BTDT BFing mommas

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2009
BTDT BFing mommas
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 7:23am

I have a few questions for you ladies who have BF before. First, did you have a vaginal birth, c-section, or planned c-section?


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2009
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 8:44am
Hi Britny,
I'll try and answer your questions the best I can. :) This was just MY experience. I breastfed all 3 children exclusively. All 3 of my children were vaginal births. My first was 40 weeks, 2nd was 37 weeks and 3rd was 39 weeks. For me, breastfeeding my 1st was obviously harder because I wasn't sure what I was doing. I wasn't sure if she was getting enough, etc. The nurses assured me she was. She had a really hard time latching on but after a couple of days, we both got the hang of it. As for my boys, they were much easier and again, I wasn't sure if they were getting enough but again, the nurses said this is only natural so she said they were.. They said that this is why infants get their check ups after they are born and so on for the first few weeks to make sure they are gaining the appropriate weight. That's how you tell if they are getting enough. All 3 of my children gained weighed so all went well as far as that went.
As for when did I feed them, I had a very strict schedule for the feedings. I read "Babywise" (I know some don't agree with it but it worked best for me) anyway, I woke them up exactly on the dot when they were to be fed, no matter what, I fed them and made sure they stayed awake, kept them awake for "playtime" for 20-30 min afterwards and than let them nap. If they were sound asleep, I woke them up. I did this during the day every day and soon they were waking up to feed on their own on the dot without any coaxing. It also helped them sleep through the night, all 3 through the night by 2 months.
Lastly, because I was exclusively feeding, I never used a pump at all for my first one but I never left her side for the first year either LOL ;) With my 2nd and 3rd, I bought just a cheapy electric pump because it was only on occasion that I would need the milk so I knew if I had an appt or something, I'd try to get an extra feeding by pumping and store the milk for later use that night or the next day.
I know breastfeeding is extremeley time consuming, there's just no way around it. I guess you just have to go into it deciding whether you feel it's worth it or not. A friend of mine never breastfed at all with both of her children, they went straight to formula and it looked like she spent as much time feeding as I did, the only difference, she passed it off to her husband a lot.
Anyway, this is all just my opinions and my experience. :)
Good Luck!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2004
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 9:34am

Hi Britny!

I exclusively BFed my DD for 5 months. She was born at 40w2d and I had a vaginal birth. I never considered whether or not this made a difference in my milk supply, so I'm gonna go with no. I owned 2 manual pumps (one was a manual/electric but I rarely used the electric as the batteries would die in 2 seconds and it was more annoying than it was worth). I got my first pump at 3 weeks PP and within a few weeks I actually ended up exclusively pumping for the next 4-ish months (then I went back on BC which was a disaster and caused my milk to dry up, won't be doing that again!). I was not one of those women who loved BFing/pumping AT ALL, in fact it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I was forced to start formula feeding. But it is best for the baby and it's only a few months of my life so I definitely plan on doing it again this time.

Good luck!

Lilypie - Personal picture
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2008
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 9:37am
First, did you have a vaginal birth, c-section, or planned c-section? I've had vaginal births at 42 weeks and two at 37 weeks.. I had good supply with two, with one I didn't because of some personal issues but was able to get a good supply with supplements and pumping with a hospital grade pump.

Did you really need an electric pump? A lot of women have great success with a good manual pump, I personally use a double electric pump. It's good to have one so if you do have any supply issues you can use your pump to help build your supply, to start a freezer stash in case you need to be away from your baby or in case of an emergency should you not be able to breastfeed yourself. I only pump after nursing because your baby is the best way to build and maintain a supply and a pump won't give you near the stimulation and drain your breasts the way your baby can.

As for scheduled feeding and ezzo/Babywise.. I'll post some concerns with it. While some people do have success with it even Ezzo has taken back the original statements about scheduled feedings after babies were being diagnosed as failure to thrive and some deaths occurred from the practice. The AAP recommends feeding on demand and if you want a good supply it's imperative to do so. During wonder weeks and growth spurts you will be tired and feel like all your baby does is nurse but it's important because you're baby is signaling your body to make more and to regulate to the amount of milk needed..

