Though it is supposed to be one of most “natural” things in the world, breastfeeding can feel like the complete opposite sometimes. It’s important to remember that it’s something brand new for your baby and brand new for you!
Here Are Some Prep Ideas
🔸 Build a support network BEFORE birth. Figure out the lactation consultant you’ll use. Does your hospital offer one while you are there? Plan it out now so if you should need more help you are ready.
🔸 Take a class and/or spend some time with a friend who is actively breastfeeding. If they’ll let you – watch them! Get to know the different hold options. Watch the way they use their hands. There is often a season of feeling like you never have enough hands to get it right.
🔸 Consider your birth preferences. Births with less intervention may have a better time establishing the breastfeeding relationship. Remember, MANY, many women do great even with intervention(s)!
🔸 Attempt a feed as soon as possible. If you are able, have that baby skin to skin immediately, with a feed attempt in the first hour of life. Your care staff should be trying to help you make this happen too.
🔸 Room in with your babe. As tempting as it may be to let your RN watch the babe, keep them with you. Learn their feeding cues, get more attempts in. *And if you’re trying to avoid it, make sure no one accidentally gives your little a bottle or pacifier.
🔸 Consider the supplies that may be helpful and have them ready! Nursing pads, nipple cream, and good nursing bras/tops are on most lists as a minimum.
🔸 Have a hand pump or electric pump available at home. Should you need one, knowing how to use it and having it ready to go can be a saving grace.
🔸 Be gracious to yourself. Babies can be sleepy, bodies can be swollen, nipples can be inverted, interventions can happen. We can’t control many things – but we can understand that imperfect first attempt(s) do not mean it will never work.