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Breastfeeding Success: 7 Essential Tips for Expecting Parents!

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

As expecting parents, we are often inundated with advice on how to ensure a successful breastfeeding experience for both ourselves and our babies. From family and friends to lactation consultants and doctors, everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter. However, with so much information out there, it can be difficult to know where to start.


It's no secret that human milk is one of the best things you can provide for your baby. Human milk is packed with nutrients and antibodies that help protect your little one from illness, and studies have shown that breastfed babies have lower rates of obesity and other chronic health problems., but breastfeeding isn't always easy. In fact, it can be downright hard! Many new families give up breastfeeding before they really get a chance to get the hang of it.


Even before the baby arrives, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. By preparing yourself— both mentally and physically— for breastfeeding, you can increase your chances of having a positive breastfeeding experience.


The best way to have a successful breastfeeding experience is to be prepared. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of breastfeeding basics that every parent-to-be should know before the baby arrives. By familiarizing yourself with these tips before your little one arrives, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your breastfeeding goals.


1. Have realistic expectations.


Breastfeeding is a natural process, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. There will be a learning curve for both you and baby. Be patient and give yourself time to adjust.


2. Educate yourself


Breastfeeding is a learned skill, and like any skill, it takes time and practice to master. The more you know about breastfeeding before your baby is born, the better prepared you'll be.

Do your research on the subject, to understand how breastfeeding works and what to expect. Read books, talk to others who have breastfed, and attend a breastfeeding class. The more information you have, the better equipped you'll be to handle the challenges that come with breastfeeding.


3. Find a support person.


It’s important to establish your breastfeeding support before the baby is born. This could be your partner, a family member, a friend, or a breastfeeding support group. It’s important to have someone who you can talk to about breastfeeding and who will be supportive of your decision to breastfeed. This will be your “go to” , someone who will be your “help line” should you need it.


4. On the flipside, know where to get help when you need it.


Yes, you have your established support, but sometimes you need more than just support. The first few days after your baby is born will be the hardest. You will be sleep-deprived and your baby will be learning to breastfeed. It’s important to have patience and to ask for help if you need it. It's best to be prepared for the early days especially, if you’re having trouble breastfeeding, or establishing a good latch. Seek out the help of a lactation consultant, knowing where to contact this specialized help is a must. A lactation consultant can help you with everything from latch to positions to pumping.


5. Stock up on essentials.


You don’t need a ton of gear to breastfeed, but there are a few products that can make the experience more comfortable and convenient. First invest in a good nursing bra, this will provide support for your breasts and make breastfeeding easier. Next, get a nursing pillow, this will help you to position your baby and take the strain off your arms and back. Additionally, nursing pads, nipple salve (or cream), silver nipple cups (not a must-have but just in case) and a breast pump (if you are going to pump) are all must-haves.


6. Don’t forget about your diet.


There are a few things you can do to physically prepare your body for breastfeeding. First, make sure you’re getting enough rest. Second, make sure you are eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet is important for both you and baby, so maintain an optimal diet and stay nourished. Third, start drinking plenty of fluids now! Breastfeeding requires adequate intake of fluids to keep yourself hydrated, so in good practice, find a water bottle that you love and carry it around with you so that you will have adequate fluid intake after the baby arrives.


7. Make a plan for pumping.


If you plan on returning to work or want to have the option to pump, it’s important to have a plan in place. Talk to your employer about your pumping needs and make sure you have a good pump. A lactation consultant can assist in this area and help you with your plan to pump.


By taking care of these basics before the baby arrives, you will be setting yourself up for success with breastfeeding.


Birth & Postpartum Doula Fort Collins Colorado

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