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5 Key Ways To Prepare For Breastfeeding

Once your baby’s born, he’ll be hungry. Very hungry. Here’s what to do—and not do—for future nursing success.
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Hold off on buying the breast pump. They can be pricey, which is why many women choose to register for them. You could also rent a pump from the hospital or a medical supply store and see how things, er, flow before you commit to owning.

Get only one nursing bra. Eventually you’ll need a few, but wait to stock up until about 10 days after the baby’s arrived, when your breast size has stabilized, says Freda Rosenfeld, a certified lactation consultant in Brooklyn, New York, and mom of three. Start off with a nursing bra that’s a cup-size larger than your current one; give it a test run before the baby’s born to get used to the hooks.

Moisturize. Rosenfeld tells moms to rub a little olive oil—which is super-moisturizing—onto their nipples starting a week before they give birth. OK, so you might smell like a salad, but it’ll prevent soreness from the baby sucking on too-dry skin.

Get yourself good support (and not just the bra kind). Consider taking a breastfeeding class, which will cover the basics; many hospitals offer one-time classes. You could also attend a breastfeeding group once or twice. “Even before you give birth, you’ll be tapped into a network of committed breastfeeders,” says Sharon Panzica, a mother of one in Willamette, Illinois, who started going to La Leche League meetings and liked them so much, she became a leader.

Try not to worry. “Before my first child was born, I was stressed out about how breastfeeding would work," says Jessica Schwerd, a mother of three from Gansevoort, New York. “Worrying did me no good. Does it ever? Once I started, it took a little time to get into a good rhythm—but it took!”

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 10reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Thanks for the information i was kindof wondering about buying a nursing bra but was told that sports bras work just as fine this is my first baby so i wouldnt know. I didnt know about the olive oil thing all i knew was to used non scented body washes and things that could dry your skin out. October 31, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Know that it takes time, it's not always easy, but it will get better if you keep it up. I know some moms and babies that took right to breastfeeding, never had an issue and loved the experience. I can't say the same for me- it has been difficult with both of my children- soreness, thrush, infection, not to mention I don't really care for it, but I do it because it is so great for my baby! I've found other mothers who feel the same way, which made me feel so much better that I wasn't the only one! December 9, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I'm going on my fourth child and this is my first time ever trying to breastfeed. This article gave me some good tips, especially about the olive oil. October 20, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Great article! Try to prep before baby gets here. My husband and I went to the grocery store and bought easy to make meals or premade meals that he could easily make for him and I. Also I made detailed lists of how to do things in case he forgot or didn't know (which luckily I married a guy who could cook and clean and do laundry!) to help him with everything. Also try not to stress. You have a new baby to take care of and you both are going on lack of sleep. So the house will not look perfect and laundry may fall behind but that is ok. Everyone will understand! October 19, 2011
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