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Will second attempt at breastfeeding be more successful?

(15 Posts)
crumblybiscuits Mon 30-Nov-15 09:07:52

Attempted to breastfeed DD1 and lasted less than four weeks. Only managed about two weeks actually breastfeeding if that and then pumped for two before quitting altogether. Never really figured out where we went wrong but she just stopped even attempting to latch and just screamed at my boob. I had prepartum and postnatal depression and was really poorly with MH problems at the time so the stress of pumping got too much.

Now 20 weeks pregnant with DD2 and I am really hoping to be more successful than last time. Has anyone failed at breastfeeding the first time and managed with their second? Any tips of what I can do to prepare or study? I was so sure it would come naturally last time but even the lactation consultant couldn't get her to latch.

mugginsalert Mon 30-Nov-15 21:11:48

Hello, congratulations for your pregnancy! I had a very hard time breastfeeding for my first baby and also had depression too, so I sympathise with your past experience. I did manage it in the end, but it took about 12 weeks to really get established and I had a lot of medical help and support. So didn't quite fail but it was a near thing, and it stopped me really relaxing and enjoying the baby because I felt I just wasn't doing right by him. (of course this was untrue - nothing wrong with finding feeding hard, and nothing wrong with formula, but put the pressure on myself just the same!)

My second baby had tongue tie and lip tie, so feeding was a bit painful, but even so it has been SO much easier, right from the start. Milk came quicker, she fed more easily, and I knew what to do and what was normal - i.e. just let her feed whenever she wanted and hold her as much as possible for the first days. It was a world apart. I hope this happens for you too.

I found a book called 'food of love' by Kate Evans to be a lovely and reassuring read, it was really informal and friendly and has lovely cartoons. The big La Leche League one (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding) has a lot of practical help and information about what to expect as normal at each stage. I also found that I had to really rethink my assumptions about parenting to make it work for us, i.e. I ended up co-sleeping and sling wearing etc., which I hadn't planned.

Of course the most important thing is to enjoy your baby no matter how you end up feeding him/her. Best of luck xx

megletthesecond Mon 30-Nov-15 22:28:06

Dc1 used to scream at my boobs too, bf counsellor couldn't find a solution either. We muddled through with the odd hard won latch (took 2 weeks), plus expressing and ff but after 12 weeks I'd had enough and gave up trying to bf.

Dc2 sussed it with her first feed and I never had a single problem bf her.

I did the same both times, tummy to mummy and nose to nipple, skin to skin, plenty of milk by day 4 etc. It just did not work first time around. Very different experiences. Hopefully it will also click for you and your dd2 .

WLmum Mon 30-Nov-15 22:36:44

Yep, I failed miserably with dd1 despite trying so hard for so long - was awful for us both and so much better once on formula but oh the guilt! So ridiculous.
Dd2 was a breeze right from the first instant.
Dd3 was a bit of a struggle, after a week was diagnosed with a posterior tongue tie (apparently quite hard to see but getting better - I suspect dd1 was undiagnosed) and after a week of bf with ff top ups, fed like a trooper for almost 3 years!
Good luck and be gentle with yourself.

WLmum Mon 30-Nov-15 22:38:07

Ps - I was the same, convinced it would be naturally easy with dd1 but like you, lactation consultant and all the NHS crew couldn't help.
Didn't do anything with dd2, it was just easy.

StormyBlue Mon 30-Nov-15 23:16:41

Hmm, DS did start to 'get' latching but only after 2 weeks of sheer misery. He never had a bottle, just lapped at a cup, so he couldn't develop a preference. I'm glad I BF in the end but it was an extremely stressful time. I think some babies are just really stubborn like that.

I know quite a lot of breastfeeding mums and it really is random. Some never have any problems, some struggle with the first but not with the second, and some vice versa. There's no reason why your second won't just take to it like some babies do.

If you want to BF, I would say go in determined, because I think that's important for getting through the first few weeks which can be hard, but if it doesn't work out try to keep some perspective (which I really lacked with a newborn!). Good luck!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 30-Nov-15 23:22:01

I had the opposite, BF my first fine and have had a massive struggle with my second. They're all different and one bad experience doesn't mean you'll have another.
Good luck!

Scotinoz Tue 01-Dec-15 09:54:02

My first struggled to latch, I expressed for the first few weeks and when she did finally latch, it was crap and never improved. I struggled through eight long and painful months of feeding her.

My second fed with half an hour of arriving, I've never had a problem and really enjoy feeding her seven months later.

