Advanced search

We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.

Second time around - did you try to b/f again?

(27 Posts)
cacaboo Tue 31-May-05 14:32:02

I gave up trying to b/f DS1 after about 7 horrible weeks and sometimes wonder what we would do if we had a second child.

What have other mums in that position done second time around? Gone straight for f/f? Tried b/f again? Was it different in any way? Would anyone mind sharing their experiences?

Gobbledigook Tue 31-May-05 14:34:54

I also gave up after about a month of hell and misery with ds1. Went straight to bottle with ds2 and ds3. The early weeks after their births were complete heaven and I loved every minute of it. Just my experience.

There is no reason why it would be horrible for you again though so if you want to, give it another try and see how it goes.

Tessiebear Tue 31-May-05 14:36:00

1st time round was a disaster - lasted about 4 weeks - couldnt get the positioning right was really sore etc etc
2nd time round - didnt leave hospital until i was confident that i was positioned correctly etc and went on to b/f for 2 years. I did get Mastitis 8 times - but was determined to keep going.

cerys Tue 31-May-05 14:38:53

with DD1 I gave up b/fing at 10 weeks as it wasn't going well and then I hurt my back and had to take strong painkillers which the GP said would affect the baby if I didn't stop (looking back I think he was totally anti b/f!)
DD2 - wouldn't take a bottle so b/f for 18 weeks until going back to work loomed and we managed to find a teat which she would take.
DS - b/f for 6 months and was sad to stop! I actually found it easy to b/f DS as I could have the DDs sitting either side of me and we could read stories or chat about things. More than once I found them with their dollies shoved up their jumpers, which was cute.
I found the first few weeks hard with all of them, if that's any consolation.

popsycal Tue 31-May-05 14:41:55

ds1 mixed fed after about 4 weeks then bottle fed only from about 12 weeks
ds2 exclusively breastfed - 12 weeks old now

cacaboo Tue 31-May-05 14:50:20

Thanks for the replies! Does anyone know what made b/f more successful for them the second time, if it was? I can't quite imagine how it could work, especially not with a DS1 who is used to getting lots of my attention.

popsycal Tue 31-May-05 14:52:13

i will post more later....ds2 busy feeding

cacaboo Tue 31-May-05 14:57:36

Thanks popsycal!

patkica Tue 31-May-05 15:22:04

Hi, I never bfed mine beacuse of medication I was on and I now realise that I spent much too much time feeling very guilty about it. But he's a lovely boy, we couldn't love him more and he's as healthy as they come. I would bottle feed the next one too, espeically as your partner really can do half (great for night feeds). Don't feel guilty: a happy mummy is the most important thing

dinny Tue 31-May-05 15:30:20

Hi Cacaboo - I expressed for my pre-term dd for 5 weeks then just couldn't do it any more. Was v depressed about it for a long time (still am!) Was so nervous when pg for 2nd time - terrified it wouldn't work out again - that bfing was something I just couldn't do. Luckily, ds was full-term and a keen breastfeeder. Latched on pretty on pretty soon after delivery. He's now 9 months and we're still going strong. He has been my therapy, in a way - made me feel I am a good mother after all. The things that I think really helped me succeed were: ds being full-term (can't do much about that!); going to a bf workshop before ds was born at the hospital; going to bf-ing clinic a couple of times when had cracked nipples (for 8 weeks!). I also had a birth and post-natal doula primarily to make sure that bfing went ok - though as it happened me and ds were fine by ourselves (and when I had cracked nipples, the bf counsellor was the one who helped).
hth Dinny

ChocolateGirl Tue 31-May-05 19:20:51

Hi cacaboo

I breastfed my first for two weeks - and then gave up as it was all a total nightmare and I was crying more than the baby! It all came down to one problem really, couldn't position him on the breast - he was screaming and losing weight and I just couldn't bear to keep going.

But I tried again with my ds2 and it was all fine. And again with dd and it was all fine. But both times only with the skilled help of a Lactation Consultant - when you are next pregnant do your research, find the local Breast Feeding Counsellors and ring round local hospitals to see if they have a fully qualified Lactation Consultant. These people receive more training than midwives and usually have more time to help.

