Prepare for Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

SoftshellsBaby is almost here. You have your bags packed. You have the route marked to the hospital. You are prepared. But are you? We’ve put together a list of items to have on hand or things to do before your small bundle of joy arrives. Already breastfeeding? Some of the below tips may still help!

Whether you are weeks or days away from giving birth, there are several important things to cover to ensure you are prepared:

  • Decide on a breastpump
  • Take a breastfeeding class
  • Read up on a few tips and tricks for breastfeeding success
  • Do you really have to “toughen up” your nipples to breastfeed? Find out below.
  • Purchase nursing bras, tanks, etc.
  • Decide on a few simple supplies to have on hand to ease initial breastfeeding issues

Having your breastpump before delivery is very helpful. Once you get home and your breasts become engorged in the middle of the night, it will be much easier to have your pump on hand and ready to use. Sending dad out in the middle of the night to go shopping or grabbing a bottle of formula will only increase engorgement. If you purchase your breastpump at Breastfeeding Support & Supplies, the Lactation Consultant will demonstrate how to use the pump and answer all your questions.

Taking a breastfeeding class is another very helpful thing to do towards the end of the pregnancy. There is so much to learn after delivering! Between your newborn and postpartum care plus being sore, tired and distracted by visitors, it can all feel like too much. If she has taken a breastfeeding class, mom won’t feel so overwhelmed with all the new breastfeeding information. It’s helpful to get this ahead of time and then have it reinforced with real practice with your baby in the hospital. Some childbirth ed classes include some information on breastfeeding. If you’re interested in a full two-hour class taught by an experienced Certified Lactation Consultant, Breastfeeding Support & Supplies offers a class every second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm.

In addition to classes, there are many books to learn about breastfeeding. Some people learn better by reading and seeing visual examples. One of the old standards frequently updated is “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” by La Leche League. Dr. William Sears and Dr. Jack Newman are two physicians who also have books on breastfeeding. Of course, there are also many websites including Breastfeeding.com and Kellymom.com.

Back in the 80’s, moms were told to toughen up their nipples during pregnancy by rubbing them with a washcloth. Thankfully we now know getting baby latched on correctly is how we prevent nipple soreness. The only situation to prepare nipples for is if mom has flat nipples. Then it would be helpful to wear Soft Shells (image seen above) in her bra about 2 weeks before delivery to help evert her nipples. You can view these and other products on our breastfeeding products page.

You will also need to have nursing bras and tanks for breastfeeding. These can be worn during pregnancy if desired. Breastfeeding Support & Supplies has over 10 styles to choose from and they will be professionally fitted for you. If you have at least two bras, you can wash one a day and have a clean one to wear the next. Tanks can be worn alone, for layering and at night time. You’ll find it convenient to have different types of bras for sleeping in, around the house and also for good outfits or work.

There is a wide variety of breastfeeding supplies out there including nursing pads, nursing covers, Lily Padz, lanolin and Milkies Milk Saver. Department stores with racks of huge displays can be very overwhelming. At Breastfeeding Support & Supplies, you get individualized attention from the Lactation Consultant to help you decide what the best products are to fit your specific needs.

If you need help with any of the above items to better prepare you for breastfeeding, call (402) 707-1696 or email me to schedule an appointment. I can schedule a personal consultation to help make sure you have the tools and information to get breastfeeding off on the right foot.