Preparing for Breastfeeding

Oh Baby Magazine April 2010


Ready, set, feed!

Give nature a helping hand with these breastfeeding must-haves

There are all sorts of motherhood myths regarding breastfeeding, and the preparation you can do during pregnancy. Some suggest toughening up nipples by applying nipple cream, expressing to stimulate milk flow still pregnant, or even topless sunbathing!  Alas, these are just folklore, but while there is generally nothing you can do to prepare physically for breastfeeding, you can get yourself ready in other ways.  Frances McInnes from Breastmates shares her top tips to prepare for this most important journey.

1.Invest some Time in develop a Breastfeeding Plan with your midwife.

2. Mentally prepare yourself. Expect that its not going to be easy over the first few days and acknowlege that breastfeeding takes a while for both you and baby to learn.

3. Visualize how a baby feeds, and how their mouth and tongue action will work to get the milk flowing. Use a doll to get angle right, and then imagine how the baby will open their mouth, how you will hold them, and where their head will be. If you know of anyone else that is currently breastfeeding, spend some time and actually watch while they are feeding. A real life demo might be a godsend. Watch the Breastfeeding Naturally DVD which s  now free to all pregnant women through their LMC.

4. Be prepared to put everything else on hold for a few weeks while you adjust and settle into a feeding routine. Many mothers are surprised by how long it takes – around 20-30 minutes a feed, and you’ll be doing this about every 3-4 hours.

5. Put together a list of numbers for people you can call  when things aren’t going well. Midwife, lactation consultant, LLL group, or friends that have had babies. Is there someone that you could call at 1am when everything turns to custard?