I know I sure did!
When we had our first daughter 9 and a half years ago, I hadn’t the first idea about anything to do with breastfeeding other than my desire to achieve it. I was lost and overwhelmed! Am I positioning her right? Is this or that normal? Should her poop look like that? What does a good latch look and feel like? And perhaps most frequently: Am I doing this right?!
These were just a few of the concerns floating through my head with our first child. When we had our second daughter 4 and a half years later I felt as if I knew the basics, but the SAME questions remained! This time, though, I knew to ask for help. And because of this help, I eventually embarked upon the journey towards becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and opened my own lactation private practice!
I am here as living and professional proof that feeding support makes all the difference. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you set up for success!
Whether you are a first-time mom or a next-time mom- and I am not just talking about reading a book, surfing the internet, browsing mommy Facebook groups, or looking at the wide selection of pumps, bottles, and feeding supplies…I am talking about in-person or virtual breastfeeding class with someone who knows all the little ins and outs of breastfeeding and some helpful and mind-easing tricks along the way!
- Look to see what local Lactation Consultants offer for prenatal (before the baby) breastfeeding education. A lot of times these classes included preparing for bottle feeding, some tips on pumping, or can be tailored to your specific needs when they are one-on-one classes.
- Also check out what resources are available to you from your local hospitals. A lot of them have programs that offer prenatal breastfeeding education (most are virtual classes right now).
“Practice creates confidence. Confidence empowers you.” -Simone Biles
How true is that? I find, even for myself, the more I practice a specific skill set the more and more confident I become, and when we feel confident it makes a world of difference.
- This may sound strange but practicing different positions for breastfeeding, whether with a doll or stuffed animal can be very beneficial. Yes, they may not move around like a baby does and may not be as heavy, but you are feeling comfortable with different positions, this can help boost your confidence when your baby is actually here!
- Also, get out those pumps (whether you bought them or insurance provided them) and look at all the pieces, read the instructions, watch some YouTube videos, and get comfortable with the assembly before baby presents into your life! All of this can greatly relieve some of the stress and possible insecurities when you go to use it the first time after having your baby.
Ask for help!
Once the baby is here, we often feel like we have to do it all on our own or like we should know exactly what to do… and that is just not the case! We need support and guidance to help us along the way and we need a listening ear. We need someone to reassure us things are going well or, if not, how to help get things back on track.
- Look at what resources are available to you
- A local private practice lactation consultant who has an office, can provide virtual visits, or who may even come to you.
- A local hospital lactation clinic
- La Leche League
- Seasoned breastfeeding friends or family members
- Check with your insurance company regarding provisions of what they might cover for your feeding journey: Will they cover Lactation Consultations, breast pumps, pump parts? Ask! You will never know what your specific insurance covers without asking!
Your breastfeeding journey will be rewarding, sometimes confusing, and there will be challenges to conquer, but with a good support system you will be on your way!
ICT Lactation is a private practice offering in-person (in your home or at her office) & virtual visits for moms and babies! Insurance is accepted, and additional services such as weight checks and breast pump rentals are also available.
Elisabeth has been running ICT Lactation for the last 2 years and opened her home office in October of 2020.
She is also a registered nurse, a mother of a 9 and 5 year old, and has been married to her husband for almost 11 years.