Welcome to Friday’s edition of The First Year: Breastfeeding Mini Series! Each Monday, I post on a topic related to the first year of life. This summer, I am tackling breastfeeding, and I will sometimes post on both Mondays and Fridays on this topic.
|Me in 2008–just days before baby girl #1 was born!|
When new expectant mommies find out how passionate I am about breastfeeding, I’m often asked how they can prepare for it during pregnancy.
It’s a great question. It’s something I thought about as well.
I honestly didn’t overstress in this area. But here are 5 things I did that helped prepare me for breastfeeding success:
- Seek out veteran breastfeeding moms–and pick their brains! I was blessed with a handful of mom friends who were a few steps ahead of me in this area, and I asked them lots of questions and got lots of great advice. It was especially helpful to have this group of friends to go to after my baby arrived as well. If you don’t have any friends who have breastfed, seek out “friends” in an online breastfeeding forum, such as your local Mommies Network, Baby Center or DiaperSwappers.
- Read, Read, Read! Now, I suggest educating yourself more on the actual birthing experience than breastfeeding during your pregnancy (more about that in #3), but I would go ahead and either buy, borrow or check out copies of two of my favorite nursing guides: The Nursing Mother’s Companion and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I would just skim the first few chapters and save the more intense reading until after baby arrives. Two excellent websites to peruse are KellyMom and La Leche League International.
- Prepare for a natural birth (if you want). Now, I know not every woman desires a natural birth, but if you do, it might help facilitate a better transition to nursing. It took much longer (5 days!) for my milk to come in after my highly medicated first birth, but my milk had already arrived by the time I left the hospital after my natural birth with my second daughter.
- Meet with a lactation consultant. Most women don’t meet with lactation consultants until after baby is born. Why not seek one out before delivery? I was blessed with a great friend who was a former lactation consultant when I was expecting my first. She gave me a few pointers before the birth–and was there for me when I was crying over spilled my lack of milk after the delivery.
- Find a breastfeeding buddy. Whether it be online or in person, try to find a friend who is due close to your due date and who wants to breastfeed. I had an awesome friend my first time around. We both went back to work as teachers, and we encouraged each other to keep pumping via text messages!
What are YOUR best breastfeeding tips for expectant moms? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share this post with any mommas you know with a little one on the way!