Breastfeeding Success Checklist:
Popins's Suggestions to ease a complex experience; because Natural ≠ Easy
Before You Deliver:
- Have a great water bottle. Breastfeeding requires hydration and one-handed skill.
- Buy 2 nursing bras & tops.
- Material against your skin should be comfortable. You should be able to access your breast easily with one hand (clip down cup or slide out).
- Purchase additional clothing after you’ve established a routine and have a better sense of what you like/need.
- Buy a breast pump. If all goes smoothly it can sit in the box until after you’ve established breastfeeding, and if you need it sooner then you have it.
With your Partner: Discuss a feeding routine and plan to optimize it as you go. For example:
- Baby wakes up, cries or gives hunger cues
- Mom uses the bathroom while Partner checks/changes baby’s diaper
- Mom settles in, takes a few deep breaths, takes baby and focuses on good latch while Partner fills water bottle and delivers to Mom
At Home: Set up a breastfeeding station with supplies within arms’ reach. Consider your home set-up and where you’ll be during the day v. night.
- Spit-up rags/towels/muslin blankets
- Nipple cream
- Nursing pads
- Water bottle
- Small pump or way to catch extra milk + Container for extra milk
Take all the help you can get:
Breastfeeding isn’t always comfortable, but it Should Not be Painful! If you are in pain your first few days, and/or your baby is losing weight, get help quickly. Small adjustments early can make a huge difference in meeting your long-term breastfeeding goals. Consider checking out lactation support options before you deliver.
- Ask for lactation support while you are in the hospital.
- Talk with your healthcare provider, who can refer you to a lactation counselor.
- Check out your local La Leche League chapter for local resources
- Other on-line resources:
- Office on Women’s Health - Breastfeeding Resources
- La Leche League International
- KellyMom Breastfeeding
- WIC Breastfeeding Support
- Good Books:
- Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality (Jana & Shu)
- New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding (Meek)
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (Wiessinger, West, Pitman)
- When/if you introduce pumping:
- Practice with your pump (and ask an experienced friend for help or an initial lesson - the tubes and buttons can be intimidating)!
- Check your flange sizing
Take all the help you can get!
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