Believe me, if I can do it, you can. I was determined to try again but I never thought it would work out. I'd even discussed with my husband how we could smuggle a bottle of formula into the hospital!! But it never came to that. Read "Bestfeeding" - it has lots of good advice. And any health professional whose advice goes against what's in that book sadly doesn't know what she's talking about.

Best of luck.

bobbybob Tue 31-May-05 19:49:33

One of the most fervent formula feeders I know is now breastfeeding her second child who is a few days old. Last time her midwife told her her milk wasn't a good enough quality and she has the same midwife this time, so I'm not sure how long she will last.

suedonim Tue 31-May-05 19:52:37

I lasted a whole three weeks with ds1 then gave up and felt bad about it for a long time. He was born in the 70's, when advice was very different to nowadays, so I read as much about bfing as I could before ds2 was born and developed a very bl%dy-minded attitude in my determination to succeed second time around. I swear I was welded to my 'bfing manual' for months but it paid off and I fed ds2 for over a year, likewise dd1 and for dd2 reached 2yrs.

ZoeC Tue 31-May-05 20:31:25

I stopped bfing dd1 after just 2 weeks due to a mixture of lack of confidence, not knowing what to expect, hospital use of formula supplements and I got into such a tizz it wasn't worth it.

I'm now exclusively bfing dd2 (home birth so no hospital formula ) and she's 11 weeks this week and it's going really well.

The difference really has been largely in knowing what to expect - constant or very frequent feeding, long feeds, short feeds, whatever it is is normal and fine. I deliberately don't check the times of feeds (did for a day and it depressed me ) and just go with the flow - if she's hungry, I feed her. Had a dose of thrush which has now gone but other than that it's gone well.

Mum2girls Tue 31-May-05 20:35:29

Similarly had to give up with DD1 - she appeared to hate it! DD2 however took to it like a duck to water - knew exactly what she should do. I did go through a couple of weeks of extreme pain until I came out the other end with nipples like bullets .

I promised myself right from the start that if it got really bad as with DD1 that I would go straight to a bottle and not beat myself up about it. So I think I was just so much more relaxed 2nd time around.

Magscat Tue 31-May-05 20:39:18

Hi Cacaboo - I actually have found bf harder the 2nd time round. The 1st time was a doddle until I went back to work full time (ds was 16 weeks) as my milk dried up pretty quick then.

This time I got really exhausted the 1st 2 nights after the birth as dd fed all night and I was too knackered to get her latched on properly and so it was really painful for a week or so. Cabbage leaves and Kamillisan cream worked wonders though so I persevered and she is exclusively bf now at 5 months. BUT the other problem I've had is she is so easily distracted and has makes so much fuss when there's anything going on that I have to bf in a quiet, dark room half the time.

Having said all that I would still bf again without hesitation. For me it has been worth it 100% and I will miss it when it stops.

eldestgirl Wed 01-Jun-05 07:42:38

DS1 refused to bf, so expressed for 10 weeks. It was knackering but saved me from too much guilt.
DS2 bf until 6 months and it was a great experience. The difference was (1) post-birth, he was put straight onto my chest in a darkened room and we bonded for at least half an hour. (2) He wasn't roughly forced onto my breast by 12 different mws.(3) I made sure I knew a lactation counsellor before I gave birth and she came over to my house the day after DS2 was born to position him correctly and help, and again 2 days later to check on how everything was. She was fantastic.

Caligula Wed 01-Jun-05 07:57:11

Cacaboo, I had 9 awful weeks with DS before we got it right, and he was almost 3 when DD was born.

With her, unlike with DS, the first 3 days with colostrum was fine. The rest of the time was hell. The difference was that in the 10 days I tried to feed her after my milk came in, we didn't have one good day. Unlike with DS, when just as I was about to give up, I'd had one or two good days in the first 9 weeks which kept me going, with DD I didn't have a single good day after the colostrum stage. I gave up at 2 weeks.

