Breastfeeding has many benefits but it doesn't necessarily come easily to every mother.
When you and the baby are doing something so completely new, it's no wonder that it can take a lot of time and a lot of practice before you both get it right.
So, here's some tips to help you to prepare.
Before you have your baby collect some 'how-to' leaflets from your midwife. Often you can attend an instructive class at the hospital.
It might also help to watch some demonstrative videos on the Internet.
Buy your nursing bras when you are more than 36 weeks pregnant. Any earlier and they might not fit well.
You will also need some absorbent breast pads (in case you leak at first) and some muslin cloths will come in handy. You might want to buy a breastfeeding support pillow.
You don't need to prepare your nipples in any way. You can buy some lanolin cream to use if you get sore. Or if you do suffer some pain whilst perfecting your technique, you could just rub on some expressed breast milk instead.
It would be reassuring to have a list of breastfeeding phone helplines and advice websites to hand. If you hit any problems in the early days and find yourself in a panic, you will know you can call someone experienced for assistance.
Check where your nearest breastfeeding support group meets. You can see and chat to other breastfeeding mums; they might be full of useful advice. Sometimes, of course, it helps just to have someone to talk to.
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