Successful Breastfeeding Can Begin in Pregnancy

In honor of National Breastfeeding Week I was able to speak with Amanda Cole, entrepreneur and owner of Yummy Mummy. Yummy Mummy store was created when Amanda found herself in need of breastfeeding supplies, but was unable to go to one store and get everything she needed. She decided to create Yummy Mummy as not only a breastfeeding supply store, but also a palce to hold support groups and classes – including Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes.

Yes, prenatal breastfeeding classes – even before the baby is born. Why? Because women who plan to breastfeed during their pregnancies, and equip themselves properly, can have a more successful breastfeeding experience once the baby arrives. For example, Amanda shared the story about needing a breast pump in the hospital when her daughter was in NICU for 5 hours. The nurse wasn’t sure she had one available so Amanda began realizing the need for mothers to prepare for themselves. “You really have to be your OWN advocate.”

When asked what she considered one of the biggest keys to successful breastfeeding, Amanda replied,

“Support is super important for mothers who want to breastfeed. Surround yourself with others who ‘get it’ and will encourage your breastfeeding goals. That process should definitely begin during pregnancy.”

If embarrassment or fear of harassment is a factor, women can seek out breastfeeding friendly businesses and establishments (often these businesses will display the blue breastfeeding-friendly logo) and even practice at home. Amanda says, “The vast majority of women I see want to be modest, but they also don’t want to feel stuck at home with a new baby, isolated from their favorite activities. Women need to think ahead of time about how they will live happy, fullfilled lives with a new baby.

Preparing for Breastfeeding Prenatally

These tips were discussed during our interview and are some of the things that would be covered in a prenatal breastfeeding education class.

  • Become familiar with various holds and what a correct latch looks like.
  • Plan to succeed and equip yourself with the knowledge you need ahead of time.
  • Get the number of a great lactation consultant or support group in case the nurse at the hospital isn’t as supportive as you’d like.
  • Discuss arrangements at your job for pumping before you leave on maternity leave.
  • Tap into a support group of encouraging friends and family.

And of course, as with all things baby, there are a few key items that can make breastfeeding easier. Making sure you have these items on hand BEFORE a baby arrives can make a huge difference in success rates because you won’t have to try to figure it out during the postpartum fog. Here are some key items to have in your labor bag, or close at hand when your baby arrives:

  • Nursing bra
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Breastfeeding how-to book to take to the hospital
  • Nursing pads and nipple cream
  • Nursing friendly top

When asked her favorite part about running the Yummy Mummy store, Amanda answered, “I love seeing a mother come back with her second baby and I remember her when she was here with her first. I love to see moms overcoming an inititial struggle and succeed with their goals.” For more information about Yummy Mummy connect with them on Facebook or visit their store website.

What steps can you take now during your pregnancy to help you succeed in meeting your breastfeeding goals? Do you have a support system in place that will encourage you?

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