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Sunday, February 12, 2012

On Breastfeeding Number Two - Redux

Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (February).  For this month, we focus on back to basics.  Participants will share advices - either the best breastfeeding advice they received and/or the best breastfeeding advice they can give to new moms.  Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries. 

The best breastfeeding advice I received during the early days of nursing N was that it will get better and to take breastfeeding a day at a time.  And this advice was also most helpful during my experience with nursing baby E.

Early in my pregnancy, I wrote about my worries about breastfeeding baby E (nicknamed Flower at that time).  S and I were joking about how I had to live up to my blog (being a breastfeeding mom with Baby E) - otherwise I would have to rename it!
Baby E came on 21 December 2011 at 39 weeks and 2 days.  Labor and delivery was uneventful and although my wishes for a delayed cord clamping were not met, we were eventually put skin to skin and he latched within the first 30 minutes.  I kept him roomed-in during my entire hospital stay and nursed him round the clock.

With my experience with N who nursed until she was 3 years and 5 months, I was confident that I had milk.  While nursing E during the early hours of his life, I did breast compressions and was even able to see some colostrum leaking out!  By Friday, my transitional milk had come in and over the weekend, my mature milk came.
breastfeeding E at 21 days
Given that this is my 2nd baby plus the fact that I run this breastfeeding blog, you would think that I had it easy this time around? Well, not exactly.  I knew that I had the position and latch correct but I still had sore nipples.  So what was the reason for it?  I think it was the learning curve - that E had to "learn" how to breastfeed even if it was natural and instinctive.  E's mouth was also small that he could not help but latch just on the nipple.  He was also quite stubborn.  I position him and we get the correct latch initially then he would reposition himself to his preferred but incorrect latch!
My sore nipples started on day 4-5 and lasted for about 1 week. The soreness was worse this time since E drew out blood!  I just kept at it and kept repositioning him to teach him the correct latch.  The soreness subsided at around day 7 and by day 10, E was nursing like a champ!
Aside from issues with the latch, I also had issues with jaundice.  I previously wrote about my experience with N who was diagnosed with breastmilk jaundice at day 14.  With E, I was worried about his yellow color and asked the pediatrician to keep a close watch.  During our first doctor's visit on day 6, E's bilirubin levels were checked and it was at a high 18.7.  The pediatrician asked us to come back the next day to do another test.  At day 7, the levels were at 18.4.  According to the pediatrician, the levels were still high but since it didn't go higher, it was possible that the highest level had been reached and the bilirubin levels were tapering off.  She said to continue observing E and when we return for his 2-week check-up, she will decide whether another bilirubin test would be needed.
E's 2-week check-up was scheduled on January 5.  The pediatrician noted that his color was better and she didn't see the need for the test that day.  She said that since E was on pure breastmilk, it was normal for his jaundice to be prolonged.  Plus, I think the fact that E gained almost 2 lbs since hospital discharge also helped! When he was discharged, he weighed 6lbs, 5oz.  At day 15, he weighed 8lbs and 2.6oz.  The pediatrician informed us that the jaundice resulted in cosmetic issues (E's yellow color) and that if we were still worried when E turned 1 month, we can bring him for another bilirubin level test.  She said that the only way to eliminate jaundice would be to stop giving E breastmilk (which I definitely won't do) at this point.
Compared to my breastfeeding experience with N, this time with E, I was more informed and more confident about my capacity to produce sufficient milk for my child. During the first day (Wednesday), I constantly put E on my breast and did breast compressions.  By Friday, my transitional milk had come in.   I also knew tricks such as breast compression to hasten milk flow and taking lecithin to avoid plugged ducts (since my milk was quite viscous).
What about N?  During E's early days, she was asking to breastfeed and I was holding her off since I had sore nipples.  She asked me if I could express milk for her instead for her to drink in a cup.  Finally on new year's day, I was able to express milk for her.   She was so excited and asked her dad to put it in a glass for her.  After 1 sip, she made a face and said that it was different from her old milk! She still attempts to breastfeed directly albeit half heartedly and comments that she can't seem to draw out milk anymore -- they really do forget how to breastfeed!
To end, I really do encourage first time moms to persevere and get help when the breastfeeding challenges seem insurmountable.  Breastfeeding each baby is a different experience but knowing how to face the challenges is a huge step in breastfeeding success.  As you can read from my experiences with N and E, I experienced similar challenges whether or not I was a first time nursing mom or an experienced nursing mom.  Thus, I can only tell moms the same advice that was given to me - that breastfeeding does get easier each day and to take it a day at a time.

=========Check out these other carnival participants==========
The Articulate Pen's Breastfeeding needs Patience
Diapers and Stethoscope's Back to Basic
My Mommyology's What I've Learned About Breastfeeding
Ms. Masungit's From One Mom To Another
The Odyssey of Dinna's Breastfeeding Words of Wisdom
Mrs. Bry126's We're All in this Together
I Am Clarice's Paying it Forward
My Mommy Kwentos' Sharing My Favorite Breastfeeding Advice
Planet Marsy's Better Than None
Mommy {T} Coach's Saved by the Nursing Mommas
Mama Drama's Patience and Breast-friends
Adventures on Planet Mom's Stubborn Me! Sure Glad I didn't give up
Nanaystrip's Eat Malunggay, Say "I Have Milk" and Love your Baby
Starting at Twenty-Five's My Husband's Best Breastfeeding Advice
Nanay *Loves* Purple's Why Attend Breastfeeding Class/Seminars
Truly Rich Mom's My Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Legally Mama's Take it from the non-expert!
Mommy Mama Rat's My Breastfeeding Mantra
Mr. Jacob's Mom's Breastfeeding Tips from a Non-Breastfed Mommy
Hybrid Rasta Mama's Breastfeeding Lists, Advice, Links and More
Apples and Dumplings' One Word of Breastfeeding Advice
Touring Kitty's Just Do It
EthanMama's Only the Best for My Baby
the canDIshhh tales' My Breastfeeding Advice
Mec as Mom's Enough is Enough
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom's On Breastfeeding Number Two - Redux

15 comments:

MyMommyology said...

