Pregnant again? Congratulations!
With information and support, you can breastfeed your next baby.
If breastfeeding didn’t go so well for you the first time around, you might be wondering whether it will work this time.
The good news is that many women who ask for help with their next baby are able to breastfeed this time.
With support, encouragement and the practice from their previous babies, mums cope with many different stresses and still breastfeed successfully.
You had low supply?
The good news is, with every pregnancy, your body grows more milk-making tissue. This means mums tend to produce more milk with every baby they have.
Breastfeeding works on a demand and supply basis. As milk is removed from your breasts, your body produces more. If milk is not being removed from the breasts (by your baby or by expressing) your body will start to produce less milk. There are lots of reasons why this can happen in the early days - too few breastfeeds, mother-baby separation or too many unnecessary formula top-ups.
Learning about how breastfeeding works and seeking support can help you to establish and maintain a good milk supply with your next baby.
A very small number of women have breasts that don't produce milk because of insufficient glandular tissue (IGT). The good news is that if you have IGT, with information and support, it is likely that you can still breastfeed, especially with this baby.
Your baby weaned early?
You may have started breastfeeding and everything seemed to be going fine but you ended up weaning early. Perhaps you really wanted to breastfeed your child for longer. Weaning before you are ready can happen for a number of reasons.
Your baby had formula top-ups and your supply gradually dropped. There are ways you can balance this while increasing your supply.
Your baby took well to solids and didn’t want as much breastmilk. There are ways to start solids that don’t have this impact.
Your baby was just refusing the breast temporarily, not weaning. With support, you can sometimes find the cause of the refusal and make changes to encourage your baby back to the breast.
You may have returned to work. With planning and support you can keep breastfeeding.
Increased knowledge and support this time round can help you avoid weaning before you and your baby are ready.
This time you can change the story
A good time to start thinking about how you will have a better experience this time is when you are pregnant, especially around the second trimester when you are feeling well. Here are some things you can do:
Call the Breastfeeding Helpline
Talk through your previous experience with a breastfeeding counsellor.
Attend a breastfeeding workshop
A Breastfeeding Education Class or online Breastfeeding Education Live session with your partner or support person can get you both ready.
Become an ABA member
Join and attend some local group events while you are pregnant. You’ll make friends to add to your support team and you’ll hear from other mums how they overcame breastfeeding challenges.
Prepare a breastfeeding plan
Like a birth plan, it will help you and your family to think about some of the common issues or obstacles that may arise and how you will handle them.
Save the Breastfeeding Helpline number (1800 686 268)
If you hear something that doesn’t sound right, call us and check. You can even call from the hospital if you need to. Our counsellors are available 24/7.
We're here to support you.
Many women find they can breastfeed their next child, even if it didn’t work out before. We'd love to encourage you.
‘With my second baby I faced so many of the things I had with my first — a poor latch, lack of exposure to breastfeeding in general, nipple damage and infections, nipple shields, mastitis, an inability to express a lot of breastmilk ... but with the support of the ABA I am so proud to say that, with my second baby, I achieved all of my breastfeeding goals...
...When it all got too much and I was really struggling, I reached out to my new ABA mum friends and they gave me the advice I needed to get through the next feed, then the next. I made it 15 and a half months of breastfeeding! I am incredibly proud of that, 5 weeks with my first child to 15 months with my second is an incredible difference! I know that past breastfeeding experience is no indicator of future breastfeeding experiences and that with the support of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, I was to able to achieve more than I ever thought possible. I will always be thankful to everyone at ABA who gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to have a much nicer breastfeeding experience the second time around.'
© Australian Breastfeeding Association January 2023