Breastfeeding is an incredible thing you can do for your baby physically and emotionally; providing the necessary nutrients in the most natural way a mother can for her child is rewarding. When you and your partner make the decision to breastfeed, dedicating time to learn the most you can and all the benefits and challenges that come with it are vital. If you are pregnant, trying to have a baby or already have your baby in your arms, the learning should never stop. I have listed several steps that can help you toward breastfeeding success.
These steps have helped me through my journey with both of my kids.
- Attend a breastfeeding class. Local hospitals provide these classes. Check the hospital where you plan on having your baby and they can provide a schedule.
- Keep all breastfeeding materials you’ve collected from class and the hospital close by; you will be nursing quite a bit so during these times, you can review and continue learning. There is so much going on already, most likely you will have questions.
- Stay connected with a Lactation Consultant. They are wonderful resources and they can help with any questions or concerns you will have.
- Prepare your family and closest friends for your decision to breastfeed. Encourage them to read about it as well, especially your partner, parents and in-laws. With knowledge comes a stronger support system.
- Keep in touch with other mothers. It’s nice to share your experiences with one another during this time.
- Invest in nurse friendly comfortable apparel such as nursing bras, and blouses. Don’t forget nursing accessories like breast pumps, storage bags for your milk, pads, shawls and pillows. These come in handy.
- Take care of yourself. Eat well and maintain a balance diet. Drink plenty of fluids. Take warm baths and sleep when baby sleeps.
- Read and learn all you can about breastfeeding daily. Here are a some helpful websites to start you off with:
Also, there are many books about breastfeeding that are wonderful but amazingly enough; this one helped me a great deal. It was, “New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding.” (Joan Younger Meek, MD, MS, RD, FAAP, IBCLC, Editor in Chief with Sherill Tippins).
I hope these steps help you toward succeeding at breastfeeding. Although challenges will come, keep in mind; we nurse our children to good health for such a short while, but our sacrifices can bring lasting benefits for years to come.