You know you're right -- you'd think it would be "easier" the 2nd time around, but then it doesn't always follow!  Jamie would latch also, but would like to "play" and stay on (unlike Sam who was an efficient feeder from the beginning), and being sore in those first few days, it did pose a little bit of a challenge!

Marilen_f said...

Thanks for sharing.  Pregnant with number 2.  Successfully breastfed first son until 1.3months, yes got wounded nipples too.  Now I can't help but feel nervous and apprehensive about baby number 2... sigh

Yen said...

I'm looking forward to Baby No. 2 soon. I've been wondering how Marion would react. I'm expecting her to want to breastfeed again. We stopped last August but she still likes to look, touch and even smell my nipples at times. She won't put it in her mouth anymore since she knows there's no more milk. Now I tell her every so often that when the baby comes I'll have milk again but it'll be for the baby. We'll see how it goes. :-)

nanaystrip said...

Rio also had breastmilk jaundice until his 1st month. Honestly, I was in a dilemma - to breastfeed or to give formula. The first pedia we consulted advised us to stop nursing temporarily until Rio's liver matures. We followed and Rio had  4-6 oz of formula (2-3 X of bottle feeding).  I was crying while his Tatay gave him his formula. :(

What changed my mind? I am very thankful to my current pedia who encouraged me to continue breastfeeding Rio even with his condition. We had phototherapy at PGH (yes, WE, because I was also under the bright lights whenever I breastfed Rio) and thanks to the nurses who supported us in our breastfeeding sessions.

Lesson: New mothers who experience breastmilk jaundice moments with their newborn babies should be well-informed and be firm in their decision to continue breastfeeding. 

dinna dela cruz said...

I agree with you, Jenny, that breastfed babies take a longer time to get over their jaundice.  My boy was about 1 1/2 months when his yellow tinge completely went away.

My son was recommended to stop bfing for a day during his phototherapy, just to see if his jaundice was caused by bmilk.  I was helpless then, even clueless, and being the first time mom that I was then, I obliged to whatever recommendations the pedia said, believing that it was one of those procedures to get the right diagnosis for my son.  His bilirubin level, after all, was 24.7 at 8 days young, and I was willling to do and give anything just for him to recover. But don't get me wrong, the nurses at the children's hospital were all very supportive and encouraging of me while I was pumping for my son during those hours when i couldn't nurse him.  Well after 24 hours, they ruled out bmilk jaundice and we were given the go-signal to nurse again.On another hand:  I am very much fascinated at N's post-weaning story -- she still attempts to breastfeed! :)  I've read the same in Hobo Mama (yata), wherein her son had already forgotten how to latch a month after the self-led weaning.  I'm interested and even excited to know how weaning would go for me and my 20-month-old. :)

curious_girl said...

I think it also took a month for my baby to loose the greenish yellow tinge in her eyes- good thing the pedia was not that worried about jaundice and said it will go away on its own.

Mrsbry126 said...

I enjoyed being a part of this month's carnival! Til next topic! Happy breastfeeding!

Dianne Kaw said...

Hi Jenny! I didn't submit an entry for the carnival, but I wrote a similar entry on my blog and I included a link to your site and to the other entries for other mommies to read. I hope you don't mind. :)

Tala Supangco-Ocampo said...

Wow, it is really different from child-to-child huh?  And you kind of "re-start" with each... Which makes it a really unique, individualized "bonding" with each child :-)  At least with the second one we know better and can apply our learnings :-)  And thank you for sharing your experiences!  Your blog was one of those that really helped me persevere when I was having my own share of breastfeeding troubles... If you went through a tough time, and was able to do it and come out successfully then I can do too!  Thank you thank you thank you :-)  And this carnival is awesome!  I learned a lot from my co-nursing mommas and what a wonderful community we are!  Cheers!  

Jenny said...

sure! thanks for linking up. please post your blog link to this comment, too. 

Emily said...

It's good to hear that there may still be challenges with each child and that you just have to keep trying and taking it day by day! Thanks for sharing!

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez said...

I totally relate to this post, Jenny! :) I thought that with Rysse BFing would be easier BUT NO! :) She, like Erik, also has a small mouth, and had great difficulty latching! :) I actually almost gave up nursing her because I was so worried she wasn't nursing "enough" - but thank GOD my mom and Anthony encouraged me to keep at it! :) Really, each birth and breastfeeding experience is different noh?! :) Thanks again to you and Mec for hosting this carnival! God bless you and your family always!

Helene said...

Breastfeeding my second child this time, it was also the first time I experienced engorgement on my left breast! Painful! Good thing my husband made warm compresses for me and massaged my breasts, and we quickly got through the problem. Until now, my baby prefers my right breast over my left, because the left one tends to choke and make her cough!

It really gets easier as the day passes, but breastfeeding the second time around doesn't mean you won't encounter any problems.

legallymama said...

I've also experienced my baby drawing blood while breastfeeding, due to sore and cracked nipples. It's so painful but nothing that we couldn't handle, if it's for our babies, di ba? 

Thank you Jenny for coming up with the Milk Mama Diaries. I'm a first time participant and I have learned a lot from all the entries.

applesanddumplings said...

Reading your post made me scared and excited at the same time. Haha! Scared that baby#2 would not latch properly and I would be clueless again but excited also. But your advice is so true! It gets easier!

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