moms often spend a lot of time learning about the birth …after
all, your entire pregnancy is working toward that big day!
But once the birth is over, many moms realize the importance
of the next phase—breastfeeding. If possible, take the time
now to read about nursing and get to know other nursing mothers
while you wait for your baby to arrive.
Our goal is to help you succeed at breastfeeding your baby. You
are at a great time in your pregnancy to study up on nursing. So
we have put this information together to help you get started,
as well as important links from the Breastfeeding Resources
section of our website.
10 Things You Can Do To Succeed at Breastfeeding
Establishing a breastfeeding relationship is unique with every child,
every mother, and every situation. Like pregnancy and birth, a mother
starts breastfeeding without knowing where it will lead her. But
through our experience helping thousands of breastfeeding moms,
we’ve found that there are certain things that help a mother
be successful at nursing:
as much as you can before your baby comes.
Reading books, talking to knowledgeable people, and exploring resources
on the web are all excellent ways to make sure that you have
the knowledge you need to breastfeed your baby.
2. Attend a support group.
Women used to learn breastfeeding by watching relatives and women
around the village nurse. Give yourself a chance to see other experienced
mothers nurse, ask questions, and establish links for future support.
Expectant mothers who work with their lactation consultant, midwife
or doula, or who attend La Leche League or other support groups are more likely to breastfeed
their babies easily and for longer.
3. Learn about the resources available
to you. Compile a list of Breastfeeding
Resources that could help you if you have problems or questions.
Are there lactation consultants available through your hospital?
Is there a La Leche League
group in your area? Pump rental stations? Explore the web and note
down resources for both information and products. You’ll find
a comprehensive list of Our
Favorite Links on our website, to help get you started.
4. Have a prepared birth with as little interference as possible.
When you educate yourself about birth, make a clear birth plan,
and choose your birth attendants carefully, you are more likely
to have a natural birth or one with few unexpected interventions.
This will mean that both you and your baby are alert and healthy
so you can have a good start with breastfeeding.
5. Breastfeed as soon as possible
after birth. Studies have shown that
most babies have a natural interest in breastfeeding in the first
hour or so after birth and babies that are able to nurse at this
time catch on easier to the nursing process. Continue to nurse every
few hours in the first days, even if your baby doesn't appear to
be getting much milk. Nursing early and often will decrease the
amount of engorgement you experience, allow your baby to learn the
process before lots of milk comes in, and give your baby the important
colostrum which is filled with immunities, nutrients and natural
laxatives that your baby needs at this time.
6. Keep your baby with you.
If you can keep your baby near you at the hospital and in the first
weeks at home, you will find that you become very tuned in to child's
needs. As the two of you fall in love with each other, you will
also develop a close nursing relationship. Even as your baby gets
older, do everything you can to keep him or her near you. Try to
postpone returning to work and avoid separations. This is a once
in a lifetime chance for both you and your baby. Do your best to
7. Don't confuse your baby.
Try to avoid pacifiers and bottles. Learning to nurse is challenging
and other kinds of sucking make it harder. Wait until your baby
is very proficient at nursing before introducing other ways of eating
8. If you have problems, get help.
Lots of moms have problems or questions. If things don't seem like
they are going well, get help right away from your lactation consultant,
midwide or doula, or from La Leche League. Be determined enough not to stop without exploring
every possible solution with someone who has experience helping
moms. Mothers write me with amazing stories of breastfeeding success
after pushing their way through major obstacles. You can do it!
9. Cultivate friendships and support
from other nursing mothers. It is
not easy to nurse in our culture. This is an ideal time to meet
other moms that are going through the same things you are right
now and form friendships that will last for years. Go to a La Leche
League group, your local parenting center, breastfeeding classes,
the web, or to the park and introduce yourself. It will give you
the support you need to keep going.
10. Learn how to nurse anytime, anywhere.
Don't limit yourself to nursing at home, or you'll want to give
it up. Develop a wardrobe of nursing
as well as breastfeeding techniques that allow you to nurse anywhere
your baby is hungry. A little practice and you'll be a pro! Pretty
soon you and your baby will be another breastfeeding success story,
and new mothers will turn to you to ask advice on how they can be
successful at breastfeeding.
Motherwear is committed to breastfeeding!
Need a little help or encouragement? Check out these resources:
Essential Breastfeeding Guide
Breastfeeding Guide is an indispensable
online resource for breastfeeding mothers and mothers-to-be.
Thirty-three pages of insightful information on important breastfeeding
topics. Visit the Breastfeeding Resources section and browse,
download, and print the Guide. Pass it out to all your friends!
Individual chapters are also available separately.
Your Monthly Breastfeeding Planner
You’re currently reading breastfeeding information we’ve
geared specifically to pregnant moms starting their last trimester.
Our website offers insight and information on other stages of pregnancy
and birth, to help guide you through the details of selecting your
nursing wardrobe, planning for those first days in the hospital
and home, breastfeeding in public, returning to work, and more.
Browse your current stage, look back or ahead, and refer to this
section often as your pregnancy and nursing experiences progress:
Time to Shop for Maternity & Nursing Bras (6th month of
Pack Your Bag For Baby’s Birth! (baby
due in less than 2 months)
Building The Perfect Nursing Wardrobe (baby
due in 1 month or less)
Essential Information To Get Breastfeeding
Started (baby due now)
Nursing On The Go (baby 1 month old)
Breastfeed Your Baby – Anytime,
2 months old)
Yes, You Can Breastfeed & Work (baby
3 months old)
10 Reasons to Keep Nursing your Baby (baby
4+ months old)
Our Favorite Breastfeeding Tips - A collection
of our favorite nursing tips, provided by Motherwear customers
and organized into distinct categories for easy reference. Review
them for support, help and inspiration; share with your pregnant
and nursing friends and email your own best tip to us!
Our Favorite Links - a resource in the "Breastfeeding
Resources" section that provides access to a wide range of
valuable online breastfeeding and parenting information and support.