Planning to Breastfeed?
While breastfeeding is natural, it's not exactly instinctual. Granted, baby will root and seek out the breast, smelling their way there, but it's a relationship both you and baby have to work on together. You are partners – you need each other to be successful. The catch is, you can't really practice beforehand.
While I was pregnant, I watched videos, read books, and attended classes. I practiced the various holds with a doll (though they aren't squirmy!) and felt as prepared as possible.
Here are some of my recommendations to help prepare:
- Attend a class with your significant other or support person
- Watch videos demonstrating positions and latches
- Set up a nursing throne (mine was the glider in the nursery)
- Practice sitting in your nursing throne and positioning a doll in the cross cradle and/or football hold
- Practice side laying positioning too
- Check that your insurance covers Lactation Consultant apointments
- Check to see if your insurance will cover a breastpump as durable medical equipment (some do but mine doesn't)
- Invest in a footstool that will raise your knees up. They sell nursing stools, but anything similar will do
- Know who and where you can seek support if you are struggling or have questions/concerns
- Invest in a couple good, supportive nursing bras
Feeling prepared helps lessen fear, stress and anxiety, which can impede your attempts. Don't be afraid to ask for help! It's a hands on learning experience that gives you a limited window of opportunity to get it right. The first 4-6 weeks are the toughest, but trust me, once you make it through that stretch, it'll be easy peasy! We're going strong at 9 months and I'm glad we worked through our brief obstacles.
Do you have any other preparation tips?
Darcy is a married, stay-at-home mother of one curious little girl. When she's not playing peekaboo or singing Patty Cake, she's busy writing at Tales From the Nursery where she shares her honest and personal experiences in parenting, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and products for the family.