Breastfeeding your baby is one of the most important and rewarding bonding experiences of your life. There’s plenty you can do to prepare, from a healthy diet to comfortable breastfeeding dresses Australia and beyond, getting ready for nursing is a big part of the journey. Everyone’s experience is a bit different, and there are no hard rules about what you do and don’t need to do. To point you in the right direction, though, here are simple tips for preparing for your breastfeeding journey.
Talk with your doctor
Not sure where to start with breastfeeding? Talk with your doctor first.
Whether it’s your GP or someone at the local hospital, professional advice can go a long way to prepping for breastfeeding. An appointment with your doctor can be especially useful if you have a condition like diabetes or PCOS known to affect breast milk production. Certain exercises like hand expressing milk can help stimulate your body’s response in the lead-up to giving birth.
Preparing for breastfeeding journey: Find a lactation consultant
It’s common for new mums to have trouble with breastfeeding at first. It can take a bit of practice, both for you and your baby, and that can lead to excessive stress. A lactation consultant is a dedicated specialist that can help you with any breastfeeding information or advice you need along the way.
Searching for a lactation consultant before you give birth is always a good idea. This allows you to find someone you get along with, which means you’ll know who to call if you have an issue. Remember, stress is the enemy of breastfeeding, so a little preparation goes a long way.
Start your breastfeeding diet
Diet and exercise have an effect on milk production. While you don’t need to worry about it too much until your baby arrives, it’s good to get in the habit of eating a diet that encourages milk production.
For new mums, it’s important to eat a diet rich in protein, leafy green vegetables, healthy fats (like nuts and fish), and whole grains. This is also your chance to give up things like caffeine that are known to reduce breast milk supply. There’s no need to go overboard, just spend a few weeks getting used to the new diet before the baby arrives.
Prepare by getting a pump for breastfeeding
Regularly feeding your baby is the best way to stimulate breast milk production. Most newborns will need to feed between 6 and 12 times per day, so you can expect to spend a lot of time with your baby!
But your little one won’t always be hungry, and that’s where breast pumps come in. Skipping feedings can signal to your body that it needs to produce less milk, which is usually the opposite of what you want. If your baby isn’t interested in feeding then you can use a breast pump to develop and promote your milk supply.
Cook some meals for the freezer
You probably don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals, but you’ll want to do it even less when you have a baby in your arms. In the month before the birth, spend some time in the kitchen cooking meals and snacks that can be frozen.
Preparing these meals ahead of time means you’ll have healthy options at your fingertips whenever you’re hungry! If you want to go a step further, stock the pantry with things like oats, nuts, breastfeeding snacks, and other healthy bites.
Prepare your breastfeeding spot
You’re going to be spending a lot of time breastfeeding your child in the first few months. It always helps to have a comfortable spot (or more than one) set aside for your use.
Before the baby arrives, take the time to prepare your home and breastfeeding spot with things like blankets, cushions, comfortable breastfeeding dresses, bras, books, and anything else you’ll need. All of this can help reduce stress to boost the milk supply.
Make time for your baby
This one probably goes without saying, but make sure you block out those first few days to spend time with your baby. Skin-to-skin contact is a big part of bonding with your baby and jump-starting milk production.
This is particularly important in the first few hours and days after giving birth. Your friends and family can visit the baby in a week or two. For now, make sure you have time to recover and bond with your new family.