Breastfeeding Successfully

This week was/is World Breastfeeding Week! In honor of that, I thought I'd share some helpful hints for breastfeeding. I only breastfed for a short amount of time but I have read up on it a lot since then and become more knowledgeable about it, so these are all things I wish I would have known or that people have told me helped them:

DO YOUR RESEARCH - During your pregnancy, take some time to look into breastfeeding and read up on it. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, check out your local library. Some suggestions are The Nursing Mother's Companion: Revised Edition, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book), Breastfeeding with Confidence: A Practical Guide and/or The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning.

LEARN THE BENEFITS - No matter what you've decided to do with your child, there's always going to be someone who criticizes something you do. If you read up on the benefits of breastfeeding, you can prepare yourself with a quick answer for when/if someone ever says something. (And it will definitely make you feel good!) Check out this page for a whole list of benefits from breastfeeding.

TAKE A CLASS - Even if you don't think you need to go to a class on breastfeeding, you should really consider it. Not only will you be able to get help from a trained and probably well-seasoned breastfeeding aficionado, you'll meet other moms who are just learning how to breastfeed, which leads me to my number one helpful hint....

FIND SOME SUPPORT - I cannot stress that enough. You can read every book and buy every breastfeeding-related product, but if you don't have someone to help you out when you're struggling or when you just need someone to talk to, you're going to be in trouble. Most women quit because breastfeeding is painful or because they feel like they don't have any support. If they had support, they could probably determine why it's hurting them and correct the problems they're having. Find support through the La Leche League, WIC or other local breastfeeding coalition. If you attend breastfeeding classes, make sure to exchange information with some of the other moms. Check with your local hospital if you can't find a group to see if they have a lactation consultant or some other kind of breastfeeding support. If all else fails, go online! There's tons of websites and support groups that come up just from Googling "breastfeeding."

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