Sometimes babies are a bit duff at breastfeeding! Best of luck!

crumblybiscuits Tue 01-Dec-15 12:23:40

Thanks all, still got about 17-22 weeks to go but I'm just hoping I'm in such a better place re mental health and support that we will crack it this time. I'm definitely going in determined, just really want to prepare myself in case it is hard again this time.

I just never understood as she latched fine for the first few days and then just decided 'nope, not having that' and never latched again. It's definitely filled me with hope after reading all the positive stories!

OllyBJolly Tue 01-Dec-15 12:34:22

I think we have to get away from "failing" and "succeeding". As long as we succeed at feeding the baby then surely that's what matters? I completely failed to persuade DD2 to eat broccoli - no big deal!

I found BF relatively easy first time round - despite not really starting until the 8th day as she was in SCBU and I didn't find the nurses supportive (they wanted to "measure" what she was taking, unfortunately my boobs aren't transparent) Fed no problem for a year.

2nd time was more difficult, despite a much easier birth and healthier baby. I found the afterpains to be very painful (didn't need drugs for birth, but had to take painkillers to feed!). If I hadn't had the first experience and not wanting the faff of bottles I would have given up. As it happened, I did have to give up at 4 months. Just couldn't do it. I was worn out, I'd lost 2 stone which made me very underweight, and she just seemed to love bottles.

It's not a competition. Just feed the baby whatever suits you both best.

crumblybiscuits Tue 01-Dec-15 12:46:49

I do agree Olly but I really enjoyed breastfeeding for the small time I did it with DD1 and missed it after we stopped. I would like to do the same with DD2 for longer, I was just looking for some advice and positive stories of breastfeeding second time around. It's not a competition but it's a brilliant bond I love to have with my children and if I don't go in with the determination of "this is how I want to feed my baby" then I would quit at the first hurdle so I do want to give myself a boot up the bum to do it.

OllyBJolly Tue 01-Dec-15 13:29:47

That's great - just don't put too much pressure on yourself to make it work. BF is wonderful - I loved it. I get frustrated with friends "who tried it once but couldn't do it" and then miss out on what is a the most special experience. It's a great reason to snuggle up on the couch and I travelled a lot and there is nothing more portable than a breastfed baby!

Had I been blessed enough to have a third child, I would do exactly what you are doing and strive to do breastfeed.

NickyEds Tue 01-Dec-15 13:57:59

I found bf very difficult with ds (my first). He was jaundiced and sleepy from diamorphine at birth so struggled to latch on properly and never really woke to be fed for a few days. He got urates in his nappy, his poo went black from yellow, he was so was awful. He was tt and by the time it was snipped at 18 days my nipples were shredded and he was having f top ups after every feed. I mix fed him until he was 6 months.
I was dreading bf dd but she was totally different. Within an hour of being born she was feeding and every hour after that for a week!!! and whilst it was exhausting and I did get a bit sore she was above her birth weight by day 10. I'm still after 18 weeks sometimes amazed when she latches on, feeds for 10 minutes, unlatches and is happy for 3 hours!! A hard time first time does not mean a hard time second time.

lilacclery Tue 01-Dec-15 14:05:10

Yes Yes Yes!!

I really struggled with supply with dd & finished up at 12 weeks, she was starving and my iron levels were too low to produce satisfying milk for her(didn't know this until after I had ds).

With him it was full on but we continued happily until 8 months when I had to stop in order to have blood tests done.

HackerFucker22 Tue 01-Dec-15 17:17:55

I was an unsuccessful breastfeeder with DC1 (gave up day 3, expressed for 8 weeks then moved to formula so baby was exclusively FF by 10 weeks) and I just assumed with DC2 and a toddler I'd have zero chance bought bottles and microwave steriliser and a load of formula

I am now 10 months into breastfeeding DC2 and am wanting to feed for as long as baby want - she is a boob monster so I am assume it will be extended feeding, she also has a cows milk allergy so I am keen for her to carry on having my milk.

The first week was tough, in fact day 3 through 9 I was expressing and only able to feed minimally due to shredded nipples [baby was actually ingesting my blood they were so bad] but baby made the decision for me.

Weeks 2-4 were a lot better and by week 5 we were completely sorted.

Now its unimaginable to think I was ever going to FF.

I will caveat by saying I was completely baby led on this though. Had baby showed any interest in a bottle at all she didn't and expressing was a nightmare as she wouldn't take milk in a bottle then who knows.

Sadly even now she wont entertain a bottle so I have been pretty much tied to my baby for the past 10 months!!!

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