But I'd say, give it a try - I always think with DD that at least she had the colostrum in the first 3 days and 2 weeks worth of breast milk and that is better than none. And you may find that just because you had terrible problems last time, doesn't mean you will this. I had problems with DD which were quite different from those I had with DS, and I know they could have been sorted if I'd had access to a BF counsellor and more support with looking after DS. If you want to bf, go for it, but see if you can find yourself a good, supportive bf group first. And an HV who knows the basics about bf would be good, but that's probably asking for the moon.

franke Wed 01-Jun-05 08:12:45

Agree with everyone here who says get your support network sorted beforehand. First time around, I did a bf workshop with an active birth teacher when I was pregnant. It took all the mystery out of bf and I realised there was no reason why I couldn't so it. It also helped me to filter out all the conflicting advice I received in hospital. So I bf very successfully with dd. Wish I'd done a refresher course second time around as had a really hard time bf ds last year and no access to support where I am.

It's a mixture of knowing the practicalities of bf but also a big dollop of self belief

muppety Wed 01-Jun-05 13:12:33

I fed ds1 for 51/2months no problem. Assumed would be even easier this time but so far feeding ds2 (2 weeks) is hell. Painful, tiring and not at all the bonding experienced I hoped for.

Last time had vaginal delivery and this time section. No idea if that made a difference but it was a while beofre we could get him latched on due to circumstance.

The way I feel now I wish I had bottle fed from start but am too bloody minded to stop now I've started!

Magscat Wed 01-Jun-05 14:59:53

Muppety - just a note to say I found it harder 2nd time too but had a section both times so, for me, that made no difference. For what it's worth I reckon the 2nd-3rd week is the hardest/most painful (was for me anyway) so keep going & hopefully you'll find it better soon and you'll get that bonding experience you want. Good on you for persisting with it through the pain.

fisil Wed 01-Jun-05 15:16:47

I haven't read all the posts, so sorry if I repeat anything. I had an 11 day nightmare with ds1 and finally decided that as breastfeeding was more painful than giving birth I wasn't being a wimp, and I gave up.

ds2 is now 3 1/2 weeks old and the breastfeeding is much better. However, I will give up as soon as we get back from our holidays in 6 weeks time cos I just really don't like breastfeeding.

What made it better this time? Last time I was determined to breastfeed no matter what, so I got very worked up about it. This time I had the attitude that if it doesn't work out then so what? I have a gorgeous toddler who was bottlefed, and I'm quite nice too in spite of being bottlefed! Also I was told last time that breastfeeding hurts and is difficult but if you stick with it you'll get through. So I put up with too much pain. This time I have refused to accept any pain and repeatedly taken him off the breast or swapped sides. Finally I think it is just the individual. Ds1 constantly fretted and wriggled and was a nightmare to get on the breast. Ds2 is much calmer and more straightforward!

handlemecarefully Wed 01-Jun-05 15:31:34

Yes tried it again with 2nd and it went much better (only slightly sore nips at the start rather than the deep cracks and bleeding fissures that I got first time).

2nd time around also managed to breastfeed in public discreetly.

Still felt bloody relieved when i gave up though.

Pob71 Thu 02-Jun-05 20:39:38

I was more anxious about bfing this time around than anything else (gave up at 3 weeks with ds 1 as I couldnt get bad case of mastitis to clear up and he was back below his birth weight).
This time it was sore for a few weeks but got better and better (no mastitis so far,touch wood, although have had a couple of blocked ducts but managed to unblock them before it got worse). I'm so happy it has worked out well this time! (ds 2 will be five months old on the 8th).
I would say you should give it a second shot as maybe different babies get the hang of it quicker and you have previous experience, I also think that with your second child you are just generally more relaxed and that helps too!
Another thing which I only read recently is that even if a baby only bfs for 4 weeks this still has a lasting health benefit for 14 years so ds1 got more benefit than I thought he had.

bilbs Fri 03-Jun-05 19:40:21

Never got the hang of breast feeding 1st baby - too demanding and painful! Breastfeed 2nd for 6mths - my secret I gave one formula feed a day from birth and built up my confidance. within 2wks I was fully breastfeeding and never looked back for the next 6mths. Was great to give the boobs a rest in those first couple of weeks, and allowed me to shower/rest while dad bonded

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: