BTDT: Breastfeeding

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2005
BTDT: Breastfeeding
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 6:50pm

I've heard horror stories about breastfeeding.  I didn't breastfeed my DD at all.  I don't even remember having milk.  I told myself this time around I was going to try it out, but now I'm a little freaked out.  Between hearing about babies feeding every 2 hours, feeding for over 30 minutes at a time, and your nipples being sore, cracked, and bleeding, I'm beginning to think I may take the formula route again. Plus, another concern of mine is having time to pump when I get back to work (I'm a teacher so I won't be able to leave my students for an extended period of time).


BTDT moms, please share your stories on breastfeeding experiences.  Thanks!

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 8:13am

Hi Mom2be,

I think it is awesome that you are thinking about breastfeeding now.  Knowledge is power and you have a lot of time to decide on the best option for you and baby!

I wanted to share a link with you to the Breastfeeding Support: Ask the Lactation Consultant topic here on iVillage.  The ladies there are great and I'm sure they'd love to share their experience and advice with you. I hope it helps!

Breastfeeding Support: Ask the Lactation Consultant-

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2012
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 3:15pm

We are expecting #4 in May.  All my childrent came 3-4 weeks early.  I've been told that my short stature is the reason my kids came early (there was just no more room)  All 3 have been healthy & good.  That being said, I have never produced a lot of milk on my own, but my last one was more than the first 2.  It's very important that it's done right... If it's not, that is when you have soreness, and problems with your nipples.  If you make the decision to Breast feed and you have to supplement (for the health of the baby) it's ok.  You are still a great mom for wanting what's best for your new baby.  Doctor's will tell you that even some breast milk is better than none.  Get advise from mom's who've been there.  I was very lucky when I had my first to have a mommy friend that was very informative (and very hands on with the help).  Even your lactation consultant with your hospital (if you are going that route) are alway able to help as well.  Don't be freaked out or worry.... With much love... Sabrina

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2008
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 8:29pm

So let me preface with- I am SOOOO passionate about this topic. Please forgive me as tone and such are obviously hard to translate. Any of my comments suggestions or generalizations are not and will not be directed at you. :-) Hope you understnad I just want to educate and share my knowledge but I am super passionate so that can get in there too....okay here it goes!

My DD was born early. And had a brief NICU stay. I pumped starting at day one. I didnt look at it as an inconvience. This was and is and will always be NOT something that is optional (to me obviously). This is how it has to be and will be for me. When I looked at it with this perspective I found it MUCH easier to keep at it day after day. Again this is MY perspective. But it helped. I stayed dedicated to it. I looked at it as my job as a mother to do it.

Now that said here is the advice part- Since I had to pump since day one and I am a teacher (and a teacher with stirct guidlines as to when I could leave the kids- I teach preschool so ratios are a huge part of it). I made sure that my day was condusive to pumping here is the schedule I used.

6:00am- Breast Feed
6:50am- Pump (double)
12:00 (lunch)- Pump
2:30 (off)- Pump
3:00- Feed DD at pick up @ daycare
And then at night we would cluster feed with several close together feedings one right after another. at 10pm I would pump and in the begining I would wake up to feed at midnight and then go and double pump (I dropped this around 6 months when solids entered the picture) (***another thing to point out is I took 12 weeks maternity leave so this schedule started at 3mos to 6months and then solids entered the picture which alliviated a lot of the pumping.)

ALSO my biggest advie that worked for me that I will be more dedicated to this time- Pumping from day one gave me a nice freezer stash about a month ahead at all times. But breast milk can be kept 3mos in a reg freezer and 6months in a deap freeeze. I have a deep freeze this time. So in the begining I was pumping and freezing the extra milk. Then each day I would pump and freeze that milk. I would rotate the milk I give her in the day (one bottle of fresh for her mid-day (bigger) feeding and the feeding before and after would be bottles from the freezer stash from the older milk.

Here is how I freeze my milk.

I pumped into the pump bottles. At night before bed I would portion into baggies of 2- 1oz, 3to4 2oz, and the rest 3oz baggies (Laniosh makes a good bag with a nice seal and room to date it). I would pre date the bags for that date and right the oz amount on the outside. Then I had a small square tupperware container in my freezer. I would lay the baggies flat stacked on top of each other The next day when it was time to freeze more I would take the flat baggies out and place them into a large gallon zip lock bag labled with the start date (if say I just started a new gallon today it would say 11/27.) when it gets full I add on the end date. The newest milk goes to the back of the freezer so you use your oldest milk first.

