I am writing this post two weeks post-partum with my second baby in two years (yay for two under two!). I nursed my first baby for just under ten months, so I’ve had about a seven-month break from the gig. As I approached the end of my most recent pregnancy, I started having concerns on what it would be like to start the breastfeeding journey over again with a newborn after having nursed an older baby. However, after spending the first couple of weeks with the new baby my initial breastfeeding concerns melted away and I look forward to the months ahead.
Breastfeeding My First Baby
Breastfeeding my first did not come easy in the beginning as is the case for many first-time moms. Our biggest issue was with the nipple shield. We had a difficult time latching in the hospital which led me to use a nipple shield from day one. Nipple shields are great, but they come with their downfalls. They’re finicky to deal with, make it hard to nurse on the go, are messy, and become inefficient. It took us almost six months on the shield to finally kick the habit. Once we were off the shield, it was smooth sailing for us until she was about ten months old. Now that she is an increasingly picky toddler, I miss the days when I could just nurse her for meals!
Concerns While Pregnant
As I approached my due date, I started to have concerns about breastfeeding the second time around. Would I have the same patience and dedication with the new baby? Are we going to have latching issues? Will we be chained to the shield again? What if our breastfeeding relationship didn’t develop as successfully as with my first? What if for some reason it doesn’t work out for us at all? Will I remember how to do everything or will have to relearn the whole process? I tried not to dwell on this too much, but I was generally hopeful things would work out fine.
Breastfeeding My Second Baby
I am now two weeks into breastfeeding my second baby, and I am happy to report that things are going great! I’m so proud of him. The ten months of experience of what worked (and what didn’t) with my first played a crucial role in starting this new breastfeeding relationship and allowed me to fall right back into the swing of things. Knowing what holds worked for me and having the base knowledge of proper latching simplified the process. We did end up having to use the nipple shield again in the beginning, but we have mostly weaned off of it already (now that I’m a pro).
The early weeks of breastfeeding are difficult in so many ways. However, I feel like I’m okay with the early struggle because it pays off – feeds get easier and more predictable. It is such a short amount of time before he starts eating real food that I appreciate these early breastfeeding days even more.
The knowledge of it gets better is especially helpful at those 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. hours. I am looking forward to the months ahead with my new little guy, and my formerly pregnant self had nothing to be worried about.