Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing you can provide for you and your baby. Lots of women wonder what they should be doing to be preparing for breastfeeding before baby arrives. There isn’t much to do to begin preparing for breastfeeding but here are a few tips.
I would like to preface with this: I am not a professional (yet.) Currently, I am taking the steps to become a certified breastfeeding counselor and lactation consultant down the road. Between my 4 kids, I have breastfed for a total of 4+ years (as I write this, still going strong with my 1 year old twins!)
What to eat to prepare for breastfeeding?
Nothing! There are no special foods that are going to help in preparing you for breastfeeding. Some people may say there are foods that may increase or decrease supply but I fully believe those will not help you prepare.
How do I get my breasts ready for breastfeeding?
Short answer: you don’t. Your body knows what it’s doing. If you have issues (ie, elastic nipples, inverted nipples, etc) you can be assessed by a lactation consultant in the hospital and they will have tips for you. But as far as preparing for breastfeeding, there is nothing special for you to do before baby arrives.
How can I increase my chances for breastfeeding?
The one and only thing you can do to increase your chances for breastfeeding is educate yourself. First and foremost, contact a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counselor. This is the best way to be informed. Line up meetings with one after baby comes and search for groups in your area. Hands on help is the best kind of help. Second, my go-to website is kellymom.com. Most (if not all) questions are addressed and answered in this website.
Also, be open with your partner. Let him/her know what you need, if you have any fears, and educate yourselves together. Take a class before baby comes! Check your hospital or ask your doctor’s office is they offer them.
The bottom line – the best thing you can do for yourself before your baby comes is to educate yourself and your loved ones, particularly your partner. Breastfeeding is a long and sometimes bumpy road. Armed with the right information and a great support system and baring any real issues (bad latch, inverted nipples, etc), you should be successful!