Posted: Jun 29, 2012 11:00 PM
 
Breastfeeding isn't always an easy skill to master -- and the path to success is different for every mother. Learn how I was able to find breastfeeding success with my second child and share your own stories in the comments.

During my first pregnancy, I was completely committed to the goal of breastfeeding my son. The vision of nursing my baby was so crystal clear in my mind that the possibility of anything happening to foil the plan just wasn't on my optimistic radar.

Of course, something happened to foil the plan.

It was a series of missteps that led me to turn reluctantly to formula. Only after finding breastfeeding success with my second child, am I finally able to recognize exactly where I went wrong with my first baby. More importantly, I can now pinpoint what has contributed to my current breastfeeding success.

How I found breastfeeding success

i had a vaginal delivery^

A C-section was necessary with my first baby due to breech presentation. The physical and emotional trauma of that experience was my first breastfeeding roadblock.

Having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) with my second child was a key contributor to my breastfeeding success. The pain and healing time were minimal compared to my C-section, which meant I was more in control of my body -- and I had more energy to focus on bonding with my baby.

While a vaginal delivery isn't always possible, in my case it was the first and best step toward learning to breastfeed my child.

i threw out the schedule^

I can distinctly remember the newborn feeding schedule hanging on the wall of my postpartum recovery room following the birth of my son in 2009. Due to inexperience, I relied heavily on schedules with my first baby, and fed him at set times and intervals, whether he was hungry or not.

Sticking to such a strict feeding schedule with my first child meant that I never truly felt in tune with his needs.

This time around, I decided to forget about the schedules and simply feed my baby when she is hungry. Sounds simple enough, but this not only helped facilitate successful breastfeeding, it also relieved a lot of my stress.

i trusted the signs^

If your baby is wetting diapers, dirtying diapers and gaining weight, he or she is probably getting enough breast milk. I learned to trust these basic signs with my second baby, and my confidence continues to grow with each feeding and every pound she gains.

I feel incredibly proud of the breastfeeding relationship I have developed with my daughter -- and I am so glad that I decided to give breastfeeding another try.

Share your story

All babies are different and every situation unique. If you breastfed -- or are currently nursing a child -- what factors do you feel contributed to your breastfeeding success?

More about breastfeeding

Pumping exclusively: A nursing alternative
Breastfeeding basics
When family, friends and strangers fight your right to breastfeed

Topics: dear moms

Comments

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Kaitlyn Lewis May 27, 2012
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Im BF my 3 month old baby girl, when she came home all was great with the nursing, but around 6 weeks she stopped wanting to nurse, so i pumped constantly to keep my milk supply, after a couple weeks all was good again! And now at 11 weeks she is having issues again! Not sure what it is, no bottle confusion and a good latch, but im commited!
Alicia French May 08, 2012
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Great advice!
Kim G May 03, 2012
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I agree that it's important to look for cues from your baby. He or she will let you know when they are hungry better than any spreadsheet could. I think my biggest help in learning to breastfeed our daughter was my supportive husband. When I doubted myself, he reminded me that I was capable of it.
Emily Evert May 02, 2012
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Great tips. I know it's really hard for moms to continue to feel confident when their baby loses those first few ounces a day or two after birth.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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I am currently breastfeeding my second son after successfully nursing my first son until he was 25 months at which point my milk dried up as I was 6 months pregnant. I cried when he said "ewwww and told me he didn't want to nurse any longer." Surprisingly it was a shock when my 2nd son was a totally different nurser. I felt like an old pro by the time he was born but he was a completely different child (d'uh!) but I hadn't thought of that. So we had to go back to square one....even had to get some donor milk from a breastfeeding friend until my milk came in. And during the first couple of weeks I had to bring in a lactation consultant/public health nurse to provide some assistance as we were having some difficulties. But he's now 4 months old and we have a great rhythm.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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I was unsuccessful at breastfeeding my son. We had such a strong bond and latch and were doing so well the first week. But then we both got really sick and it led to my milk supply diminishing. I was so reluctant to give him formula because I had such a mindset on breastfeeding, so it was an emotional time for me. If I ever have another baby, I'm going to try even harder to breastfeed because I think it's really important.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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I THINK BREASTFEEDING IS THE WAY TO GO!! IT IS A PROVEN FACT. IT'S A CLOSENESS THAT EVERY MOTHER SHOULD GIVE IF SHE CAN. IT IS ALSO REASSURANCE YOUR BABY WILL BE THE HEALTHIEST IT CAN BE:)
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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Nursing with my daughter was a terrible experience. Three different lactation consultants, three different bits of advice. After she was hospitalized for jaundice, I felt guilty about my inability to properly feed her and went to formula.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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Nursed our only until 13 months. I think my number one success factor was educating myself. I read the 'net, read books, mags, anything I could get my hands on about BF'ing. I knew what to expect and what to look for in problems. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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I've nursed both my boys and am currently nursing my youngest. With my oldest, I wanted to quit many times due to pain of recovering from a c-section and the pressure i was putting on myself. Once I mixed a schedule with feeding on demand, everything fell into place. Nursed him for all his meals for six months and slowly weaned him as I added food to his diet. My last nursing was a sad day for me. I've done the same for my youngest and will wean him this summer. He is 14months old right now. What helped me the most was my parents and husband's support, my determination, reading my babies cues, and patience. Also, taking the time to enjoy that special time with each of them.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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Thanks for sharing. I had c-sections twice. With my first child, I wanted a schedule and forgot (almost) my son's needs. It did not help the breastfeeding. I failed breastfeeding but with my second, I kind of let it go and it went perfectly.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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I nursed my son right at the hospital.the showed me how at the hospital and the nurses weren't exactly that nice because they made a rude remark however i still continued to do it.I never fed him on a schedule just on demand. I went through he engorged breasts and chapness and the leaking but it has its advantages and disadvantages .I had two more but i choose not to nurse because it is not something i wanted to do this time.I think it is a personal choice to either do it or not to .
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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Like you, the first child was not able to nurse for very long, but I have had great success with the second child. First, we nursed right after birth (within 30 minutes). Second, knowing that I had a physical barrier with my breasts, I was able to do research while pregnant and find the ways to get around physical barriers so that latching could occur successfully from the start. I might even suggest just talking with a Lactation consultant even before birth as it may have helped me greatly with my first child if I would have known more before his birth.
Anonymous May 02, 2012
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Starting nursing right after delivery helped me the most I think. There wasnt a long wait to get things going and the nurses were very good at making sure I was trying and that baby was getting a good latch. That and support from my husband and family when I was in pain from poor latching, engorged breasts, and a breast pump that rubbed my skin off and gave me blisters. We are 10wks in now and doing great!
Anonymous April 30, 2012
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Fantastic article, Crissy! I'm so glad you've been successful nursing that sweet baby girl of yours. Nursing can be difficult, to say the least, and it takes commitment. But more than that, it takes educating yourself about what's myth and what's truth regarding breastfeeding and your baby. Thank you for sharing your experience!