You’re pregnant, and soon that little one will be born. Everyone wants to tell you how to prepare for childbirth, and suggest classes for you to take. But when it comes to breastfeeding? Suddenly silence. Here’s our top 5 list for ways to prepare for breastfeeding.
1. Find your Support Network.
Here at BfDen we would LOVE to be your support network, or at least one of your support networks. But the key is that you need to find the right support network for you. Find your local La Leche League, BreastfeedingUSA, or new moms group and attend a meeting. Figure out who the good International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) in your area are. Research them and figure out which one you think would be the right fit for you if you need them. The more resources you have at your fingertips the easier the process of finding help, should you need it, will be.
2. Find your Cheerleader
Not everyone is going to be encouraging of your breastfeeding relationship, and not everyone knows what you need from a support person. So find the person you know you can vent, whine, and complain to. The person who will tell you what a good job you’re doing and encourage you through the early days which can be a challenging transition. Your cheerleader may be your partner, or maybe your sister, mother, cousin, or friend.
3. Read a good book
There are hundreds of people who consider themselves an expert in breastfeeding. If you go to the store you will be overwhelmed with books on breastfeeding from a wide variety of sources. Finding a quality brestfeeding resource can be challenging. I recommend looking for something written by an IBCLC, or a group of IBCLCs, such as The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding or Breastfeeding Made Simple. These books have stood the test of time and have been great resources for new moms.
4. Take a Breastfeeding Class
Breastfeeding classes taught by IBCLCs are full of great information to help you get started on the path to breastfeeding. Here at BfDen we have taken the breastfeeding class and put it online for you, so that you can watch the video classes at your own pace. Some people learn better in a group class setting. Decide what your best option is and educate yourself so that you are prepare for what is to come.
5. Figure out your goals
Everyone has different goals for breastfeeding. Some moms just want to make it through the first few weeks, and some moms want to breastfeed until they go back to work. Other moms want to breastfeed for a year, or maybe longer. Figure out what you would like from your breastfeeding relationship and focus on the support you need to achieve your goals.
Know that breastfeeding may not be easy in the early weeks, but with the right support you can successfully breastfeed your baby. Come join us in The Den and ask your questions so that we can help support you through this transition.