Talk about night and day…my experience breastfeeding Noah was fraught with tears and failure. Aside from a little bit of success the day he was born, we struggled the whole 7 weeks that I tried. After 2 weeks we moved to exclusively pumping and not too long after we started supplementing and then exclusively formula feeding. At the end of it all I was relieved to be done with the whole thing although a part of me was disappointed that we just couldn’t make it work. Hindsight being 20/20 I think I could have fought harder for it but at the time my sanity was more important.
This time I was determined to make it work for as long as possible. We had it easier from the get go because Lia was with us in our room 100% of the time (or rather, avail to us, we did send her to the nursery in the evenings so that we could get some sleep) vs Noah who spent a majority of his stay under the UV lights to fight jaundice. I was able to latch her on right after she was born and then from there nurse her every 2 – 3 hours the entire time we were in the hospital. I really think that had a huge impact in our success.
Where as with Noah my milk never really came in, I came in spades for Lia. From the start I was able to pump an ounce or two from each side even after I fed her. We’re only three weeks in and I’ve stored up over 60 oz of milk in our freezer (is it ludicrous to buy a deep freeze just to store my breast milk??:) ).
I think another factor in our success is that I’m more relaxed this time around. With Noah and his jaundice I was frantic to make sure he was getting enough to eat. With Lia I know that as long as she’s pooping and peeing that she’s getting enough (that was the case with Noah but as a first time mom I was a bit of a control freak about things:) ). I know she’s doing well because she only lost a few oz in that first few days home and gained it all right back within the week. I realize this time around the my main job is to feed here and sometimes that means we never leave the house or even the couch (i’ve also become proficient at walking around holding her while she nurses so that I can help Noah do things). It’s a whole different mind set.
So, for now I’m still taking it week by week. I’m not saying I’ll BF for the full first year but I am saying that we’ll go as long as we can go and right now I have no plans to stop which is so much more than I could have ever said at this point with Noah.
For mom’s that had a hard time with their first, did you find more success with your second (and subsequent?). What do you think was the difference?