I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how this baby will differ from my first and one of the biggest questions I have is whether I will find the breastfeeding journey the same? With Jake, I had no issues. Once I was ready to hold him after my c-section, the midwife placed him just below my breast and Jake quickly snuffled around and moved himself to my nipple and happily began to feed. I often heard stories from other Mums who had struggled with the latch, who had experienced cracked and sore nipples and I really felt for them. Being a first time Mum, I had no idea how breastfeeding could go so wrong prior to speaking to them and I was so surprised that we’d had no problems whatsoever. However, I did always put this success down to Jake because I could not express milk to save my life! I tried with a manual pump as well as an electric one and each time I would find it so uncomfortable and only express a tiny amount each time, yet here my baby was suckling away very happily, putting on weight and not causing me any discomfort at all. I just think he had the knack and obviously a very powerful suck!
But what if my new baby doesn’t take to it the way Jake did? What if we have a tongue tie this time? What if I don’t get to experience this amazing part of being a Mother again?
I have no idea how this will turn out and I haven’t really heard much on this topic so I decided to ask some other parents to tell me of their experiences:
Both times it took 4 days for the milk to shoot in but with my first, I struggled to latch her for those 4 days and needed lots of help (I was in private care and had round-the-clock midwife support, which made this so much easier). The second time we found the latch a lot easier. However, with my first, I lost an insane amount of weight and within 3 months my milk supply had dwindled, so I had to resort to bottles. With my second, I was careful not to lose too much weight and happily fed him until we both had enough by 8 months.
Kati- How to rock at parenting
The second was easier, mainly because my nipples were leathery old warhorses and knew exactly what they needed to do. No leaking issues or engorgement second time around either. I was incredibly lucky both times but I sent many a silent thank-you up to the patron saint of breastfeeding because, with two children, I really needed to hit the ground running.
I naively thought that the second would be easier but it wasn’t. We struggled with the latch and I had sore nipples most of the time. It took some getting used to. I would suggest refreshing on how to get the latch right like my midwife said to me the last time you breastfed it was to an older baby and it is different with a newborn.
Jo- Pickle and Poppet
Our first was a real struggle. She latched on and fed for ages, but she never put on any weight. My wife was left with very sore nipples after a few weeks, we had to go over to the bottle as my daughter wasn’t getting enough milk. When my son was born 15 months later, we tried again but had the same problems. We moved him over to the bottle within a couple of days, rather than keeping up the struggle. We didn’t even try breastfeeding with our third.
Pete- Household Money Saving
Both of mine are very hungry babies and feed fine now but my first did everything by himself. My little madam, however, took several attempts before figuring out how to latch on and I had to encourage her more but I think that’s different babies for you. As far as I was concerned my body knew what it was doing the second time around and I found my milk came in a lot quicker!
Charlotte- The Mummy Toolbox
Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to feed either of mine. I can’t help but feel if I’d given it more time though, it would have gotten easier. I definitely gave up too soon.
I had big problems the first time and struggled through for a few months until it got easier. The second time around it was much easier, I don’t know if the difference was due to my children or because I was more relaxed and knowledgeable second time around.
Kate- Counting to Ten
I had no problems with all seven children who took to it immediately and had no trouble.
Mandi- Mum of Many
I breastfed Girly no1 for 7 months. It took a while for my milk to come in after my c-section and I couldn’t get my angry little woodpecker to latch for longer than a millisecond so we had to start on formula. In all fairness to her, it was like asking a mouse to suck a space hopper. Eventually, and gradually, things fell into place and by 4/5 weeks we had it nailed. My second baby was much easier. My milk came in almost immediately, her latch was perfect and she didn’t peck at me like a chicken. However, she is a very hungry baby who would happily feed every 90 minutes if she could.
Jessica- Making Little People
With the first boy I tried to breastfeed, I really did. But I just didn’t get there. He wouldn’t latch on. As the hours passed by, he lost weight, resulting in us having a five-day hospital stay before they would discharge us. I was beyond exhausted, desperately expressing round the clock to try and build him back up. It was physically and mentally exhausting. It was soul destroying. When we finally got home, my husband went out for some formula and it was a revelation! With the youngest, he latched on straight away. Now, I’m not saying it was easy. Far, far from it. At first, I’d have rather have gone through labour again than that initial latch on pain- think bleeding, cracked nipples- horrendous! But persevere we did and he was breastfed.
Jennie- Ricecakes and Raisins
Breastfeeding came really naturally & easy for me so it was a shock when number two arrived with tongue tie. It took 10 days before it was corrected & he could finally latch on properly. Breastfeeding a baby with tongue tie is painful. So painful it left me in tears, with cracked and bleeding nipples (sorry if that’s TMI!), engorged boobs and dreading the next feed. My advice would be to get specialist support early, don’t be too tough on yourself, be prepared for pain and to take each feed a day at a time.
Natalie- Confessions of a Crummy Mummy
I’ve had three children, and between the first and the second I started training as a breastfeeding counsellor – I had a lot of problems breastfeeding the first time and wanted to be able to offer other parents the support that I didn’t have myself. So I thought, knowing the theory and having (finally) breastfed successfully the first time, that second time I should be ok. But actually, I still had a lot of problems, to the point that we ended up readmitted to the hospital when she was 5 days old. I think the thing I realised is that every child is different and that support is REALLY important – and by that, I mean not just from the healthcare professionals but from your partner, family, and friends. Social media was the thing that really kept me going, with so many people supporting me and giving me the confidence to trust my instincts and keep going. It’s such an emotional and scary time, especially if things don’t go to plan – having people around to talk to is key.
Lauren- Mummy is a Gadget Geek
I think that reading through these just goes to show that we are all different and so are our babies. It has made me realise that whatever will be, will be but I know that there is support out there if it isn’t all plain sailing as it was with Jake. I would love to be able to breastfeed again and if possible I would love for our journey to go on longer than the 9 months it did with Jake… but we will see.
Do you have any interesting points to make? Did your breastfeeding journey vary with each child?
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