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Breastfeeding: The Second Time Around

Breastfeeding: The Second Time Around

In 2014, I became pregnant with my second child. I felt I was better prepared for breastfeeding since I had already successfully done it for a year with my first-born. I got books to explain breastfeeding to my toddler so that he would not be confused when I breastfeed his sister. I had overcome the lack of family support and they knew that I would be breastfeeding again, they were more comfortable with my choice this time around. I felt much more confident in my abilities to successfully breastfeed. I had also learned about the benefits of breastfeeding past one year and planned to do so when my second child was born.

My daughter was born in January 2015. This time the hospital that I delivered in was more baby friendly. They immediately have me my daughter and we did skin to skin and the nurses did not take her out of the room for anything. This was completely different from the birth of my first child just 3 years earlier. The second day of her life a nurse who had some training in breastfeeding came in and asked did I need any help with breastfeeding. She asked if she could observe a feeding. She commented on how I had the perfect nipples for breastfeeding. She informed me about why my areolas were dark because of babies limited eyesight. She instructed me to spend time looking into her eyes while feeding, she told me all about hunger cues and baby wearing to keep her close. I was not given any of this information the first time around and was so grateful to be receiving it this time.

This time around I did not pump early, I hand expressed when my breasts were too full, I was not engorged and did not have the oversupply issues I had the first time. This time around everything was much easier. I was doing everything right. Unfortunately, when she was about 6 weeks old, I became extremely ill. I had a fever of 104 for seven days and I assumed that my sickness could be passed through the breast milk. Her dad was feeding her from the milk I had in the freezer until I ran out and we had to give her formula. This broke my heart. She had formula only for about four or five days.

Once I was feeling better, I tried to breastfeed but after not breastfeeding her for seven days and running such a high fever I was unable to breastfeed. I set an appointment with my doctor to see if there was anything I could do. I was told that I could take a pill to help regain my supply, but I would have to pump and dump until I stopped taking the pill. I knew there had to be something else I could do so I went back to the lady who had helped me in the hospital. She helped a little, told me to rent a hospital grade pump, drink water and make lactation cookies. I made the cookies, did not take the pills, and continued to latch her. I found a pumping routine that worked for me and was able to bring my supply back which I later found was called re-lactation. After that I did not have any issues with breastfeeding her. I returned to work shortly after and was able to make sure she had milk while I was gone.   I was able to breastfeed her for 15 months.

Though there were some very rough times in the beginning I knew the benefits of her getting my breast milk and was committed to getting her off formula. Having such a wonderful start I never thought I would have any issues with breast milk production. Overcoming obstacles and being determined to surpass my goal of 12 months fueled me. No matter how many issues you have, you can meet your breastfeeding goal. Knowing where to find assistance, where to get support and having someone in your corner can help you meet your goals.