Breastfeeding is a hot issue. Whether you are breastfeeding, are thinking of breastfeeding or have just finished up, you are probably obsessing over the logistics. It’s a normal process that’s healthy and easy to digest for your baby. Don’t let the details of breastfeeding stop you from providing your baby with milk that will help her fight disease, grow strong and ease into life in the outside world.
If the idea of breastfeeding is overwhelming, attend a breastfeeding class at your local hospital or midwifery center. Talk with class experts and other moms to decide which breast pump will work best for you and your body. While at the hospital, right after you give birth, request a lactation expert to teach you how to help your baby latch and how to use your breast pump. You can start pumping while in the hospital to start building a storage of milk for your baby. If you are concerned about how much milk your body is producing or want to encourage more production, warm a damp cloth and place it on your breast for a few minutes. Have a large blanket or wrap ready with you at all times while breastfeeding. You and your baby may want some privacy, even in your home if you have guests over. Invest in a few nursing bras that can easily unlatch when your baby is hungry. Start wearing them before you give birth to get used to the bras.
Once you and your baby have grown accustomed to breastfeeding, you may be more comfortable feeding in public. Look for stores, mall and other locations that have a nice place for you and your baby to sit. Drape the blanket across your chest and over your shoulders for privacy. If you must be away from your baby for an extended period or if your baby doesn’t eat as much as you produce, pull out your pump and pump the extra milk. Pumping every few hours will help your breasts stay on a continuous schedule, producing as much as you can. Avoid smoking and do not breastfeed your baby until two hours after you have consumed alcohol.
Place your pumped milk into a sterile glass or plastic container. You can place it in the refrigerator to use later in the day, or place the plastic container in the freezer to be stored long term. Ideally, try to breastfeed for the first six months of your child’s life. If you can’t make it to six months, go as long as you can.