As with all new skills in life, breastfeeding can take a little preparation, patience, and practice. While you’re getting started, it can be incredibly valuable to speak to other breastfeeding moms and lactation experts for tips, tricks, and advice.
So before the big arrival, take some time to get prepared:
- Take a breastfeeding class during pregnancy. As well as learning techniques, you may meet other local moms-to-be who you can meet up with once your babies arrive and help each other put your breastfeeding theory into practice!
- Connect with a relative or close friend who has breastfed, or is currently breastfeeding, their baby.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to exclusively breastfeed.
- Discuss your intentions to breastfeed with your family and how they might be able to help you.
- Seek out a lactation consultant in your area and make a note of their contact details. Learn what breastfeeding support resources will be available to you via your hospital or birthing centre.
- Find out if there are any breastfeeding support groups that meet locally. Even if you’re not having any problems, these can be a great way of getting out of the house to meet other breastfeeding first-timers and share experiences.
- Research any equipment you think you will need – a well-designed chair or supportive breastfeeding cushion may help you be comfortable while feeding. A breastfeeding pump will be useful if you plan to express some breast milk.
By thinking ahead during your pregnancy, you’ll build your confidence to breastfeed when your baby arrives. “Research has shown that the more confident you are about breastfeeding, the more likely you are to breastfeed, and to breastfeed for longer,” says Dr. Evelyn Spivey-Krobath PhD, nutrition scientist at Nestlé Nutrition. So start now to learn about breastfeeding and prepare for your baby’s first feed!
Blyth R, Creedy DK, Dennis CL et al. Effect of maternal confidence on breastfeeding duration: an application of breastfeeding self-efficacy theory. Birth 2002; 29:278-84.
de Jager E, Broadbent J, Fuller-Tyszkiewicz M, Nagle C, McPhie S, Skouteris H. A longitudinal study of the effect of psychosocial factors on exclusive breastfeeding duration. Midwifery 2015; 31:103-11.
de Jager E, Broadbent J, Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Skouteris H. The role of psychosocial factors in exclusive breastfeeding to six months postpartum. Midwifery 2014; 30:657-66.
Evans ML, Dick MJ, Lewallen LP et al. Modified breastfeeding attrition prediction tool: prenatal and postpartum tests. J Perinatal Educ 2004; 13:1-8.
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