Sunday, June 12, 2011

June Carnival of Breastfeeding: Second Time's The Charm

A good friend just gave birth to her second baby last week, an adorable little girl. About 24 hours after the birth I got a text message saying that the baby had latched on beautifully after birth but not really since. She ended her message with, "I'd forgotten how tricky this can be in the beginning!"

Well, I haven't forgotten, and it makes me nervous. Like a lot of women, I struggled in the early weeks with some typical problems like bad latch, sore nipples and a baby who gained slowly because of it. Nothing that couldn't be overcome, but it was touch and go there for a minute, with my pediatrician ordering me in for what seemed like constant weight checks and finally telling me, "If he doesn't start gaining more we're going to have to talk about giving him formula. But I give you a lot of credit because most people would've given up by now."

Besides the worry of whether or not my milk will take an extra day or two to come in again, or if it will take a few weeks to get our latch right, I wonder how I can possibly dedicate myself fully to a new baby when I still have a toddler to take care of? Miles is very excited about having a baby sister, but he's also been pretty adamant that she is not to be breastfed (he reassures me he will feed her milk in a bottle, and the proof that he watches entirely too much TV is in his insistence of making her baby food with a Baby Bullet). Miles has been my whole world for nearly four years, and while I know I will love the new baby with all my heart, how can I possibly care for her with the same amount of attachment that I did Miles? Miles is super active and talkative and is used to getting my full and undivided attention. When you've got two fussy kids, who gets mom first? How do you balance being as responsive as possible to your baby while still not making your little boy feel cast aside? And since this is going to be my last baby, I want to savor every moment with her and hold her non-stop. I know jealousy is inevitable but I want Miles to feel included and know that he is still my baby too.

I would love to hear your experiences of what it's been like breastfeeding and caring for a second baby. Am I worrying for nothing or did you find the early weeks and months to be as challenging as I am imagining them to be?

Check out these posts from the rest of this month's Carnival participants:

Ambular Logic: Breastfeeding the Second Time Around
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Seven Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is Usually Easier the Second Time Around
Takisha @ Reporter to Mother: Lessons Learned
Dr. Sarah @ Good Enough Mum: The Second Time Around
Barbara @ Three Girl Pile Up: Totally Different & Completely the Same
SBelle @ Treasured Bell: Tandem Nursing
Anne @ Dou-la-la: Once More With Feeling
Christine @ Christine's Contemplations: Nursing Styles Between Siblings
Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Once More With Feeling

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