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Breastfeeding Easier the Second Time Around

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Sept. 21, 2001 -- Breastfeeding is supposed to be such a natural part of becoming a mother. But for many women this can actually be a time of great agony and frustration. Now, a new study shows that the old saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" may be right on target when it comes to breastfeeding.

Many new mothers give up breastfeeding within the first six weeks usually because they feel they are not producing enough milk for their baby, say researchers in the Sept. 22 issue of the medical journal The Lancet. And of course these women are unlikely to try again the second go around.

But researchers are finding that women who don't produce enough milk with their first baby actually stand a great chance of giving their second baby all the breast milk they could ever want.

The researchers followed 22 mothers and measured the amount of milk they produced during their first week and fourth week after delivery for both their first and second babies.

The women produced significantly more milk with their second babies than with their first. And surprisingly, the women who had the most trouble with milk production the first time had the greatest jump in milk production with their second baby.

Another plus, breastfeeding took less time for the second baby. On average mothers saved about an hour per day, something that most new moms would certainly welcome.

The message here is clear, the researchers say -- even if you felt that you had insufficient milk to feed your first baby, it is worth trying to breastfeed your second baby.

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