This is my experience with breastfeeding my second baby. Please note that my experiences will not apply to every mother-baby dyad. If you are in need of breastfeeding assistance or support, please contact your local IBCLC or La Leche League.
My little man is now a month old and we’re starting to fall into a little bit of a rhythm, growth spurts notwithstanding. Breastfeeding has not been a walk in the park. I expected issues as this is a new baby I’m breastfeeding, but I know so much more about the early days, book learning and from experience with E. However, all of the knowledge that I repeat to other moms flies out of my head when it comes to me. I found myself worrying about all of the same things any mom would – supply, diapers, growth spurts, you name it. Here’s what I thought would happen with breastfeeding the second time around and what actually happened.
What I thought: milk supply would increase like crazy between days 2-5 post partum and I would leak like crazy.
What happened: my milk supply did increase between days 2-5 post partum, but my milk “came in” with a whimper rather than a bang. I didn’t have the rock hard, lumpy breasts that I had with E. Instead, my breasts felt full, but not hot, throbbing, or rock hard. I’ve leaked a little bit, but most days I do not wear nursing pads. It was the opposite with Ethan – I would soak through my nursing tank and t-shirt if I sniffed his head.
What I thought: it’d be smooth sailing with supply since it was my second baby and I had encapsulated my placenta this time around.
What happened: it was smooth sailing with supply for the first few days. Unfortunately, due to some complications with my post partum recovery, I had to take a medication that was known to reduce prolactin levels as a side effect. My milk supply did drop due to the medication. In addition to starting fenugreek, I asked a two trusted friends to pump some extra milk for me. I did have to use their donor milk on a few occasions when Rohan didn’t seem satisfied. One of those times was during a growth spurt at 7 days – you can bet I was thankful for those friends! These were the times where I felt like I was drying up. I finally feel like my supply has caught up with his demand, but it took a while.
What I thought: if there’s a tongue tie or a lip tie, we’ll get it taken care of quickly and move on with our breastfeeding journey.
What happened: I noticed Rohan’s lip tie in post partum the night he was born, but I wasn’t able to get a good look under his tongue. His lip tie is a class 3 (out of 4); it was so bad that even the on-call pediatrician at the hospital pointed it out to me. After an IBCLC friend came over to help the day after we got home, she pointed out his tongue tie as well. Although, I could’ve confirmed it thanks to my sore and bloody nipples. Yowch. I made an appointment to get them corrected with a popular and reputable dentist in the area, but there’s quite a wait. Our appointment is not for another few weeks. Things have improved, but I’m often sore after a feeding. If I’m not careful with how wide he opens his mouth, I can easily undo all of the healing with one bad latch. I’m making it through thanks to alternating Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Nipple Butter and Motherlove Herbal’s Nipple Cream, and ibuprofen.
|A quick snack in the car while waiting to pick up Big Brother|
And there you have it. That’s what breastfeeding the second time around has been like for me. It has been more difficult in some ways but easier in others. Despite the ties and the lowered supply, Rohan was a half pound over birth weight at two weeks! Ethan wasn’t back at his birth weight until he was a month old. I’m glad that Rohan was a full term baby and a great eater, but the reduced supply has been very tough to bounce back from. Thanks to a very supportive husband reminding me that I can do this and not waiting too long before calling in some professional help, I believe that things are only going to get better. Here’s hoping Rohan and I make it to two years!