Pregnant and Thinking of Breastfeeding?

Photo by: Leandro Cesar Santana

Photo by: Leandro Cesar Santana

Congratulations on your pregnancy mama! I know how exciting and a bit overwhelming this stage of life can be. We are in this together! I am here to take the journey right along with you. After my first birth, I quickly realized how uninformed and unprepared I was to breastfeed. I did all of my research on things like preparing for birth but totally missed my breastfeeding plans. I knew I wanted to breastfeed but I did not think much of how I would get there. Learn from my mistake, before you give birth, take some time to think about your breastfeeding desires and goals. Although breastfeeding is natural it is also a skill that takes practice and support from partners and birthing professionals.

I was not breastfed as a child and most of the family around me did not breastfeed so this was a foreign concept.

What’s Your Breastfeeding Plan Mama?

There are so many things beyond your control that can happen during labor and delivery. Creating a plan and communicating it to your birthing partner and healthcare provider will help in ensuring your wishes before and after birth are clearly understood. Unsure how to create a birthing plan? Here is a birthing plan resource, BUMP Birth Plan Tool.

Think About This When Creating Your Breastfeeding Plan

  1. What is my backup if things don’t go as planned?

  2. What questions on interventions and medications should I ask my provider, for an informed decision on breastfeeding?

  3. What are my overall breastfeeding goals?

Let Them Know

Your birthing partner whether your spouse, mom, or doula are your biggest advocates during birth. Clearly state your intentions with them as early as possible during your pregnancy to ensure they are equipped to communicate your preferences during labor and delivery.

Here are some helpful statements from medela.com, you may use to communicate your preferences if they apply:

- If I’m not able to hold my baby straight away, please place him skin-to-skin with my birth partner instead.

- I’d like skin-to-skin contact with my baby directly after the birth, before he is weighed or washed, as long as there are no medical concerns.

- I’d like support to give my baby his first breastfeeding within the first hour after the birth if possible.

- I’d like my baby to be encouraged to self-latch, or given gentle support to latch.

- If my baby is doing poor or we need to be separated, I’d like help expressing my colostrum and feeding it to him from a syringe or cup.

- If my baby is unable to breastfeed for any reason, or is not feeding well in the first few hours after birth, I’d like help with double pumping within the first three hours and with feeding him my expressed milk.

- If I need to continue to pump, I want to achieve eight sessions in 24 hours to help initiate my milk supply.

- Please don’t give my baby formula milk without my or my birth partner’s consent, and then only if medically necessary.

- Please don’t feed my baby from a bottle teat or give him a dummy/pacifier without my or my birth partner’s consent.

- I’d like support with breastfeeding from a qualified lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist, if available.

You are not alone in this journey mama. Plan, communicate your wishes and stand by your decision to breastfeed your baby on your own terms.