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Success Second Time Around

Tracey's story:

When my first son was born in 1996, I just assumed I would breastfeed. I didn't give it much thought or preparation. He was born unexpectedly by cesarean and taken away after the birth for hours. When he was returned to me I was instructed to feed him every three to four hours. Not knowing any better I did as I was told. No lactation consultant ever visited me. My milk didn't come in until after I returned home. And the engorgement was beyond anything I had imagined. He couldn't latch on and I had no support. My mother continually encouraged me to give him a bottle. Finally I gave in and thus began a downward spiral that rapidly deteriorated into full-time bottle feeding.

When I became pregnant again in 2000 I was able to turn to the Internet and a vast resource of moms who had "been there and done that." They proved the most valuable source of info and support. I also read several books. I was determined. My mother hoped I had "learned my lesson" and was just going to buy formula for this baby. She laughed in my face when I told her I was going to breastfeed this time.

I had planned a homebirth but ended up transporting to the hospital for a second cesarean. This hospital was so different from the one where his brother was born. The baby was left with me after the birth and I was able to breastfeed. This time I knew to do so early and often. We nursed on demand and my milk came in much more quickly and much more gently. In fact, I was surprised to notice I had milk! A lactation consultant visited me several times before we went home.

Never once did I doubt my supply and in fact ended up having some problems with oversupply! We never even touched the formula samples that came in our breastfeeding "support" bag. I found it easier and easier every day. That's not to say it was always easy. There's pain in the beginning, and bumps in the road - like thrush. But it is all so worth it. Today my son is 20 months old and still nursing. He has been sick with a stomach virus the last few days and has refused all but breastmilk, making me so grateful that I can still give that to him.

mom to: Brandon and Henry


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