There are many different ways to help get off to a right start for breastfeeding. The most important is: Be firm in your resolve to breastfeed and do not waiver, especially in the early days when your milk is coming in. If you aren't 100% sure that you'll breastfeed, you'll be more likely to give your baby formula. The Friday after she was born, I had not slept the night before because I was awake with a crying baby; when we got home, I desperately wanted to sleep, but knew that she needed to be held and fed.
Have a good support system. I've written this over and over-my husband is a gem. He is wonderful. He would get me pillows, water, food, books, blankets, whatever I needed in order to make me more comfortable. My church family provided meals for the first two weeks; they offered to provide more, but my in-laws came down for 7-10 days and helped with shopping, cooking, laundry, etc.
A few things you can do before birth to help you get off on a right start:
Be around people who breastfeed. This was not hard for me. My mother breastfed us; it has always seemed normal for me. Friends at church breastfed their babies. If you breastfeed now, nurse in public; I'm not telling you how or what you can or can't show, but help make it normal.
Have a birth plan. Include that you want skin to skin contact immediately after birth, which will greatly help your chances of breastfeeding.
Prepare freezer meals, to help lighten your load after your baby is born.
Consider delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital or Birth Center and read their Ten Steps for Successful Breastfeeding.
What steps would you add to help you get off on a right start for breastfeeding?
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