How breastfeeding your third kid can be completely different to the first two

Each parent and child has a unique experience when it comes to nursing. It usually does get easier the second or third time round, but there are no guarantees, it is something that both parent and child will have to learn to do together.

A mother of three, Angela recounts her story of breastfeeding only her youngest child Emily as she had faced challenges in her breastfeeding journey with her first two kids.

“There are always so many misconceptions and judgements related to breastfeeding. I have three kids and I didn’t breastfeed my first two children. I struggled with latching problems with my first child and I was concerned that he wasn’t getting enough breastmilk. With my second child, I just wasn’t able to get through the pain barrier but on to the third child, I was determined to do it for as long as I could, and she was almost purely breastfed.

When I look at my kids now, whilst each child had a different breastfeeding journey, they are all healthy. It was rewarding to know I managed to breastfeed my youngest for almost a year, but I am also aware of the challenges and what it takes to continue breastfeeding for such a long time.

I carried a lot of guilt with me for my first child as I tried my hardest to express breastmilk, but it was extremely tiring and a lot of hard work for hardly any supply of breastmilk – I ended up in tears a lot. It just wasn’t worth all the stress along with a lack of sleep and learning how to handle a new born. 

What I realised later on is that no matter how a baby gets fed, it is more important that they are getting the proper nutrients, hitting their milestones, growing well and are healthy. There is a huge amount of pressure on new mothers to breastfeed. I was lucky enough that my mum never breastfed any of her kids and thus my family were very supportive of my decisions.”

Breastfeeding a second or third baby comes with a host of new challenges: being able to multitask, the need to adapt breastfeeding skills to a new tiny person who has different needs and preferences, being able to juggle between baby, your older children and members of the family. However it also comes with knowledge, wisdom and grace; knowing how breastfeeding works, tackling the challenges, remembering those fleeting moments with your new born baby and having the confidence to be able to provide for them as best as we can.

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