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Lancet. 2001 Sep 22;358(9286):986-7.

Breastfeeding: it is worth trying with the second baby.


Mothers who experience breastfeeding difficulties with their first babies and give up breastfeeding are less likely to breastfeed subsequent babies than mothers who do not experience such difficulties. We carried out a longitudinal study of 22 mothers in which milk output was measured at 1 week and 4 weeks after giving birth to their first and second babies. Significantly more breast milk was produced at 1 week for the second lactation (an increase of 31% [95% CI 11-51%]) and the net increase was greatest for those with the lowest milk output on the first occasion (90% [30-149%]). They spent less time feeding their second baby (a decrease of 20% [-34 to -5%]). This increased efficiency of milk transfer was also evident at 4 weeks. Health professionals should encourage women to breastfeed all their children, whatever their experience with their first child.

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