The bell is about to ring on Round 2 of Battle Babyfood: I am expecting baby #2 in just over 2 months. I've spent the last 3 years training and conditioning, and I am now a mommy of steel: nothing is going to stand in my way this time.
OK, so that is me psyching myself up. But it is true that the knowledge I gained from trying to breastfeed a baby, having major problems and not having nearly enough help, finally finding a stopgap solution on my own (exclusively pumping for 20 months), and then asking a lot of questions and doing a lot of research and writing afterward, has me much better positioned to beat the barriers this time around.
My thinking in July 2008 was: If I can get through labor and delivery, I can get through anything, and breastfeeding will come naturally.
My thinking now is: I will be supported in labor and delivery by a slew of dedicated helpers at my hospital. I will be supported in breastfeeding--which could be even more difficult and painful than labor and delivery--by no one except the team I build for myself. And by support I mean people professionally trained, experienced, and ready to provide medical guidance and intervention if needed, as well as emotional supporters.
So I'm getting started building my network of pros to make this happen, including a breastfeeding-friendly midwifery/OB practice, a breastfeeding-friendly hospital (that has incidentally made strides in its lactation support practices since Sam was born there almost 3 years ago), a great childbirth educator and doula, at least one great lactation consultant willing to do home visits and/or work with me via Skype, and a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician.
Let the battle begin!