What can I do to prepare my partner and myself for breastfeeding a new baby?
Ask Austin Expecting
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While birth has a definite end, breastfeeding can last for years to come. So what can YOU do to be prepared to breastfeed after birth?
Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding
There are many books and websites that provide evidence-based information on breastfeeding. Anecdotal evidence from blogs and other parents have their place as well – they can help new parents feel normal in their breastfeeding journey.
Find area support groups
Being around other breastfeeding mothers is a great way for a new mom to pick up tips and tricks for things like pumping or breastfeeding in public. Austin and the surrounding areas have a number of free breastfeeding groups, including La Leche League. Many of these groups allow expectant moms to attend. Not only will this help a mom become familiar with the support group and its members, but it can also help understand what can happen in the first several months after birth.
Know where to find support
Have the contact information of area International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) on hand in case support is needed postpartum. While all levels of lactation support can be helpful in difficult times, IBCLCs are breastfeeding experts with hundreds of hours of clinical experience and education. They must also pass a board exam before calling themselves an IBCLC – they’re the gold standard in lactation support! You can ask friends or your OB/midwife for recommendations or view the growing list of area providers on Austin Expecting including breastfeeding education organizations and lactation consultants.
Don’t forget about insurance coverage
Contact your insurance company to find out what lactation support benefits are covered. Most insurance companies must follow the Affordable Care Act and provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. This includes breast pumps, lactation visits, and even breastfeeding supplies. Because there are some health plans that are exempt from this mandate, it is important to reach out to your health insurance company to learn about what is covered.
Remember that breastfeeding is a different experience for every mother and baby. Some are able to breastfeed beautifully from the start, while others need more support. Remember that it’s okay to need help with breastfeeding. While breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. You and your baby are learning to work together.
Naya Weber is a wife and mom, and a Certificated Lactation Educator and Counselor working towards becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. In her spare time, she blogs about breastfeeding, motherhood, and style at Lactivist in Louboutins, and is an executive board member for the Central Texas Breastfeeding Coalition. For more information, visit:
Austin Expecting is Austin’s most exhaustive prenatal, birth and postpartum resource directory. Find all your pregnancy care and service providers in our comprehensive directory. Stay up to date with all the goings on for expectant moms with our events calendar. Connect with Austin moms and providers by following our blog. The advice and opinions on this website are for informational purposes only. Do not use this information against the advice of your medical practitioner. Always consult your doctor or practitioner for any health-related issues you may be experiencing.