Breastfeeding is a great way to feed your baby but sometimes we need a little help getting started. Lori Isenstadt is a local breast feeding consultant who encouraged me through breastfeeding both my babies. Her post today gives great advice for breastfeeding success!
You have probably heard this a million times:
Breastfeeding is a normal thing to do. It is a natural thing to do. However, it sometimes does not come naturally and many a new mother is shocked when she quickly realizes there is a learning curve to this whole breastfeeding thing. Not that it takes months to become an expert. However, you can plan on spending the first 2 weeks learning a lot of new info and putting it into practice. By the time your baby is 6 weeks old, it should be fairly easy and quite convenient. This is when the fun really kicks in. You know what you are doing, you are confident and relaxed.
Here is what I call my “Find 1 good” list, which offers my best suggestions on how to help yourself get breastfeeding off to a good start:
1. Find 1 good book on breastfeeding. My favorite book that is easy to read and understand is Breastfeeding Made Simple by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC. This book really hits on the most basic “need to know” breastfeeding tips. It is a fun and interesting read and for moms who have already breastfed, you will find a lot of “aha” moments. For mothers who have yet to breastfeed, the information shared really helps you make sense out of something you have never done before.
2. Find 1 good friend who is breastfeeding friendly and knowledgeable. Joining a La Leche League Group or other breastfeeding mothers group can make your experience that much more fun. However, ALL you need is 1 good friend who has breastfed, to help guide you, refer you, support you in the early days.
3. Find 1 good nursing bra and wear it the first 2 weeks. If you love the bra and it is comfortable and easy to use, it is worth it to buy at least 2 more as you WILL get your use out of it.
4. Find 1 good breastfeeding class in your community. Take your support person to the class as there will be so much good information that it will be overwhelming for you to try and explain all the bullet points to them. Once your baby is born, your knowledgeable support person may very well be your lifeline to help you get through the early days.
5. Find 1 good local IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and connect with this breastfeeding specialist before your baby is born, so you know who you can call on if you are having breastfeeding challenges. Your IBCLC is equipped with the tools to do her very best in figuring out what the problem is and coming up with solutions that will help you work through your issues and concerns.
One last word of advice – If you do have breastfeeding challenges in the early days, the absolute best few things that you can do, while working on seeking help is:
1. Keep your baby well fed.
2. Protect your milk supply with a regular pumping routine, 8 times a day.
You can always work on breastfeeding as long as your baby is well fed and you are working on establishing a good milk supply. I wish for you a lovely birth, and a healthy mom and baby.
Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC, owner of All About Breastfeeding, is the mother of 3 breastfed children, who are all in their 20’s. Lori can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or her website, All About Breastfeeding.