Are you getting ready to deliver your baby and you have decided to breastfeed? That is great! There are so many benefits that your baby will get as a result of you breastfeeding your baby because it is completely natural. And you have a lot to look forward to with your new bundle of joy that is going to be in your life very soon. And you are already imagining how life will be as you look at the baby onesies that you are organizing and packing some into your labor bag. However, you need to start looking into the breastfeeding basics so you know exactly how to prepare yourself for this in addition to becoming a mom.
Prepare Yourself That It Will Not Be Easy
Even though breast is best, you need to also remember that fed is best too and breastfeeding is not for everyone. No one is trying to set you up for failure. Quite the opposite. The staff at Lavendersun is rooting for you to succeed with breastfeeding, however, we are just preparing you for the possibility it may not be ideal for you. And if it is not, then that is okay, as your baby will still be completely healthy and grow up fine on formula. The formula does not measure up to breastmilk because it is not natural, but your baby will be fine on it as it contains the nutrients needed as well.
Now that is out of the way, you need to fully prepare yourself that it may be difficult initially. The latching on could be a challenge, and the development of infections in your breasts such as mastitis could happen but it does not mean either that it will. If you have a fever and your breasts are very sore, then that can be a sign.
However, you may also be pleasantly surprised and find that you don’t have much or any trouble when you are starting to breastfeed your baby. Just prepare for the possibility that it may be a rough start.
Hire a Lactation Consultant
Even if you do end up having a not too bad start to breastfeeding your baby, you will want to hire a lactation consultant to help you make the best of your breastfeeding experience so you and your baby are comfortable. Your hospital or birthing center will have lactation consultants available to help you and they will also visit you after you have your baby. You will not be alone. However, if you are giving birth at home, then you will need to find the name of a reputable lactation consultant to help you out at home.
You Will Need The Help Of A Lactation Consultant For Pumping
You may be deciding to only express breastmilk for your baby so your baby gets the benefits of breastmilk while you don’t have to tie yourself down to physically feed your baby. And you will want to also pump your milk so others can feed your baby, and you may want to do it as well because the baby’s father will want to feed the baby. Especially if you are a working mom and will need to get back to work right away. Your parents, sibling, or friends may want to feed the baby. That will require a bottle which is only possible through pumping when it comes to your breastmilk
However, the last thing you want to do is assume that pumping is an easy task because it is not, And you will need to get the help of a lactation consultant as well for pumping. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and pumping can also be potentially painful. It takes a lot of effort to pump and be prepared for that.
Once you become used to pumping, then you can begin to stockpile your supply into your freezer so you have several days worth of breastmilk. This way, if others are available to feed the baby, then you will want to take advantage of that by giving them the bottle containing your pumped breastmilk.
Continue To Consume The Extra Calories
The truth is that breastfeeding takes a lot of energy from you and you need to provide that energy so that you are able to breastfeed. This means you will want to keep consuming an extra 500 calories per day so that gives you enough energy to keep breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can almost be as draining as running marathons, especially if the mom is tired as it is as she will be!
Be Careful With What You Eat
You will need to eat the similar types of foods that you ate when pregnant as you don’t want anything harmful to pass through your breastmilk. The only difference is that it is permitted to have one glass of beer or wine about 2 hours before feeding or pumping as it will be out of your system by then. But don’t drink more than that or sooner than2 hours before feeding. It can slow your production and it will get into the baby’s system which is not what you want.
You will also need to prepare yourself for changing your diet if certain foods are bothering your baby such as cabbage that you eat can cause gas for example. If you notice the baby is uncomfortable after a feeding, then it may have to do with what you are eating and be careful with that.
Be Careful With Medication
If you are having to go on medication, you need to make sure that it will not interfere with your ability to express milk and it will not be harmful to your baby. Most antidepressants are safe to take while breastfeeding since postpartum depression is common. However, when you need to take an unrelated medication, you must always tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding. You may be able to take most a few hours before expressing milk.
These are the breastfeeding basics. And remember, if you are unable to breastfeed after you tried, it is okay, fed is best! Always remember that.