Q: I am pregnant and am planning to breastfeed. What do I need to do to prepare myself for breastfeeding and what do I need to purchase before the birth of my baby?
A: To prepare for breastfeeding, attend La Leche League meetings. You will be welcomed and you will learn a lot about breastfeeding your baby. You can join and check out helpful books. If you are unable to attend, you can attend cyber meetings on line at the LLL Web site.
If your hospital offers classes taught by an IBCLC, that would be a good place to learn more, and your baby’s father is welcome to attend these as well. The more you know, the better prepared you will be!
Also it is important to realize that your birth can also profoundly affect your baby’s ability to breastfeed. A prepared birth with little or no medication can make your nursing go smoother, as your baby will be stronger and more alert from the beginning.
What to buy? Since you are breastfeeding, you don’t need a lot of “things.” You may want to research good breast pumps if you are planning to return to work and pump your milk. If you are going to be at home, breast pumps are not necessary. Many moms like to buy nursing bras in order to nurse more easily.
Buy some groceries and meals to put in the freezer ahead of time, as newborn babies take lots of time, and it will be handy to be able to pull something out of the freezer in the early weeks. Then you can nap more during the day when newborns usually sleep best, and not have to worry about fixing the evening meal.
A baby sling would be nice, a cozy way to carry the baby, and convenient for nursing along the way!
Wishing you a wonderful delivery and fun nursing!
By Ann Calandro
BSN, RNC, IBCLC Lactation Consultant