If I could give you only one important breastfeeding tip as a new mom, it would be to prepare for breastfeeding ahead of time. I know that's vague - so I will elaborate further. When it comes to breastfeeding, it does not always come naturally (to most of us). I knew nothing about breastfeeding when I became pregnant with my first baby, and I am so thankful my OB recommended taking a breastfeeding class before giving birth. I will admit, if she had not recommended it I might not have done it. At the time, I believed the nurses would show me what to do once my baby arrived and it would be enough. If I had left it at that alone I may not have been successful.
Here's what I recommend doing ahead of time:
Take a class while pregnant and then line up lactation support for you and your baby after the birth. The class prepared me mentally for some of the breastfeeding challenges I would face. It also put me in touch with a team of lactation consultants which was critical once my baby was here. Personally, I ran into breastfeeding challenges right away.
Prepare to make yourself feel comfortable and confident. Get a great nursing bra before your baby arrives. Having clothing items which help you feel good while breastfeeding is so important. I love the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra , it was my first nursing bra and my favorite (even after three babies). Get one or two ahead of time and then you can get more later. Having one for right after birth will make you feel good, and the seamless style works well for engorged breasts when your milk comes in. I have also since tried Bravado Designs' new nursing bras, and they are great too!
Here, I am wearing the new Bravado Designs Original Nursing Bra.
And, Here, I am wearing the new Bravado Designs Belle Underwire Nursing Bra.
Grab some nipple cream as well and you will stay comfortable during those early challenges.
Make a commitment to breastfeed and set small attainable goals. (I kept telling myself no matter how hard it got, it was a short amount of time in the scheme of my baby's life.)
Line up support at home, too. Letting your friends and family know you are committed to breastfeeding encourages them to help you and not undermine your efforts.
It turns out, this is more than one tip but they all lead to the same thought, be prepared for breastfeeding ahead of time!
Having these breastfeeding tools in place before your baby is born led to my breastfeeding success. I struggled with breastfeeding after the birth of my first baby and if it was not for the class I took, the investment I had already made in myself and breastfeeding, plus the support I had lined up, I may have given up earlier than I wanted.