You’re finally at the last stretch of your pregnancy, mama. Everyone’s excited for the little one’s imminent arrival. The nursery is painted. The car carrier/seat is installed. You could not jam a single additional set of onesies into the dresser. You have it all done & ready to go. This is the perfect time to prepare for the next stage of motherhood once the baby shows up – breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding will take a while to get used to if you’re a new mom. And a little spoiler; there will be more sleepless nights but you’ll get acclimated to the schedule. It is totally worth it. So, here’s how you can prepare for breastfeeding while still pregnant.
Study about breastfeeding
There are breastfeeding books, blogs, and videos that could help you start getting to know about this very important stage. Practice and get well-versed with the most common breastfeeding positions like the Laid-Back Nursing Position, the Cradle Hold, the Cross-Cradle Hold, the Football Hold, and the Side-Lying Position. It is much easier to learn about these processes before the baby arrives vs. afterwards when you have a crying hungry baby. Trust me.
Join a breastfeeding class either online or in-person from a lactation consultant or from a hospital near you. Or you can ask your friends who are already moms. They’ll surely tell you secrets of their own when it comes to nursing a newborn. You can ask your own mother or other family members who are mothers, but BEWARE: sometimes that opens the door to more involvement than what you may want in your breastfeeding journey.
Learn about your milk supply, where it comes from and how to maintain quality breast milk. Keeping yourself hydrated and drinking in ample amounts is very important, moms, so keep this in mind.
Prepare THE essentials
Tip: before buying nursing bras, it’s best to purchase them during your last weeks of pregnancy.
Your breasts during these weeks are closest to postpartum size and when you’ve started producing breast milk, expect your breasts will grow a cup size or two. When you go shopping for nursing bras, best to ask assistance from a salesperson who knows about fittings and who can help you choose the right nursing bra for you.
Nursing tops and camisoles
These are very helpful when you want to nurse discreetly. It can function as a bra and top which is very convenient for us mamas.
These pillows will support you and your baby while breastfeeding. You avoid straining your neck and/or shoulders and your baby’s kept in position. It’s best if you are on a tight budget and can’t invest in nursing pillows, then simply use regular pillows, it’ll make nursing so much easier.
A trusted breast pump and other breastfeeding accessories
We’ve rounded up some breast pump recommendations for you which you can read here. Other breastfeeding accessories you’ll need like bottles, breast milk bags (if you plan on storing them in the fridge), nipple cream, gel packs (to soothe swollen breasts), breast pads (to keep you and your shirts dry when your breasts leak).
You can add more to the list. The moment you enter the baby section at the store you’ll find yourself needing everything.
Make your own nursing space at home
Find a private corner in your home where you can settle into YOUR space every time you breastfeed. It’s a one-stop nursing station where everything you need is located. You’ll have the privacy you desire and need every time the little one’s hungry and needs to feed.
Be mentally prepared
Here’s what you need to know: breastfeeding is painful (at first). During the first few weeks of nursing you’ll keep feeling a sting every time the baby latches on your nipple. Just hold your breath for a few seconds to calm the sensation.
When the baby has grasped the practice of latching, mama’s breastfeeding sessions will no longer be as painful. Our body and mind adjusts as time passes, so you don’t need to worry.
Prepare the best way possible before the baby’s born so you won’t get stressed about the dos and don’ts of nursing a newborn. You are in for a beautiful experience, mom!