. If you are not producing enough, you can supplement with formula.

With my first baby - i had enough milk to feed Ethiopia (no kidding - I wet nursed two of my friends kids and gave them my frozen milk). My second one? I had JUST ENOUGH and at one year - he was done. HE chose NOT to BF, i'd go to latch on and he'd be like "NOOOOOOO!!!!" My first? I BF until he was 2.5 years old. Every baby, every W. is different.

Gerber makes some GREAT breast milk storage bags - you can put them in the freezer and defrost them in a pot of warm to hot water. That's what I did. Others will use a microwave, I chose not to. Prior to pumping - write the date and time on the bag, when you pump, just pour it into the bags, seal them and place the oldest bag in the front - breast milk is good for up to six months in the freezer. Don't wait until she's ready for it to pull it out - most babies are on a schedule before you know it - so if she feeds every two hours, you know it will take about 15minutes to warm it/defrost it so at 1.5 hours - pull a frozen bag out of the freezer and fill a pan with water - you don't want to boil it - just defrost it and make it warm.

I used the Pump in Style breast pump. I pumped after every feeding to ensure I got ALL of the hind milk. I pumped every two to four hours depending upon the schedule.

Bottom line - HAVE FUN!!! ENJOY!!!! Don't worry about what happened to other mom's.



answers from Charleston on

I did not feed with my first child also, but due to different reasons. I did however just finish breastfeeding my second and it was a wonderful experience. I discovered a wonderful friend that breastfed that I was able to ask just about any question. She is my age and had breastfed and worked with all 3 of her children. That not being the option for everyone I would tell you to look at the website It is a wonderful source of information and when I was too embarrassed to ask my friend a question or was at home when I thought of it that is where I went. The only other real advice I would give is to purchase or rent (purchasing is cheaper if you breastfeed for more than a couple months) a good breast pump. That make a lot of difference. As for what to store your milk in I used the bags, I used the bottles, I stored some in the fridge and some in the freezer. The web site and the pump will give you guidelines on storage. I hope this is helpful and not a repeat of everything you heard already ~ sorry I didn't have the time to read all of your responses. Good luck and congratulations.



answers from Dallas on

I breastfed all three of mine for at least 4-6 months. I never had any problems at all - latching was a piece of cake for al three, they all would drink formula from a bottle at just a few weeks old if I needed to be gone or we were out etc., I never had any raw nipples, pain etc., never had mastitis etc. Pumping and storing is easy (lots of info on this on the web or in pamphlets you get at the hospital). It's TONS cheaper and more convenient and if you pump it's great to be able to sleep at night and let him get up:) don't believe all the negatives....I suggest you try it yourself. If it doesn't work out, you don't have to stick with it! Good luck!



answers from Denver on

I'm sure you know that breast feeding is by far and away the healthiest thing for baby, so I won't go into those details.
As for the other stuff:
1. It can be uncomfortable at first if the baby doesn't get the latch correct right away. There are lots and lots of things you can do to ease the discomfort, and honestly, it's not that big of a deal.
2. Clogged milk ducts typically results from a bad latch. IF the baby has latching problems you just get a lactation consultant to help you. Again, though, it's easy to fix.
3. I've breast fed both my children exclusively--neither one of them ever had a bottle at all. No bottle's to clean, nothing to warm up, it's just there when you need it. I love, love the convenience!
4. It's super easy to stop them from biting. They typically start to bite down before they get teeth, so while it isn't the best feeling in the world, it really doesn't hurt. You simply take them off the breast immediately, say "No biting Mommy", and offer them the other side. If they do it again, you take the breast away. They learn really quickly!
5. I'll be honest--I hate pumping. It made me feel like a cow. If you can do it, I wouldn't bother pumping. Let your husband bathe the child for bonding, or something like that. It takes so much longer to pump then it does to just feed the baby, that it doesn't really give you a break. If you have to work, then pumping is an option, but I wouldn't do it unless it was a necessity. Also, pumping doesn't completely empty the breast, so it can decrease your milk supply.
6. If you store milk, you'll want to get glass containers. Plastics have all kinds of things in them that will leach into the milk that aren't good for you--it kinda defeats the whole healthy aspect of breast feeding. Also, stored milk loses the enzymes and immune fighting aspects of the breast milk, so it is not as healthy as straight from the breast.

I was a nanny, so I know what it's like to use bottles. Breast feeding is SO MUCH EASIER. And the bonding is amazing. I wouldn't change it for anything.

Good luck on your decision--I promise you won't regret it if you decide to breast feed.



answers from Minneapolis on

Those are a lot of questions and it takes me a 3 hour glass to answer all of those questions. I suggest you look into a local breastfeeding class in your area. Most of your questions can be answered there. Once you get off to a good start, then come back with more narrow questions. I love to help with those questions when very specific. Just go to a class and PLEASE remind the nurses in the hospital that even though this is not your first baby that this is the first time breastfeeding. The staff will help with a lot of those questions. Good luck and congrats on making the decision to give your baby a wonderful jump start. Good Luck!


answers from Denver on

We tend to think "all or none" when it comes to nursing a baby. But I did not make enough milk. He could go for over an hour on each side up to 10 times/day and my supply still did not go up. BUT - I supplemented, pumped, and kept on nursing. In the end, I nursed my 1st son for over 2 years and it was WONDERFUL.

