I remember quite vividly my first pregnancy. I was so excited. I was reading and researching and learning all the things. My fiance and I were setting up a baby space in our apartment, and we had all the clothes and products we thought we could need. We thought we had it going on, you couldn’t tell me nothing! Then, in came crashing this tiny, real, live human being that I was given the task to keep alive. “I got this”, I remember saying to myself. But I really didn’t.
By the third night of her life, we were home in our bed and our entire lives had erupted.
It was hard! Breastfeeding was not the sunshine and rainbows that I thought it was going to be before she arrived. Fortunately, I was able to have some amazing people in my life that refused to let me give up and helped me go beyond the World Health Organization’s recommendation of two years of breastfeeding.
Now, I’m on a mission to ensure that every mom knows how to set themselves up for success even before their baby arrives.
1. Find AND Attend a Breastfeeding Support Group BEFORE you give birth.
- Just like you go to parenting classes before you have a baby, you need to go to a breastfeeding support group before you have a baby. During this time, you’ll hear and see the positive success stories of many women like you who have breastfed their children, but you’ll also learn about some of the myths and stereotypes of breastfeeding and be able to shut down the falsehoods told to you after you have your baby.
- Additionally, you’ll be able to meet like-minded women and start to build your village up of positive people in your life that are going to encourage and support you on this journey
- Support groups can be found at centers like the Breastfeeding Resource Center, at the hospital that you give birth at, and your local La Leche League chapters.
2. Make a List of Contacts
- Have the name and number of your support group, a local Lactation Consultant, and InfantRisk taped to your bedside table, fridge, and any other place you may need it. It’s important that you know that you can reach out to people that can help you right away in the event that you may need help.
- It’s also a good option to find a doctor that can clip tongue and/or lip ties and have their information readily available as well in the event that your child needs this done.
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a fantastic read for everyone and does a great job of covering almost everything that you could possibly need to know about breastfeeding.
And just a bonus tip for after the baby is here, give yourself grace. The house isn’t always going to be perfectly spotless, sometimes dinner will be a bowl of cereal for the rest of the family, and you may not shower in two (or four) days, but everyone will adjust, everything will eventually be taken care of in due time. But for now, inhale that sweet, newborn smell, and enjoy these moments. They go by too quickly.
Setting yourself up for breastfeeding success before the baby comes, will make a world of difference in your life after your baby is here. Congrats and enjoy!
About the Author: Larisha is the co-founder of We’re Parents, a semicrunchyish parenting blog, recipe developer, and content curator. She’s an adventure seeker, loves to help and entertain others, and obsessed with Amish doughnuts. You can usually find her in the kitchen with her fiance and their two daughters creating something delicious in their New Jersey home.