In the same way that every pregnancy is different from the next, so is the breastfeeding experience. Justine Tajonera shares what it was like for her to go through breastfeeding again with her second child.
What I didn’t expect from breastfeeding again was the pain. I thought I was an old hand, having learned so many valuable lessons the first time around. I was wrong. Whatever challenges I faced in my first experience in breastfeeding occurred again when I gave birth to my daughter. However, now that my daughter is a month old, there’s one thing that is absolutely certain for me: I won’t give up on breastfeeding exclusively.
Preparing for a Second Birth The decision to breastfeed again was a no-brainer for me. When I gave birth to my eldest in 2006, I had a very difficult time. I didn’t prepare ahead. While I took a childbirth class, I didn’t think I needed any advance preparation for breastfeeding. After I gave birth via CS, I wasn’t able to latch my baby again until after the next day. My mature milk came in a little later (5 days after giving birth) and by then I was panicking. I didn’t know how to latch the baby and suffered from sore nipples and painful breastfeeding for a month. Luckily, I was able to get support from a La Leche League member and I realized that breastfeeding wasn’t meant to be such a painful experience. More than that, after I read a couple of books on breastfeeding (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding published by the La Leche League and The Breastfeeding Book by attachment parenting advocates Martha and William Sears), I realized why breastfeeding was par none to nurturing my baby.
For my second baby, I didn’t take a second childbirth class anymore but I did read up and prepare for my breastfeeding experience. I’m a volunteer for a breastfeeding support group (LATCH) and I made sure to attend a class prior to giving birth. There’s nothing like psyching yourself up for a better breastfeeding experience.
Same Problems, Faster Learning Curve After two hours in the recovery room, I requested to room in my baby immediately. I latched on my daughter as often as I could and, at first, I didn’t have any problems. On my third day of breastfeeding, I started to feel nipple pain. How could this happen? I prepared ahead and I did everything I could to do proper latching. I even had a portable mirror in bed with me to help me examine the baby’s latch. Why was I still having nipple pain? It got worse and I got cracked and sore nipples. I dreaded feeding the baby. The whole time I was hard on myself: didn’t I go through this before? What hadn’t I learned?
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Click here to read on about Justine's story breastfeeding her second baby.