null Skip to main content

How to prepare for breastfeeding (as a first, second, or fourth time mom)

30th May 2020

How to prepare for breastfeeding (as a first, second, or fourth time mom)

Whether you’re embarking on your breastfeeding journey for the first time or for the fourth time, there’s always more you can learn about the process. I’m currently gearing up to begin nursing for the second time and am trying to prepare as much as I can in advance of my new baby’s arrival.  Carly Sachs from The Mamma's List shares some of her experiences and recommendations:

I breastfed my first daughter for 19 months and pumped at work until she was a year old. I stopped nursing just over two years ago, so I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed since it’s been awhile. I’m sharing some of the ways I’ve mentally prepared, as well as all the products you’ll need as a nursing mamma.

What to know as you begin your breastfeeding journey 

  1. The newborn phase is just that - a phase. You won’t be up 24 hours a day or cluster feeding for three hours forever.
  2. If it really hurts, something is wrong --- but it will probably be uncomfortable until you figure it out. You will survive the first few weeks.
  3. Give it six weeks. You can do anything for six weeks, and it will get SO much easier once you get into a routine.
  4. There will be hiccups along the way. From latch issues, to plugged ducts, it’s not always smooth sailing, but you’ll figure it out as you go. {Check out how to treat a plugged duct here.}

Make sure you have all the right gear 

To breastfeed you truly only need yourself and your baby. You don’t need to buy into the hype that you need 4,000 products or the most advanced baby scale to ensure your baby is gaining enough weight.

That said, there are DEFINITELY products that make breastfeeding easier, and are more likely to ensure you establish a successful nursing relationship. Our favorites are fashionable clothing options that allow for easy access (we love Teat & Cosset) and lactation support snacks from Majka.

Having the right gear can make all the difference, especially when you’re struggling. A great nursing pillow and some nipple cream can really make you feel better.

Also, don’t let anyone tell you breastfeeding is free. If you plan to do this for the long haul, you will need to buy a few things. However, it can be much cheaper than formula feeding, and is a better choice for your baby.

You’ll also need new bras - so invest in some that are both functional and beautiful, like these beauties from The Dairy Fairy!

Don’t let anyone else influence your breastfeeding decisions

As I’m going into this for the second time, I now know that everyone will have an opinion on my breastfeeding. Everyone seems to have an opinion on how long I should breastfeed for, if I’m creating attachment issues, if I’m doing it for too long, or not long enough.

You can make your own decisions, and do what’s right for you and your baby. There is always going to be someone with an opinion who thinks you should do it another way. As a first time nursing mom this sometimes upset me. Now, as I’m going into this phase of life again, I know that how I choose to feed my baby is 100% my decision.

If you decide to breastfeed for six weeks, great. Six months - awesome. A year, cool. If you decide to do extended breastfeeding and go until your child is three, that’s fine too. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your decisions. You’re doing what’s best for your family.

You’ve got this! 

It can be overwhelming to be a breastfeeding mom in the early days, but you’ve got this! While you’re nursing on-demand in the newborn phase, you can grab a breastfeeding cheat sheet to help guide you as you nurse throughout the first year.

You’re doing amazing and every single nursing session you’re giving your baby the best gift. Hang in there and know that the breastfeeding relationship is helping you create your bond for life with that new little one.

Although I know the beginning can be hard, I can’t wait to start another new breastfeeding relationship with my second. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

Also, breastfeeding on demand is the way to go, but if you want to see some sample schedules for breastfeeding for the first year, grab the cheat sheets here!

Enjoy the breastfeeding relationship with your new little one. It truly is one of the most special ways to bond with your baby.

Carly is a mom, wife, and brand marketer who is passionate about talking about the reality of motherhood. She blogs about parenting, awesome baby and toddler products, and productivity atThe Mamma's List. Her hope is that sharing tips and tricks will help others, and make this mom gig easier for all of us.