If a good bra is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of breastfeeding support, read on. Sure, you need the right nursing gear to avoid shoulder aches or ligament strain while feeding your little one. But don’t forget about getting information and the personal contact from experts and other nursing moms during this important time.
During pregnancy, write down your breastfeeding questions—even “silly” ones—and take them to your prenatal appointments. Your care provider can give frank answers and help you sort out what you know about breastfeeding versus what you hear about breastfeeding.
Discuss breastfeeding with your partner and family. Research has shown that when you gain the support of others you are more likely to choose and sustain breastfeeding. We all tend to operate out of our own experience so remember to filter out what does not fit with your point of view. Some information you get from well-meaning friends and family may be outdated or not factual, even when offered with good intention.
Research where your baby will be born. Are there prenatal breastfeeding preparation classes where you can meet other women and families planning to breastfeed?
Learn if the facility has lactation consultants available and make a specific request for a consultation after your baby is born. These experts have worked with thousands of moms and can help you through one or more early feeding session, and are particularly helpful with positioning, attachment, breast care and practical advice.
Rest is super important while in hospital, so limit those with you to people who can help and provide support. Above all, don’t be shy about seeking and expecting help that supports your own needs and cultural practices. Experts know from research that early success affirms your choice and is so important for confidence moving forward!
Once you’re back at home, check in via social media or other ways with the women you met in your breastfeeding class or join an online breastfeeding support group. Call the lactation consultant you saw in the birthing facility as needed.
As soon as you and baby can be out and about, join a local breastfeeding support group in your area. Bookmark your favorite websites with breastfeeding information, especially the breastfeeding section at Health4Mom.org
Continue to write down questions as they occur to you and reach out to other moms, lactation experts and good information online when you have time to look for the answers.