Congratulations, you are having a baby! As you embark on that little adventure called “parenthood”, there are so many preparations to be made. One by one we cross the “need to do’s” off our list….
Baby Registry completed. CHECK.
Doula interviewed and chosen. CHECK.
Prenatal Childbirth Class booked. CHECK.
Breastfeeding preparations started…..Ummm….HUH???
In my practice as a private breastfeeding consultant, I see time and time again that mothers put a great deal of thought into the many things their baby may need in the early days. They also put much energy and effort into their pregnancy and planning for their birth. They may also intend to breastfeed, as they know it is best for them and their new bundle of joy. Yet, many have given little thought as to how to get breastfeeding off to the best start and what to expect as time goes on.
Knowledge is power and preparing for your breastfeeding experience should be an important part of your pregnancy. A wonderful way to do so is to attend a prenatal breastfeeding class. A knowledgeable instructor can help you make important decisions that will impact your breastfeeding success. A good breastfeeding class should be evidence-based, should include hands-on practice and should discuss the following:
- How to get off to the very best start in the hospital and at home
- How to lead your baby to comfortably latch and drink effectively
- How to know whether your baby is getting enough and whether breastfeeding is going well
- How to avoid or overcome breastfeeding challenges
There are a number of other ways to prepare for breastfeeding if you are not able to attend a class. Most prenatal books have a small section on breastfeeding. They are worth the read. There are also fantastic books specifically about breastfeeding:
- Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding – Jack Newman & Teresa Pitman
- Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers – Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – La Leche League International
The following websites are also excellent resources and include many helpful handouts and videos:
Breastfeeding can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Armed with the information to get breastfeeding off to a great start, you can avoid pain, supply issues and the uncertainty that may come in the first few days after birth. This will leave you with time and energy to enjoy every minute of getting to know your amazing baby!
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