7 Things to do in pregnancy to prepare for breastfeeding
Take a class. The best way to combat many of the early challenges with breastfeeding is
knowledge. Taking a breastfeeding class during pregnancy will prepare you for what to expect
in the early days of breastfeeding. First time moms will learn how to properly latch and empty
breasts, as well as build a milk supply. Veteran moms will get more up to date information about best breastfeeding practices which might make it easier with the newest baby. Taking a class is an invaluable first step in breastfeeding prep for every pregnant woman.
Meet a lactation support person. The reality is that you might need advice and strategies
those first few days on latch, positioning, nipple care, or engorgement relief. All those issues are common for the first week. Choosing to wait until that time to meet a lactation consultant could set you back a day or two in terms of getting an appointment… and even just a day in the world of painful or unsuccessful breastfeeding feels like an eternity. If you meet with a lactation consultant one on one while you are pregnant, not only will that professional anticipate and be ready for your first few days with baby, but he/she will also already know you which will make the sessions at the breast more productive. Deciding to meet a lactation consultant during pregnancy will also give you the time and flexibility to meet a few and decide who you feel most comfortable with. After all, This person will be assisting you in a very intimate way.
Talk to a breastfeeding veteran. Even if you, yourself, are a breastfeeding veteran, you’ll
realize a that each baby has their own set of breastfeeding triumphs and challenges. Speaking
to other breastfeeding moms about their experiences can give you insight into how to approach your own. Remember all you want to do is listen to their stories for inspiration and wisdom. You always want to be sure to get actual advice from a professional to be sure that any suggestions for you and baby work for your specific situation and are not dangerous.
Set breastfeeding goals. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive
breastfeeding for the first 6 months of baby’s life and complimentary breastfeeding for the first year of baby’s life. (To learn the difference, contact me) This recommendation may not work for every mother.
Talk to your insurance. Breastfeeding expenses can add up quickly. However, the Affordable
Care Act made sure to include that insurance companies must provide some sort of
breastfeeding help. Call and ask about a breast pump. They will usually provide one with all its
parts for you. Also ask about what kind of lactation support they will cover. Some insurance
companies will reimburse you for up to six lactation consultations.
Write rainy day affirmations. Breastfeeding is difficult. The very first two weeks are usually a
massive learning curve for many moms. Writing out some positive affirmations to keep you
motivated when you begin to struggle. Display these affirmations all over your house. If you
need some ideas for affirmations look for our breastfeeding affirmation post on this blog.
Get excited! Breastfeeding is a beautiful, powerful, empowering, bonding experience with your
body and your own body. Although it isn't easy, it is worth it if you are able to do it. Start to get excited about what your life will be like as a breastfeeding mom. Think: no bottles, no dishes, lots of relaxing!
Preparing for breastfeeding while you are still pregnant is crucial. Contact us today to find out
how we can help you in your journey.
Photo by Erin Moris