How do I prepare myself for breastfeeding?
The ups and downs of breastfeeding
Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients your baby needs to develop. It’s a natural immune booster for newborns, and it reduces the risk of many lifelong illnesses. It even helps new moms lose some of the weight they put on while pregnant and triggers the happy hormone oxytocin that helps both mom and baby relax.
But it’s not always easy. Some days you’ll be tired and “touched out” from so much contact with baby, as described by Amanda Barnhardt in our interview with the military mom. Some days your little one will be colicky and even the soothing balm of breastmilk won’t ease the crying. On those days, it’s good to be prepared. So how do you prepare for breastfeeding?
Assemble your breastfeeding support team
Feeling supported during your time breastfeeding will increase your chances of success. A knowledgeable team will help you mentally prepare for the experience while also helping you respond appropriately to challenges you may face. While your breastfeeding experience will be entirely unique, it can help to know that you won’t be alone in your experience. Lots of us have been there, and we can help show you the ropes and support you throughout your time nursing.
Who should you include in your team? Recruit your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician as well as a lactation consultant if possible. Enlist friends who have breastfed or make new friends via local breastfeeding or parent groups. You can even give the consultants at Milk N Mamas Baby a call or email if you need a sounding board.
Become a breastfeeding expert in your own right
If you can find a breastfeeding class in your community, sign up. Not only will you get some in-person time with lactation consultants who can offer valuable information on what to expect, you’ll also have an opportunity to meet other breastfeeding moms. However, if there aren’t IRL classes, you can learn plenty online from sources like Medela’s Breastfeeding University or the Learning to Breastfeed Library at the website for the Office of Women’s Health. Books like La Leche League International’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding with Confidence by International Lactation Consultant Association President Sue Cox can also offer insight and encouragement. The more you know about breastfeeding, the more confident you’ll be, and that’s half the battle.
Get the breast pump equipment you need ahead of time
Deciding on the right breast pump for your situation will also take a little time and research. Do you want manual or electric? Is portability important? What sort of suction are you looking for in a pump? How often will you use it? If you’ve got insurance, you’ll need to find out if the pump you prefer is covered. Fortunately, you’ve already got some support in this area. We’re more than happy to talk you through your decision and help you choose a pump that’s just right for your circumstances. Just give us a call at 1-888-606-8425 or email us at [email protected].