Getting Ready for Breastfeeding
During your pregnancy, your body is constantly doing things to prepare your body and your baby for the birthing process and beyond. Your body is even doing things to prepare itself for breastfeeding, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. While your body is going to do it’s thing regardless of how you feel about the situation, there are some issues surrounding getting ready for breastfeeding that you probably want to think about while you’re still pregnant:
- Beginning a few weeks before your due date, start preparing your body for breastfeeding. There are a few things you can do to help prepare your nipples, in particular. You can massage just a few drops of that early milk – known as colostrum – into your nipples. Do this every couple of days during those last few weeks of pregnancy.
- Consider attending a breastfeeding class or support group. There are a number of options when it comes to breastfeeding groups. While the La Leche League is perhaps the most widespread, you may find their ideals to be somewhat inflexible for your tastes. If that’s the case, take a look to see what your local hospital or birthing center may have to offer.
- Read up on breastfeeding. Learn about how breastfeeding can benefit both you and your baby so that you can make informed decisions when it comes to the breastfeeding of your little one.
- Be ready for some discomfort. Many women experience a variety of discomforts during breastfeeding. Learn about the kinds of things that you can do to treat cracked nipples, for example, or how to deal with engorgement. Know the warning signs of mastitis, as well.
- Remember that breastfeeding is an inherently personal matter. No one else can tell you what’s right for you and for your baby. If you’re unable to breastfeed, don’t let anyone else judge you for that. It’s up to you to make the right decisions for your situation.
- Even if you do wind up bottle feeding, know that most bottle fed babies grow to be just as happy and healthy as babies who were breastfed.