I’m pregnant and want to breastfeed. How can I prepare?
Good for you! You have made the BEST decision for you and your baby. Here are some things you can do to help prepare yourself for breastfeeding.
- Read up! Babies may not come with a manual…but breastfeeding does have plenty of literature. Buy a book that is specifically about breastfeeding, rather than a general baby reference book, as this will have more detailed information.
- Consider attending a breastfeeding education class. These are now run by many hospitals, centres and through the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Enquire with your doctor, hospital or clinic for a class in your area.
- Get in touch with a lactation consultant (or at least get a name and phone number so you know who to call if help is needed), preferably one with the letters "IBCLC" after her name. Ask your doctor, hospital or clinic for local Lactation Consultants they recommend, or find one in your area by searching at the Australian Lactation Consultant Association's website. You may also want to look at hiring a postpartum doula or lactation support person. Support is of utmost importance in breastfeeding success.
- Prepare a breastfeeding area at home. Find a quiet space that will be your nursing space. You'll need a comfortable chair, pillows for support and a stand for your water (you should drink while baby drinks, so always have a large bottle of water at your nursing space). You may also like a foot rest, reading lamp and side table within arm's reach. Extra pillows should also be in your bed so you can easily and comfortably breastfeed at night and between naps. Let your family know that you will need their help through bringing you water, snacks and of course encouragement.
- Prepare a list of names and numbers that you will be able to call if a breastfeeding problem arises. Do this before baby arrives and keep the list by the phone, on the fridge or somewhere easily accessible. Getting support early could mean the difference between sticking with it and quitting.