There are so many things to think about when preparing for your baby and your journey into parenthood. Along with preparing your birth plan and packing your hospital bag, you should also consider what advice and things you’ll need for when you breastfeed your baby. We’ve put together a handy checklist for new parents so that you’ll be more prepared for breastfeeding when baby comes.
Essential items to consider:
☐ Breastfeeding tops and dresses. Something with buttons or a baggy t-shirt give quick and easy access for baby.
☐ Breastfeeding bras for easy access.
☐ Nipple cream for when your nipples feel tender and sore (especially at the beginning).
☐ Nursing pads (lots of them!) to put in your bra to make sure you don’t end up with milk stains on your clothes. Follow the manufacturers recommendations on how often you should change them.
☐ Cooling breast pads to help soothe discomfort on your nipples. You can also try cooled cabbage leaves on your breasts.
☐ Burp cloths to catch any leaking milk and for burping time. Muslin cloths or terry towel nappies work well.
☐ Breastfeeding pillow to help feed baby comfortably and learn some breastfeeding positions.
☐ Read up on breast pumps and breast milk storage bags to cool or freeze expressed breast milk if you’re planning to ask others to help feed baby.
Support & advice:
☐ Talk to family and friends with children about their best breastfeeding tips and advice.
☐ Consider taking an antenatal breastfeeding class to feel more prepared.
☐ Read our breastfeeding for beginners and breastfeeding basics articles to learn a bit more.
☐ Do some research on local lactation consultants and breastfeeding support services (such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association) in case you need some extra support.
☐ If you’re experiencing any issues with breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare professional about if there are any breastfeeding aids (such as nipple shields) that can help.
Nutrition for you:
☐ Learn about the best foods to eat when you’re breastfeeding.
☐ Stock up on healthy snacks that help to keep your energy up.
☐ Consider buying a big drink bottle, you’ll be thirstier when you breastfeed.
☐ Be prepared to cut down your caffeine intake if required. In Australia, it’s recommended to keep caffeine levels under 200mg for breastfeeding women (that’s generally a couple cups of coffee or tea a day).
☐ Talk to your healthcare professional about supplements you might need.