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Learn about breastfeeding

How to prepare for breastfeeding

5 min read

 

When you decide to breastfeed, it can feel like there’s a lot to get your head around. Your body is made for this, but what should you know beforehand so that you can prepare for breastfeeding. And who can help you? The good news is that you can get off to a great start with a little planning and knowing the people you can turn to for support.

Congratulations are in order

 

Before we go into how to prepare for breastfeeding, let’s talk about all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding.

Benefits of breastfeeding

 

First, there is the wonder of simply getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding allows you to spend precious moments together skin-on-skin, so you’ll both enjoy a feeling of closeness and wellbeing.

 

Your baby will also benefit from the many healthy properties in breast milk. Breast milk supports your baby’s cognitive development, develops the immune system, reduces ear infections and leads to fewer stomach upsets and diarrhoea.

 

There are also many benefits for you. For example, breastfeeding helps shrink your uterus after birth, leads to a reduced rate of reproduction related health problems, and more weight loss if you breastfeed for at least six months.

 

As you begin your breastfeeding journey, try to keep these benefits in mind. There might be moments when things don’t go smoothly, and it can be useful to look at the bigger picture to help stay on track.

how to prepare for breastfeeding your baby

How to prepare for breastfeeding

 

Now, let’s explore the practical side of things. Your breastfeeding journey will be unique because there’s no combination of mom and baby quite like the two of you, but there are preparations that every mom can take to help things go smoothly.

  • Get a breast check

 

The beauty of the human body is that no one pair of breasts is the same. Have a healthcare professional perform a breast check in your regular prenatal check-up to see how your breasts are developed so you’ll know of any adjustments you may need to make when you begin breastfeeding. This could help prevent latch-on difficulties when breastfeeding.

  • Make a breastfeeding goal

 

Many women find it helpful to think about how long they’d like to breastfeed before they begin. In fact, those who set a goal are more likely to breastfeed for longer.  Try looking at all aspects of your life — from your lifestyle, to work, to how much support you have.

  • Create a feeding plan

 

Once you’ve made a goal, you can go about planning for your breastfeeding in the short- and long-term. This might involve thinking about the practicalities of your first moments together after birth, or how you’ll go about night feeds. It’s also a chance to think about what you’ll do if things don’t go smoothly. For instance, if you experience nipple pain, you might like to express milk with a breast pump or have nipple cream on hand so you can give yourself comfort right away.

  • Make the most of the ‘Golden Hour’

 

Let your baby’s natural feeding instincts kick in by spending your first hour together (also known as the ‘Golden Hour’) and getting to know one another skin-to-skin. Your baby will naturally try to crawl up your chest and begin feeding.

  • Plan for the long-term

 

How you breastfeed will also naturally change over time. It can be handy to think about things like the kind of breast pump you’ll need if you’re not able to be there for a feed. For instance, a manual breast pump is handy for when you’re on the go and just need something lightweight. On the other hand, if you’d just like something efficient for at work, then a single electric breast pump might be better for you.


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You may need

Philips Avent

Manual breast pump with bottle

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Avent
Avent
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    Philips Avent Manual breast pump with bottle

    SCF330/30

    More comfort, more milk, easy to take on-the-go*

    Sit comfortably without leaning forward as our soft massage cushion gently stimulates your milk flow. The Avent manual breast pump has few parts, is easy to assemble, use & clean. Lightweight & compact, it's ideal for expressing on-the-go. See all benefits

    Suggested retail price: $44.99

    More comfort, more milk, easy to take on-the-go*

    Sit comfortably without leaning forward as our soft massage cushion gently stimulates your milk flow. The Avent manual breast pump has few parts, is easy to assemble, use & clean. Lightweight & compact, it's ideal for expressing on-the-go. See all benefits

More comfort, more milk, easy to take on-the-go*

Sit comfortably without leaning forward as our soft massage cushion gently stimulates your milk flow. The Avent manual breast pump has few parts, is easy to assemble, use & clean. Lightweight & compact, it's ideal for expressing on-the-go. See all benefits

Suggested retail price: $44.99

More comfort, more milk, easy to take on-the-go*

Sit comfortably without leaning forward as our soft massage cushion gently stimulates your milk flow. The Avent manual breast pump has few parts, is easy to assemble, use & clean. Lightweight & compact, it's ideal for expressing on-the-go. See all benefits

So, who can I talk to about breastfeeding?

 

Now that you know the practical steps you can take to help you breastfeed comfortably, let’s look at the people who can help you get there. Support is always there throughout your entire breastfeeding journey.

  • Your healthcare professional

 

Use your regular prenatal check-ups to ask any questions about the changes you’re going through. No question is too small or too silly. This is new, after all!

  • Antenatal classes

 

As well as planning for the moment of birth, you can use your antenatal classes to ask questions about breastfeeding. It’s a great time to make a goal that feels right for you and talk to other moms-to-be about how you’re feeling.

  • Lactation consultant

 

A lactation consultant is someone who specialises in breastfeeding. They could be a doctor, a nurse, or a midwife. If you struggle with breastfeeding at first, you might like to ask for their support with things like positioning, latching or your milk supply.

  • Apps and online communities

 

You might not always have someone by your side, but you’ll find there are plenty of ways to support yourself when you’re at home too. Many moms like to use apps to track their baby’s feeds, or find support in online communities for new moms. With uGrow, our baby tracking app, monitoring how much milk you're producing is a breeze. If you’re taking advice from a website or app, be sure to check that it has a medical source.

  • You’re on your way

 

By thinking about why you’d like to breastfeed, planning ahead and getting to know your support team, you’re already on your way to breastfeeding success. 

 

There’s also great power in talking about your breastfeeding experience — the precious moments, and the not so easy ones.  You’ll find great support by talking regularly with your healthcare professional, family, friends and other new moms about your breastfeeding journey.

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