Prepare for Breastfeeding

How to Prepare for Breastfeeding while Pregnant

Your body will do most of the work in preparation for breastfeeding; your nipples increase in size, your milk ducts increase in number and become mature during pregnancy.

YOU can also do a few things to prepare for a great breastfeeding relationship...

Many breastfeeding problems can be avoided with just a bit of extra info…


The List

Things that you can do to prepare for breastfeeding

1. Visualize yourself breastfeeding your baby. Believe in yourself! You were perfectly made for this. 

2. Have a natural birth, if possible; medical interventions can cause breastfeeding problems. Most Doulas and Midwives are breastfeeding friendly. My VBACK natural birth story here.

holding baby's hand

Women who have had c-section births are less likely to breastfeed their babies. The drugs used during a c-section can take a toll on breastfeeding.

If you do find yourself having a c-section

3. Try to breastfeed immediately after birth or at least 2 hours after birth. Let the doctors and nurses know about your plans beforehand. 

Save this crib note to your PC and print it to place on your baby's crib in the hospital...

breastfeeding crib note, breastfeeding note for nurses

4. Find as much info on breastfeeding as possible. The more you know, the more confident you will be.

5. If you are going into hospital, request in writing that you don’t want your baby given any formula or supplements. Download the crib note above. 

6. During the last six weeks of pregnancy, you can start massaging your breasts to clear the ducts. Also, use the breast shells (mentioned below) to draw out your nipples, if your nipples are flat or inverted.

7. The best way to prepare for breastfeeding is to attend a breastfeeding class; ask at your hospital.


Things You Might Need when You Prepare for Breastfeeding

Things that you will need when getting ready for breastfeeding

1. A good breast pump: This is for mothers who will need to increase milk supply or store breast milk for later. 

2. A comfortable nursing bra for convenience and support. (Buy your bras after 36 weeks of pregnancy, so that you don’t get one that's going to be too small)

3. Get a proper breastfeeding pillow for support and comfort. 

4. Get breast shells, if you have inverted or flat nipples, which can be used from five months pregnancy to draw out your nipple in preparation for breastfeeding.

5. Set up a nursing station in a quiet room with a comfortable chair and plenty of pillows for support.

6. A sling can help keep you on the move while you breastfeed on demand. This promotes bonding, skin to skin contact and increased breast milk production. 


Avoid...

Things that you should not do when preparing for breastfeeding

1. Do not toughen your nipples. Your nipples need to be supple for breastfeeding, toughening them will cause them to crack. Wash your nipples with water alone, no soap is necessary.

2. Don’t listen to just anyone's opinion on what you should do. Uncover the infamous breastfeeding myths.

3. Do not keep formula nearby. Your breasts need stimulation and giving your baby a bottle will cause you to produce less milk.


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