Thinking about how you will feed your future baby may be the furthest thing from your mind. After all, why would you think about feeding a baby if you don’t have a baby or aren’t pregnant yet?
Studies show that most parents decide how to feed their baby before they are pregnant. Deciding early about how you will feed your baby even before pregnancy is an important step in making the best decision possible for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for baby. In fact, making a plan to breastfeed your baby can help you look to the future and get a good start to breastfeeding.
So how can you prepare yourself for breastfeeding before or during pregnancy?
- Educate yourself
Learning the benefits of breastfeeding and how to breastfeed ahead of time can help you know what to expect when that time comes. Breastfeeding should not hurt when your baby is positioned and latched properly. Viewing credible videos, reading, and talking to health care professionals are great ways to gather information and learn ways to help care for your breasts and prevent pain during feeding.
- Size doesn’t matter
No matter your size – you CAN breastfeed! Some people have the misconception that smaller breasts equals a smaller milk supply, and that is just NOT TRUE! Knowing the signs of effective breastfeeding is an important way to know your baby is breastfeeding well.
- Breast health matters
Regular health checks with your health care provider allows breast issues to be identified and managed prior to pregnancy. Discuss your wishes to breastfeed your baby with your health care provider. Health conditions such as thyroid problems and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as well as surgeries such as breast reduction, implants or augmentation can affect your milk supply. Speak to your health care provider to address any concerns you may have.
- Gather your supports
Research has shown that breastfeeding success increases when family is supportive. Who is in your circle of support? It’s important to surround yourself with loved ones who are positive, supportive and will encourage you in your decision to breastfeed your baby. Familiarizing yourself with available services such as breastfeeding clinics or our free online prenatal and parenting program can help you meet your breastfeeding goals.
Breastmilk is the optimal food for baby. Make an informed decision about your infant feeding options by gathering information, supporting and monitoring your overall health. This will give you a head start in feeding your future baby.
For more information about breastfeeding eChat with a nurse or call (416) 338-7600.