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Essential Breastfeeding Tips For Second Time Mums

Essential Breastfeeding Tips For Second Time Mums

March 3, 2016 - By Geraldine Miskin

The good news is second time round it's much easier, the challenge is one of logistics.

Having two babies close together is not for the faint hearted but when baby number two comes as a surprise, as it did for Lily Allen and Peaches Geldof, you just need to get on with it and do the best that you can. Breastfeeding second time round is much easier as your body is primed for feeding and you are experienced at handling a new born, you know that they are not going to break and that by hook or crook, you’ll manage to keep them happy, healthy and thriving. The challenge with having another baby within months of the first is more a logistical one, in that you need to look after a young child whilst being a mum to a new born and this can be particularly tricky at feeding times.

Here are a few things all second time mums should know before second baby arrives:

1. Breastfeeding gets easier with each baby

As your body has been through the breastfeeding process before, you’ll find that you have a lot more milk second time round and that it ‘comes in’ on day two or three. This will help you keep breast feeds short and effective whilst ensuring that baby is full and satisfied at each feed. 

2. Second babies are typically more ‘windy’

As you typically have more milk and it comes in earlier than with your first baby, it is normal for second babies to be windier as they struggle to cope with your fast flow.

If you find that your baby arches away from the breast or gulps frantically before pulling off and crying for England, pre-empt winding early in the feed. This will help baby bring up trapped wind easily and lead to calmer feeds. You can also use a winding aid to help baby burp better so that there is less air accumulating in baby’s gut, which could result in ‘colic’ behaviour in the evening.

3. Be ready for early engorgement

With the sudden influx of milk, you’ll need to quickly reduce swelling and inflammation in the breast. Do this by applying cold compresses for 10 minutes after feeds. (Not cabbage leaves, preferably something from the freezer so that the cold penetrates the deep breast tissue). You can also soften the areola before latching baby onto the breast by gently pushing milk back into the breast rather than expressing.

4. Essential first aid goodies

Don’t be surprised if baby latches well to start with but then quickly repositions and latches onto the nipple. This is your baby’s way of managing your fast flow but it can lead to very sore nipples. Before baby arrives, get yourself a box of Multi Mam relief compresses and pop them in the fridge, so that they are cool and soothing when applied. They will provide essential first aid when you feel sore and tender in the early days and my mums say they are simply ‘nipple heaven on a stick’.

As with all things, once you find your feet, it will be easy and enjoyable. Don’t settle for sleepless nights or run yourself into the ground. Breastfeeding second time round really should be easy and enjoyable.

Geraldine provides Breastfeeding Workshops and runs a weekly Breastfeeding Clinic

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