Find out all you can about breastfeeding once you have decided to do it. This chapter helps to clear up false breastfeeding notions you might have and guides you in making the necessary arrangements with your spouse, family members and healthcare team.
Clear your mind
Breastfeeding is as much psychological as physical.
Here are some preparation tips:
- Adopt a positive attitude and be confident that you can and will succeed.
- Plan how long you want to breastfeed.
- Talk to your spouse and attend breastfeeding talks or antenatal classes where breastfeeding is taught, together if possible.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Do not be discouraged by negative comments made by people who may misunderstand or have misconceptions about breastfeeding.
False Notions About Breastfeeding
- “I don’t want saggy breasts!”
- “Breastfeeding is too troublesome.”
- “Breastfeeding’s a piece of cake. What more is there to learn?”
- “Breastfeeding? No way. Doesn’t it hurt?”
- “But flat-chested women can’t produce enough milk for breastfeeding!”
The truth is, breastfeeding actually helps you regain your figure more quickly. Women who develop sagging breasts after childbirth blame it on breastfeeding when the true culprits are ageing and gravity.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Breastfeeding actually frees you from having to lug equipment around and worry about milk supply, storage or preparation. Plus, breastfeeding can be done anytime, anywhere and costs nothing!
Yes, breastfeeding is natural and easy, but it is also a learned skill. By learning all you can, you will be fully prepared and will not be easily discouraged if problems arise.
The truth is, you may experience some tenderness at first. However, this disappears after a few days. If you do feel pain, it is probably because your baby has not latched onto your nipple and areola correctly.
Flat-chested women can and do produce enough milk. Breast size is mostly due to fat tissue while milk production depends on the size of the mammary glands inside the breast. Mammary glands are the same regardless of breast size.
Make the arrangements
Inform your spouse and family members of your decision to breastfeed:
- Request that baby not be given water or infant formula unless medically indicated.
- Baby should not be given teats or pacifiers as these may confuse him and make him reject the breast.
Also, remember to inform your healthcare team:
- Make sure they know that you would like to breastfeed baby as soon as possible after birth.
- Ask that baby rooms in with you in the hospital so that you can be with him and breastfeed whenever he is hungry.