Producing breastmilk should be easy, right? Surprisingly, it’s not. Here are pro-tips for producing breastmilk.
My best friend, Aleeta Kenny is the brand-spanking-new mom to little Evan Virginia Ann. She’s been breastfeeding Evan since birth and she is doing so well! There are quite a few reasons for this: Aleeta is prepared, she is dedicated and she is flexible. She took classes, like BreastPrep, to learn how the first breastfeed should look and feel well before Evan’s birthday. She also mentally prepared herself for the time and patience it would take to become a pro-breastfeeder. And she knew what complications she might come up against before they ever happened. It doesn’t hurt that she has the most supportive husband and family.
Many women quit breastfeeding within the first 2 weeks because of a perceived “lack of supply.” There are ways to fix a low supply, but let’s try to prevent it in the first place!
Prepare your breasts for milk production
- You’ve heard of a birth plan, so now let us go one step further and produce a breastfeeding plan. A few weeks before your due date write down your beliefs surrounding breastfeeding, add in what you value about breastfeeding and what your goals are for breastfeeding your baby. This will be helpful to have on hand if things get difficult.
- Gather some nice little breastmilk boosting goodies like Mother’s Milk tea, freeze some oatmeal milk cookies, and get a good breastfeeding pillow. Make sure you have a good breastfeeding bra and some easy clothes to slip your breast out of in the nick of time.
- Take a class. This is really important. How many people do you really know in your inner circle right now that are breastfeeding? It’s okay to need to learn the natural way. We are all currently trying to pull ourselves out of decades of faux-everything! Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but it takes slightly more effort than cracking open a bottle of formula.
- Pick apart the brains of breastfeeding women in your life. The Pregnancy Prep Birth Blog does just this by bringing stories from women into your life make it more about the lifestyle than just the logistics.
All the years of watching my mom do it. I saw so many positions and lengths of time and uses for breastfeeding, that by the time it was my turn, it felt like second nature.
– Aleeta Kenny
Prepare for a pro-first-breastfeed
- Try to breastfeed within baby’s first hour of life.¹ Studies show that if baby breastfeeds within that first hour, they are more likely to breastfeed well.
- Learn proper technique. Learn what makes a good latch. And get comfortable with multiple positions to hold your baby in while breastfeeding. Having this know-how in your arsenal will help you if you’re experiencing pain or difficulty.
- Feed often and on demand. Baby will set the schedule here!
- Learn how to know if your baby is getting adequate nutrition.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Continue to take your prenatal vitamin!
Prepare for difficulties and overcome them
- Things ebb and flow (haha) as time goes on. Just when you think you got the hang of breastfeeding, something is bound to throw you off! You might need to return to work or your baby might go through a growth spurt and they will develop teeth.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of common breast complications for mom.
- Learn ways to overcome difficulties. Some are common, but some may need medical attention.
- Don’t give up. Seek help from a medical professional or lactation consultant and ask questions. The Pregnancy Prep Private Community is full of supportive mamas, RNs, and me!
DO YOU Want to know exactly what makes a good latch? Ask your questions in the comments!
Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD003519. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003519.pub4., , , .
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