5 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR SUCCESSFUL BREASTFEEDING
When I had my first child there was a lot I didn’t know to expect. I think most women could attest to the reality that fully preparing for a newborn baby is virtually impossible. There are things you can do to help.
Although, the unspoken surprises tend to be lost in preparation for translation between mothers. We somehow forget to mention how to prepare for breastfeeding our amazing gifts from God.
After all, they need to eat right.
As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” Luke 11:27
Let me be frank, even creating a baby registry with my first child verse my fourth child showed a stark difference in what I had deemed vital to the first weeks at home.
Your needs will change from popular and cute to necessary and practical. Still, it may be because nursing is so rewarding that we forget the things that made it difficult at times.
Nursing is a wonderful way to bond with your newborn child. It has great health benefits for baby and recovering mommy. Next are 5 practical ways to prepare for breastfeeding your baby.
Preparing for Breastfeeding!
1. Decide Whether you Will Pump and Store:
Women pump and store milk for a number of different reasons. Some are planning on going back to work after the birth. Others like having extra milk for daddy to participate in feeding. Or just having some extra to supply a sitter for date nights. No matter the reason, it is vital to decide before
Imagine baby feeds for 20 minutes on each side followed by 10 minutes on each side for pumping. Add in, burping, rocking, pacing, connecting, disconnecting, storing properly, washing pump parts and readying them for the next round. You’re looking at a good 1 hour to 1.5 hours each session. Then starting all over in 45 minutes.
A great pump I have success with for three children is the Medela Double pump. Although a double pump is not a necessity it really helps cut down on time actually spent pumping. Also, it was a lifesaver on my 4th child when I came across the Medela pumping bra that holds the pumps in place so my hands were free!
Prepare for breastfeeding with quality equipment as well.
It is important to be equipment prepared and mentally prepared for the extra work, time, and commitment it takes to pump and store. If you don’t begin pumping early after birth, the milk supply may be hard to keep up along with feeding.
If you begin pumping then waiver back and forth you risk fighting engorgement. Engorgement is painful and not fun for you or a little one. Save a headache and heartache and make a committed decision before your angel arrives.
2. Give up Your Day Job:
Breastfeeding is a grand event. Although it is a fairly simple task, it is fully driven by baby. Most often the advice is to feed baby every two hours or 10-12 times a day. Breast milk is water soluble and is digested quickly with very little by-product. If you ponder that, it is 12-14 hours of your day.
Factor in a need to sleep and shower and your day just got really short. Not to mention any other children you may have in the house and their ages.
Unlike most other things, mommy can usually multi-task.
However, breastfeeding requires you to stop and devote a period of time to baby so that they are comfortable and your body can let down properly.
It is a great time to relax and enjoy the bonding and restful time.
It is best to take the offers to help from others. Don’t try to have the house cleaned and laundry done on your own in your first weeks home and don’t commit to going back to work before you and baby are ready.
Prepare to breastfeed by being flexible.
3. Proper Clothing:
There is nothing more frustrating than getting showered and dressed only to find trying to breastfeed a baby is virtually impossible without getting undressed again. Finding a good supportive nursing bra is important.
Two things to look for are one that is easy to hook and unhook and supportive. I recommend trying these on.
Keep in mind that you will fill out and you don’t want to fall out of it.
My own experience and many telling product reviews show, it will never be worn if it is too tight or uncomfortable. The only place you will find a brand new unworn nursing bra is in the back of the drawer or in the giveaway bag.
Take your time picking one that suits your needs.
Prepare for breastfeeding by knowing what you are comfortable revealing.
There is some argument as to how much skin showing is appropriate. As a modest Christian woman, we cover our bodies as a symbol of worship to our Lord Jesus Christ. Consider wearing a camisole that can be pulled down from the top underneath a shirt that will be pulled up from the bottom.
This way the only thing exposed is the feeding area and baby’s head will cover that. I have fed three babies with this technique and rarely need a cover at all. They can be purchase in every color and are comfortable.
Prepare for breastfeeding with comfortable clothing.
Soft fabric is important as not scratch baby’s face and hands. I bought a nice sundress only to remember after I was fully dressed that that was completely impractical. Having comfortable clothing is essential to avoid headache and a crying baby while you attempt to fight clothing.
It also helps build your confidence. You are your baby’s food source, when you are comfortable and secure they are even more comfortable and secure.
4. Location, Location, Location:
I can’t say enough. Have a place to feed baby. There are different positions and holds when feeding. Some work better than others depending on your baby and mommy. This will be trial and error because there is no way to practice before baby gets here and every baby’s need is different.
Prepare for breastfeeding by having a good stock of decent pillows. Make a corner on the couch, a rocking chair, or place on the bed.
Where ever it is, make it your place.
Have a table next to you so that you can have your essentials. Supply your area with things like a water bottle, pump, baby bottles, phone, a book, burp towels, wipes and remotes readily available. Make it comfortable.
Imagine for a moment, you get your baby latched on after several tries only to find the phone is ringing across the room. Or he spits up and leaking with no burp towel in sight.
Prepare for breastfeeding in a comfortable location.
5. Setting Siblings Up for Nursing Time:
Finally, if you are on your second child or more you know these precious little buggers wait until you are engulfed in something, anything before they attempt amazing feats of varying degrees. Children know when we are “busy” or tied down. Siblings will take this opportunity to really test your limits.
Ask them if they want you to read to them and little brother or sister while you nurse. This is great because they are sitting in sight. None of those silent disasters going on. Maybe they can help by holding your baby’s hand or drawing baby a picture.
Prepare for breastfeeding by keeping siblings in the loop.
Toddlers love to feel involved in what you are doing. Asking them for help boosts their confidence and cuts down on activity, you can’t see. This also helps you enjoy the time more when you don’t have to worry about what is happening in the next room or goodness forbid, the bathroom!!
Save your nerves and set other children up for success so that you can enjoy nursing your baby.
Nursing is a blessing. God gave women a divine ability to provide for her child from her own body. It is truly an extension from them growing in the womb. Enjoy this part of motherhood. Properly preparing can make the journey that much better!
“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance.” For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:10-13
What are some ways you have prepared for breastfeeding your newborn baby?