Breastfeeding is natural; however, it does not always come naturally for you or your baby. Doing the following five things before your baby arrives will help you start your breastfeeding journey on the right foot. Prenatal Insights offers a FREE Breastfeed with Confidence email course that goes in-depth into these steps. Be sure to sign up to learn more.
1. Trust Your Body
Breastfeeding has a lot to do with confidence, and confidence has a lot to do with trusting your body.
Your body is incredible. It is smart. Your body will make as much milk as your baby (or babies) needs as long as you know what to do and what to watch out for.
- Understand that breastmilk is magic – it is an incredible substance to feed, comfort, and protect your baby
- Tell your body how much breastmilk to make
- Listen to your body
- Get a good latch
2. Build Your Support “Village”
Support is vital when it comes to breastfeeding success. You are much more likely to meet your breastfeeding goals with a solid support system.
You’ve heard the saying “it takes a village”? Well, it does. And I am here to help you gather your “breastfeeding support” village. So, who should be in your support “village?” I encourage you to gather the following:
- Supportive partner
- Family members and friends
- Supportive Pediatrician
- Find an IBCLC near you
3. Set Your Expectations
Did you know that as a new mom, you’ll spend an average of about 8 hours a day breastfeeding your newborn? Or that your baby should eat 8-12 times every 24 hours?
Breastfeeding is a full-time job, and it can be challenging. Setting realistic expectations will help you reach your breastfeeding goals. Knowing what to expect can decrease uncertainty and frustration, especially in the early days.
- Skin-to-skin contact – be sure to add this to your birth plan and make your birth team aware of your desire for immediate skin-to-skin contact after delivery
- The Golden Hour – remain in skin-to-skin contact for at lease the first 2 hours after delivery and initiate breastfeeding during this time
- Birth weight
- The first two weeks
4. Plan & Prepare
When your baby comes, you will both be learning a new skill, bonding, and transitioning to a new life. Before the baby arrives, you need to prepare for the things you’ll want and need that will help you through this phase.
You will need time and privacy to practice breastfeeding and continue regular skin-to-skin contact in the early days.
Planning now will save you time, energy, and attention. You’ll need all that to make the most of the essential tasks, breastfeeding and caring for yourself and your newborn.
Here are some things to plan and prepare:
- Prepare your home for breastfeeding – this includes setting up a nursing station, getting a breastpump, and preparing to share your room with baby
- Stock up on basic necessities
- Create a “chore chart”
- Create a visitor plan
5. Take a Breastfeeding Course
Breastfeeding comes with a bit of a learning curve. This is likely why about 90% of new mothers report at least one breastfeeding problem in the first three days of breastfeeding.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
I want you to succeed. Let’s start your new, full-time job on the right foot…or boob (just kidding, we want to be balanced and not prefer one side ????)
A breastfeeding course will empower you by helping you feel ready for breastfeeding. It will help you know the questions you need to ask before your baby arrives.
Start with my FREE Breastfeed with Confidence Email Course to learn more about these Five Steps to Prepare for Breastfeeding Before Having Your Baby.
I’m Anna Burch. I’m a Registered Nurse (RN), International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mom of 3 (including twins) in Utah County. I serve Utah County and surrounding areas. I teach Breastfeeding classes (in-person and online) and do in-home and remote consultations. Let me be your breast friend as you prepare for and go through your breastfeeding journey.