Breastfeeding the Second Time Around

Nursing is something so magical. How incredible is it that our bodies can produce food and nutrients for our babies? It creates the most amazing bond for baby and mama. Breast milk is literally liquid gold. The only spilled milk we’ve all cried over! It’s not only an elixir to feed baby but it can be used to help heal as well. Put a little on dry skin, small cuts, and you can even drop some in their ears and nose to help defend against air borne pathogens and keep baby healthy from common viruses. Breast milk has so many incredible qualities, but nursing a baby isn’t as simple as it sounds. Many moms don’t produce milk for a caveat of reasons. Working moms aren’t always able to pump or don’t want to. I completely understand too – I went back to work for a week and it was so difficult to find the time, and my production was always so inconsistent pumping. I ended up pumping for 4 months to bottle feed my oldest and I hated being connected to that pump every spare second I had! When Bexely arrived I had a completely different breast feeding experience. I learned a lot with Cora I was able to apply to my nursing routine with Bexely.

DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

I suffer from Raynaud’s Phenomenon. It’s a condition that causes blood vessels to spasm in my nipples when the baby latches.  Many describe the feeling as razor blade pain, and I agree, it’s excruciating. When my babies latch I am in so much pain I can’t tell if they latch right. With my oldest, this went undiagnosed and caused the worst bloody, raw nipples. I can’t even tell you how awful it was. The nurses were adamant against the idea of using a nipple shield in the hospital.  My mom could see how much I was struggling and how badly I wanted to nurse, and she pushed me to use them. I know without them I wouldn’t have been able to continue nursing Cora. It takes a little over a week for my body to adjust to the baby feeding. When I was nursing Cora we didn’t actually know I was suffering from the Raynaud’s. I simply thought I couldn’t figure out how to help Cora latch. I was so exhausted and in so much pain. I felt like a failure, I couldn’t do something so simple as feed my baby. When Bexley came along, I didn’t hesitate using the nipple shields. I also started pumping right away and we would bottle feed her once or twice a day so my nipples had more time to heal. It took the lactation consultant only moments to diagnose the Raynaud’s this time around. Unfortunately, none of the remedies worked for me. I had to push through and make it work for the first two weeks.

GUT HEALTH

As a baby passes through the birth canal mom’s gut microbiomes are passed to the baby. This is the only way a newborn can receive these microbiomes. This is believed to be a big contributor to why many babies these days are suffering from more and more allergies. 97% of newborns are born WITHOUT this enzyme due to cesarean birth and formula feeding.  After I was able to get passed my Raynaud’s with Bexely we had to deal with some colic. She was spitting up and vomiting and I started eliminating all the allergens from my diet. This helped tremendously, however, it was a huge challenge to keep things like eggs, dairy, butter, and wheat out of my meals. I’d eat vegetable soup thinking it would be gluten free, and it would be thickened with flour. Whenever something would find it’s way into my food Bexely wouldn’t sleep and would be miserable. I wish I’d had more of an understanding of what was happening in her gut when we were trying to diagnose her allergies. Evivo probiotic is now available as a food source to feed baby along with their breast milk. Evivo is the only probiotic that has been proven to restore baby’s gut to its natural state. I wish I had a probiotic like this when nursing Bexley. I’m so happy to know about it now so I can be sure to use it for baby #3.

NURSE ON THE GO

One day I was at the park with my new mommy friends and I noticed one of them was walking their baby around in the carrier. I assumed she was putting him to sleep. When she returned to the blanket I realized she had been nursing him. I felt so silly I’d never thought of that before. By this time Cora had self-weaned and was only taking pumped milk from a bottle during the day. She was and still is, a kid on-the-go. She’d come to get milk for a minute, run off and play, then 5 minutes later come back. It got exhausting for both of us. At the time I thought pumping would be so much easier. She could run around with her bottle. While it was better for her, I ended up regretting it! Every spare second, which there aren’t a lot of, I would end up stuck to my pump. With Bex, I was determined to never use my pump! I started nursing her in her sling within a few weeks. It was such a life-changing experience. I was able to nurse her and still have a spare hand for jealous sissy.

PLEASE ADVISE

I’m an independent person by nature. I like to learn trial-by-error. It seems that’s not always the best route in motherhood. I knew immediately that I would need to build a village. I just didn’t realize how hard it would still be to ask or receive assistance. I learned to rely on my lactation consultants and doula to assist me throughout the postpartum adjustment. By the time the baby arrived we had already built a bond. I’m fortunate that my mom visits often and she nursed myself and my siblings, so she is familiar with many of the struggles that go along with breastfeeding. Unfortunately, my independence puts a wall up when my mom tries to give me advice. I am very open and honest with my mom though, I so badly want her to be a part of my motherhood journey. I have so much respect for her and all that she knows about motherhood and child care. We talked a lot in the beginning and were able to work out a system of communication that works for both of us. She tries to refrain from giving me advice unless I ask for it, and now I ask for it more often. Mom groups are a great source of support. Many of the moms are going through similar struggles, and most likely they’ll be experiencing them right along with you. I’ve had so much success in my mom’s club I’m currently the President of our chapter for the second year in a row. Try to build your mom tribe while you’re expecting. Having babies of the same age really helps to be supportive of each other. You’ll have more of an opportunity to get to the know the mom personally before the baby comes, and it makes for a smoother transition when babies are distracting you from the conversation. Other moms will help you get through this whole new world of situations and you won’t feel so alone. Motherhood is incredible, and incredibly hard. Surround yourself with people who understand and want to help.

