Breastfeeding/2nd time around


(sorry kind of long) When I had my daughter, who is now just shy of 23 months old, I was unable to nurse her due to supply issues.  She was born by an unplanned c-section after 40 some hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing--her head become stuck in my pelvis.  During the c-section I lost a lot of blood, requiring 4 pints replaced over the next 3 days.  They figured my hemoglobin was down to about 3.9 when all was said and done, so I didn't have much energy at first.  I was told that it might take a little longer for my milk to come in because of the C-section, then the added blood loss could make it a little longer.  I nursed in the hospital when I could (no holding baby when getting blood transfusions) and I pumped when I had the energy.  I was taught how to triple feed and I did the best I could with needing to recover myself.  Then all the sudden I wasn't getting anything when I pumped and I know my daughter was getting anything because she would latch on and then 10 seconds later be screaming with hunger.  We have a great facility here that has lactation consultants and I met with one when my daughter was about 3 weeks old.  She said I didn't show any signs of hormone problems from the blood loss, and since I had leaked during my pregnancy and the first few days at home, it seemed like I should be good to go.  I started taking fenugreek when my daughter was about 1 1/2 months old.  I had stopped trying to nurse at this point but was still pumping every time my daughter had a bottle. We tried an s&s and my daughter could latch very well.  After 1 1/2 months of 9 fenugreek pills a day and pumping 7 times a day, I was only getting 4 oz of breast milk a day.  I tried nursing again and my daughter latched on great, and nursed for about 1 minute each side, but when I tried pumping right after there was nothing left at all.  At this point, we decided that it was time to move on - which was a very hard decision.
My husband and I are expecting our second child in 4 months and I really want to nurse him.  He will be a planned C-section this time, so we are hoping for fewer complications.  Is it likely that I will have supply problems again, and is there anything I can do about it?

Dear Erin,

I'm so sorry to hear about all the problems you had breastfeeding your daughter. You deserve congratulations for all the effort you put in.

It's hard to say whether you'll have supply issues with your next baby. Each birth experience is unique, as is each baby. If you don't have the same kind of difficult birth, there's no reason to expect the same kind of problems. This time things might go very smoothly.

There's not much you can do to prepare for breastfeeding, other than to keep yourself healthy and follow a healthy diet. I would suggest nursing the new baby as soon as possible after delivery, and then to nurse as frequently as you can after that.

I wish you the best of luck with your pregnancy and delivery, and if you have more questions, don't hesitate to write back.

Best regards,

Sally Wendkos Olds
Author, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING: Olds & Marks, 4th edition, September 2010, published by Workman Publishing, and available in most public libraries, bookstores & La Leche League chapters.  


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Sally Wendkos Olds


What do you want to know about breastfeeding? I can tell you what`s good for the baby, what`s good for the mother -- and the father, how it`s related to a woman`s sexuality, how working moms can nurse, how to overcome obstacles, and lots more. As the author of THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING and author or coauthor of 8 other books and more than 200 articles about child and adult development, I can offer sound, sensible advice on breastfeeding, child care and family issues.


I nursed my 3 daughters and am the grandmother of 5 breastfed children. My book THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING (written in consultation with pediatrician Marvin S. Eiger, M.D.) was first published in 1972, and in 1999 came out in an updated 3rd Edition by Workman Publishing & Bantam Books. It is now a classic, with over 2 million copies in print. I am now revising this book for a fourth edition, consulting with pediatrician Laura M. Marks, M.D. This new edition will be published September 2009. I welcome any and all suggestions for the new edition. I coauthored college textbooks A CHILD'S WORLD: INFANCY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE, and HUMAN DEVELOPMENT; both are leading texts in their fields and have been read by 2 million students. I am the coauthor of HELPING YOUR CHILD FIND VALUES TO LIVE BY and RAISING A HYPERACTIVE CHILD, and author of THE WORKING PARENTS' SURVIVAL GUIDE & THE ETERNAL GARDEN: SEASONS OF OUR SEXUALITY. My newest book, A BALCONY IN NEPAL: GLIMPSES OF A HIMALAYAN VILLAGE, published in 2002, tells the story of the way of life in a remote village in Nepal, where all the women breastfeed! My book, SUPER GRANNY: COOL PROJECTS, ACTIVITIES, AND OTHER GREAT STUFF TO DO WITH YOUR GRANDKIDS, will be published March 2009. I speak often to professional, parent and general audiences and make many radio and TV appearances.

Credentials I received my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where I minored in Psychology, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude.

Other points of interest I have received national awards for my writing, and am a former president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. I am listed in the World Who's Who of Women, International Authors & Writers Who's Who, and Contemporary Authors, and am a member of several professional and civic organizations. I believe: that all parents are working parents; that parents employed outside the home need special support; that mothers' well-being is crucial to their children's welfare; and that the family is the best institution in the world and the one for which we are least prepared. My thrills come when parents or kids tell me they were helped by my writing or speaking or just understanding. To find out more about me, go to

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