If you’re a mom to be, new mom or planning to breastfeed your newly born, here are some preparation tips for you to make the learning curve easier.
How to Prepare for Breastfeeding in the Month Before Birth
Get a Breast Pump
Getting yourself a breast pump is a good step, it can help broadening the breast milk ducts, making the mammary gland to practice before the birth. Insurers usually require a prescription from your practitioner for the best breast pumps for the last weeks. Certain Models of the pumps are available that are specially designed for the last months of pregnancy.
Choose a Lactation Counsellor.
Hospitals and gynecologist have lactation counsellors available who can guide you to the best diets, medications, and other practices that can benefit you. You can ask your obstetrician for a referral to a lactation counsellor. Or you can use the online lactation directory from the International Lactation Consultant Association.
It would be better if you do an online appointment, to get on time and to avoid any contact along with the counsellor will recommend you some supplements to avoid any weakness in the body, which can effect the health of baby and you.
Discuss the common breastfeeding challenges
It would be a whole lot better if you did a small consultation with the doctor to understand the early breastfeeding challenges, problems and over-comings before starting. If you’re having trouble producing milk or if your nipples or breasts are sore, it’s best to call a doctor immediately. During the last few months of pregnancy, the mother’s body begins producing Colostrum, the liquid which forms milk. To practice the milk ducts, try Hand Expression Technique.
Skin-To-Skin Contact with Baby
Many early mothers don’t get in-contact with a newly born, it is preferred for the nursing and parenting mothers to get as close to the baby as possible, it establishes a natural bond mother and the baby. It is natural, that the baby will produce the early signals of producing milk in your body. Try holding the baby as close to yourself, specifically, to a skin to skin contact.
Free up the time for Breastfeeding
Make sure to make a lot of meals for a month, to freeze them and make them readily available, avoid any distance from the baby and get the maximum interacted with the baby. You can free up more time to breastfeed if you prepare your freezer with meals now. Friends and family can help by making some freezer meals for you.
Cope with Early Challenges and Daily Problems
Breastfeeding is one of the biggest challenges, some mothers due to severe weakness, extra loss of blood or diet issues are unable to produce enough amount of prolactin and milk-making hormones, or due to overdose of Hormones growth stopper leads to some serious conditions.
It is better to visit a lactation expert in meantime, they can help you addressing the new baby problems, other issues with pumps, pumping techniques or just mental fatigue.
If you’re unable to breastfeed or you decide to stop breastfeeding, you can use infant formula to provide your baby with the nutrition she/he needs. You’ll find the feeding method that works best for you, your child, and your family, while the electric pumps can also help.
Spend time with someone who is breastfeeding
Go and see and be around others who are nursing before your baby comes. Breastfeeding groups are available in many cities.
Know the basics
You need to be aware of the common changes the body shows in the breasts during pregnancy, and after childbirth. It would be better if women knew the knowledge of breast pain and sensitivity in nipples, redness and tightness in breasts.
Engage with your partner
Discuss the daily problems and relieve the stress by engaging with your partner. It will create an enduring bond between you and your husband, and he can feel the pain and suffering.
Supporting breastfeeding can include helping out around the house, taking care of other kids, and giving the baby lots of attention, he can help making sure that you are getting enough diet, medicines, rest and drink, show their love and appreciation for all of the work that goes into breastfeeding.
If you’re planning to breastfeed, it’s best to take a class during your third trimester (after 28 weeks) and ideally after taking a class on childbirth to better prepare yourself for labor and birth. Many Breastfeeding classes and centers are available in all over the US and UK.
Avoid Nipple Confusion
Try not making a nipple, feeder and breast pump confusion for the baby. Avoid Nipple Confusion by not using Feeders and Pacifiers in the early birth stages except there is a medical reason, and for any usage of supplements get in touch with your lactation expert.
Keep your baby close to you. Skin-to-skin contact between you and baby will soothe his or her crying and also will help keep your baby’s heart and breathing rates stable. A soft carrier, such as a wrap, can help you keeping your baby nearer to you.
Mentally Prepare yourself keeping the mind positive
Keep yourself away from the evil and unwanted thoughts, prepare yourself for this responsibility, think that your womb is carrying a new life. You must make a plan for your baby, beautiful name and beautiful thought in your mind. Doing light exercises and keeping the body fresh can help keep your mind positive. Breastfeeding is a very important part of having a baby. You should prepare yourself before giving birth by doing research, practicing, and gathering all of the necessary items.
Books for new moms
A mother should read good books for positive thoughts, it also creates an eternal bond, “What you can expect in your first year?” a book on handling the pregnancy and after the birth.
Tips for Storing the Milk
Before expressing or pumping, wash your hands and all storage container thoroughly. Label the date breast milk was expressed on the container and include your child’s name, if you are giving breast milk to a child care. Talk with your childcare provider about how they require you store breast milk. Store breast milk in smaller batches. 2 to 4 oz is recommended to prevent waste and any leftover breast milk should be used within 2 hrs. If frozen, use within 24 hrs. Thawing is also possible. Milk should be chilled quickly after being expressed. Refrigeration helps prevent bacteria growth. Milk can stay at room temperature for 4 hours, but it is best to cool it down as soon as possible.To warm breast milk from the fridge: place the bottle in a bowl or run it under warm running water. Do not microwave breast milk because it could burn your baby. Freezing breast milk is also unsafe because it may expand when frozen. Don’t let the milk freeze all the way to the very top of the container. Store the milk in the back part of the freezer not the door.Milk freezes quickly when exposed to 0°F or below. Freezing time depends on temperature. Deep freezers freeze more slowly than chest freezers. Thawing takes longer if you use cold water instead of hot water. Don’t heat breast milk in microwave ovens.Thawing breast milk should be done quickly. Refrigerating it slows down the process. Milk should be used within 24 hours after being frozen.
Other Tips for New Moms
– Learn your baby’s hunger signs:
– Become more alert and active
– Put hands or fists to the face
– Feed your baby at least every two hours during the day, and whenever he or she wakes up at night.
– Don’t worry if your baby takes longer to finish the second breast. He or she should still be getting adequate nutrition.
– If your baby falls sleep while nursing, offer him or her the other breast.
– Try squeezing your breast to encourage more flow of milk.
– You don’t have to wait until your baby stops sucking before offering the other breast.
– Your baby should always be skin-to-skin with you.
– Don’t use pacifiers or bottle feeds until your doctor says it’s okay.
– Breastfeeding gives you both energy and nutrition.
– You can feed your baby breast milk directly from your breasts.
– You can pump breast milk at work and store it in a freezer bag.
– Work with a lactation consultant to learn about breastfeeding.