 

 

Comments

  1. Jenn

    I had an awful time breastfeeding. My son was not a good latcher and I could get positioned in a way that worked for us. He nursed until he was 3 months. I was adamant on the benefits, so now I’m an exclusive pumper. I hate it, but I’m almost at 10 months!

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      I’m so sorry. Way to go! I feel you. I hated pumping so much by the end, but it was worth it that first year.

  2. Cindy

    Wow! It sounds like you really went above and beyond to breastfeed your babies, which is so great. It’s funny, I had some difficulty with bleeding nipples after nursing and the nurses at the hospital gave me a nipple shield right away! It was a lifesaver for me too! Thanks for a great article.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      That makes me so happy to hear they were supportive! Mine were SO bad, I would just cry! I would have the worst anxiety every time she fell asleep knowing she would wake and need to feed again.

  3. Shari

    SO MUCH great info in this post! This condition isn’t talked about enough. I didn’t have this but did have an aversion with my first that was awful. I was worried I wouldn’t breastfeed with my second.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      Thank you. I’m sorry to hear you also had struggles. I want us to all talk more openly about them so we can help each other push past them and be able to enjoy the bond of nursing.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      Yes! So many times I had moments where I’d realize I’m making it so much more difficult than it should be. I blame mom-brain! Reynaud’s is gnarly! But it’s temporary, and knowing that was the biggest thing that got me through the second time.

  4. Melissa

    I love this post. I will definitely come back to it if there is ever a baby number two. I am sure breastfeeding for every baby is a little different and has struggles, but at least you have a little bit of a better idea of what to expect.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      It’s so funny how different they are! I could tell some differences just in the way they behaved in my belly. So fun!

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      Thank you. It was tough, but I’m happy to have had the experience and I’m glad I get to share it with others. Hopefully, some other struggling mamas will feel less pressure if we all share our journey.

    1. Post
      Author
  5. Tamara Goyette

    Love this post. The second time round I faced many of the same struggles as the first time and sadly there was no way around it. I felt more confident though in doing what was best for baby and me.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      Some things are beyond our control. At the end of the day, it has to be what works best for you and the family unit.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      I’m so glad it came it easy for you! There is so much we learn the first time around! I never expected it to be that hard…

  6. The Salty Mamas

    I nursed my second in the baby carrier all the time! It was definitely a lifesaver, especially on days when he wanted to eat all.day.long. I wish I would have known about it with my first!

    1. Post
      Author
  7. Tiffany | ShortSweetMom

    This is wonderful. I think it is great that you were able to get a good system the second time around. I imagine there are a lot of things we learn the first time around that can be applied to our second. My favorite part of this post is your closing. Having a supportive community can make a world of difference as a mom. Keep up the good work and building that positive mom community.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      Thank you! It’s so important to know we aren’t alone, and that others are out there going through similar battles in the quest of motherhood. I felt so much shame the first time, and once I had my mom tribe I no longer felt like a failure.

  8. jhilmil

    Never heard of Raynaud’s before but can so easily relate to you , since I have been nursing mom and have experienced sore nipples sometimes. It really have lot of struggles.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      I’m sorry to hear you are experiencing struggles too. It’s one of the things I wish I had a better understanding of before I had a baby. My struggles made me feel so inadequate, when the reality is, so many moms struggle. You are not alone, you are doing great!

  9. Heydy Lopez

    I never heard of Raynaud before… seriously sounds sooo painful. I’m glad you were able to find a solution and hope that the second time continues to be better for you <3

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      Thank you! I had never heard of it either, but now that I know it makes it easier just knowing it will pass.

  10. Tayler Morrell

    I had such a hard time nursing. It’s all I ever wanted to do…I wasn’t AGAINST bottle feeding, but I WANTED to nurse. My first child, I nursed for four months. But, I was teaching part-time and had to pump, too. It was also super painful becasue he didn’t ever have a good latch–I had to use a shield for the majority of the time. He was also dropping on the growth curve. So, after a lot of tears on my part, we switched him to full-time formula–IMMEDIATE growth spurt! Holy cow!

    I planned to nurse my second for AT LEAST four months. I thought it’d be better–I’d been there, done that, I wouldn’t be pumping or working,a nd would have less stress. Although she had a MUCH BETTER latch than my son, it was MORE PAINFUL than it was with him. I would CLINCH every inch of my body as she latched. And, to make it worse, my son, who was only 2.5 when my daughter was born, was having a hard time transitioning away from having all my attention and would always be pulling/climbing me while trying to nurse. My goal of four months turned to two weeks. Then, as the pain continued and the stress and the reluctance when it came time for feeding, I eventually stopped after three days. Again, it was heart breaking.

    Again, I am NOT against formula–it has helped both of my kids tremendously and it has helped our family dynamic and my mental health. BUT, I WISH WISH WISH WISH I could’ve nursed both longer. I still sometimes feel regret (even though formula was the best choice for both of them and our family as whole) and still shed some tears, but I know it was right.

    1. Post
      Author
      Chelsea

      I totally get how you feel. I’m always reminding the moms that I meet that formula isn’t poison. It’s a life-saving product. Some moms physically don’t produce. Breastmilk is magic, and the bond is incredible, but it’s just not what’s best for every household. We all love our babies and want to give them the absolute best. I hope this week we all continue to share our stories so other moms who are experiencing struggles in their breastfeeding journey know they aren’t alone and it’s normal. On top of the physical pain, I felt like such a failure. I thought I was the only mom that couldn’t do what I was supposed to be able to do, and I was even embarrassed to tell my lactation consultant some of my issues. I don’t want my struggles to discourage new moms from trying to nurse, but I want them to know it’s not always as simple as a latch, and that’s ok. If you decide to work through it, that’s great, but it’s ok to choose not to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *