1. Breastfeed within the first hour of baby’s life
Baby is ready to eat for the first time within their first 45 minutes of life. Making that first latch is programming their sweet little brains that this is how they will receive their food and nutrients.
2. Lots and LOTS of skin-to-skin
Skin-to-skin has been proven to have a long list of benefits for baby. It can regulate their body temperature and heart rate as well as their blood sugar levels. It also has great benefits when it comes to breastfeeding success.
Communicate with your nurses that you would like to do skin-to-skin as soon as possible. If you deliver your baby naturally, they may even be able to place baby directly on you as soon as he or she is born. with my first-born, I had an emergency C-section. Unfortunately, this meant baby could not be placed directly on me, but was with me about 7 minutes after she arrived and we began skin to skin then.
3. Speak with a lactation consultant
A certified lactation consultant has dedicated their career to helping women have a successful breastfeeding journey. Take advantage of this amazing blessing and speak to one as soon as you can! In most hospitals, they have a lactation consultant who makes rounds to speak with new mothers. Have her sit with you while you breastfeeding and she will shower you will words of wisdom and guidance that is sure to set you up for success!
4. Feed on demand
If you are anything like I was when I was pregnant with my first, I had about 43 pins saved that gave tips on feeding schedules and getting baby on a routine. While aiming to get onto a solid feeding routine is great, it shouldn’t be your priority right away. Feeding baby on demand (as soon as they show a hunger cue) in those first few days will greatly increase your chances of breastfeeding success. It will also help your body start bringing in the milk supply. Breastmilk is made on a supply and demand type system, so the more demand, the more milk you’ll be makin’ for bebe! (Another fun tip for more milk- order oatmeal at every meal while in the hospital! It’s an essential for high milk supply!)
This may mean if you at staying in the hospital that you keep you baby in the room with you as much as possible so their nursing cues are answered as soon as possible.
5. Commit with your partner
This should technically be step one, because it should happen before baby is even born. Making a commitment to breastfeed with your partner by your side is a huge factor when it comes to breastfeeding success. While breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Like 99% of all other moms, you will likely face a few hurdles. Without verbalizing your dedication to each other, it may be easy to throw in the towel. If it is truly important to you to breastfeed your baby, make the commitment together.
In order to fully prepare for you breastfeeding, I would also suggest reading this post so you can stock up on the BF necessities before baby arrives:
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