Preparing To Breastfeed When It Is Not Your First Baby

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed your baby but, in many respects, it does not come naturally for a lot of women.

The words breastfeeding and preparation might look like they do not belong together but for a lot of women, they really do. Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed your baby but, in many respects, it does not come naturally for a lot of women.
What seems like a problem may, in reality, be completely normal but if it’s news to you it could be the very reason your breastfeeding journey comes to an end.

I am now pregnant on my second baby and due in a couple of weeks. It’s been three years since I’ve breastfed (having gone on to breastfeed my first son for two years which was never the plan) and my biggest mistake the first time around was the fact that I went in blind.
I had no idea of what to expect and therefore responded with panic when things were not “working” properly. I could not advocate for myself when formula was suggested because I just didn’t know enough to resist anything that a midwife mentioned.
I could have avoided so much second-guessing and heartache.

In a bid to have a very different breastfeeding experience I am doing everything in my power this time around to arm myself with the right supports, products and most importantly the facts that will give me the best shot at a better start this time around.
These are things I am doing to prepare for breastfeeding my second baby

1. I’ve already attended a breastfeeding preparation class and I cannot recommend them enough. I attended one with Nicola O’ Byrne who is a certified lactation consultant in Dublin. They are monthly in The Beacon Hotel and partners are encouraged to attend. It was fantastic.
2. I’m picking up all the things that will offer me some relief if I am experiencing soreness and they’re going straight into my hospital bag. Lanolin nipple ointment, multimam compresses, comfortable bras and silver nipplettes which come so highly recommended to soothe cracked and sore nipples.

3. I am telling everyone NOW that we WILL be breastfeeding. I am confident in my choice and that everything will work out so I am planting the seed for everyone now to avoid any opinions or “advice” that may affect me when I am feeling more vulnerable in those first few weeks.

4. I am talking to my son about how the baby will feed. Despite not feeding for almost three years he is still quite attached to me in this regard and I’ve explained that when the baby is born the milk will come from mama’s breasts for the baby. He is actually really excited about it and tells me that he will “hold it for the baby” (we’ll cross that bridge at the time – ouch).

5. I am ditching the Moses basket and picking up a co-sleeper and a lamp with soft lighting to make night feeds as easy and accessible as possible. Last time around we co-slept and the Moses basket was a wardrobe for the baby’s clothes. I’m taking the bull by the horns this time.

6. I have my baby carrier/sling/wrap ready to go because I know that breastfed babies take great comfort in being close to their mothers.
7. I am preparing my breastfeeding wardrobe. I’ve picked up one or two treat pieces such as dresses with removable panels to breastfeed but mostly I’m stocking up on comfortable nursing bras and lots of string tops to wear under my regular tops and jumpers because that is what makes life easier.

8. I’m reading empowering articles and blog posts that excite me about the feeding journey ahead. Many talk about breastfeeding difficulties and the corresponding breastfeeding solutions and I am arming myself with the knowledge I’ll need to overcome these obstacles if they come my way.

9. I’m not buying bottles, a steriliser or formula “just in case”. I am feeling confident and I want this to work out.

10. I’m talking a lot to my husband about the support I’ll need from him. Last time around I had a lot of comments about how much I was holding the baby. About how they couldn’t believe the baby was “feeding AGAIN”. This time around we know the facts and he will be my greatest cheerleader and gatekeeper. Thanks, Hubby.  

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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