I sometimes put ice-cubes in my bra, but once I got used to it, it was AWESOME. In fact, I was NEVER more relaxed than when I was feeding that first baby. If you need a break (or to get Dad involved), it's OK to give the baby a bottle of pumped milk or even formula, but TRY to keep at it.

My 2 boys that nursed never had an "nipple confusion". We just did what we needed to do between breast and bottle and kept going. Son #3 is about to turn one and is still nursing.

I say go for it, do the best you can, and you'll get plenty of info on storage from the folks at the hospital, on-line, and info comes with your pump too.

It's what our breasts were meant to do. Once you get used to it, the "horrors" start to look pretty funny. It's what they are FOR!




answers from St. Louis on

breastfeeding is a great idea. First your breast will sag because of the pregancy in general, breastfeeding has nothing to do with it. It does hurt at first, but once you get used to it, there is no pain involved, or atleast there shouldnt be. For me it took a few days for my milk to come in (this is good to know, since i was so worried that i just wasnt going to make any). I didnt let my son have a bottle until he got the hang of breastfeeding, People say you can flip back and forth with it. But i refused to do that so he only got me for about 6 weeks then slowly i introduce a bottle a few weeks before i had to head back to work. This was when my husband would feed him. This is something that you'll just need to decide what works best for you and your family. If you plan on buying i pump i suggest a medela, or hospital grade pump. Yes there are expensive, but well worth it in the long run. I bought a cheaper one and pumped atleast several times a day and after a few months the pump broke. Freezing the best to use was the bags (takes up less room in the freezer and is easier to thaw out (make sure you have a permant marker to wright the date on the bag). I first used the plastic bottles and it just takes up to much room. I warmed the frozen milk by getting a glass placing the bag of milk in it and running warm water over it. Takes some time, but i found it pretty easy. Breastfeeding takes time and patients, but it is well worth it. I honestly found that i loved when it was time to feed the baby because no one could do it but me and it gave me and my son much needed alone time. Good luck



answers from New York on

You best bet would be to get in touch with a lactation consultant. She
can answer all your questions.



answers from Detroit on

I would suggest gettting books about breastfeeding.. La Leche has a good one.. there are others.

Pumping is good but it is hard to maintain a milk supply if you just pump. aslo it is work.. double work.. youhave to pump which takes time.. adn then feed the baby which takes time.. it is sure faster to breastfee d the baby on the breast.
breast milk can be stored for 4 hours at room temp 3 days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer. you can buy bags and little cups to store.. bags take up less room in the freezer.

pregnancy does cause changes in the breast.. but breastfeeding is known to prevent breast cancer. which is lot more serious than the things oyou listed..

my kids were nursed and are super super healthy.. no ear infections... etc..



answers from Spokane on

I didn't read all the responses so I'm just going to keep this short and tell you the best advice I received about how to START breastfeeding. Nose to nipple. Put the baby's nose to your nipple then let them tilt their head to latch on, it gives a good latch. Also, start with letting the baby breastfeed, and if you feel you aren't getting enough milk with the pump, let the baby do the work, babies are more effective than a pump and will boost your milk supply within days of on demand feeding. I can't give you much other help on pumping cause my kids didn't take bottles, but I can tell you that when you produce milk your body is actually releasing "in love" hormones that really do boost your bond with your baby! Good luck, and give it a few months to really catch on, I would say that my babies and I weren't totally in sinc until about 3-4 months old. Two weeks is really not long enough to say which way it's going to go.


answers from Rochester on

I am currently breastfeeding my second daughter...did not with the first. I had a terrible time in the beginning, because she could not latch properly, but after a month or two of using a nipple shield, she (and I) got the hang of it and were able to feed directly from the breast.

I will just be honest with you...because of improper latch in the beginning, my nipples became cracked, and would not heal (I tried everything) and I went through infection after infection, spanning five months. After four courses of different antibiotics, the infection FINALLY cleared.

So, the first two months were okay, the third through seventh were EXCRUCIATING. I don't know why I didn't give fact, I did start to give up, cried and cried, bought a can of formula (soy, as she is allergic to milk) and began allowing a supplemental bottle once a day. It was like that was all the break my body needed, and I healed!

So now, at eight months, breastfeeding is WONDERFUL. It doesn't hurt at all, is so convenient (always has been convenient), it is FREE, and what a wonderful bonding experience to share with your baby.

Most people don't experience what I did. It might hurt a little at first while your nipples toughen up, but as long as your baby latches properly and you are infection free, it will be smooth sailing.

