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What Can I Do To Prepare for Breastfeeding?
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby as it contains exactly what they need for nutrients, energy and antibodies against illnesses. Breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for mothers, and during your pregnancy, your body will prepare for it without you having to do much. Your breasts are enlarging as your milk ducts and milk-producing cells are developing.
However, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself, and to make the entry into breastfeeding smoother. The more you know before your baby is born, the easier it will be to get started.
Arm yourself with knowledge
Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before your little one is born – from how to latch and when to feed to breastfeeding positions and how to increase your milk supply. Attend antenatal classes, talk to other new moms, read articles or books, or join a social group such as the La Leche League (their Facebook page is also a good reference). You don’t need to remember everything, but getting some insight into feeding will help empower you for the early days. Click through to our handy Breastfeeding Basics for New Moms for a step-by-step guide.
Know that it might be difficult
Breastfeeding can be tough in the beginning and some moms battle with the long hours or sore breasts. Those first few weeks can be tough, but in most cases things ease, and feeding gets a lot easier.
Know that it’s okay to ask for help
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, whether your baby hasn’t latched properly, you’re worried about your milk supply, or you have cracked nipples. Your midwife or hospital should know of lactation specialists, or else contact a free source, such as La Leche League, for help.
Get breastfeeding products
Get some nursing bras that come with useful hooks for you to remove the cups for easier feeding. Remember that your breasts might be bigger when your baby is born, so it might be worthwhile to wait until your little one is here.
An automatic or manual breastpump is a good buy if you’re going back to work or want freedom from feeding. A breastpump is also useful if you want to increase your milk supply, or if you need relief from engorged breasts.
Other useful items include breast pads, a nursing pillow, a breastfeeding shawl and a soothing nipple cream, like PURITY® & Elizabeth Anne’s Mama Nipple Cream. This helps to prepare nipples for breastfeeding, assists in soothing cracked and sore nipples and does not need to be wiped off before feeding.
Disclaimer: Breastfeeding is best for babies. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months. PURITY fully supports this with continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary food as advised by healthcare professionals.