If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, you may have already spent some time learning about breastfeeding. That is a good thing. You may also have prepared your home and your wardrobe with things that will be of use to you as you nurse your baby, such as a breast pump, breastfeeding – friendly clothing, a nursing pillow, and the like. You may even have nursed another child. In fact, you may still be nursing your baby’s older sibling. These are all good things, things that can help you to be prepared for breastfeeding your new baby.
However, there is something very important that you should know. Breastfeeding relationships are like births, and both of these things are like snowflakes. No two are exactly alike. This is neither fully good, nor fully bad, just something to be aware of. Whether you have nursed a baby before or not, all women begin from the same place when they nurse their new baby – at the beginning.
Each new breastfeeding relationship is a blank slate, a fresh start. This is good news, for anyone who has struggled in any way with breastfeeding a previous child. You may encounter some of the same things that you did when you nursed your baby’s older brother or sister, or you may encounter none of them. Of course, the reverse is also true. It is possible that your first child “latched on” to breastfeeding right from the start and you never had any troubles at all. Your new baby may not have such an easy time, and you may have to work through some things along the way.
What, exactly, am I trying to say about all of this? For one thing, I support you and I hope to encourage you. As a mother who nursed one child until age two and a half, and who is currently nursing a ten month old, I am a firm believer in breastfeeding. In the past, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and friends could all offer breastfeeding moms support and advice. Today, breastfeeding moms may find that they are the first woman in their family for a couple of generations who is going to breastfeed her baby. It is possible that you may be the only one in your circle of friends who plans to breastfeed. Whatever you do, do not be afraid to reach out for help, and to seek support. If something is not working, chances are that someone else has dealt with a similar situation and may be able to offer helpful suggestions. You are not alone in nursing your baby, although it may sometimes feel that way.