Breastfeeding has become a hot ticket lately, but if we are being honest as long as baby is fed we're doing okay. If we breastfeed with baby number 1, isn't it just a given we'll want to breastfeed the second baby as well? For many moms, breastfeeding never comes easy. To throw another baby, toddler, or child into that mix can make things even more difficult, and make that bottle of formula look like a gift.
Just because we have breastfeed before, we might feel like an old pro. While it is great to be confident, we can not be too confident because our second baby might be totally different than the first. No two kids are alike, and that philosophy applies to breastfeeding as well.
Breastfeeding is not easy, but many of us would say that it is worth the hassle, frustration, and endless patience testing. It can create an amazing bond between mom and baby. But some would question if that might take away from our bond that we have already created with baby #1? After all we would be losing some quality time with him/her. Breastfeeding can also save us a pretty penny as formula is outrageously expensive!
14 Damage To The Body Can Worsen
Breastfeeding can do a number on our girls! They grow for a few months just to shrivel up for good (or until next time). We saw what breastfeeding our first baby did to our bodies so why would we want to do that to ourselves again? Plus maybe two babies would do double the damage. Will they invert? Fall off? Touch the floor? It's a toss up of so many boob related fears.
How will our boobs look after breastfeeding TWO babies? We have put such pressure on getting our bodies back postpartum that many women skip breastfeeding to keep their boobs looking good. After breastfeeding one child, we see what it did to our ta-tas. That might deter a few moms from putting themselves through it again.
13 Sibling Rivalry Is A Real Thing
Sibling rivalry is a very real thing. Depending on the age of our oldest child, he or she might not understand why mommy is suddenly spending SO much time basically attached to the new addition to the family. We get it, but little kids do not. It can be hard to focus on breastfeeding, make sure latch is good, and still entertain our oldest.
Everyone talks about how important it is to keep the oldest child included in our new activities for the new baby, but it's difficult enough trying to breastfeed without adding another child into the mix. This might cause our oldest child to act out for attention while we are breastfeeding. He or she might also quickly learn that we are too busy to get up and stop them from whatever they are doing.
12 Infections Are Still On The Table
Breastfeeding hurts. We think after doing it with one baby maybe our nipples would be like conditioned for it. It doesn't get easier the second time, and it hurts just the same if not worse. It might actually be worse because we know what is going to happen and how it will feel. That cringe worthy feeling when our nipple gets bit or when a baby first latches on is still there. We still feel it in our toes, and we aren't sure if it is better or worse that we know it is coming.
Infections can still happen even if we have breastfed in the past. The second time around we are not immune or anything, but we might be more aware of the symptoms if we have had an infection in the past.
11 Doing It Once Doesn't Make You A Pro
We have done this before so obviously we should be old pros. We often times are overconfident now that we aren't first time moms. We do not spend nearly as much time with a lactation consultant as we probably should because we learned it all the first time. We know what we are doing. This is not our first rodeo.
We are SO wrong. No two babies are the same, even if they are siblings. This overconfidence can cause us so many different issues when first re-learning how to breastfeed our second. We might not get the correct latch or hold. We might miss signs because it's been a while. We aren't used to feeding a newborn because when we last breastfed we were probably feeding an older baby or toddler.
10 Less Time With The First Child
Breastfeeding takes up A TON of our time which can take away the time that we spend with our oldest child. One negative side of expanding our family is that we have to split our attention between kids. It is just the way it works. We are tired, and we are trying to learn a new schedule, sleep when it's possible, and get the hang of breastfeeding this new addition. It can leave our oldest feeling left out.
Our newborn obviously requires more attention and care. Often times that comes from mom because well we have the breasts after all. This can be great for our partners as they will probably get a little more quality time with our oldest, but it can certainly affect our relationship with our oldest.
9 A Second Baby Means More Bills
Babies are expensive as many of us are well aware. It's totally normal to feel the urgency to get back to work for this very reason after having a new baby. For many of us though heading back to work can have a negative impact on our breastfeeding journey. First we have to make sure baby is willing to take a bottle. Then we get to worry about the dreaded, nipple sucking, awful act of pumping.
There are TONS of women who work and breastfeed, but not everyone can easily adapt to the situation. For some women, their work schedules make it extremely difficult to get a break to pump. Maybe we just feel awkward about having to take a "pump break."
