Breastfeeding is at once a totally natural thing, and a completely foreign one.
The day you become a mom, your breasts seem to transform from your own personal property (and sometimes your mate’s) to a full time refrigerator.
It’s a lot to take in at once.
The good news: It can be a little bit easier to transition if you spend some time learning about breastfeeding before baby arrives.
Here are 5 ways to prep the girls for what comes next:
Take a class
Many hospitals, birthing clinics or new mama centers have Breastfeeding 101 classes, but if you can’t find one near you, check out Lactation Link’s Breastfeeding basics class.
You’ll learn about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to position your newborn to feed, common challenges, and a ton more.
Read a book—(or watch a video)
If you’re up for a real education, try The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding from La Leche League, or Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers.
But if you’d rather spend your precious time before baby arrives watching the latest episodes of The Mindy Project, we totally get it.
A helpful video like the one above might help you understand how it all comes together to feed your baby.
Read up on its amazing benefits
Knowing the benefits of breastfeeding can help power you during the many (many. MANY) long nights to come.
We’re kinda fascinated by the fact that breastmilk is dynamic: its composition changes as your baby grows, during the course of a feeding, and even provides different milk depending on whether your baby is a boy or a girl—or is fighting an infection.
You might enjoy reading this recent (fascinating) column from The Stranger on the benefits of breastfeeding.
Buy what you need
Those all will go a long way to helping the milk flow when it should, and soothing breasts when they’re taking a break.
Watch a mama friend breastfeed
We’re not naming names, but before having babies, some of us on #TeamMotherly didn’t realize that there are actually several holes on the tip of your nipple through which a mother feeds. ?
There’s a lot to learn about breastfeeding, especially if you didn’t grow up watching women around you nurse.
Ask a close friend (reallll close) if she wouldn’t mind showing you the mechanics of how it all works.
You’ll learn a lot as soon as baby arrives, but it can’t hurt to be prepared.