Updated: Sep 11, 2022
These three things can help you start off on the right foot when your baby arrives!
I have met with SO many breastfeeding parents who have expressed that they wish they would have done some preparations prenatally. After talking to them all, these are the three most common things people wish they had done BEFORE their baby arrived.
Tip #1 - Communicate your breastfeeding goal with EVERYONE
Communicate your goals with your healthcare provider and your support people. Really, tell everyone! Not just that you’d like to breastfeed, but what you expect out of others in supporting your goals. Add it to your birth plan!
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Tip #2 - Start hand expressing and collecting colostrum
Start hand expressing as long as your healthcare provider is comfortable with that. What is hand expressing? See this article to learn more! Start hand expressing your breasts at about 36 weeks (again, if your healthcare provider is comfortable with it). Do it once a day, in a relaxing environment. I usually tell clients to start it in a bath or while listening to music or an audio book you like. Hand express for about 5 min a side. Stop if you begin to feel tightening or contraction-like sensations. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get very much at first. You are teaching your body to make milk. Also, don’t be surprised if you get lots! If you do - make sure to label and store it so you can take it to the hospital.
We sell colostrum collection kits here. But, you could also gather these supplies from Amazon or your local pharmacy!
"Learning to hand express while pregnant, and collecting and saving the colostrum can be helpful " – La Leche League
Tip #3 - Find and join support groups and educate yourself
Educate and prepare yourself by learning about a variety of experiences with breastfeeding. No two breastfeeding journeys are the same. Breastfeeding is a relationship between you and your baby and it cannot be replicated. So, chat with a variety of people about their experiences, read online articles and blogs, take a course, look up a local Facebook group to join, etc.
We run virtual prenatal breastfeeding workshops. Check it out here.
Remember, this is YOUR journey.
Breastfeeding is one of the most unnatural, natural things you will ever do. It is not for everyone, but if it is your goal make sure you and your support system are prepared for what it may involve. We are fortunate to live in a world where it is not the only way you can feed your baby. Breastfeeding does not have to be exclusive either! Even just a tablespoon a day is filled with so many nutrients and vitamins for your baby.