Breastfeeding is a natural thing to do but it does not mean it is easy especially if you are not prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally. That’s why it is very important to study about breastfeeding while you are still pregnant rather than when you already have your baby.
Will then researching ahead of time make breastfeeding easier for you? NO, but it will prepare you for your future questions like how to ensure your little one will latch and the best breastfeeding position if you want to rest while your baby is nursing things like that. It is your knowledge of breastfeeding that will arm you when you are in the actual act of nursing your little one. You will know that you do not force your little one to transfer to another breast after a certain period of time because of the “old saying” that you should balance the removal of milk on both sides of the breast; the correct way is to just let your little one continue to feed to that breast until he/she initiates the change of breast.
It is also important to get in touch with Breastfeeding support groups and with a lactation consultant ahead of time especially that availability is such a concern here in Canada. If you can build a relationship with your lactation consultant and request for him/her to be present with you while you are giving birth then that would be the best solution to problems on lack of support from breastfeeding groups.
Also, if possible, research hospitals in advance and see if they are breastfeeding advocates or not. Usually a hospital that is a breastfeeding advocate will put posters and notifications about breastfeeding.
Prepare a note that you can show to your medical practitioners on your scheduled date of delivery (or prepare it in your wallet/go-bag if you will have a normal delivery) that you want to breastfeed your little one, have initial skin-to-skin contact, and that you want your little one to nurse right after giving birth. It is important to let them know that skin-to-skin contact is very important in establishing breast milk and bond between you and your little one.
Also, while you are pregnant, educate your support system about breastfeeding. Your support system could be your husband, your parents, your family, your Mother-in-Law, and maybe your Nanny. These people are important to be educated with breastfeeding because they can be very pushy with the way you bring up your little one, especially your Mother-in-Law. Trust me! If possible, never live in your Mother-in-Law’s house when you give birth.
If you can also talk in advance with possible pediatricians for your little one then please do so. Unfortunately, there are pediatricians in Canada who are not breastfeeding advocates or have no proper knowledge about breastfeeding. I know this personally because the pediatrician that I found for my little one is not a breastfeeding advocate. I had no choice but to go to this person because the clinic is near my place and we had an emergency when we went looking for a pediatrician. So if you can research in advance and talk to them. If you have the money and very good if you are in Ontario, connect with Dr. Jack Newman’s clinic.
Lastly, believe in yourself! You have been able to carry your little one for 9 months, extending your care for your baby to one or two more years is not bad at all 🙂