So DS is still nursing twice a day, and I'm planning to keep him to that schedule once the baby comes. I know that BFing a newborn is a whole different ball-game, but my memories of it with DS are so fuzzy and far away. Anyone have any advice to prepare for this new little one?
Preparing to BF baby # 2 - advice?
Up until a couple months ago, I had been nursing non-stop for 6+ years. I've tandemed twice. I am always surprised how sore my nipples get once the new baby arrives even though the nursing feels super gentle. So get your ointment of choice to soothe dry, cracked nipples and remember to help your newborn have proper form. My toddlers had become sloppy nursers and I forgot how important it was to help the newborn latch properly.
Don't be surprised if your DS wants to increase his nursing too. I thought it was a handy and natural way to make my children feel secure with the presence of the new baby. They asked to nurse more and I never refused. It was pretty short-lived anyway. My DS1 would even sit in between my legs on the recliner as I nursed his little newborn brother.
I'm expecting my DD who is 2 now and weaned herself a couple months ago, to ask to nurse again once this baby is born. I've never had a child wean so early anyway, so I'm sure it would be good for her. Even my 4 year old (first born) who had weaned himself at 3 asked to try it again after his sister (third born) was born. I said "okay" and he tried for a second, then thought it was silly. I think more than anything they just want to know that they can if they want to.
One more thing that I'm sure you don't need to be reminded of, but that I forgot for a moment after my third was born, is that you have to burp newborns! Nursing came so naturally, but burping had been long forgotten by me! My DH instictively picked up the baby and burped her! Oops!
I would have to say that the biggest thing I had to remember when DD2 was born, was to be extra, extra careful about latch and placement. I also took a Lecithin supplement from day 1 to avoid plugged ducts. When baby's latch is not good it can lead to this pretty quickly if you have a sore or scab I suffered pretty badly with a combination of serious engorgement, overactive letdown and oversupply with my first and I tried to avoid a lot of that with DD2. When I was engorged I avoided pumping too much as that just made things worse. I used these gel freezer packs with a cut out for your nipple- they helped with some of the discomfort. I took DD2 off the boob when I felt my letdown and sprayed a lot of the foremilk into a burp cloth. I nursed DD2 in an uphill position so she wouldn't gulp and get too much milk and air at once. For me, the initial part of nursing is always a ton of work. My oversupply/letdown issues have always resulted in very pukey babies and I'd love to avoid that.
As for nursing an infant with an older sibling around- I recommend having a special chair or area and having baskets with books, coloring or other items that can occupy your older child. We only watch TV rarely but a lot of moms have some fun, short DVDs that help during one of the many, many nursing sessions during those first months.
It'll come back to you...and baby is born knowing a little about what to do, too!
With each child, I had issues with getting breastfeeding up and running (namely, soreness and pain that lasted a long time - but babies always get tons and grow like weeds), but I found the second time around I felt a LOT calmer about it. I just had that confidence that I had gotten through this before and could again, and that the payoff was totally worth it. DS1 wanted to try nursing again but unfortunately didn't actually nurse, he just kind of sat there...so if your older child is still into nursing, I think that's a great way to help with any engorgement issues that might come up. I was SO wishing DS1 would take some of that excess milk!
Have you read "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" by Hilary Flower? It might be worth a browse if you can get your hands on a copy (most LLL groups would have it in their libraries, or your public library would likely have a copy).