Choosing to breastfeed is a big and important decision, and it requires some preparation before delivery day. Learn from the right people, understand the functioning of your body and the baby, get organized: here are some keys and tips to help you prepare well to breastfeed.
The fear of pain
While breastfeeding is a personal choice, many young mothers give up in spite of their desire to do it, out of fear, because they think they do not have enough milk or after a painful first try. However, “99% of women have no problem with lactation,” and most importantly, “breastfeeding is not supposed to be painful,” says Véronique Darmangeat, a lactation consultant in Paris. For the past ten years, she has been helping young and future mothers in their breastfeeding process and emphasizes this point: “It is not normal to have pain when breastfeeding. In fact, the problem most often comes from the baby being held in a bad position and him opening his mouth the wrong way. This is a good reason to receive help from a professional from the start to discover the right procedures and to avoid pain.
Courses and associations to prepare
Some childbirth classes spend time covering breastfeeding; some do not. Future parents can find out before signing up and choose classes that offer breastfeeding lessons. To complete a classic preparation, it may also be helpful to get closer to breastfeeding support agencies of your department, via the maternity ward or hospital. Attending an informational meeting will help you to get to know the subject better and to educate the future dad before the birth, as well.
Need a lactation consultant?
This is an independent professional with extensive training on all issues related to breastfeeding, breast milk and child development. They are certified, but they are not necessarily a health professional. They can help you in their office or at your home, most often for a single consultation, followed by telephone follow-up. “A consultation before birth is useful when you are not familiar with the subject or you do not feel informed enough about your maternity or your midwife,” says Véronique Darmangeat. A consultation takes about two hours, during which the consultant discusses with parents the baby’s rhythms the first days, the functions of breastfeeding and the importance of the position of the baby. She may have to see the parents with the baby in case of difficulties, “because with breastfeeding, there is no across-the-board rule; we must adapt to each baby,” she says. It should be noted that the rates are variable and not always covered by medical insurance.
The essential involvement of the dad
It’s best to work together to manage the pace of baby’s feedings and sleep. Discussing it, sharing your thoughts and what you’ve learned as a couple, bringing the future dad to classes and consultations and dividing the roles before birth are so many keys that the breastfeeding begins calmly on delivery day. A good idea for dads who do not know how to contribute? Offer to the future mother BBLetche breastfeeding box: in a pretty box, she’ll find essential products for breastfeeding (nursing pads, lanolin cream for sensitive nipples, tea for lactation and digestion of the baby), but also some useful accessories for everyday life, such as the breastfeeding bracelet that allows you to remember the time and the side (breast right or left) of the last feeding.
Box BBLetche, from 49 euros on bbletche.com.
Learn about breastfeeding
The secretion and the creation of milk, the diet, the conservation of milk, the return to work, the weaning… Once the baby has arrived, we find less time to learn about the functioning of our body and the steps who are waiting for us. Before delivery day, find some good books or articles on breastfeeding so that you’re prepared before the baby comes.
Translation: Ashley Griffin
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