Some good links:

A fantastic BF'ing support FB group.. I highly suggest joining as they are crazy supportive and an endless wealth of information..!/home.php?sk=group_123694641023816&ap=1

Ezzo / Babywise

The following are some of the concerns experts share :

* Lack of expertise and credentials. The primary authors of the material, Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo, are self-proclaimed experts. Gary Ezzo has no background or expertise in child development, psychology, breastfeeding, or pediatric medicine, and holds neither an associate's nor a bachelor's degree from any college. His master of arts degree in Christian ministry was granted through a program that awarded credit for life experience in lieu of an undergraduate degree.

Anne Marie Ezzo worked only briefly as an R.N. decades ago. The Ezzos raised two daughters who are presently estranged from them.

It is unclear what, if anything, Babywise co-author Dr. Robert Bucknam contributed to that book, since versions of the book for the Christian market are essentially the same (though with added religious material) and do not have his name on the cover.

* Risks for breastfeeding mothers and babies. Breastfeeding on a parent-determined schedule (including a "flexible routine" as it is called in Babywise) may reduce a mother's milk supply and contradicts the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which has stated, "The best feeding schedules are the ones babies design themselves. Scheduled feedings designed by parents may put babies at risk for poor weight gain and dehydration."

* Poor breastfeeding information. Although it is presented as authoritative, the breastfeeding information presented in Babywise is inaccurate and substandard (compare with the AAP Breastfeeding recommendations from the 2005 AAP Policy Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk).

* One Size Doesn't Fit All. All babies and mothers are treated alike without any respect given for individual differences in breastmilk storage capacity, rate of milk synthesis, rate of infant metabolism or stomach capacity. In actuality, the number of feedings one mother's body requires in order to supply her baby with plenty of milk each day will be quite different from other mothers around her. Similarly, breastfed babies need varying amounts milk in varying numbers and sizes of feedings, and they do not feed exactly the same way from one feeding to the next in any case. Ezzo seemingly expects all babies to respond in an identical manner. This is no more realistic than expecting adults to consume the same amounts of food on the same schedule and grow (or lose weight!) at the same rate.

* A high-pressure presentation impacts parents' perception of what is at stake:

o Pressure to maintain the regimen. The rules for sleep, feedings and wake time are portrayed as critical to follow in order to achieve a healthy outcome, while health and behavior problems for the baby, and sleepless nights for the parents, are predicted if the program is not followed. (Flexibility is praised but is described as small, short-term adjustments to the prescribed regimen. Parents are warned against making open-ended adaptations.)

o Misplaced moral dilemmas. How well the parents and the baby adhere to the program is framed as a moral or biblical issue (e.g. permissiveness on the part of parents, uncooperativeness on the part of the baby).

o Parents are reluctant to give up on the method. Health care professionals have observed that even when their babies were doing poorly on the program, parents often wanted to stick with it.

Babywise advice linked to dehydration, failure to thrive

by Matthew Aney, M.D.

Expectant parents often fear the changes a new baby will bring, especially sleepless nights. What new parent wouldn't want a how-to book that promises their baby will be sleeping through the night by three to eight weeks?

One such book, On Becoming Babywise, has raised concern among pediatricians because it outlines an infant feeding program that has been associated with failure to thrive (FTT), poor weight gain, dehydration, breast milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning. A Forsyth Medical Hospital Review Committee, in Winston-Salem N.C., has listed 11 areas in which the program is inadequately supported by conventional medical practice.The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Orange County, Calif., stated its concern after physicians called them with reports of dehydration, slow growth and development, and FTT associated with the program. And on Feb. 8, AAP District IV passed a resolution asking the Academy to investigate "Babywise," determine the extent of its effects on infant health and alert its members, other organizations and parents of its findings.

I have reviewed numerous accounts of low weight gain and FTT associated with "Babywise" and discussed them with several pediatricians and lactation consultants involved.

The book's feeding schedule, called Parent Directed Feeding (PDF), consists of feeding newborns at intervals of three to three and one-half hours (described as two and one-half to three hours from the end of the last 30-minute feeding) beginning at birth. Nighttime feedings are eliminated at eight weeks.

This advice is in direct opposition to the latest AAP recommendations on newborn feeding (AAP Policy Statement, "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk," Pediatrics, Dec. 1997): "Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting. Crying is a late indicator of hunger. Newborns should be nursed approximately eight to 12 times every 24 hours until satiety."

