Friday, January 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 23): Beginning Breastfeeding, Round 2

Peter and I had a rough start to breastfeeding. Within the first few days, I had cracked and bleeding nipples. It was well over a month before the tenderness subsided. He gulped as he drank, swallowing a lot of air and creating significant gas problems. His latch wasn't great; we frequently had to make multiple adjustments per feeding to get things right.

(He still gulps everything. And has a lot of gas. This boy is never going to be able to subtly take a drink.)

Despite a rough start, plugged ducts, and mastitis twice, I'm glad we persevered. I loved nursing him. Being able to provide excellent nutrition and comfort to my little boy was such a blessing. And it was SO convenient! We nursed for 26 months. (The hospital lactation consultant was very impressed.)

I knew I would breastfeed this baby, too. I expected similar struggles, but knew it would be worth it. I have been pleasantly shocked at how much easier it has been this time around!

I think this is partially due to me having more experience. I know what a good latch should feel like and was able to get support from day 1 when it wasn't working. According to the lactation consultant, girls tend to figure out how to nurse more quickly than boys, so perhaps that is playing a role as well.

With Peter's birth, I had a tear that required multiple stitches and lots of painkillers in the aftermath. This had a significant impact on nursing, because I was numb enough that I couldn't feel when his latch was wrong. With Anne, I had almost no tearing and minimal post-partum pain relief. This had made it SO much easier to know what works and what doesn't!

Finally, the minor tearing (especially as compared to last time) has meant that my mobility hasn't been impacted very much. It's pretty easy for me to shift my position to accommodate Anne. I wouldn't have thought there would be a connection between injury and breastfeeding success, but there definitely is! Anne is only eight days old and already a pro!


  1. I had a harder time the second time around but my first was a girl (maybe that made a difference?) although I did get mastitis the first time from plugged ducts and I knew how to avoid that the second time around. Good for you, 26 months is awesome!

    1. Thanks! I'd never heard about gender differences, but the lactation consultant would certainly know better than I. Could be!

  2. God bless you for persevering with BFing when it was difficult! on behalf of your littles, Thank you!! It makes me so happy to see mamas struggling through the tough to give their babys the milk that really is best!!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I know some women try their hardest and it just doesn't work. It's so wonderful when we're able to do what is best for our kids!

  3. I found your blog on QT blog hop! Congrats on the new baby! I experienced similar things with laboring and BFing with my first and second.

  4. Great job nursing!!
    I had a rough start with my first baby, too (although not nearly as rough as you), baby 2 was a breeze and now with baby 3 nursing feels about as natural as breathing. I'm with you, so very glad I decided to nurse :)

    1. Great to hear! We can give hope to moms struggling with their first baby.