Disclosure :: World Breastfeeding Week is recognized August 1 – 7, 2016. This year, the World Breastfeeding Week theme is about how breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share. Our World Breastfeeding Week is sponsored by Woman’s Hospital.
Congratulations to all expectant parents! This is such an exciting time in your life. There is so much to do while you await your baby’s arrival. There are also so many decisions to make. Have you thought about how you will feed your child?
Breastfeeding is the optimal nutrition for newborns. August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, and we celebrate your decision to begin this breastfeeding journey. Here’s what you should do to get ready for the first month of breastfeeding.
The process of breastfeeding begins before birth. Everyone needs help and support as a new breastfeeding parent. Consider gathering your breastfeeding “team” or champions to support you on your journey. Talk with friends who have breastfed or are breastfeeding. Discuss your feeding plan with your partner and close friends or family. Your OB or midwife, pediatrician, WIC nutritionist and lactation consultant are all excellent people to have on your team. These individuals can give you information, education and support along your journey. Breastfeeding is often a confidence game; it starts with believing in yourself and your body’s ability to carry and nurture your child. The more prepared and confident you feel in this process, the easier the transition will be in feeding your infant.
Woman’s offers several breastfeeding resources. There are breastfeeding classes, a free breastfeeding support group and more. For those who are unable to physically attend a class, there is an online class. The classes are available for a small fee, but I encourage parents to call their insurance provider about coverage. Every policy is different, and your policy may offer excellent resources.
Also, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance providers are required to provide lactation coverage for their policy holders. Ask what your policy includes. This usually includes a breast pump as well as follow-up lactation care if needed.
When your baby is born, expect to hold him skin-to-skin as soon as possible. This precious time with your little one will activate the hormones of lactation and bonding that each of you need after the work of “labor.” This will help get breastfeeding off to the best start!