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July 10, 2018

5 Items You Need Before Baby Number 2 Arrives

You started with baby steps, learning to breastfeed Baby #1.  I’m sure you remember those moments of worry; feeling that family, home and employment all seemed impossible to manage in those early weeks with your firstborn. Now, you have adapted and accommodated and have a family, a home and a career that runs like clockwork...Well, at least you have learned what works for you and what doesn’t.

Heading into Baby #2 you are a different breastfeeding woman. You are more confident with the knowledge that your body will do everything it is supposed to do to nourish your newborn, if you endeavor to keep your baby close and feed her often.

I have created this list after working with dozens of 2nd timers. It might just be all you’re really gonna need to make your life easier for happy breastfeeding the 2nd time around:

1. Your breasts 

These are paramount. They are already prepared to make colostrum for your expected baby. The odds are with you that you will make more breastmilk in the first few days with Baby #2 than with you did with Baby #1. You know about non-separation of baby and mom from time of birth and skin-to-skin contact as the best way to set up your baby’s early breastfeeding attempts.  See #5.

2. A good baby sitter for Baby/Child #1

  The peace of mind a good babysitter can bring is priceless. Most mothers employ several people before they are able to find the right fit.  If you have been lucky enough to find someone that loves your child and that your child loves back, do everything you can to keep this relationship alive. Baby/Child #1 needs extra support at this time just as much as you do.

3. The gliding nursing chair you wanted for Baby #1 but didn’t get  

You felt it was an unnecessary expense back then.  You had your wrap-around nursing pillow, the couch, your bed...now, after sitting in dozens of dedicated nursing chairs you know exactly which one you want.  The glider – get it.

4. A lightweight, electric baby swing  

One that you can move from room to room and runs continuously. Your baby can watch you as you go about your day, stimulated by your movements and your voice. The rocking motion and the white noise or tunes produced by these swings soothes most babies.

5. A prenatal session with a board certified lactation consultant 

I couldn’t decide if this should be #1 on the list...I am putting it last for emphasis...

A lactation consultant will teach you about how your breasts make milk, what influences the production of your milk and how to get it into your justborn.  Breastfeeding often during the first 72 hours is critical for increasing the number of early prolactin receptors, making the breast more sensitive to prolactin, your post-birth hormone that tells your body to make milk.

The breastfeeding start-up guidance that your lactation consultant will give to you prenatally; recognizing feeding cues, positioning for optimal latch, recognizing sucking with swallowing  - are valuable pieces of information for you in the first 24 hours after the birth of your 2nd baby. A hospital or home visit from your LC soon after the birth of your baby will keep you on track, easing your transition into breastfeeding #2 with confidence.

Paula Zindler
RN IBCLC



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