Successfully initiating breastfeeding in a hospital setting can be a challenge. I was able to overcome breastfeeding challenges in the hospital by being an active patient and being prepared.
Breastfeeding appears to be easy because it is natural, but getting your baby to latch onto your breast may be more difficult than it looks.
1. Breastfeeding Class: The first thing that I did was attend a breastfeeding education class to learn about human lactation. This class was offered at my hospital, but there are classes taught by certified lactation educators across the country. Ask your midwife or OB/GYN for recommendations.
2. Read about Breastfeeding: I also read books about breastfeeding, which is where I learned about the weight loss and health benefits for myself and my baby. These books also prepared me for the challenges of breastfeeding such as chafed nipples, how to hold the baby for a proper latch, and the use of nursing bras/clothing. Nursing pads (which are worn inside the bra for leaking), nipple cream (for chafing), and a nursing bra were packed in my bag before I went to the hospital and proved to be helpful.
3. Professional Lactation Support: Lastly, the most effective part of overcoming breastfeeding challenges was the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) that assisted me with getting my baby to latch onto my breast properly. She taught me different latches, gave me reading material and advocated for my breastfeeding success. Most hospitals have an IBCLC on staff, and in my case I had to request her. Do not be afraid to do so.
Be an active patient and request help until it is given. Taking an active stance in your pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding experience is one action you will never regret.
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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