Good question! Because preparing for breastfeeding really makes sense? It is a question that is regularly asked by the pregnant women I supervise in my practice. I myself am a great supporter of preparing yourself for breastfeeding. Because yes, I am convinced that prepare for breastfeeding certainly makes sense! Why exactly? I will tell you that.
When you want to give breastfeeding as a mother with confidence and pleasure, good preparation is very important. A colleague of mine compared it to a marathon. Are not you going to run unprepared? Can you picture it already? Well then! That is exactly how it is to breastfeed.
In principle, 98% of all women could breastfeed after the birth of their baby. Which is fortunately a huge percentage. Yet this does not say much yet. Because you can breastfeed, unfortunately gives no guarantee that it will succeed.
It has been a while ago, but in 2015 TNO conducted a survey into the milk nutrition of infants. Then 80% of all mothers started breastfeeding. With the main reason that it is healthier for their baby.
This poll also showed that most mothers are already stopping breastfeeding in the first two weeks after birth. So fast already! The main reason was too low milk production. And that is actually strange. Because as I said, 98% of the mothers should have no problems with this. Where does it go wrong?
Why do mothers stop breastfeeding?
Besides too low milk production, there were also other reasons for stopping breastfeeding. Namely painful nipples, that breastfeeding did not fit with a mother and that the laying of the baby was difficult.
I think these reasons for stopping would not be necessary if a mother were better prepared to breastfeed. As is often said so beautifully; 'A good start is half the work'. And this is also true, because preparation increases the chances of success of breastfeeding.
And say so yourself, with a good preparation you just know better what to expect. You are less likely to face surprises. But if this does happen, you also know that you have to be on time with the help you get. And then the right help with breastfeeding, namely that of a lactation consultant. Because she really studied and has the right knowledge to really help you.
What many women do not think about is that breastfeeding is really something you have to learn.
It is an interplay between mother and child. And although there is nothing more natural than breastfeeding your child, and you would expect something like that to go completely by itself, unfortunately that is not always the case.
Why can good preparation for breastfeeding help?
Preparing for breastfeeding ensures that you are not faced with surprises. You stand firmer in your shoes because you have all the knowledge. In this way you can feed your child with confidence and pleasure.
Good preparation can help because:
You know the importance of a good breastfeeding policy
The most important thing is a good breastfeeding policy. Maybe you now think 'A what?' With a good breastfeeding policy, I mean that everything is aimed at positively supporting breastfeeding. Suppose your child is unable to drink with you right after the birth due to circumstances. Then it's nice to know how you can support breastfeeding as positively as possible.
We do not learn from each other anymore
What we have forgotten is that we live in very different times than before. We used to learn breastfeeding from each other. It was a normal picture to see a mother feed. Unfortunately, that is different nowadays. And because we no longer see each other feeding, we no longer learn from each other. Precisely by following a course in advance, you have at least more knowledge about how you can feed your baby after birth!
You can become uncertain about conflicting advice
When you become a mother for the first time, a lot is coming at you. Fortunately, in the first two weeks after the birth of your child, you receive a lot of support from different care providers. All of whom have the best intentions to help you. But you can also get a lot of conflicting advice, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. This can be very confusing and make you insecure. Because if everyone gives different advice, who do you have to believe?
How can you prepare for breastfeeding?
The lactation consultant is the professional with the right and most knowledge about breastfeeding. So if you want to prepare yourself, make sure that the knowledge comes from a lactation consultant.
You can prepare for breastfeeding in various ways. By attending an information evening about breastfeeding, following a breastfeeding course or by reading a book. It is just what suits you.
In addition to getting knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding, you also learn techniques to properly lay your baby. Of course you do not want to miss this knowledge. Furthermore, topics such as breastfeeding postures, how milk production starts and how you know that your child has drunk enough.
And the great thing about a course is that you have the opportunity to ask all your questions. Even if you still have doubts about breastfeeding, a course can give you clarity. So you can make a good choice for you and your baby.
Tip: Make a breastfeeding plan!
In short, preparing yourself well for breastfeeding is not that bad.And a last tip that I would like to give you; "Make a breastfeeding plan!". Because just like with a birth plan, you can make your wishes known with a breastfeeding plan. The wishes for yourself, for your baby and your environment. And this is so important!
Because that way you know for sure that all noses will be in the same direction. And you can start confidently on your breastfeeding adventure!