Breastfeeding has been proven to have incredible benefits for both the nursing partner and baby. It has also proven for many to be a difficult task, often times frustrating, and, perhaps overwhelming. Most of this negativity can be avoided with something as simple as, prenatal preparation. Give yourself the gift of forethought, successful breastfeeding begins before the baby is born. Learn how with Tennessee Family Doula’s Top 3 Prenatal Prep Tips for Breastfeeding:
BECOME YOUR BREAST FRIEND!
It may be a play on words, but, this is serious business. Breastfeeding is made up of two components. Your breasts, and your infant. Well, you have some time before you know how your infant will play their part in this equation, so, take this time to learn about your breasts.
Get Screened for Hypoplastic Breasts: Hypoplasia also known as insufficient glandular tissue (IGT) is something that many people don’t think about until after birth. Although a rare condition, it can be a tremendous deterrent in the ability to nurse. There are many factors in determining IGT including no breast changes in early pregnancy, or after birth. Knowing your results will give you an advance opportunity to work through your feeding plan and decide whether or not you will need any supplementation to improve milk supply.
Have you had any breast augmentation? If you have had ANY breast augmentation surgery, you should consult with your plastic surgeon and/ or endocrinologist. The surgical reduction or enhancement of the breasts may have caused some breastfeeding obstacles. Most commonly, hypoplastic breasts. As a result of your procedure you may, now have, insufficient glandular tissue. A few factors make this more common. If you did not mention at the time of surgery that you were planning on breastfeeding in the future, there is a possibility that this tissue could be compromised, especially during the reduction process. Modern techniques in breast reduction spare the tissue that produces milk, but, if you received this procedure pre-aughties it is especially important to schedule a consultation.
Nipple Knowledge: What your nipples look like has NOTHING to do with how they function. Size, shape, color and placement are aesthetic. The factor that most effects breastfeeding is simple. Are you nipples flat or inverted? You don’t have to take some Cosmo quiz, to find out. It is generally easy to learn. There are some manipulations you can do to figure it out, or you can consult with a medical professional during a prenatal visit if you have concerns. Either way, inverted nipples don’t prevent breastfeeding, they just may require you to seek some help for strategy and positioning during nursing. Which brings us to our next topic.
This is not just talking about choosing the right nursing bra. Although, that is very important. This is about having a support network to rely on during your breastfeeding experience. There are certain things in life, that require a special kind of support and nursing is one of them.
THE INTEGRATION OF AN INFANT FEEDING SPECIALIST INTO YOUR BIRTH TEAM DURING PRENATAL PERIOD IS INCREDIBLY VALUABLE.
True readiness doesn’t only mean knowing if your job has an allocated pumping area, or where to nurse at the mall, or even, if you are allowed to nurse in public in your state.
IT MEANS UNDERSTANDING HOW BREASTFEEDING WORKS.
Learning about the process and having a simple grasp of biology, milk production and delivery, nursing positions and scheduling build a foundation for success. You can read all of the blogs you want about it, but, one on one nonjudgmental education is paramount.
Even with a head full of knowledge and chest full of milk, there can be some issues. During this time, you will also need support. Someone who can provide unbiased support, who is knowledgeable in all scenarios.
PERHAPS, YOUR POSTPARTUM & INFANT CARE DOULA IS EXACTLY WHO YOU NEED TO GUARANTEE YOUR NURSING PLAN STAYS ON COURSE.
Their support will assure that you are well rested, educated and confidently prepared to take on any obstacles. While a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula can provide many things, there are still some necessities you can should have on hand before baby’s arrival. Bringing us to our final topic!
STOCK UP ON NURSING NECESSITIES!
Who doesn’t like to shop? While out and about, it is a good idea to pick up your needs in advance when you can try the products and learn what your preferences are. Here is where the bras come in ;). Throughout your pregnancy take the time to get some important items in your house. Perhaps you have a registry, this is also a great way to receive these essentials.
Breast Pump/ carrying caseNursing bras & GarmentsA Nursing PillowA scarf/ or cover for modesty during public feedings& of coarse Nipple Cream, Nipple Shields (the first few weeks can be … harsh)
Tennessee Family Doulas has so much information to offer about creating your nursing plan, reach out to create yours.