8 Complications Don't Fix Themselves
Infections, small nipples, and so many other complications that we had when we breastfed before are still likely to occur with our second child. Our inverted nipple won't fix itself because we had another baby just like it didn't fix itself with the first one. Similarly just because baby number one adjusted and was able to successfully breastfeed on it still, does not mean that our second baby will have the same outcome.
We might have babies who are born with small mouths. It could just be a result of genetics. Genetics which unfortunately making nursing a little bit more difficult. We will be armed with prior knowledge about how to handle it, but those solutions might not work second time.
7 Creating A New Routine Isn't Easy
When we breastfed before, it was perfectly acceptable to run our schedules around our first child. Now we have two babies to take into consideration and obviously there are going to be some complications getting them both on the same schedule. We have to find a happy medium which means creating a whole new routine for our family.
We have to find a way to occupy our oldest while we breastfeed while still managing to get some quality time with him/her as well when we aren't attached to our newborn. We can try to have quality time with our oldest while the new baby naps to make up for the amount of time we have to devote to our new baby.
6 Bottle Fed Baby #1?
If we decided not to breastfeed our first or just couldn't, we know that formula feeding can be much easier than trying to breastfeed. It certainly comes with a learning curve each and every time. Plus we commit to being the sole feeder of the new baby costing us a great deal of sleep and even time with our oldest child.
We know that bottle feeding still created a bond with our oldest, and it allowed dad, grandparents, etc to share in that bond as well because they could feed baby too. It would probably even allow our oldest to help a bit more with feedings because they could "help" prepare bottles or feed if they so wished. There is also no nipple pain involved in a bottle which is appealing all on its own.
5 Sleep Will Go Out The Window
Having a new baby is exhausting as we learned with our first child. Now we have a newborn who doesn't know the difference between days and nights and a child who is on a regular schedule. That certainly throws a wrench in the "sleep when they sleep" philosophy because there will be very limited chances where they are both asleep.
Breastfeeding pretty much makes us the sole feeder of our baby so we lose a lot of sleep especially during those first few months while we are getting on a schedule. It can be hard to take care of a toddler when we feel like a walking zombie because we are so tired. It can really take a toll on us and our energy when keeping up with our kiddos!
4 Sacrifices Become Harder To Make
When we are pregnant, we have to avoid certain foods, medications, beverages, and things like smoking and drinking alcohol. If we decide to breastfeed, after having a second child, we have to keep avoiding those things in our lives and in our diet. Man that can be tough. While many might find it selfish to forgo breastfeeding for these reasons, they are completely logical reasons.
While breastfeeding does not have as many restrictions as pregnancy, there are still a lot of factors we need to take into consideration because of how they would affect our supply. Some women have to give up prescriptions or cigarettes for ten months and just don't want to go without any longer in order to breastfeed the baby.
3 Baby #1 Will Want To Help
One of the most said things to those expanding their family is that we should let our older children help to feel included. Breastfeeding is difficult enough without trying to create a way for our oldest to help. Sometimes it can be great because he or she can help bring mom snacks or water, but other times it can be a huge distraction to both mom and baby who might be struggling with nursing already.
It is so great that baby number one wants to be helpful and be involved as an older sibling. Sometimes though it can just be an added stress and frustration to an intimidating process. We do not want to hurt our oldest child's feelings, but we also need to get our breastfeeding done.
2 The Bressure Never Ends
We breastfed our first child so many just expect that we will do it with our second. Just as we learn that every baby is different, every situation is different as well. It might not be as easy to do it again because of baby, our schedule, or work. We just don't have any guarantees so it really does not help when everyone is down our necks about breastfeeding and gosh why wouldn't we want that same bond with our second child?
No mom needs a guilt trip because of how she decides to feed her child. It's just so ridiculous. And just because we do something with one child does not mean it will happen with the next. It just might not be plausible or maybe it's our decision; either way it does not matter to anyone else!
1 Every Baby Is Different
We think we know what we are in for when we have our second, third, or even fourth child. The truth is we have no clue because babies are so different. Our first baby might have been great at nursing while our second might struggle or vice versa. It can be really hard to break our old habits that we created with our first, but we likely have to.
Honestly we cannot even really predict that we will be able to nurse our second just because we did with our first. There are seriously so many various things that can impact our nursing journey with each and every one of our babies. We have to put aside our past experience and buckle down to adjust to how this particular baby is going to breastfeed and what will work for him/her.