Well Being

Breastfeeding Basics: Ten Tips on How a Pregnant Woman Can Prepare for Breastfeeding

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Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! For Pregnancy Awareness Month, this round of carnival entries focuses on pregnancy and breastfeeding. Because I have already shared my stories of breastfeeding during pregnancy and of tandem nursing, I want to share ten tips on how a pregnant woman can prepare for breastfeeding.

1. DO NOT let anyone tell you it is necessary to toughen up your nipples for breastfeeding.

2. DO some reading about breastfeeding. Good choices are:

~ The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning
~ The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Seventh Revised Edition
~ The Nursing Mother's Companion: Revised Edition
~ The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solving Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America, Revised & Updated Edition

3. DO NOT think you need to buy a lot of breastfeeding-related products. The great thing is all breastfeeding really requires is you and the baby!

4. DO, however, consider whether you might enjoy shopping for breastfeeding products and learn how to choose and use a breast pump safely if you will be returning to work.

5. DO NOT listen to people who pressure you to formula-feed.

6. DO attend a La Leche League meeting while you are pregnant (find a local group in the United States or other countries) and surround yourself with family, friends, and medical professionals who are supportive of breastfeeding. (If you are wondering, here's how to pronounce “La Leche” League!)

7. DO NOT accept or keep any free formula samples “just in case.” (For thoughts on what to do with any samples you might receive, see this post).

8. DO have the phone number of a local La Leche League leader and/or lactation consultant with you at the birth.

9. DO NOT neglect to talk to your health care providers and birth attendants about your birth plan and your desire to breastfeed.

10. DO believe in yourself! Taking these 10 steps can give you the knowledge and confidence to have a good breastfeeding experience.

Enjoy these other entries in this month's carnival (and watch for additions throughout the day):

~ Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: A Breastfeeding-Friendly Birth Plan
~ BreastfeedingMums: Preparing for Breastfeeding
~ Natural Moms Talk Radio: Breastfeeding during Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing
~ Crunchy Domestic Goddess: Breastfeeding while Pregnant (Trying at Times but Ultimately Worthwhile)
~ Permission to Mother: Low Milk Supply in Pregnancy
~ API Speaks: On Breastfeeding while Pregnant
~ Milk Donor Mama: Her Experience of Preparing for Breastfeeding and the Advice She Offers Now