For new parents to be, receiving a baby can be exciting and scary at the same time. Even for parents expecting their second or third child, receiving a baby is always a new blessing and a new challenge, especially if they previously struggled in their feeding journey with other children.
The effects of prenatal feeding education
Multiple research studies have analyzed the effect of prenatal breastfeeding education on breastfeeding success and maternal perception of their baby, as well as on mothers' wellbeing and breastfeeding self-efficacy. They all have concluded that receiving antenatal support and guidance has a highly positive effect on their breastfeeding journeys, some of the effects seen are:
Significantly higher frequency of "success" in breastfeeding than those who did not receive prenatal guidance.
Breastfeeding self-efficacy, defined as a woman's confidence in her ability to breastfeed, is positively related to breastfeeding "success".
The frequency of exclusive breastfeeding one month after birth is significantly higher when a lactation consultant has provided guidance before birth.
What success means for us
By " success" we mean "a family achieving their unique feeding goals for their baby". This doesn't necessarily mean exclusive breastfeeding for everybody. At Mamas Au Lait, we don't define a breastfeeding journey as successful or not based on the fact that mom's are exclusively breastfeeding or not, but based on the fact that they have achieved their goals, these being exclusive breastfeeding, combo feeding or anything else.
That's why is important to know that meeting your lactation consultant before birth can positively impact your journey regardless of what your goals are: exclusive breastfeeding, combo feeding, pumping... we can help with all of this and we will make a plan for YOU.
Why making a feeding plan before birth?
The same way how we make a birthing plan, we should all have a feeding plan! You might not even heard of this, why do you need it then?
Having a feeding plan, means:
Thinking about your feeding goals and being prepared.
Having everything that you will need in your hospital bag.
Having your lactation consultant's number handy for any time you need her and maybe even an appointment booked in advance for an initial assessment and reassurance.
Being flexible with your plan and knowing about all the possible outcomes so that you know what to expect.
Knowing what's normal and what's not, what to expect and what red flags you should be able to identify.
If you're planning to breastfeed this means practicing all positions beforehand so that when your baby arrives you have muscle memory to support you!
If you're planning to pump this will mean choosing the right pump for you and fitting your flanges, going through the settings and knowing how to optimize pumping sessions, when to pump, how to prevent clogging and all the technicalities about pumping!
If you're planning to bottle feed, we will go through bottle options and practice paced bottle feeding, talking about milk storage and all the concerns that you might have!
For parents that want to be prepared for the beautiful moment of receiving your baby, after a prenatal lactation consultation you will know what to expect and feel confident in these uncertain times.
Book an appointment today and let us help you enjoy the journey!
The effect of prenatal breastfeeding education on breastfeeding success and maternal perception of the infant L S Wiles. PMID: 6565110. DOI: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.1984.tb01136.x
Effects of psychosocial support during labour and childbirth on breastfeeding, medical interventions, and mothers' wellbeing in a Mexican public hospital: a randomised clinical trial. A Langer 1, L Campero, C Garcia, S Reynoso. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1998 Oct;105(10):1056-63.
Developing a prenatal breastfeeding workshop to support maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy. Joy Noel-Weiss 1, Vicki Bassett, Betty Cragg. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2006 May-Jun;35(3):349-57.