Prepare for Breastfeeding – All those photos of nursing mothers and their babies on brochures that call you to breastfeed look so touching and natural that you may think breastfeeding is a piece of cake. But the reality is so much different from expectations. In fact, breastfeeding is a hard job you should be prepared for long before you meet your baby.
Luckily, now is not the middle ages, and there is plenty of information to the point that will help you master this skill and really enjoy the process. Still, you should also accept the fact that not every woman can breastfeed even if she has the desire and is well prepared. Why? Because breastfeeding is about two people – you and your baby. And if the mom is planning to breastfeed, but the baby doesn’t do its part of the job properly, you may fail to succeed.
But let’s be optimistic and hope that by following these pieces of advice, you’ll experience no trouble breastfeeding once your baby arrives.
What Can Interfere with Your Breastfeeding Plans?
Unfortunately, not all moms can breastfeed their babies for some reason. Speaking about the medical side of the issue, nursing your baby may be impossible if you:
- have undergone certain types of breast surgery;
- have hypoplasia or other medical conditions that interfere with the normal development and function of the mammal tissue;
- have severe major health conditions (kidney disease, heart failure, etc.);
- have mental health disorders where breastfeeding acts as an extra stressor, thus exacerbating your condition.
Preparing for Breastfeeding Tips
The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, so no surprise that you want to feed your baby with breast milk. Below you’ll find some helpful tips on how to establish nursing right after your baby is born.
Get Some Theoretical Knowledge
While you can’t practice breastfeeding during pregnancy, you have enough time to gain the theoretical knowledge that will make your practice go smoother. There are several sources of information you can use:
- Read books on breastfeeding;
- Get information from some trusted websites devoted to nursing a baby, like La Leche League;
- Take a breastfeeding class;
- Talk with a lactation consultant;
- Find a group of breastfeeding support in your area to learn from the experience of other breastfeeding moms.
Apply Practices for Enhancing Milk Supply
When you prepare for breastfeeding during pregnancy, you never know what your milk supply is going to be. Some women will have no issues producing enough milk, while others may have a hard time stimulating a sufficient milk supply.
You should be prepared for either scenario, so learning some techniques that can help the situation might be useful. Hand expression is one of the most effective ones. It implies using your hands to get the milk out of your breasts. While still pregnant, you won’t receive the actual milk, but your task is to get colostrum – the fluid proceeding breast milk. In some women, this helps to establish a sufficient milk supply.
As for other methods of making your breasts more productive, they are:
- drinking sufficient amount of fluids;
- intake of herbal supplements that increase milk supply;
- maximize skin to skin contact with your newborn;
- try to breastfeed every 2-3 hours to stimulate milk production.
Get Some Gadgets to Simplify the Process
Breastfeeding takes a lot of time. That’s why you should take care that both you and your baby feel comfortable during the process. Certain breastfeeding accessories will come in handy for any mom feeding their baby with breasts.
A nursing bra is one of those things you’ll enjoy using throughout your breastfeeding journey. It provides fast access while comfortably supporting your breasts. Get several nursing bras of different colors to match your clothes. Three or four of them will be enough for the first time.
Nursing pillows are another accessory that will simplify the breastfeeding process. It will help you choose the most comfortable position in breastfeeding so that both you and the baby enjoy the process.
If returning to work after maternity leave is on your plan but you want to continue breastfeeding, a breast pump is a must-have gadget. By the way, it is covered by most insurance companies. You only need to have a prescription from your doctor.
You’d better take care of receiving a breast pump before having a baby, as there may be situations where you’ll have to leave your newborn for some time. So the babysitter will be able to feed the baby while you are away.
The final purchase of the breastfeeding mother’s pack is cream for sore nipples. Believe it or not, even the best-prepared moms will need this thing.
How to Prepare for Breastfeeding – Final Words
Breastfeeding is not easy, but if you apply some effort, you’ll be rewarded. Hopefully, our advice will help you, and your plans will come to life. Good luck!