10 Tips for a Better Postpartum: Tip #1
This post is part of the series, 10 Tips for a Better Postpartum. This is Tip #1 in a list of 10 things you can do in pregnancy to set yourself up for a more comfortable, peaceful, and enjoyable postpartum journey. Check back in the coming weeks as I share the next tips in the series!
Tip #1: Take a Quality Breastfeeding Class AND Attend a Breastfeeding Support Group BEFORE Baby Arrives.
Look for a class taught by an IBCLC - If there were a Ph.D. in breastfeeding, IBCLC certification would be it. Lactation support people holding this credential offer a wealth of information and skill in helping moms and babies troubleshoot, adjust, and find a sweet spot in their breastfeeding relationship. In most cases, they will know much more about breastfeeding than any family doctor or pediatrician (although occasionally you will find a doctor who has also pursued this training - Awesome!).
Once you've taken a class, find out about breastfeeding support groups in your area and attend at least one in pregnancy. This is important for many reasons: First, it gives you a level of comfort having attended before and knowing what to expect. This is so valuable when you find yourself newly postpartum and the task of hauling baby anywhere may seem overwhelming - it is so much easier to do this if you are familiar with where you are going, who will be there, and what to expect. Second, it gives you an opportunity to connect with your local lactation consultant and build a relationship. And finally, it gives you the opportunity to meet others who are at various stages of breastfeeding, hear their questions (and the wise answers to those questions!), and you will likely have the opportunity to observe breastfeeding in action - something that many of us (unfortunately) are not exposed to in our day to day lives.
I remember one of the women in my birth class attending a breastfeeding support group meeting who came back to our birth class saying it was the best experience - there had been a mother there nursing her brand
new baby. This new mother was very open to questions, and it had been so valuable for my student to watch proper latch, hear baby's swallowing sounds and other indications of good milk transfer, and just generally to observe the feeding as a whole. In my role as a birth educator, I have also sat in on these meetings and watched this familiar scene play out when pregnant women attend. Experienced mothers are eager to help these women, sharing their own challenges - as well as the ways they have overcome them, offering their best breastfeeding tips, and giving encouragement that although there can be a learning curve, that with this kind of support breastfeeding is very doable, enjoyable, and so worthwhile.
Take a breastfeeding class and attend breastfeeding support group during your pregnancy. From the class, you will take away a wealth of knowledge and a connection with a wonderful support person who can help you along your journey. From the support group, you will likely find that many of those in attendance want to share their tips, struggles, and wisdom - it is a special community of people who want you to succeed and want to do what they can to help you. What a great community to connect with ahead of your baby's arrival!
Looking for more tips for a better postpartum? Here's Tip #2!
Local Connections for Breastfeeding Classes & Support Groups in the Tri-States:
Becky Franzen, IBCLC at Statera Integrated Health & Wellness
Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes
In-Home Support Once Baby Arrives (So valuable!)
Free "Milk Parties" - Breastfeeding Support Group the 2nd & 4th Monday of the month
Spectra Pump Training
Private Pump Flange Fittings
Back to Work Pumping Consultations
MercyOne Hospital Dubuque Lactation - Amy Blum, IBCLC & Tara Lynch, IBCLC
Natural Milk Network - Virtual Breastfeeding Support Group Wednesdays at 1:00p.m.