It is possible to do it. If your dedicated! :-) I am not gonna say its easy or a cake walk. Its hard dang work! Its exausting because the first month or so the babies do eat every 1 1/2hrs to 2hrs FROM THE START of the previous feeding. So if baby eats at 1pm and doesnt finish until 1:30 or 1:45. He may want to eat as early at 2pm or 2:30pm for the next feeding. This is temporary. Their stomachs are TINY and they need frequent feedings. Breast milk is digested differently and they dont need as much at one time. (Likewise- a formula fed baby may drink 4oz- a breast fed baby may only eat 2 or 3 at the most. Which is why my milk is frozen in lower quantities.)

Kellymom is a great web site with lots of info and I lived off of that site when I was breast feeding my first.

Also if it hurts. see a lactation consultant. Turns out my boobs are huge and werent able to go into my daughters mouth at the right angle. They told me to roll those tiny swaddle blankets and shove it under my boob during feedings and the it would lift it to the right angle and VIOLA it worked! :-)

Good Luck and Please let me know if you have any other questions I am an open book when it comes to this topic. :-)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2007
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 5:09pm

You've gotten some really great responces, but I thought I would add my own 2 cents from a different perspective. Let me say first that I formula fed my first 3, and exclusively breastfed my last two (and am still nursing my 17 month old).. and my views are also on a what ever works for you basis.. I have never been a pro-formula or pro-bf person. Totally private decision.. as long as you take care and feed your baby to each is their own.. :)

   Anyhow.. all those horror stories.. I've been there!! My first was a horror story birth, which he was taken away for many hours after birth and in a totally non-supportive bfing hospital.. when I had trouble feeding him and the lactation consult wasn't availible on the weekend, they immediately went to formula and treated me pretty cruelly.. Through my next two births, I had issues with pain and saw different consultants and was put in various positions and told "try that" nothing really helped and I would finally cave at 6 weeks and ended up switching to formula. With my last two, I did suppliment for the first about 6 weeks, whenever I got overwhelmed or needed a break... but after about 9 weeks things improved, no more pain, bleeding, feedings became more consistant...

  Sorry if this ended up rambling.. Bottom line I mean to say is that, maybe you will be one of those that do really well at breastfeeding and takes to it naturally.. but if you're one that it doesn't just know that 1) you can always suppliment and any bm is better than none, right? 2) Even if you have issues to begin with, it will eventually smooth out and 3) try not to stress if things don't come naturally at first.. it happens to tons of people and stress makes bf so much more difficult!! Just drink plenty, and have a good support system around you!!

Hope this helps.. like I said sorry if it's rambly, but am trying to type while watching my kiddos and the train of thought runs away everytime I have to talk about WW1 or change a

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2008
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 11:24am

I BF my DD and I was one of those horror stories, but I stuck it out!  I *think* I may have had inverted nipples.  They looked normal and would get erect but if you squeezed from about 1" behind the nipple, the entire aerola/nipple area would go in.  Not sure if that makes sense Embarassed My DD fixed that but it took 8 weeks.  I went back to work full time when she was 6 weeks and pumped.  It wasn't easy and I could only keep it up for 6 months.  I took the $$ I would have spent on formula and would splurge on clothes for her. 

To each her own.  Best of luck!

Lilypie Trying to Conceive 15 to 80 day cycle tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2007
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 2:48pm

This is such a touchy subject...and it really shouldn't be.  Do whatever you feel is right for your family.  The only thing is don't skip out on it because you are scared. It may not be as bad as you are imagining it to be.

I breastfed both my kids. While there was some pain (one side due to the way I held them) I did enjoy the experience. With #2 I worried about how #1 would deal with my time away...but he surprised me and did great. He entertained himself and would help me by getting me blankets, burp clothes, or handing me my water.

Today there are many people who can support you. Hospitals are more friendly, have consultants, and outside help too.

My best friend is a teacher and she was able to work in pumping time.  Talk to your principal(s) and see what schedule you can work out (I beleive that legally they have to give you some time). Also, keep in mind that it is okay to "mix and match". There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding when you home (breakfast, dinner & bedtime = that's what I did with #1) and formula while he was at the sitter (after I ran out of my pumped supply). 

True it is a juggling act, but I enjoyed the experience.

I hope you make a choice that is right for you and your family...