How to prepare for smooth breastfeedingHow to prepare for breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a gift every mother needs to appreciate and know about so it goes smoothly and with love as it should. Nursing is one of the most natural and beneficial things a mother can do for her baby.

It provides essential nutrients, immune protection, and emotional bonding between mother and child. However, acquiring the necessary information for nursing can pose a challenge for new mothers planning to breastfeed. This article will guide you through the essential steps to ensure successful breastfeeding.

How to prepare for smooth breastfeeding

Benefits of Breastfeeding

It is impossible to quantify the benefits of breastfeeding because it benefits both the mother and the baby. Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect infants from infections, allergies, and future chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes mellitus. It is easily digestible and contains the perfect blend of nutrients for a growing baby. (1) 
It has benefits for the mother, including a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer and faster postpartum recovery, such as helping the uterus shrink faster. (1)

When to Start Prepping for Breastfeeding
Preparing for breastfeeding is a must and should be done earlier. It’s recommended to start preparing during pregnancy by learning about breastfeeding and building a solid knowledge base concerning all the advantages and difficulties you may face by reading a lot and consulting a nursing consultant.

You can also start practicing good nutrition and hydration habits to ensure that you have enough energy and nutrients for nursing and to know how to increase milk production.

Breastfeeding Essentials
Before your baby arrives, you’ll need to gather a few essentials to make breastfeeding easier. These include nursing bras, breast pads, nipple cream, a nursing pillow, and a breast pump (if you plan to pump breast milk).
For breastfeeding, silicone nipples can be used; if you get sore nipples, they can be put on the nipples.
You can find nursing essentials online; I’ve conducted some research for you below:

  • A nursing bra or pumping bra must be comfortable and easy to open and close after feedings.
  • Breast pads: You can use either a reusable pad (1) or (2), or single-use pads.
  • Nipple cream: I mentioned earlier that you can use your milk on a gauze and put it on your nipples after each nursing, covering them with any barrier such as clingfilm or baby-safe nipple cream.
  • Nursing pillow: I used my pregnancy U-shape pillow, which was great, or you can use a nursing pillow.
  • Breast pumps: many kinds are available, depending on your use and budget. I used this one, but you can go with this option.

What you need to know about breastfeeding

  1. Learning about Breastfeeding

Learning about nursing can help prepare you for the experience. Attend a breastfeeding class or speak with a lactation consultant to learn about nursing techniques, common issues, and how to troubleshoot problems.
So some steps you need to keep in mind, directly after birth, are to maintain skin contact and try to nurse the first 24 hours after birth, as this increases the chance of successful nursing.

Avoiding pacifiers in the first few weeks after birth is important because it increases the risk of latching difficulties in newborns as they get confused between how to latch their mother’s nipple and the artificial nipple.

Nursing your baby on demand is so important. He will nurse when hungry or when he needs to be calm, so don’t wait until he cries; start getting familiar with hunger signs such as hand expression and suckling fingers.

2. Positioning and Latching
Proper latching is essential for successful breastfeeding, as is positioning your baby correctly. Before your baby latches onto your breast, make sure their mouth is wide open and comfortably positioned.

You may need to adjust both your position and your baby’s position until you find a comfortable and effective breastfeeding position.

3. Building a Support System
Nursing can be challenging, so building a support system is essential. This can include your partner (as he is the first supporter), family members, friends, and a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support group, as in some systems such as La Leche League.
Having a support system can help you stay motivated and get the help and guidance you need.

Good nutrition and hydration are essential for breastfeeding mothers. Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet that includes protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine, as they can pass into breast milk.

4. Taking care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is important for successful breastfeeding. Get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and manage stress levels. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, as they can be harmful to your baby.

Discuss any issues with your breasts, such as pigmentation, tenderness, or nipple inversion, with a board-certified lactation consultant.

5. Troubleshooting breastfeeding issues
Nursing can come with its share of challenges, including engorgement, sore nipples, and a low milk supply. Learn how to troubleshoot these issues, and seek help from a lactation consultant if needed.

6. Breastfeeding in public
In most states, it is legal and protected by law. However, some mothers may feel uncomfortable nursing in public. You can use a nursing cover to help you feel more comfortable, or you can pump your milk and bottle-feed your baby while you are out.

7. Breastfeeding and Returning to Work
Many mothers return to work while still breastfeeding. It’s important to plan ahead and ensure that you have a plan in place for pumping breast milk while at work.

Speak with your employer about creating a private space for pumping, and invest in a high-quality breast pump that is easy to use and transport. You can also start pumping breast milk before you return to work to build up a supply.

8. Pumping and Storing Breast Milk
Pumping breast milk can help you maintain your milk supply while away from your baby.

However, it’s important to know how to pump and store breast milk properly. Clean your breast pump after each use with warm water and soap, and store breast milk in clean, sterilised containers. Label and date breast milk, and freeze or refrigerate it immediately after pumping.
You can store breast milk in the refrigerator for about 4 days and in the freezer for more than 6 months. (1)
Make sure to wash your hands before starting to pump milk to avoid any cross-contamination.

9. Weaning your baby
Weaning is the process of transitioning your baby from breast milk to solid food. It can be a gradual process, and you should start weaning when you and your baby are ready.

Some babies may self-wean, while others may need more encouragement. Talk with your pediatrician about the best weaning plan for your baby.

Common myths about breastfeeding
There are many myths surrounding breastfeeding that can be confusing for new mothers. Some of these myths include that nursing hurts, that some women can’t produce enough milk, and that the formula is just as good as breast milk. It’s important to speak with a healthcare professional or lactation consultant to get accurate information about breastfeeding.

To sum up, every pregnant woman should know how to prepare for breastfeeding, which can be a daunting experience for new mothers, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking the time to learn about nursing, gather essential supplies, and build a support system, you can increase your chances of having a successful breastfeeding experience.

Remember to take care of yourself and seek help if needed. Nursing is a natural and beneficial way to bond with your baby and provide them with essential nutrients and immune protection.


Is breastfeeding painful?
It shouldn’t be painful. If you experience pain, it may be due to improper positioning or latching. Speak with a lactation consultant for help or due to sore nipple that needs to be hydrated frequently.

Can some women not produce enough milk?
Most women can produce enough milk for their baby’s needs. However, some medical conditions or medications can affect milk production.
Some nutritional habits, such as hydration and seeds such as fenugreek, help in milk production.

Can you breastfeed your baby while sick?
In most cases, it’s safe to breastfeed while sick. Antibodies found in breast milk protect your little one. Speak with a healthcare professional for guidance.
Breast milk is full of nutrients needed by your baby and protects him from infections that you may have.

Can you breastfeed twins or multiples?
Yes, it is possible to breastfeed twins or multiples. It may require some extra planning and support, but it can be done.
You should eat a varied diet with extra calories to help you produce the necessary milk, but keep in mind that the more the baby grows and the more he gets fed, the more milk you will produce.

How long should you breastfeed?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least the first 6 months of a baby’s life and continuing for at least a year or longer if both mother and baby desire it.

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