One very important part of preparing for your new little one is preparing to breastfeed. By preparing, you can feel much calmer and in control when the time comes, thus making it a more enjoyable and successful experience. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to prepare.
Purchase Clothing You Can Breastfeed In
In order to make breastfeeding easier, you should consider purchasing some clothing that are easy to breastfeed in. Thankfully, there are so many options now for tanks, tee shirts, and hoodies that are nursing-friendly. These tops have hidden slits in them that allow you to breastfeed your baby without ever having to remove any of your clothes.
These tops are so convenient when you are nursing in a public location, such as a restaurant, the park, church, etc. They can also allow you to start nursing your baby much faster, which can reduce a lot of stress for you when you have a hungry baby who wants to nurse right away.
If you are baby wearing, these tanks can snap down for easy nursing access and make baby wearing and breastfeeding much more possible.
Sometimes being a new mom, it's harder for some to adjust to nursing in public spaces. The fears and concerns are real, and clothing that offers privacy can certainly relieve the anxiety and nerves for mothers just getting used to it.
Make preparing for breastfeeding easier by packing your hospital bag with nursing friendly tops like this mom in her Cozy Nursing Hoodie.
Bun's Ribbed nursing tanks are stretchy for wearability during pregnancy and well into postpartum, creating coverage and comfort for nursing in public.
Visit With A Lactation Consultant
Another great way to prepare for breastfeeding is to meet with a lactation consultant or take a lactation class before you give birth. A lactation consultant is a professional breastfeeding specialist who will let you know what to expect in terms of your milk coming in, pumping, helping your baby get the right latch for the first time, showing you how to hold your baby when nursing, and much more. They can also answer all of your questions and put a lot of your worries at ease.
Set this up at the hospital you give birth in because most of the time, a lactation consultant will come visit. You can start breastfeeding within the first hour of giving birth and it will be essential for you to garner as much support and expertise as possible to be off to the right start. Discuss that this is part of your birth plan to breastfeed.
Prior to this, you can attend a group breastfeeding class taught by a lactation consultant or you can choose to have a one-on-one consultation. Taking a lactation class before the baby arrives can boost your confidence and give you the much needed knowledge to prepare you for your nursing journey. If you so desire, you could meet with the lactation consultant again after you've had your baby for even more help hands-on help with nursing your baby. Many have mommy meet up lactation support groups that are even free to attend.
It's just not always that easy and doesn't always come naturally for many. Reaching out can be very empowering and even relieve potential for PPD.
Talk With Other Breastfeeding Moms
Some of the best advice that you can get in terms of preparing to breastfeed is from other moms. You can join a mom group in your local area, or even find one online. You could also do something as simple as calling up some of your friends who breastfeed and discussing with them some of your questions and concerns.
Ask them what they are eating. What is their schedule. How long did it take them to get the hang of everything.
The support of other moms can also come in handy when your baby arrives and you begin to actually breastfeed because they will be there to encourage you and help you as you begin your breastfeeding journey with your little one.
Keep in mind, everyone has a different experience. Take everything with a grain of salt and use this opportunity to be selective and gather all kinds of information to make your best judgements for what would work best for you. It's okay if someone has less than positive advice to vent to you, but then move on to the next support person that can offer more useful and encouraging words to you.
Purchase The Appropriate Supplies
There are a few different nursing supplies that you can purchase that make nursing more convenient for you and more enjoyable for you and your baby.
- One thing that you may want to consider purchasing is some soothing cream for your nipples. In fact, start now, well before you give birth! Every time you moisturize your growing belly, do the same to your nipples.
- Well moisturized skin and nipples will save you heartache from pain and dry, cracked nipples. Use 100% shea butter, natural oil, or lanolin. These creams are safe for your baby and you can easily spread them on your nipples after your baby is done nursing.
- If you have inverted or flat nipples, you may want to consider purchasing a nipple shield, just in case your baby has a hard time latching on. This can help them to get better suction at first and then you can stop using the shield once they have a good latch.
- A nursing pillow is a great thing for you to buy because it puts your baby at the perfect height for nursing. It also allows your arms to rest because they don't have to hold the baby up. We would say that this is a mama must have!
- Nursing pads. Your breast will leak, so keep these handy. Be sure you have a bra or sports bra ready as well. Something without wires is best, to avoid clogged milk ducts and further complications.
- Call your insurance for your breast pump! Do this a month away from the due date. Your insurance should provide the pump fully covered, but this can depend on your insurance so make this part of your to do list.
- Don't forget those game changing nursing tank tops and hoodies for ultimate ease, convenience, comfort, and style.
In order to prepare to breastfeed your baby, it is important that you purchase the appropriate clothes for breast feeding, you visit with a lactation consultant to learn more about the process of breastfeeding and what to expect, that you talk with other moms for first hand experience and advice, and that you purchase the appropriate supplies for nursing.
To learn more tips about preparing to nurse your baby, you can visit us here.