Preparing to Breastfeed
Many women wonder what they need to do during their pregnancy to prepare for breastfeeding. Here are some things to consider as you prepare for the arrival of your new baby.
We are becoming more aware of the effects of labor and labor interventions on the baby’s ability to feed in the early days. Authors such as Lactation Consultant Linda Smith and Midwife Mary Kroeger have studied the connection between labor experiences and breastfeeding difficulties. Both Smith and Kroeger suggest that fewer interventions in labor support easier beginning breastfeeding experience.
Childbirth is often full of surprises and may not go as planned, but you can prepare yourself by attending prenatal classes. Birth preparation classes will provide you with information about normal birth, birth interventions, baby care, and breastfeeding. (?link here to contact info?)
2. Discuss your wishes for your birth experience with your physician or midwife during your pregnancy. You may wish to discuss pain relief options, food and fluids in labor, activity in labor, and delaying routine procedures such as weighing so that you can keep your baby skin to skin after birth.
3. Consider attending La Leche League meetings or breastfeeding support group meetings before having your baby. This will give you an opportunity to see other nursing mothers in action, while learning about getting breastfeeding off to a good start. (Link to contact info)
4. Consider hiring a doula to support you and your partner during your labor, birth and in the early days of breastfeeding. (link to contact info)
5. Watch out for freebies. Many retail outlets have baby clubs with offers of free products if you join their club. Be aware that joining baby clubs may result in your being inundated with free formula and coupons. Having free formula and other feeding products in the house can sway you toward supplementing or stopping breastfeeding if you are tired or frustrated.