1. Expect that the next few months of your life will revolve around breastfeeding.
2. See a lactation consultant if you’re have any discomfort or issues. They may be able to help you and make things easier for both you and your baby. The sooner you get help, the sooner you will resolve any issues, and the more likely you will be able to meet your breastfeeding goals.
3. Invest in some items that will make your breastfeeding life easier:
- Nursing bras
- Shirts/dresses that easily pull down or up
- Nursing pads
- My Brest Friend pillow or Boppy
- A breast pump — electric or manual
- A hands-free pumping bra
- Breastmilk storage bottles and bags
- Breastfed baby friendly bottles
4. Have your “set-up” ready to go at all times. My set-up involved the My Brest Friend pillow, burp rags, the remote close at hand, and a big glass of water.
5. Have some hands-free activities lined up to keep you busy while you’re stuck sitting down. I watched the entirety of Battlestar Galactica in the first couple of months. It’s also a good time to read a book or a magazine, listen to music, or surf the internet (one-handed, of course.)
6. Don’t be afraid to leave your house, and don’t let people who are uncomfortable with public nursing shame you into hiding in your home or your car or gross public bathrooms. If you feel the need, get a nursing cover, but don’t let nursing force you into being a shut-in. You’ll be much happier if you get out and get some fresh air every once in a while.
7. Cosleep. You’ll get so much more shut eye.
8. Get creative with your positions. Cradling your baby isn’t the only way to breastfeed, and some of the other positions might be more comfortable or enable you to do other things. (Like sleep!)
9. Keep it going as long as you like. Don’t let anyone pressure you on when to stop breastfeeding. That’s a decision that should be up to you and your baby and nobody else.