As I mentioned briefly in this post, the Goober and I had a very difficult time breastfeeding and I must confess, it is my number one stressor when I think about having baby #2. I’m not totally sure where we went wrong with the Goober in terms of getting him to latch. It might have been the difficult labor and not getting to do skin-to-skin until he was almost an hour old. It might have been a tiny bit related to the nurse and doctor at my supposedly breastfeeding friendly hospital encouraging me to supplement with formula do to the fear of jaundice related to the bruising the Goober had sustained during delivery. It also might have been that the leader of my pre-baby breastfeeding class I attended had told me that a correct latch shouldn’t hurt, so initially when I tried to get the Goober to latch, I would pull him off and try to get him to re-latch, only for him to have become so sleepy that he basically just passed out. Stripping him down and wet cloths elicited only a moment or two of suckling before it was right back to nighty-night. It might have just been that somehow we just weren’t meant to have that relationship.
Things I plan to do differently with Baby #2:
*Immediate skin-to-skin barring any MAJOR medical concerns
*Only supplementing if the Pediatrician recommends it, not the nurse/OB/family
*If we have to supplement, we will only be doing it using a special needs feeder on a finger or with a syringe/spoon and only after breastfeeding. We did try using the SN feeder taped to my breast with the Goober, but it was next to impossible to get everything lined up correctly and often the breastmilk/formula would end up leaking everywhere except into the baby.
*Having less family visit when we get home, they can wait until 2-3 weeks or only drop by for short periods of time, leaving when we need to feed so that both baby and I aren’t distracted and I don’t feel pressured to be a hostess or share the baby.
*Have my oldest sister come stay for longer than she did the first time, no matter what I say after baby comes. She is so super supportive and breastfed both of her children for extended periods of time, despite working full-time. I wish I had had her stay longer when I had the Goober, but living out-of-town meant that we had lots of house guests those first few weeks, wanting to see the baby and I felt guilty keeping her from her own family.
*If breastfeeding does not work out, I will not let ANYONE, including myself, make me feel guilty about how I feed my baby. Formula may not be as great as breastmilk but it is a perfectly fine substitute and the Goober is perfectly healthy having been both formula and breastmilk fed.
*If breastfeeding does not work out, I will not be pumping 8-12 times a day like I did with the Goober for 7 ½ months. I just don’t see how it would be possible to do with a toddler running around and a newborn. It was hard enough taking care of the Goober and finding time to pump; with two children I just can’t see finding the time and having that pumping time be worth it.
So that’s my “try to do differently” list as of right now. It might change and more might get added in the future (likely). I’m also hoping to be able to write soon about my experiences as an Exclusive Pumper and share some of my insight into that world. This post here also lists some of my favorite breastfeeding resources to help you succeed in breastfeeding and to answer any questions that might arise, depending on your specific circumstances/experiences.