Breastfeeding, second-time around

November 13, 2014

So how has breastfeeding, second-time around like? Three years ago this month, I was sat in a house with the rest of my NCT group, listening to a lady wax lyrical about the joys of boobs. It was the breastfeeding session of the course, and the first task was to tell everyone about the last person we saw feed their baby. Me: ‘Erm…no idea, sorry!’ It’s fair to say I was completely clueless.

We also didn’t get off to the best start with breastfeeding, Eliza and I. There were lots of issues. But also, luckily enough, a lot of support. At some point we did figure it out, it clicked, and we went on to feed for nearly two and a half years, a fact unfathomable to me in the early days.


With the benefit of hindsight, I was prepared for it to be a tricky start, again. I stocked up on nipple cream, made a mental note to get the latch checked and braced myself for the pain.

But it’s been completely fine. Much to my surprise, Florence latched on straight away with no problems, and we’ve had no problems since.

I don’t know if it’s experience, knowledge, or just a different baby, but like so many things about our second child, it’s much easier. And I’m much more relaxed. Lets have a closer look at the comparisons:

First time: despite feeding on demand, I kept detailed records of how long feeds were, when they started, on which boob, and spent ages trying to analyse these findings for some sort of pattern
Second time: again, feeding on demand, but the idea of writing all this down makes me laugh

First time: I moved a hairband from bra strap to bra strap so I’d know which boob to go for next, because God forbid I’d put E on the same boob she’d finished on last time
Second time: She gets whichever feels vaguely fullest

First time: Once we started feeding I would remain in the same position on the sofa for hours, terrified she’d lose the latch
Second time: I cart F around everywhere on the boob – up and down the stairs, into other rooms, and mainly to get more toddler snacks / drinks / socks and so on

First time: There was the initial “I have my boobs out in public” factor of out-of-the-house feeds, and even once this wore off I was always hyper-aware that people could be about to make a comment
Second time: where can we perch that’s most comfortable?

If we were talking in Channel 5 dramatic documentary title terms, last time was ‘When breastfeeding gets off to a terrible start’ and this time it’s ‘When breastfeeding goes right.’ Last time it all seemed like a big deal, but it’s remarkably unremarkable this time. It feels completely, well, normal. Which is what it is, pretty much.

Breastfeeding the second-timer around - how is it different from the first time? Great list of tips (and advice!)

I was always cheered up by reading people’s honest experiences on blogs, as it helps to know you’re not alone when you’re struggling. So that was me last time, but to balance it up, here’s my positive story of how it can also go completely right. Top tip; just make sure there’s cake in the house at all times.

What have your experiences of breastfeeding, second-time round been like?

PS – my dress is the Sophia bf dress from the lovely Milk&Mummy website (review to follow shortly).

More posts: breastfeeding hacks, pregnancy hacks and why you shouldn’t be embarrassed by public breastfeeding.


  • Emma Turner

    November 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    so good to hear that it can be different second time round. I wasn’t able to breastfeed first time round so maybe if we have another baby, I will get a second shot at it. X

  • Molly

    November 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Can totally relate to the walking round the house on the boob thing. It’s the only way I can manage to get everyone ready in the morning for the school run. Lazy mornings breastfeeding forever in bed are long gone!

  • Adele @ Circus Queen

    November 16, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Glad to hear you’ve had a much better start this time around! I found it SO much easier the second time too. Part of it is that Ophelia hasn’t had the same problems but also, I think I’m just much more confident about breastfeeding in general.

  • Kate Milner

    November 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Totally the same for me! Reuben had a rocky start but we got there in the end, Eva latched on without a second thought and is still going…definitely easier the second time, but it might just be the kind of baby you get as well…

  • Mummy’s to do list

    November 17, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    It’s been a mixed bag for us second time around. Getting started was so much easier, even though Little Mister had a bit of a lazy latch. But I find keeping the toddler occupied and out of mischief while I’m feeding very tricky at times. And Little Mister actually isn’t very little at all! He is in 6-9 month clothes at 4 months and eats far more than his sister did. Again this has brought mixed blessings. Because he is bigger and drinks more at his bedtime feed he’s slept for much longer stretches much earlier than she did – including going though the night quite often. BUT he’s unpredictable with this so, though I’m loathe to complain about more sleep, my boobs get really confused and I’ve had far more issues with blocked ducts, sore nipples and a nasty bout of mastitis that I never had with my daughter. Plus he can be a bit of a nightmare to feed out these days as he’s so incredibly nosy! I still love breastfeeding though and wouldn’t want to stop for a long time yet.

    1. gillian

      November 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Sounds like he’s doing really well though on the growth, that’s brilliant (and you don’t have to worry about percentiles and so on). I know what you mean about keeping the toddler occupied, it can be tricky!
      I was actually worried that E would be either really jealous or possessive as we didn’t wean her until recently but she’s actually been OK xx

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