Breastfeeding my Second Time, This is What I'm Doing Differently- and it’s Working

So yes, I had the right pump and a tin of formula, but the main tool that helped make breastfeeding a success the second time around is me and my open mind.
There's a baby on a boob under there and I'm actually still smiling!

Pumpables Milk Genie gave me a pump to try and it’s a beauty so I’m going to tell you about it here (post contains affiliate links).

Bright lights, a blue sheet, instructions spoken in serious tones. I'm shivering despite the lower half of my body being deadened. Unfamiliar faces briskly go about their business around me in the crowded room.

I never imagined giving birth by caesarian section. My four-week-old daughter Imogen is fine and healthy but her birth was a terrifying experience. I still can’t really think about it without getting teary.

When you give birth this way, even if you go through labour first, often your milk supply is delayed. Add to that my extensive blood-loss and I was even more disadvantaged due to dehydration.

These factors worked against me, someone who already had low expectations for breasfeeding because the first time was so awful. During my pregnancy I did everything I could to get myself in a better position to breastfeed my second baby.

I did some research on breastfeeding and even made this video with Bupa- with helpful, honest advice for women in their first thousand days of parenting (from conception to age two). In this one, I'm chatting with a lactation consultant, Jess Krigstein and Chantelle from the amazing blog, Fat Mum Slim. Real mums talking about real issues.

Video by The Lifestyle Suite

After arriving home from the hospital I knew my daughter was hungry. She was a big baby already and had a ferocious appetite. My nipples were shredded from her constant feeding and I knew we needed to give her some formula until I had the chance to get my milk going.

I sent my husband out for some and as soon as he walked in the door with that magic tin, I felt instantly better. After her first bottle, Imogen was a different baby, quiet and sleepy. With my first, I would have felt like a failure. Why? I can’t say. The pressure to breastfeed exclusively can be not only enormous but dangerous too.

I set about giving my hungry bub formula top-ups after feeds and and started expressing every two hours. Luckily I have this kick-ass pump which allowed my sore nips to heal and assisted with bringing in my milk after a few days.

With my first kiddo, a friend lent me a pump to use, and I broke it. I bought her a new one to replace it (even though she said I didn’t have to) no surprise that I wanted to try a different brand next time.

Apparently, not all pumps are created equal. I wanted a really good one but had no idea where to start. What’s a parenting blogger to do? Well, poll my audience asking them for recommendations of course!

The Medela swing came highly recommended along with the Spectra. I considered renting a hospital grade pump because they are supposed to be incredible but talk about an investment! Very expensive, even with an ABA discount.

Pumpables read my post and offered to send me theirs to try. I said yes but still planned on buying another one as a backup but never did. When the Milk Genie arrived I was pleasantly surprised with its quality and it had all the features (and more) that I wanted.

The Milk Genie is a double pump and chargeable which means PORTABLE. No more being chained to one power outlet while expressing.

The pump itself has a timer on it- which makes life easy. And the face lights up- I didn’t realise how handy that was until feeding at night when I used it as a little flashlight.  Um, and did I mention the motor is super quiet too? I can’t tell you how many videos I have of Lavinia (my first) with the obnoxious sound of my previous pump grinding in the background.

The Milk Genie is simple to use but also has some fancy features I haven't even tried yet- like memory mode where you can create and store a little program for expressing.

And want to know the best part about this pump? At $180.00 AUD costs less than other, more popular brands.

So yes, I had the right pump and a tin of formula, but the main tool that helped make breastfeeding a success the second time around is me and my open mind. I took feeding one day at a time and resolved to stop judging myself. I would get my precious baby full no matter the method.

I'm happy to report we are exclusively back on the boob with a nice, big supply of milk. I've still got a tin of formula in the pantry and I'm not afraid to use it! Imogen is a great feeder and we have nailed our latch to the point where I'm no longer sore. We did it...For now.

So give yourself a break, do the best you can and instead of creating crazy expectations, be kind to yourself. Fed is best.

How did you go with breastfeeding? Would you do anything differently next time?

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6 comments on “Breastfeeding my Second Time, This is What I'm Doing Differently- and it’s Working”

  1. I was lucky, I found breastfeeding pretty easy (she says, like it's a thing of the past). My daughter's birth was also horrendously traumatic, I cried the whole night after she was born with two broken bones and me with over two litres blood loss, I ended up having to get my midwife to organise a de-brief with all of the obstetric staff six months later to try and wrap my head around it. Do keep in mind that that might be an option for you, and that if you continue to feel so sad about it, to talk to someone about it. You're doing so well xx

    1. That’s great advice Dani- spot on. My therapist said the same thing, she told me to use my 6 week appointment to ask any lingering questions I might have. Such a different experience from my first birth (which was long but relatively positive). Kids! Sheesh!

  2. So happy for you and Imogen. Your family of four is wonderful and you are so generous to share your time and thoughts with your hands full. Can't wait to see more more gorgeous pictures of the family!

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