Two Ways to Prepare for a Better Breastfeeding / Body Feeding Experience
Take a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class
Learning about body feeding during your pregnancy in a breastfeeding-specific class will give you critical hands-on information and skills for the early days and weeks of feeding your baby. A breastfeeding-specific class will cover key topics like,
- how to get a good latch
- what to do if it hurts
- how to tell if my baby is getting enough to eat
- common problems and solutions
- who to call for help
- when to call for help (earlier than you may think)
By taking a class that focuses exclusively on body feeding / breastfeeding, you’ll receive more in-depth information than what’s typically covered in a childbirth preparation class (unless the class you’re taking is over several weeks and dedicates a session or two to breastfeeding — ask the instructor for details).
Body feeding / breastfeeding classes are offered at local hospitals, by childbirth educators and doulas, and by certified lactation professionals, both in person and online. Make sure the educator teaching the class has specific breastfeeding education, training and/or certification.
Locate a Local Professional Breastfeeding Support Person Before Birth
Breastfeeding / body feeding success is all about support, support, support — from your partner, your friends, your family members, and your health care providers. The more support you have, the better your experience and the more likely you will be successful in your efforts. Unfortunately, you can’t guarantee support from closest circle of people, but you can count on support from a certified breastfeeding professional, like a Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC), Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC), or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Long before you go into labor, find the names of at least two body feeding / breastfeeding support professionals close to you. If you take a breastfeeding or childbirth class, and/or work with a doula, you will likely receive the names and contact information for reputable breastfeeding support resources in your area. Keep the contact information where you store other valuable pregnancy/birth/parenting information and save the name and number in your phone. This way, when you’re in the trenches of round-the-clock baby care, the last thing you’ll have to worry about if you need it is getting qualified help with breastfeeding.