How to prepare for breastfeeding while pregnant
Breastfeeding is a gift from nature and whilst it can be challenging for most women initially, it is definitely worth persevering. With time and practice breastfeeding becomes much easier and the benefits that both you and your baby receive from this wonderful gift, outweigh the potential hardship experienced to begin with.
How do I prepare for breastfeeding talk?
Talk to friends and family members who have breastfed! They will give you valuable advice and real experiences. Remember that everybody’s experience can be slightly different, so do not hang on her every word. Take all advice with a pinch of salt and store away in your memory bank for later.
The Internet is a plethora of knowledge! Read articles written by professionals and, for contrast, read blog posts written by real women who are experiencing breastfeeding for the first time. This way you get a real balance and understanding of how diverse each woman’s experiences can be.
Some trusted resources you might like to check out are:
BF support group
Research and make contact with your local breastfeeding support group. Understand how they may be able to help you, should help be needed later on.
Attend breastfeeding classes before you have your baby. Classes will help to give you some insight, techniques, and you’ll get to meet other like-minded women.
What will I need?
Technically all you really need is your breast. This is the way nature intended it.
However, in the modern world we have been blessed with a number of accessories, which do help to aid in our breastfeeding journey.
Breast pumps are extremely handy. You may choose to invest in one or hire one, the choice is yours to make, but go for a double electric one.
A breast pump is a wonderful tool for mothers who return to work, but want to continue to breastfeed. The milk can be pumped at work and stored in the fridge or freezer for use later. This way your baby can continue to receive the great benefits of breast milk.
Bottles and sterilizer
Bottles and a sterilizer go hand in hand with a breast pump. Invest in no less than 4 bottles to ensure you always have clean bottles on hand when needed.
Nursing bras are extremely important. They are functional, providing easy discrete feeding. And they also help to support and nurture your tender, heavy breasts.
Wearing a quality supportive bra will help to reduce the risk of ligament damage, which can cause continued discomfort.
Purchase no less than 3 nursing bras. One for wear, one for the drawer and one in the wash.
Learn more about the best nursing bras and what type you should be wearing.
Nursing pads are not always necessary as every woman’s body is different. Initially when your milk comes in most women will experience some leakage as your milk may let down easily.
Nursing pads can be used inside your nursing bra to help keep you dry and secure.
TIP: Avoid disposable nursing pads. Most of them are made from processed fibers that can be hot, uncomfortable and because they are not breathable they can aid in breeding thrush and other bacterial infections.
Good washable nursing pads are best. They are generally made from cotton or other breathable fibers. They will keep you dry, cool and comfortable, allowing your skin to breath.
Nursing pillows have been specifically designed to help aid in nursing. They can be expensive and whilst very handy for new mums a regular bed pillow can be just as effective.
Nursing initially can take long periods of time. Finding a comfortable chair is worthwhile. It may be your couch or a favorite existing chair you have at home. You don’t have to invest in a specialty nursing chair or nursing station. The choice is yours.
Cover-ups are great for new mums who want to feed discretely in public. They fold up small and are easily stored for use in your baby bag.
Choose a cover up that is made from cotton or some other lightweight breathable fabric. This will help to keep the baby cool whilst feeding.
Are you prepared?
Being prepared with all of the wonderful products is only a small part of preparation. Being mentally prepared is just as important.
Remember to be kind to yourself and understand that everybody’s journey is different. Try not to compare yourself to others and ask for help should you need it.
About the Author
Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys and keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at https://www.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity.