There is plenty of preparation you can get done before breastfeeding. It’s best to know what to do and expect when the time comes. Here are some things you can do to be best prepared for what’s to come with a new child and breastfeeding.
Before Going To The hospital
- Learn about breastfeeding- go online, read, and talk with other moms.
- Get the support of your partner. You guys are a team, take classes and learn together.
- Talk to your doctors and nurses. Ask about birthing choices and how they affect breastfeeding. Tell them you want to breastfeed and get their knowledge.
- When decided, let your doctor know you want to breastfeed. Tell them you want to breastfeed within the first hour after labor if medically possible.
- Ask the hospital if they have a lactation consultant. They are trained to provide additional help if you have problems, find out how you can contact a consultant.
At The Hospital
- Ask to have your baby be placed skin-to-skin on you as soon as your baby is born.
- Know that you can breastfeed even with twins or more, your body will produce enough milk.
- If you’re cold during breastfeeding, ask for a blanket to cover you and your baby. Your body heat will keep the baby warm which is necessary.
- Speak up and tell the staff you don’t want your baby to be given formula or water unless it is medically needed.
- If you have trouble breastfeeding, ask your nurse for help.
After You Leave The Hospital
- Plan to spend time resting and holding your baby skin-to-skin while breastfeeding, during the early weeks your baby should eat every 3-4 hours
- Keep your baby within hearing range so you can respond to early feeding cues
- It is important to continue breastfeeding regularly, even when sick. Talk to your doctor to ensure it’s safe, but most medicines can be consumed even while breastfeeding.
- Ask about resource availability and groups you can join after leaving the hospital.
- If you have questions, ask! Every child and feeding experience is different, it is okay to need extra help.
Although every experience is different it’s nice to be prepared for what could come. Educate yourself and know that there are always people out to help. There are plenty of ways to get informed and make the best decisions for your child, get familiar with them. Utilize your resources, they are there to help, and so are we!