There are many ways to prepare to be a mother and to breast feed for the first time. These can include reading about breastfeeding during your pregnancy so you will know what to do once your baby is in your arms, going to antenatal classes and learning about breast feeding there, or you can even join a support group and enjoy mingling with other mothers who can give you lots of tips and advice.
During pregnancy, it is important you take good care of yourself. This ensures when it comes to the time to deliver your baby, it is as stress free and healthy a birth as it can possibly be.
There are lots of things you can do to prepare yourself whilst you are still pregnant for breast feeding, and these include ensuring your breasts are ready for the feeding experience. It’s always a good idea to inform your midwife or obstetrician of any breast surgery you may have had as this might affect your abilities to feed your baby. Also check your nipples to see if they have become inverted, this can cause difficulties when the time comes for the baby to latch on,
Talk to your friends and family about their breastfeeding experiences, or attend a breastfeeding support group so you can meet and talk to other breastfeeding mothers.
Once your baby has been born, its important he is put to the breast immediately. this is because the suckling instinct in a baby is very strong when they are first born. If you can get your baby to latch on within those first few minutes of life, it is imprinted on them and subsequent breast feeding experiences should become a lot easier.
Most maternity hospitals give you the opportunity to let your baby stay in the same room as you overnight. This is a good idea, so make sure you take advantage of it. it will give you that extra time to both get to know one another and establish the mother and baby bond that is so important.
If your baby does sleep in the nursery it’s important that the nursery staff don’t feed your baby formula whilst you are sleeping. Insist that when he awakens he is brought to you for feeding from your breast.
Don’t worry that you are not producing much milk to start off with, this is natural. the thin liquid that is produced just after your baby is born is rich in nutrients and antibodies. It is enough to keep your baby happy until your milk “comes in” a couple of days after your baby is born.