Breastfeeding Round Two

Now that I'm more than a quarter of the way through breastfeeding this time around (how is that even possible?) I thought it would be a good time to do an update on how things are going, what's different, etc.

First off, my supply is out of this world! I had read it typically is for the second baby, and I'm sure that my knowing what I'm doing this time helps quite a bit as well. Both my boys were born on Wednesdays, and my milk came in on Saturday with Cooper but Friday with JD. I used the manual pump at the hospital following feedings to help take the edge off and that helped tremendously.

I remember my n*pples really hurting those first couple weeks with Cooper, but not so much with JD. It was more of a discomfort if you will but nothing horrible. Honestly the worst pain for me this time was the contractions, especially combined with healing from a C-section.

So as of now, with JD being about 3.5 months, I have approximately 1500 oz. frozen. Which sounds like a ton, but if I suddenly dried up, would only feed him for about two months. I'm essentially pumping enough every day right now to not only feed him, but freeze 15-18 oz. daily. I suppose it's a good problem to have, and he's growing well.

I obviously credit being home with him for a longer maternity leave for a big part of my great supply. I also knew what I was doing and am still a bit terrified of my supply tanking around 9 months like it did with Coop so this gives me a much better cushion!

While on maternity leave, I would obviously feed on demand. Then once he started sleeping in better blocks of time, I pumped before bed. Like most women, I produce a lot overnight while sleeping, so I would pump after any night/morning feeds. Once he started sleeping through the night (and now) I still pump before I go to bed, and after his first two morning feeds. On days that I work, it's typically just once that I get to nurse him in the morning. I send about 16.5 oz in bottles to daycare and he typically finishes them.

At work, I try to pump three times - around 9/9:30, 1 and again at 3:30 - approximately the same time he takes his bottles. He actually doesn't typically take his last bottle until 4:15 or so - which would have bothered me with Cooper but since I have a healthy supply is OK in this case. When I went back to work, he typically wanted to nurse almost immediately once we got home, but now he gives me until about 6 - long enough to get bottles made and supper prepped.

He usually nurses 2-3 times total before bed. It just depends and since JD began sleeping 9-10 hour stretches pretty early on I don't worry too much about it.

We aren't on a real schedule as he definitely wants to eat more often when I'm around :) But he's growing and my body is keeping up with the demand so I figure we are good!

I did try to cut back on my pumping a couple weeks ago and was dropping the night pump. But I ended up with mastitis because we had a busy day and I skipped two pumps, so I've picked it up again. Once I'm done with the antibiotics I'll probably try to drop it again. I would like to continue adding to my freezer stash, but honestly, I'd be happy with just an extra 9-12 oz. a day at this point. I've been doing some reading on WHO and am leaning toward continuing with breastmilk past the age of 1 - I'll definitely drop my pumping at or before then, but may continue bedtime nursing, as well as stretch out the frozen stash, to help my little guy continue to get his mommy milk daily for as long as possible. But right now, the goal is to make it to a year, and fingers crossed, we will get there and then figure things out!

In terms of eating/drinking, I don't have any real limitations other than being very conservative with alcohol. I did pump and dump one night and it was sad but vital :) I do still drink occasionally, but try to do so immediately after feeding and only one beverage every few hours, based on my weight. I drink a ton of water (80+ oz. daily) and have nuts or a nutty granola bar at least once a day.

I was concerned that working out/running again would hurt my supply but that hasn't been the case! I have to schedule things around feeding times and wear good bras, but that's it. I actually felt like I started producing MORE once I began increasing activity, so that was good. I do feel like my body is holding on to more flab and I'm starving ALL THE TIME but I also weigh 20 lbs. less than I did postpartum with Coop.

So basically, it is easier the second time around, and in my experience, there's a much better supply! We are just cruising right through and I'm glad - 3 bottles, etc. a day is more than enough to wash.

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