Hooray! Breastfeeding can be blissfully convenient. No frantic runs to the store: Breast milk is instantly available -- and delivered warmed! No futzing around at an ungodly hour to whip up a bottle; many moms roll out of bed and nurse in a soporific state. No cleanup. No feeding supplies to shove into that already bursting diaper bag. No worries when you travel. (Stuck in a plane? Your baby will never run out of food.) And once you and your hungry one find a groove, nursing in a carrier can be particularly handy. The only catch (you knew there'd be one, right?): All the responsibility will fall on you.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Sasha, I was certain that I'd breastfeed for the first year. Then I gave birth. The rest, as they say, is history, and like any good story, it was rife with drama. Her latch was off. I had cracked nipples, poor milk production, and an infection. There was lots of crying -- by both of us. By the fourth week, it was clear that nursing wasn't a forte for Sasha or me. After much soul-searching and guilt, I gave up.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second, I wasn't sure I was up to the task again, but I gave it a try. Nearly a year later, I'm still breastfeeding Dvora, and it's been wonderful. What changed? I had pinpointed what didn't work the first time, and adjusted accordingly. Learn from my experiences as well as other moms' and you'll know what to do to score nursing success even before the baby makes her appearance.