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Are you planning to breastfeed for the first time? Many new moms make the decision to breastfeed their babies but are nervous that they will not know how to breastfeed correctly when their baby is born.
This is completely normal for first-time moms or even experienced moms who have not breastfed their baby before.
In fact, I was not able to breastfeed my first baby because I didn’t have a good breastfeeding latch. However, when I got pregnant again, I was determined to learn to breastfeed my baby when he was born.
And because I was set on successfully breastfeeding my son, I decided to learn all about breastfeeding while I was still pregnant.
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Learn Breastfeeding While Expecting
By preparing myself for breastfeeding while I was still expecting really did help to reduce stress and keep me focused while I was beginning my breastfeeding journey with a newborn.
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And although it may sound a bit silly to prepare for breastfeeding while pregnant, you truly can get a whole lot out of learning down before your baby is here.
That way you will be less likely to feel overwhelmed by breastfeeding when you try it for the first time when your baby is born.
1. Take A Breastfeeding Class
Taking a breastfeeding class is a great way to learn to breastfeed when you’re pregnant.
I personally love the Milkology breastfeeding class that is taught exclusively by Stacey Stewart. She is a Certified Lactation Educator and also a mom of 3. She also has an extensive history of helping moms to learn how to breastfeed their babies from the start.
And by learning the ins and outs of breastfeeding by a certified lactation educator like Stacey, you’ll know that everything you learn there is vital to breastfeeding your baby all from the comfort of your home and at your own pace.
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I believe that every breastfeeding mom should have a breast pump. Even if you don’t plan to use it that often. Breast pumps are great for –
- building a breast milk stash
- increasing breast milk supply
- saving breast milk for a babysitter while you are away from your baby
- expressing breast milk into a bottle for dad to feed that baby
- making breast milk popsicles
Did you know you can get a breast pump for free through your insurance? It’s completely true.
If you are expecting all you have to do is check here to get your breast pump paid for by your insurance company and start preparing for your baby.
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3. Have A Birth Plan
Do you have a birth plan in place? Many expecting moms who make a birth plan forget to list their preferences on breastfeeding their baby after birth.
For example, you could put in your birth plan that you would like to –
- have skin to skin contact with your baby right after he/she is born. Skin to skin contact helps to promote breastfeeding from birth.
- breastfeed right after birth
- whether your baby is allowed to have a pacifier or formula at all
There truly is so much to plan out with your baby’s birth including your breastfeeding wishes. And the easiest way to is to have a Pregnancy Planner like this one that helps you to plan for pregnancy and everything beyond such as your birth plan.
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4. Learn What’s Normal For The First Few Weeks Of Breastfeeding
Learning what is and is not normal for the first few weeks of breastfeeding is really crucial for moms who have never breastfed before.
By having an idea of what to expect when you first start breastfeeding, you can be on the lookout for any problems that might arise such as a bad breastfeeding latch, tongue tie, or even low breast milk supply.
Once again, I recommend taking the Milkology Breastfeeding Course to learn everything you can about breastfeeding or taking a breastfeeding class at your hospital.
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5. Get Your Home Ready For Breastfeeding
When you start to get your home ready for your baby, be sure to prepare it for breastfeeding as well. This is so important – especially for your first few weeks of breastfeeding your baby at home.
So one way to prepare your home for breastfeeding is to create a comfy breastfeeding spot where you can get comfortable enough to breastfeed your baby and also keep all of your breastfeeding essentials at arms reach.
A few things to keep in your breastfeeding spot are nursing pads, nipple cream, burp rags, and a boppy pillow.
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6. Talk with Other Moms Who’ve Breastfed Before
If you were like me who grew up with absolutely no idea what breastfeeding even was until you go pregnant, rest assured, you can still breastfeed your baby.
One great resource I found was through talking with other moms who had successfully breastfed before. They were uplifting and gave me support when I really felt overwhelmed.
And even if you don’t know of any breastfeeding moms in your area, you can always join Facebook Groups for breastfeeding moms and join several moms there.
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7. Invest In Some Breastfeeding Clothes
Do I really need breastfeeding clothes?
I wondered this when I was getting ready to breastfeed my baby. And the truth is that even just having a few breastfeeding clothing items really can help make breastfeeding much easier and more comfortable.
For me, having nursing camis and bras made all of the difference in my breastfeeding journey. I mostly used the camis and wore a regular shirt over it.
This way when my baby needed to breastfeed, I was able to lift the top shirt up while still covering the top of my breast and unclip the cami to let my baby breastfeed. The cami then kept my bottom half covered.
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8. Get Support From Your Partner
Have you talked with your partner about you breastfeeding your baby?
It’s so important to talk with your partner about everything when it comes to how you will both care for your newborn baby. And breastfeeding is definitely a huge part of your baby’s care.
Getting the support you need from your partner can help you get through any tough times that you may face while breastfeeding. And having your partner on the same page with you will also help him to find ways to help you with breastfeeding your baby.
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9. Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Idea Of Breastfeeding
How do I mentally prepare myself for breastfeeding?
When I was pregnant, I thought about breastfeeding a lot and knew that I just had to make it work. However, I didn’t prepare myself mentally for how tired I would be or for breastfeeding after an emotional c-section delivery.
And I believe that some of that stress ultimately overwhelmed me when I was trying to breastfeed the first time around.
However, when I was much more relaxed and prepared for what was to come, I truly was able to trust my body and what I had learned about breastfeeding while I was pregnant. And because of this I successfully breastfed my second baby after another C-Section.
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10. Get Plenty Of Rest
One huge tip when you are expecting and want to breastfeed your newborn baby is to get plenty of rest. It may seem hard to get comfortable at times, but your body truly needs to rest before you give birth.
And to be honest, your mind probably needs to rest as well. So don’t overthink breastfeeding. It will happen if you can prepare your self ahead of time.
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