Second Time Around

Breastfeeding is an adventure. It doesn't matter if it's your first baby or your tenth. There are surprises around every corner, particularly in those early days after your baby's birth.  While there's no guarantee that breastfeeding your second (or third or forth....) child will be better than breastfeeding your first, there are some distinct advantages to going into your breastfeeding relationship with some experience under your belt.

In my month-long experience of being a second time nursing mother, I've noticed a few things that make nursing the second time around better than it was when I was a novice:

1. After telling them that I had a daughter who nursed for over a year, the staff at the hospital never doubted my commitment to nursing my son. This meant that my nurses were happy to cheer me on and give me the space that I needed to nurse comfortably.

2. I was prepared for the learning curve of those first few days when the baby is still figuring out how to latch.

3. I was also much more prepared for my baby needing to nurse constantly all night long. 

4. Nursing in public is much easier this time around. I had over a year of nursing my daughter to practice and get comfortable with it. 

5. There was very little nursing clothing to buy. Most of it could just be dug out of storage.

6. Likewise, digging through all the storage bins in my son's nursery was like Christmas morning. There was a ton of stuff that I had forgotten about since my daughter weaned: breastmilk storage bottles, lanolin, and enough nursing pads to last me forever.

7. Second time nursing mothers are at lower risk for delayed milk production and low supply compared to first time nursing mothers. As a person who struggled with low supply with my daughter, it's nice to know that I may escape that fate this time around. (Though it's a challenge that can be overcome).

8. Confidence. It's a wonderful thing to pick up your baby and think, "I've done it before and I've got this."

Don't worry if you're a first time mother; you can breastfeed. We've all been there and we've made it happen. But if you're struggling, don't despair. It gets better. As the weeks and months go by you build your knowledge and skill.