Although demand feeding is endorsed by the Academy, WHO, and La Leche League among others, "Babywise" claims that demand feeding may be harmful and outlines a feeding schedule in contrast to it. The book makes numerous medical statements without references or research, despite that many are the antitheses of well-known medical research findings. In 190 pages, only two pediatric journals are referenced with citations dated 1982 and 1986.

Many parents are unaware of problems because the book is marketed as medically supported. It is co-authored by pediatrician Robert Bucknam, M.D., who not only states in the book that the "Babywise" principles are "medically sound," but also writes, "'Babywise' has brought a needed reformation to pediatric counsel given to new parents." Obstetrician Sharon Nelson, M.D., also warns: "Not following the principles of "Babywise" is a potential health concern."

The book's other author is Gary Ezzo, a pastor with no medical background. Ezzo's company, Growing Families International (GFI), markets the book as "ideally written" for "obstetricians, pediatricians, or health-care providers to distribute to their patients." (GFI promotes the same program under the title "Preparation for Parenting," a virtual duplicate with added religious material).

Though "Babywise" does say, "With PDF, a mother feeds her baby when the baby is hungry," it also instructs parents to do otherwise. In a question-and-answer section, parents of a 2-week-old baby, who did not get a full feeding at the last scheduled time and wants to eat again, are instructed that babies learn quickly from the laws of natural consequences. "If your daughter doesn't eat at one feeding, then make her wait until the next one."

Unfortunately, the schedule in "Babywise" does not take into account differences among breastfeeding women and babies. According to one report, differences of up to 300 percent in the maximum milk storage capacity of women's breasts mean that, although women have the capability of producing the same amount of milk over a 24-hour period for their infants, some will have to breastfeed far more frequently than others to maintain that supply. Babies must feed when they need to, with intervals and duration determined according to a variety of factors in temperament, environment, and physiological make-up. Averages may fit into a bell-shaped curve, but some babies will require shorter intervals. (Daly S., Hartmann P. "Infant demand and milk supply, Part 2. The short-term control of milk synthesis in lactating women." Journal of Human Lactation; 11; (1):27-37).

Examples of the many other unsubstantiated medical claims in "Babywise" include:

* "Lack of regularity [in feeding intervals] sends a negative signal to the baby's body, creating metabolic confusion that negatively affects his or her hunger, digestive, and sleep/wake cycles."
* "Demand-fed babies don't sleep through the night."
* "A mother who takes her baby to her breast 12, 15, or 20 times a day will not produce any more milk than the mom who takes her baby to breast six to seven times a day."
* "Mothers following PDF have little or no problem with the let down reflex, compared to those who demand-feed."
* "Colic, which basically is a spasm in the baby's intestinal tract that causes pain, is very rare in PDF babies but is intensified in demand-fed babies."
* "In our opinion, much more developmental damage is done to a child by holding him or her constantly than by putting the baby down. In terms of biomechanics alone, carrying a baby in a sling can increase neck and back problems, or even create them."
* "Some researchers suggest that putting a baby on his or her back for sleep, rather than on the baby's tummy, will reduce the chance of crib death. That research is not conclusive, and the method of gathering supportive data is questionable."

My review of the low weight gain and FTT accounts associated with "Babywise" revealed several disturbing trends. Parents were often adamant about continuing with the feeding schedule, even when advised otherwise by health care professionals. They were hesitant to tell their physicians about the schedule, making it difficult to pinpoint the cause for the weight gain problems. Many elected to supplement or wean to formula rather than continue breastfeeding at the expense of the schedule. The parents' commitment can be especially strong when they are using the program for religious reasons, even though numerous leaders within the same religious communities have publicly expressed concerns.

Pediatricians need to know about "Babywise" and recognize its potential dangers. History taking should include questions to determine if parents are using a feeding schedule, especially before advising formula supplement to breastfeeding mothers or when faced with a low-gaining or possible failure to thrive baby. Lactation consultants also should be instructed to probe this area.
Efforts should be made to inform parents of the AAP recommended policies for breastfeeding and the potentially harmful consequences of not following them.
 BabyFetus Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2006
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 10:00am

Hey Britny, I'm due early Dec so I lurk here and have also only nursed and gave breastmilk in bottles for both my kiddos. First off, no matter what it will be frustrating at some point or another but it always gets easier, just stay committed and I have faith you can do it. I'll answer your questions on how things worked for me and I hope it helps you!

