Everyone talks about preparing for the baby, preparing the house and preparing the family for the baby. A mother is told how to prepare her body for labour but no one plans and prepares the body for breastfeeding.
Preparing the body for breastfeeding is the most important thing to do before the baby comes that’s if you’re going to breastfeed. You need to prepare yourself emotionally physically and be ready In your mind. This may seem easy but can be tough at times, but so beneficial for your baby it’s like laying the foundation for a strong and a healthy start in your child’s life. Even if you feel that you can’t do it for long just make sure you get that first bit of Colostrum in the baby. I only breastfed my older children from a week to a month with the 3rd child but gave up as I wasn’t mentally ready for it and I knew f the easy excuse even before I tried, plus I didn’t really have any people or role models around me who breastfed. I am quite stubborn in things I get passionate about and breastfeeding became a passion. I think you need to be strong willed. Just be ready for the unexpected as well, bottle feeding is not a sin as factors like lip and tongue tie or even something as serious as cleft pallets can hinder your ability to breastfeed so don’t get yourself down if you’ve made it this far. Smaller things like lip and tongue ties can be fixed with lasers. In the olden days when the baby was born the midwives used to move their fingers through the babies mouth and just clip away the tie as it was just extra skin but nowadays with all the rules and regulations, it cannot be done. It can be a painful time if you’re waiting for these surgeries but then you can always pump and have access to the hospital electric breast pumps which are higher spec and help get more milk. I wouldn’t advise pumping so early on unless you have problems as that it just sends the wrong message to the body and milk supply.
Pregnancy is itself a time where your body makes many changes to make space for the baby inside its nourishment as well as birth. All these things happen in the background to nausea, body pains and hormone changes, it’s all part of the process. Well! your breasts are also being prepared. The tingling sensation and growth of breast are making space for new milk ducts and milk supply for when baby arrives. The body is also making the colostrum suited to the individual baby. Each baby and gender baby has a different requirement. One thing I learnt you also make different milk whether you have a boy or girl. It all must do with what they need according to their hormones and requirements. you don’t need any special creams to soften your nipples either. The dark area around your nipples, called areolas, release oil that naturally lubricates your nipples. They say the oil smells of amniotic fluid which is reassuring and help baby feel safe when they are born.
What your job in getting your body ready is to see what you are contributing to it. This is what you’re putting into your body. I had a lot of nausea throughout my pregnancy so it was easy for me to reach out at fatty quick foods as most of the times I didn’t have the energy to wait, but at around 4-5 months into my pregnancy I started taking in juicy fruits and herbal teas which helps to keep my palette cleansed. I cut out caffeine anyways because of the risks but I started cutting out fizzy high sugar drinks and foods. This was all gonna help me in the long run to my goal. I had to make my lifestyle healthy and free from junk because whatever I was going to put in eventually it will be going to my baby. I didn’t want to add bad things into its diet even if it was through my milk supply. I come from an Asian family so I had to lower the intake of salts and chilly in my foods and this was also a good way of getting the family into a healthy lifestyle, plus those spices wouldn’t have given me any help but made my nights worse and uncomfortable than they already were with the growing bump. Start adding lasting energy foods in your diet like oats. You need to up your water game. during breastfeeding, you need to drink as much water possible because you will be loosing as quickly as well. Keep yourself active as much as possible as this will contribute to your labour and also this links to our last thing which is getting your soul ready.
You need to be ready for this mind, body and soul. you need to practice to stay calm and collected. Any sign of stress or upset will hinder your milk supply and during pregnancy effect baby inside. You can try pregnancy yoga or if you’re a Muslim then your five daily prayers will be sufficient for you. The wudu we do to cleanse our body before we pray is soul cleansing as well. This deepens your connection with your body and your creator and in turn, strengthen your belief of breastfeeding. Being firm in your decision and believing in yourself. Your body has been equipped to do this and if you believe then it can happen. Pumping never worked for me so I didn’t really pursue it because I wasn’t working mum, so I was able to feed on demand around my other children and commitments. That my way of saying if your working or have other commitments then you can pump and provide your baby with the best nutrients for them.
I wish all new parents the very best and I hope it all works well for you. If you do have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask and if its something I can help you with I will and if not then I will send you in the direction of someone who can. I’m no a health professional but just speaking from my own experience.