Re: 2nd time around...problems the first time.
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby to come! I think you should have every expectation that things will go well and you'll be able to achieve whatever breastfeeding goals you set for yourself. I am with the PP that now is a great time to line up a consult with a good lactation consultant, preferably one with an IBCLC certification. If you run into trouble with this next baby, you'll want a real professional in your corner.
It sounds like your first breastfeeding experience was sabotaged at the outset. The fact that the hospital staff handed you some formula instead of helping you work through your difficulties, and then the fact that you were not assisted with some pretty severe nipple pain... They let you down, mama.
Don't worry about conditioning your nipples with cream. When a baby is properly latched on, she won't hurt you even if you never put a drop of anything on your nipples. If she's not properly latched, it's going to hurt no matter how much cream you use.
Some tips for getting breastfeeding off to a good start:
- Aim for a good birth. Breastfeeding goes best when mom and baby are both healthy and strong.
- Choose your childbirth pain relief options with care. All pain relievers have potential drawbacks- for example, narcotic pain relievers can cause a baby to be born sluggish and unwilling to feed, and epidurals can cause a debilitating spinal headache which makes breastfeeding difficult- so it makes sense to be very familiar with your options and choose carefully among them.
- Assuming you and baby are both healthy and strong after birth, have the baby immediately delivered onto your bare chest to warm up skin- to-skin with you. Babies will often nurse within minutes of birth and not only does that provide them with their first dose of immunity rich, blood sugar stabilizing colostrum, but it also helps speed the delivery of the placenta and reduce a mom's risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
- Delay all routine newborn procedures (weight, measure, footprints, eye ointment, ID bracelet, bath, etc.) for at least an hour, allowing baby a chance to nurse and bond.
- Room in with your baby. Babies nurse more often and moms learn nursing cues faster when babies room in, and there's less chance of a "helpful" nurse slipping baby a bottle or paci.
- If you choose to send your baby to the nursery- and it should be a choice, not something which is dictated by hospital policy- make a sign for your baby's bassinet which says "I am a breastfed baby. No bottles or pacifiers, please. Bring me to my mom every time I cry, or every 2 hours if I don't."
- Do not supplement with formula "just until your milk comes in." Supplementation delays and reduces milk production.
- Avoid bottles and pacifiers until breastfeeding is well-established, typically 4-6 weeks. Babies suck differently on artificial nipples, and that can reduce their ability and willingness to latch onto the breast.
- Surround yourself with helpful people. Make sure your pediatrician is breastfeeding-friendly. Make sure that anyone who comes to visit you expects to do useful things like fixing you a meal, walking the dog, or taking care of your older child. You shouldn't have to do anything but nurse your newborn!
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"