My advice for a great start...nurse every two hours, at least, for as long as your baby wants to nurse that often...a month, two months, three months, whatever. That will build up your supply.

To begin pumping with a young infant, pump to empty the breasts after a feeding...I like to pump directly into Medela bottles, pop on a cap, and put them in the fridge. I line them up from front to back...every time I put a new one in, it goes at the back of the line, and when I take one out, I take the one from the beginning of the line...that insures good rotation. I have stored milk up to six days and used it with no problem.

Set out a bottle several hours before you will want it, so it can fully come up to room temperature. While you can't do that with formula, breast milk is safe at room temperature up to eight hours. I have left my milk out as long as six hours, myself, and used it with no problems with spit up, etc.

Personally, I do not like milk storage bags, and I do not freeze milk because regardless of what anyone says, it somewhat changes the consistency. If you feed a bottle, pump to make up for it, and put that in the fridge. That's how a keep a stock in the fridge (for outings, emergencies, whatever) and if I know it's coming up on the 6th day, I will just feed it to her, and pump to put a new one in.

Once you get into the rhythm and flow of it, it will all make sense and just seem natural. I think everyone has to work out their own system. I pray for the best for you, and wish you well...just give it a chance!



answers from Houston on

my experience only and i think i am the exception to the rule. I am probably worst case scenerio. my son was teething at 5 weeks. yes he did bite but not the nipple. back behind.I didnt make enough milk so we had to put him on formula. other than that no it didnt hurt. but I didnt feed long enough to get raw or etc. I had no clogged milk ducts or one boob bigger than the other. all boobs sag with age. I was advanced maternal age so I already far as freezing and all that I couldnt feed long enough to worry about that. so no two experiences are the same. :)

as far as the allergy thing I never breast fed my oldest and he doesnt have allergies. and my kid stayed latched 24/7 due to low milk supply.



answers from Los Angeles on

The real truth is that you need to do what works for you. If it works for you to breastfeed, then enjoy the process. If it doesn't work, that's ok too. Consult a lactation RN if you are interested in trying it again.



answers from Naples on

My pediatrician has really stressed the importance of breast feeding to all of his patients. According to him it is the optimal decision for a mom, although not all mom's can do it. His wife doesn't produce enough milk and has to supplement her breast milk with formula. But if you can breast feed, definitely do it!

Breast feeding has so many benefits. You build a bond with your baby, it helps you to lose pregnancy weight, and your milk includes antibodies that help protect your baby against diseases before he has built an immunity himself.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also talks about the psychological benefits of breastfeeding: And if you would like to see what my pediatrician says about it, comment on his facebook:

Good luck and I hope this helps you in making your decision!


answers from Spokane on

Do it! I too had heard horror stories and my mother had convinced me that since her mother dried up within the first few weeks, and she dried up in the first few weeks, I would too. So, or course, I did. I was having trouble nursing my oldest son and since I thought I would dry up anyway, I didn't try very hard which of course led to me drying up. >.< I tried again with my second son and had few problems. I did get a little raw and chapped. I tried lanolin at first but that stuff is so expensive. So instead, I started using a natural salve. It had beeswax, olive oil, lavender and other stuff in it. What I loved was that it was completely safe for the baby to ingest so I didn't have to wipe it off before feedings and the herbs were also calming to them. You should be able to find something comparable at your local natural foods store or co-op or look some up to order offline. I did get engorged a couple of times but basically because I wasn't paying attention to the feeding schedules and either didn't feed when I was supposed to or left my pump at home.

I have had four children and was able to nurse each for varying lengths of time. In my youngest sons case I didn't want to wean him but had to for military purposes and my oldest daughter weaned herself (I think a move across town precipitated that; the water tasted different). My youngest daughter nursed for almost four years though and she weaned herself about a year ago. I really miss that time I had with her. She's so funny though. Every once in a while she'll come up and ask to nurse and I have to remind her that it's all gone; she drank it all. She gets such a dejected little look but has perked up again within a few minutes.

My breasts are only slightly saggier than they were, but also bigger. One is slightly larger than the other but only I notice. What you should start doing is looking for support groups. My town has a lovely one through a non-profit organization and they've been able to help so many women. (I wish I'd found them when I had my first little one!) My town is full of midwives & doulas and all of them recommend "The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning" by Martha Sears. It's an awesome book and while I never got my hands on a copy for myself, I found one for my sis at a thrift store and it's been invaluable to her. You can find it on Amazon.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

The only thing I'd like to add is that there are actually many people out there that have very positive breastfeeding experiences. I breastfed my twins for 15 months, and it was a wonderful experience. I never had mastitis, a clogged duct, or anything crazy. I did have very sore nipples for the first week or so, but after that we were in the clear. I'm expecting #3 in July, and I'm looking forward to being able to breastfeed again because things went so well before. An added benefit to breastfeeding (besides the obvious) - no bottles to clean daily, and you always bring the food with you. It's great!

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