A while back I wrote a guest blog for another website about my breastfeeding experiences. I wanted to share my story with other mums as my first experience wasn’t great and I was worried that the second time would be the same. I’ve now added the blog to my website so hopefully other mums that are also worried may take comfort in the knowledge that the second time may be completely different like it was in my case.
Will breastfeeding be easier second time around?
If like me, you had a terrible time breastfeeding your first baby, a few things questions on your mind when thinking about a second baby will probably be; will it be the same second time round? Will I have the same problems? Do I even bother trying again?
My First baby
I always wanted to breastfeed when I had a baby and thought it would be easy. I’d read it might hurt a bit for the first few weeks but then it would get easier. For me, this never happened. My baby struggled to latch-on and it just went downhill from there. I had pretty much every breastfeeding problem you could have – a baby with tongue-tie, bleeding cracked nipples, thrush in my breasts, an abscess in each breast which took various courses of antibiotics and many trips to the breast clinic to sort out. I don’t think I actually had mastitis which was one good thing I suppose! I didn’t suffer in silence, I got a lot of help from midwives, health visitors, a breastfeeding expert, my GP, but nobody could stop the pain.
Everyone kept telling me it would get better, but I waited and waited and it didn’t. I cried at nearly every feed, trying to eek out the time in-between them. This, along with the guilt of potentially stopping breastfeeding and the anti-formula vibes I was getting from some people, made me very unhappy and not really able to fully enjoy this important time. After 3 months of hoping it would get better, I made the very difficult decision to stop. My baby didn’t seem to mind, but the guilt stayed with me for a long time.
Deciding what to do about next time..
So when I came round to having another baby, the one thing that was constantly on my mind was what was going to happen with the breastfeeding second time round? I made the decision very early on that I would give it a try and ride it out for a few weeks. However, if it was going to go the same way as it did first time round, I had other things to think about this time. I had a toddler to consider, the last thing I wanted to do was to be crying in front of my toddler whilst feeding the baby – what kind of message would this pass to my little boy – he would think that the baby was hurting mummy. I promised myself that I would not be made to feel guilty about formula feeding and I would think about what was best for me and my family.
Second time around..
So when my little girl was born, I tried again. From the first time I fed her it felt different. She latched on really well and didn’t fuss. My nipples did hurt, but they didn’t bleed. Nipple cream was well used and after a few weeks of toe-curling latch-ons, they started hurting less and less and eventually it was actually lovely. I’d never thought I would be able to say breastfeeding was lovely, but it was.
I fed my second baby until she was nearly one and although I feel sad that I couldn’t do the same for my first, I know I did my best. Obviously, whilst I can’t promise it’ll be the same for you, at least I can offer some hope that it is possible to have a positive breastfeeding experience after a not so good one.