Both of my babies were vaginal births, one at 39 weeks and one at 38. I feel my milk came in as it should, dk when it did for sure to tell you though. With my first I did not go back to work and had an electic pump and it was a waste. First if was crappy. I found it so much easier just to nurse than to pump. I would say personally a manual, long as it's decent, will be sufficient enough for times when you need a bottle or two to run out or have a date night or whatever. I actually did use one for 9 month or so at work with my son bc I didn't have the money for an electric and I used it everyday for his bottles at school so they do work. (PITA.....def recommend and electric for that case!)

As far as how often in the VERY beginning I nursed whenever baby wanted to. They will cluster feed, which is when they want to like all the time for a little bit. It actually will encourage your milk production. As you are settled and baby is feeding well and latching well and getting older I tried to get on a better schedule. Nothing specific but I would know he/she eats about every 3 hours or 4. If it was two and a half and they were screaming, well I'd feed them. If they went four and a half, fine! I think I woke my first in the beginning, but not my second. I don't think it's neccesary IMO, unless they've slept forever! And I don't believe I got up and pumped until they got older and were sleeping through most of the night. If I woke up so full it wouldn't hurt me to pump a lilttle to store bc I knew I was so full I'd have plenty for baby when they woke!

This is all from my experiences but they were both very successful. I know if I had the option I would stay home. It's so much easier, I honestly hate pumping and to have to do it everyday on a schedule and cleaning bottles, ugh! I will have to go back to work this time too and will be using a Medela electric. Oh fyi I used the manual avent isis when I went back to work with my son and it did work great. Good luck to you, it's great for baby and free, lol!

Jill, mommy to Chloe, almost 5, Oliver, 3 & baby Ella born 12-1-11 !
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2009
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 10:06am
As I said, I'm not intending on starting a debate about Babywise...I was just saying that by keeping my children, mine, not anyone else's on a scheduled feeding, it really worked for our family and my children did very very well on it. It's a personal opinion, I was just saying what I used and answering your question on whether I woke my baby up or let him sleep through a feeding.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2008
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 3:19pm
I wasn't debating.. I was offering out information since it was brought up.
 BabyFetus Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2007
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 9:58pm
I EBF both my kids for 13 mos each. :) Mine were both vaginal, and right about 40 weeks each. Both were good eaters, but I did have slightly different experiences with them. Mostly just in the frequency and time involved. DS would nurse and nurse and nurse for no less than 30 mins each feeding. And he would nurse every 2 hours on the dot, from start of feeding to start of feeding. I'd definitely feed my child as much as he/she wants. A lot of times if they're nursing more than every 2 hours or going through "cluster" feedings, they're having a growth spurt and need the extra calories. My body responded really well to BF. It would pick up on supply when baby was eating more, and slow down when they were eating less. I never had to use a pump. I had a manual pump, but my breasts didn't respond well to it. I could hardly get any milk out with the pump. My kids always woke up when they were hungry. DS gradually got into a normal over night schedule, where he would gradually sleep more and feed less. DD slept right away, and I let her. I didn't wake her up or anything. I just thanked God for the good sleep! My body just made milk on a constant basis, just the amount varied. So, if I got more sleep then I just had more milk built up. It wasn't until the schedule changed and stayed consistent for a couple of days that my body adjusted to the new schedule.

I hope all that helped. :)
Lilypie First Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2007
Sat, 07-02-2011 - 10:10pm
Your pediatrician will tell you if you need to start waking the baby up to feed. Mine almost told me I had to with DD because she was losing weight after birth, but she turned the corner all on her own. I really wanted to avoid having to wake her up to feed if I could. As long as they're growing and gaining weight, they're doing fine and I say let 'em sleep. :) Every baby is different, but you already know that!
Lilypie First Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2009
Sun, 07-03-2011 - 7:27am

WOW! So much information! :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2009
Sun, 07-03-2011 - 7:57am
I had Aiden at 37 weeks and everything was just fine...I literally hit 37 weeks and had him that night. :)

As far as I know, you should be able to nurse after a c-section and your body should respond very well. It's a great question to ask your nurse or Dr. when you go in for a checkup one day. :)

Good Luck!

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