Breastfeeding is the normal and optimal way to feed your baby, but ask any seasoned mother, and she will tell you that the path to breastfeeding success can have a steep learning curve. A great way to set yourself up for breastfeeding success is to make specific goals, find useful resources, and invest in your nursing relationship. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month and WABA World Breastfeeding Week 2018 here are 5 ways to invest in your breastfeeding success!
#1 Take an independent comprehensive breastfeeding class!
If you were moving to a foreign country and didn’t speak the language, you probably would take some language instruction, right? This analogy may be a helpful way to think about breastfeeding. Instead of waiting to see what unfolds once your baby is born, invest in a comprehensive breastfeeding course while you are still pregnant. We suggest taking an independent course which often offers more in-depth and personalized information than your typical hospital class. We recommend the following resources:
- Birth Boot Camp – Breastfeeding: The Ultimate MRE – Online Program
- Milkology – The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class – Online Course
- Mama Bird Hendry – Breastfeeding Class – In-person group and private classes in greater Cleveland, Ohio
- Nurtured Foundation – Prenatal Breastfeeding Class – In-person private instruction available throughout greater Cleveland, Ohio
#2 Nourish and hydrate yourself!
Breastfeeding an infant really is a full-time job! You will most likely nurse your baby at least ten to twelve times per day, throughout those first few months. Feeding another person from your body is also metabolically taxing, requiring of you approximately 300-500 more calories per day. Consider the following options to help you stay hydrated and well-nourished:
- Have a few reusable water bottles on-hand. This motivational breastfeeding water bottle features a fun affirmation, and this quartz crystal glass water bottle is quite the splurge, but may provide you with added serenity and calming energy while you sip and nurse.
- Have friends and family prepare delicious meals, specifically designed for nursing mothers, from recipes in this book: The First Forty Days, by Heng Ou
- Have snacks handy. Consider preparing fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts and keeping them in grab-and-go containers.
- Prepare a breastfeeding basket with all your nursing essentials.
- Enjoy these delicious Oat Mama Lactation Granola Bars.
#3 Get expert help from a lactation consultant!
Even if you took a prenatal breastfeeding class or have previous breastfeeding experience nursing your older children, you may still find a need for professional support once baby is here. While you are still pregnancy find out how to connect with the best breastfeeding professionals, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. (IBCLC) Here are a few options:
- Hospital-based lactation consultants – The majority of hospitals have on staff Registered Nurse IBCLCs that can help you achieve early breastfeeding initiation, which to set you up for longer-term nursing success.
- Reach out to your local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office to find out if you are eligible for their health services and breastfeeding support programs.
- Get help at home. Find out if anyone in your area offers in-home lactation support. Cleveland and Akron, Ohio families are so lucky to have access to several expert options including, Nova Doula and Lactation Services, Northcoast Lactation and Sleep Services, and MaLa Lactation Services.
#4 Consider complementary and holistic options!
Nothing can replace a healthy mother-baby dyad, a great latch, and nursing on demand, but you may also be interested in ‘alternative’ or more ‘natural’ options to help augment your breastmilk supply.
- Natural Health After Birth, by Dr. Aviva Romm. This book offers a holistic approach to postpartum wellness and gives practical advice, insights, information, and recipes to support breastfeeding and optimal healing and health after birth.
- Herbal Support – Specific plants and herbal blends may enhance lactation. Check our Euphoric Herbals and Light Footsteps to learn more.
- Try a Breastfeeding Tincture – For more potent herbal support consider using a breastmilk enhancing tincture.
- Placenta encapsulation – Many mothers choose to encapsulate their baby’s placenta in order to feel well and balanced and to support lactation. Learn more about placenta encapsulation via The Nurturing Root.
#5 Support the girls with functional breastfeeding-friendly clothes!
Yes, you can nurse your baby without any special clothing options. However, considering you may breastfeed for two or more years, you may want to invest in some quality wardrobe staples that make you look good and feel great while nursing. It is with personal experience that I recommend the following brands:
- Boob Design – This Swedish brand is one of my favorites and offers a thoughtful selection of super comfortable and eco-friendly maternity and nursing bras and clothes.
- Milk Nursingwear – This company offers a fantastic array of modern yet modest and very affordable dresses and bras.
- Dwell and Slumber – D+S sells simple and very chic maternity and nursing caftans, in limited prints, that sell out quickly. These dresses are very ‘instagram friendly’ and forgiving. Considering wearing one if you are planning a maternity or ‘fresh 48’ photoshoot.
Did you do something special to invest in your breastfeeding success? Were there any particular items or services that helped you meet your breastfeeding goals?
Cleveland Natural Birth can help support you during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting with our exceptional array of classes and workshops. Please see our CALENDAR PAGE for upcoming courses or CONTACT US for more information! Happy Breastfeeding!