7 simple ways to prepare for breastfeeding while pregnant
Preparing for breastfeeding before your baby arrives may be easier than you think! These 7 tips are the best ways to prepare for breastfeeding while still pregnant.
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Do you want to increase your chances of breastfeeding success?
Being prepared and busting through breastfeeding myths are the best ways to have a successful breastfeeding journey.
And if you’re wondering, “Can you prepare for breastfeeding while pregnant?” The answer is a resounding yes!
In fact, while you’re pregnant is the best time to prepare for breastfeeding.
But, before we jump into the best ways to prepare for breastfeeding while pregnant, let’s answer the most common questions and bust the most common myths.
Common breastfeeding myths during pregnancy
When I was pregnant, one of my sister’s friends told me I should “toughen up my nipples” before I had my daughter.
I had no idea what that even meant.
Maybe you’ve heard silly things like this that are old wives’ tales and actually do more harm than good.
Does leaking breasts mean good milk supply?
Should I pump before birth?
Pumping before birth will not increase your milk production.
It’s also important to note that nipple stimulation is a natural way to induce labor so pumping during pregnancy could possibly make your labor start prematurely.
Should I toughen up my nipples?
Absolutely not! And trying to “toughen up” your nipples could cause them to crack and bleed making breastfeeding even more painful.
Your pregnancy hormones do all the “nipple toughening” for you.
How to increase your chances for breastfeeding success
Let’s be honest, the best thing you can do to increase your chances for breastfeeding success is to go in with the right mindset.
If you’re determined to try your best and not give up when your nipples hurt or when your baby is cluster feeding you’ve already won half the battle.
So, here are 7 of the best tips to prepare for breastfeeding while pregnant.
1. Limit medical interventions
Having as close to an unmedicated childbirth with little to no medical interventions will make breastfeeding easier.
But keep in mind, you can still have success breastfeeding after a c-section, your journey may just start out rocky.
2. Get educated
With the abundance of information available, there’s no reason to not educate yourself on breastfeeding.
Here are a few ways to get started.
Take a class.
My favorite resource for breastfeeding education is this super affordable online course.
Although breastfeeding should happen naturally and easily, there’s still a learning curve. It’s worth the investment to know breastfeeding positions, signs of a poor latch, and how to know if your baby is getting enough milk which is all covered in the course plus so much more.
Go to a La Leche League meeting.
This is the perfect place for a pregnant mom to learn about all things breastfeeding from the experts.
To find a meeting near you check out their website HERE.
If you don’t go to a meeting in person you can find a La Leche League Facebook group near where you live.
Find a lactation consultant.
Many hospitals and birth centers have a lactation consultant available to help you while in the hospital and after you have your baby.
But if your hospital or birth center doesn’t have a lactation consultant, you can find one HERE.
Finding the right lactation consultant can make a huge difference in your breastfeeding journey. Take the time to find someone you click with and feel comfortable talking to.
3. Have a support system
Breastfeeding can be frustrating when you’re the only one who can feed your baby if you don’t pump or if your baby hates every bottle ever created (like mine).
Having a supportive partner or someone who lifts you up when you feel like throwing in the towel will make your journey less stressful.
4. Stock up on breastfeeding essentials
For your breastfeeding journey to go smoother it helps to have any supplies you may need so you’re not frustrated because your baby is screaming while you’re leaking all over the floor and you don’t have any breast pads.
A few of my favorite breastfeeding essentials are:
Make sure you have your breastfeeding supplies on hand for when you need them.
5. Choose a baby-friendly hospital
Giving birth at a baby-friendly hospital will get your breastfeeding journey to a great start.
Emphasize to your doctor or midwife that you want to breastfeed and find out what support staff they have available.
Ask plenty of questions and don’t worry about annoying anyone. It’s their job to help you.
6. Create a nursing station
A nursing station is a comfortable space to nurse your baby that has all of your breastfeeding essentials.
A few factors to consider when creating your nursing station are:
This guide for creating a perfect nursing station you’ll actually use has everything you need to know before you get started.
7. Mentally prepare
Get into a positive mindset that you know newborns have erratic sleeping schedules and you’re going to be tired but it’s only temporary.
And yes breastfeeding is painful in the beginning but that goes away as well.
These confidence-boosting tips will help you get excited about your breastfeeding journey and help you achieve success.
Famous last words…
Preparing for breastfeeding while you’re pregnant is the best way to a successful breastfeeding journey.
Don’t fall for the myths that tout you need to “toughen up your nipples” or that you “can’t successfully breastfeed after a c-section.”
Stick with it and believe in yourself and know how amazing your body is.
Welcome! I’m LaCresha…