If you plan on nursing (feeding at the breast) your newborn, you can do a lot to prepare your mind, body, and family for the work ahead. I am not talking about purchasing every single lactation cookie, lactation gadget, pumping machine and/or pillows that are out in the market. Actually, what you need to invest in is learning (quality time) all that you can about the art and science and the overwhelming health benefits of breastfeeding.
You must read, attend breastfeeding prenatal classes, and connect/meet with lactation professionals that can support you, teach, and be ready & available to offer advice and hands on support now – this means as soon you find out that you are pregnant (or even better before you get pregnant!) The majority of hospitals offer prenatal breastfeeding classes. The majority of them paint a completely effortless even mystical, process! This is WRONG!
Women are not being taught how to feed their offspring from their breast and this is a MASSIVE Health issue! Most pregnant women are not cared by their physicians about breast health, and certainly not about breast feeding. In the USA there aren’t that many family physicians and OB-GYNs that are invested/trained on breastfeeding. Certainly, some of the nurse staff in various hospitals hold the title of lactation professionals. But, they are not available 24/7 and they are very limited on what they can and will do for each patient (because they wear a number of hats). Leaving the mothers, their infants, and families without the professional help and or support.
When breastfeeding has gone wrong from day 0, women are almost always given formula. So these mothers do not know what else to do and they doubt and think they are starving their infants.
Nursing is a learning process (it truly is!) – For both you and your infant (infants) and this also includes your partner. If you have lots of health issues (whatever they are) then you definitely must be proactive at hiring a lactation professional to help you while at the hospital and once you get home.This cannot be taken for granted. You must find professional help. You and your family can not be at the mercy of the hospital staff or midwife or doula, certainly not your OBGYN that helped you deliver your newborn.
Getting the “right” help can change everything! This is the truth. And for that, you need to be aware of where these lactation professionals are located. Which ones travel to see you at home and or offer online consultations. If you want skilled lactation support (the kind that will help you solve problems quickly) then, you must pay for these services as they are not for free. The government does not pay these professionals and most health insurance companies do not reimburse for services.