A new colleague of mine in the office shared that even though she prepared herself for breastfeeding she still was not able to do it. So, I asked her what are her preparations. That’s when we both realized that it lacked some things here and there. So, I am sharing with you our lessons learned.
1. ATTEND BREASTFEEDING CLASSES
I’ve just Googled “breastfeeding classes near me”, and a lot came up! Every Mum is lucky nowadays that classes such as these are available. But make sure that you attend the classes organized by groups or individuals that have no conflicts of interest. They should not do it for the sake of earning money.
2. READ AND RESEARCH
Again, use materials that are trusted sources. Join groups that will encourage you to breastfeed. World Health Organization has a ton of available resources on breastfeeding.
3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT SUPPORT GROUP
Inform your parents and in-laws in advance that you are going to breastfeed. This way they know what to do and what to expect beforehand. This, I was not able to do, hence when I breastfed my little angel, there was a big fight surrounding this topic. And believe me, until now whenever I meet or call with my Mother-in-Law she will never miss to say when will my angel drink milk from the bottle.
So the information that you get when you attend these breastfeeding classes or whatever you’ve researched share it with your support group that will be with you during the early days of your newborn.
4. FIND THE RIGHT A-TEAM FOR YOUR MEDICAL NEEDS
Your ob-gyne or midwife, pediatrician, and hospital needs to know that you plan to breastfeed.
Important: Ask them if they have experienced with Mums who wanted to breastfeed but was not able to do it, ask them what happened as well as what did they do.
This difficult question will give you an idea of what they did in that situation. That gut-feeling that tells you they will not be helpful when you encounter challenges with breastfeeding is correct.
5. IF YOU CAN FIND AND HAVE THE BUDGET TO GET A LACTATION CONSULTANT DO IT
This person will be instrumental in your breastfeeding journey. Of course make sure she is IBCLC certified. I tried looking up at how to become a lactation consultant, and it is a very tedious process because you have to be a medical practitioner to begin with. So if someone is just pretending to be one then don’t get that person.
6. HAVE A BREASTFEEDING SECTION IN YOUR BIRTH PLAN
In your birth plan, specify that you want to breastfeed. Also, ask the hospital if they allow the child to IMMEDIATELY crawl on top of your chest “first hug” right after giving birth. Tell this to your support group or husband that will accompany you when you give birth. Tell them this is important in establishing your breastmilk.
Right after giving birth, tell your medical team to latch the baby on to your breast immediately. My ob-gyne did this for me when she delivered my baby, this is your right!
Ask the hospital to room-in your little one. No, your baby won’t get germs from your visitors and no, it is not the time to rest because you just gave birth. Frequent nursing builds up your milk supply.
7. TRUST AND BELIEVE YOURSELF
Every woman is gifted to breastfeed. It is not true that you do not have enough milk. Doubting your supply and stressing over it will affect you and your baby. My colleague said that she does not have milk supply but then again she had mastitis, which means she has.
Your baby was nourished by your body before birth and your body CAN continue to nourish your baby. Trust your baby also that your baby wants to and will learn to breastfeed.