TO TRY AGAIN - Nipple soreness, not enough milk
I had so much trouble breastfeeding my daughter. I wasn't making
enough milk and my nipples were bleeding from the constant sucking.
I couldn't even wear a bra because they killed me. I want to try
to breastfeed this time but I am scared. Is there anything I can
do now to prepare? I am 37 weeks! Thanks.
I think it is wonderful that you are planning to nurse your
second baby in spite of the problems you had nursing your first
child. First of all, let me assure you that nursing a second
baby is usually much easier than nursing the first one. Part
of the reason for this is that when you are pregnant for the
first time, you really don't know what to expect, no matter
how many books you read, how many classes you take, or how many
friends with babies you hang out with or talk to. Being pregnant,
giving birth, and breastfeeding are things that you just have
to experience firsthand before you can really understand them.
new mothers are in a state of what I call "baby shock" more
or less constantly from the time they find out they are pregnant
until they make it through the early months of parenthood. Then
they progress into "toddler shock," "kid shock," and last but
not least, the dreaded "teenager shock." By the time you reach
that stage, you are pretty much used to being a parent, and
nothing surprises you anymore.
some ways, I think that the first months of parenthood are the
hardest, because you have gone through a momentous life changing
experience and you realize that your life will never, ever be
the same. Besides the euphoria you feel every time you look
at your awesome, absolutely perfect little creation, there are
many major adjustments that have to be made during a time when
you are recovering from the physical changes and stresses of
pregnancy and childbirth, dealing with sleep deprivation, hormonal
upheavals, and the scary realization that you suddenly have
the awesome and scary responsibility of caring for this new
little individual 24/7.
is something that you can do for your baby that not only helps
get him off on the best possible start in life, but also has
a life long impact on his physical and emotional well being.
It's not surprising that most women choose to breastfeed, but
unfortunately, many don't nurse for very long due to feelings
of being overwhelmed and lack of support.
is true for most mothers in this country. While 64% of mothers
initiate nursing at birth, only 29% are still nursing at six
months, and 16% at one year. This is in spite of the fact that
the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends nursing
for at least the first year, and the WHO (World Health Organization)
recommends nursing for at least two years.
reply to your specific questions: there is no way to predict
whether you will have any breastfeeding problems at all with
this new baby (including nipple soreness), and no way to "toughen
up" your nipples in advance. The best way to prevent problems
is to educate yourself beforehand about the basics of positioning
and what to expect when the baby is born, and to have a good
support system in place in the event that problems do develop.
don't know what kind of support/advice you had before, but if
you gave up on nursing because of the pain, then something was
terribly wrong. Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt! Most
mothers do experience some tenderness in the early days, but
severe pain that lasts for longer than a week or so has some
medical explanation and treatment, whether the cause is improper
suck, yeast infection on the nipples, tongue tie, etc. A good
lactation professional will be able to work with you to discover
the cause of the problem and make recommendations to remediate
it early on.
is very important to have a good support system in place so
that you will have someone to call for advice at the first sign
of problems. Ask nursing mothers in your community for recommendations
on "breastfeeding friendly" doctors in your area. Attend La
Leche League meetings. You'll get to meet other nursing couples,
as well as have access to tons of excellent breastfeeding information.
La Leche League is a great source of support for all expectant
and nursing mothers.