Deciding to breastfeed your baby is arguably one of the best ways to get your little one off to a great start in life. There are lots of health benefits for mother and child that can stretch into later childhood and beyond. But, if you haven’t done it before, you might feel a little overwhelmed by the idea, and wonder how you will incorporate feeding your child with daily life. Here’s how to prepare for breastfeeding so that you feel confident about getting started…
1. Invest in a breastfeeding bra
This is absolutely essential if you are going to be feeding your baby yourself, unless you fancy getting naked in public every time your baby is hungry! Go to a specialist store and get yourself measured, as it’s important to make sure this vital piece of kit is as comfortable as possible – you’ll be wearing it a lot. Buy at least two so that you don’t end up braless when you’re doing the laundry!
2. Consider using a scarf to preserve your modesty
This is an especially good idea if you feel a little nervous about breastfeeding while you’re out and about. A carefully draped scarf can help to ensure that you aren’t showing your nipples to the world - although after a few months, you’ll probably be past caring!
3. Get a great breast pump
Do your research, and read reviews of the best breast pump so that you can choose the one that suits you most. Using breast pump means that if you need to spend any time away from your baby, you can leave him with that precious milk and rest assured that he is still getting the best possible nutrition. These devices are also very useful if your breasts become engorged with milk, perhaps because you’ve produced too much. As many mums will tell you, this can be a painful and uncomfortable experience – and a breast pump will provide much needed relief so that you can get on with your day.
4. A little formula
Even if you’re planning to breastfeed exclusively, it’s still a good idea to make sure that you have a little formula in the house. Get one or two bottles and nipples, and keep them with your formula for a handy kit that could be used while someone else is caring for your baby, or if you become ill and aren’t able to breastfeed.
5. Co-sleeping for easier feeding
Sleep with your baby in the bed beside you to make night feeds easier and less disruptive. If sleep is something that is in short supply, enter our competition to win a kit that can help you both to snooze more easily.
Breast milk is the ideal way to feed your baby, but don’t expect to get it perfectly right the first few times. Most importantly, if it’s too much for you, or you’d like to combine breast with formula feeding so dad can help too – that’s ok! It’s all about finding what suits you and your little one best, so don’t be too hard on yourself!