Updated: Feb 2
So you're expecting a baby soon. Or maybe you're a partner who wants to know more about breastfeeding so you can help prepare for your little squish. Either way, you came to the right place!
In this post, I'm going to discuss some of the ways you can prepare for breastfeeding your new baby. But wait! Breastfeeding is natural. So it'll all just come naturally, right? Wrong!
While for some breastfeeding may come easy, for most it's a learning curve for both mom and baby. It takes the two of you working together to make it successful.
So, if it's not going to magically happen on its own what do I do? Worry no more! Below there are four ways you can prepare for breastfeeding before your little gets here.
Attend a class. Attending a class, much like attending a childbirth class helps introduce you to the most basic breastfeeding essentials. How does breastfeeding work? How do I know my baby is getting enough milk? What are the best positions? How do they latch? All of this and more can be answered by attending a breastfeeding class. They are typically offered free of charge at local hospitals. You can also find private breastfeeding classes that are personalized more for your needs that are offered by birth workers and/or breastfeeding specialists.
Read a book. Knowledge is power! That motto will come in handy all through pregnancy and breastfeeding. You never know when something unexpected will come up. Having a basic understanding of each breastfeeding topic can make a big difference. The one book I always recommend to clients and friends alike is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. It's such a great book that touches on so many topics and issues related to breastfeeding. And as informative as it is, it's a very easy and fun read.
Find support. Surround yourself with like-minded people. That goes for everything, including breastfeeding. It can get tough and having a good support system backing you up can help boost you up to keep going. Friends, family, support groups, Facebook groups - all are helpful. Reach out to a local doula or ask your care provider about any support groups that may be in your area, such as the La Leche League.
Be confident in yourself as a mother. If you have any doubts about yourself breastfeeding you need to Let. Them. Go. Holding doubts and fears, especially before your baby is here is only hurting you. You are what you think. You've heard that positive thinking has positive impacts on your life. The same is true of the opposite. Don't compare yourself to others and any concerns you have going into parenthood should be dealt with either by talking with someone you trust, journaling, or seeing a therapist depending on the severity and where the concerns are stemming from. Getting those negative thoughts and feelings out will make a happier you and a happier baby.
Reach out to an IBCLC, CLC, or lactation educator to ask questions. This is your time to get informed and be prepared for your baby. The best thing is knowing your options and making informed decisions!
Here's a free download to use if you're planning a hospital or birth center birth. It acts as a nice reminder to the nurses not to use any bottles or pacifiers for your breastfeeding baby. Just print it (preferably onto cardstock), cut it out, and stick in your baby's crib once their born!