Breastfeeding is a natural way of feeding your baby. It is biologically normal and what our bodies were built to do. Unfortunately. that does not mean that it comes naturally to everyone though. We would all like to believe that when our baby is born they will latch beautifully and we won’t have to give it a seconds thought but it just may not pan out that way.
Breastfeeding is a natural way of feeding your baby. It is biologically normal and what our bodies were built to do. Unfortunately. that does not mean that it comes naturally to everyone though.
We would all like to believe that when our baby is born they will latch beautifully and we won’t have to give it a seconds thought but it just may not pan out that way.
There are definitely some things you can do when you are pregnant to help prepare you for breastfeeding.
- Tell people you will be breastfeeding. This may sound a little strange but it helps plant that seed for everyone. During those first few weeks, you are likely to experience some resistance from family and friends regarding your choice to breastfeed. Get that out of the way now and let them know that this is your choice. When the baby is here you will be a lot more vulnerable to those comments which may hinder your experience of breastfeeding.
- Read some books. I highly recommend “baby led breastfeeding” by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett. I found it an absolute Godsend as it was so easy to read and explained things in a very clear manner. It also comes with some great visuals and anecdotes which make it a very interesting read too. It will help you get to grips with some of the fundamentals before the baby comes. Knowing that the baby will feed a lot and that it is a “supply and demand” relationship really helps you mentally prepare for the experience as you will know what to expect.
- Research where your local breastfeeding support groups are. I attended one ran by Cuidiu every Wednesday morning and I credit it for my positive experience. Being in the same room as other breastfeeding mums and having in-person advice from breastfeeding counsellors is so helpful. The coffee and biscuits are also a highlight.
- Breastfeeding is hungry work. Stock up on your favourite snacks while pregnant as they will be your best friend during those cluster feeding evenings when it may feel like the baby is permanently attached to you. You could also batch cook and stock pile some of your favourite meals so they are accessible and easy to prepare when you want to spend time as a family and not sweating in the kitchen.
- Find some box sets and movies you can look forward to watching together when the baby comes along. There is a lot to be said for embracing the experience and enjoying quality time together while you feed the baby.
- Make contact with a Lactation Consultant. You may not even use them or require their help but it’s good to know that you have some in mind, and their numbers saved in your phone, if you do find yourself needing to contact them. It was the best money I ever spent as when I was feeling vulnerable and unsure she came to my house, reassured me and gave me some great advice.
- Pick up some good quality nursing bras. It may be hard to gauge the right size but the shop attendants will be able to give you some great advice in that department. Nursing bras have come a long way and are extremely pretty these days.
- Consider purchasing a baby carrier/sling so that it is ready and waiting when the baby comes. If you do not use it they have a brilliant re-sale value so do not worry about that. Slings tend to work really well for breastfed babies who like to be close to their mothers.