Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It can help protect your baby from infections and diseases. It also improves brain growth for your baby! Breastfeeding also helps with postpartum weight loss and reduces your risk of breast cancer.
While you are pregnant, learn as much as you can about breastfeeding. Share the information you are learning about breastfeeding with the people who will be helping you when your baby is born. If you are planning to breastfeed, feeding your baby only breast milk for the first 4-6 weeks will help you establish a good milk supply. Experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for baby’s first 6 months and continued breastfeeding until at least 12 months.
Establish a breastfeeding plan prior to your delivery and share your plan to breastfeed with your doctor. Most women can start breastfeeding soon after their baby is born. Breastfeeding may be challenging for some mothers. With practice, patience, and help from nursing staff, you should feel comfortable and confident with breastfeeding before you leave the hospital.
Talk to your provider about obtaining an electric breast pump before delivery to support your breastfeeding goals. That way you can have breast milk available for your baby even when it’s not convenient to breastfeed.