Although you’re still pregnant, you may be feeling worried, scared even, about breastfeeding. The fear of breastfeeding is a real condition, and it’s perfectly normal. You may have heard stories about how challenging nursing can be from your friends, which can lead to a feeling of anxiety and hesitation about breastfeeding. Or perhaps you’ve had a complicated and traumatic experience yourself, which is affecting your decision this time.
If you’ve had a challenging experience before, schedule a meeting with your midwife or with a lactation consultant to help you prepare.
During this meeting, the focus will be on making this newborn period a completely different experience with your new baby. Most importantly, you will have the chance to talk about what it was like last time, and what you can think and do differently this time. You should also learn about breastfeeding in the beginning, and about baby’s behavior and signals. Breastfeeding is largely about the baby and you are having a different baby, with a different personality, different sucking technique and different mouth movements. At this meeting, you will write a breastfeeding plan, either together with the counsellor or by yourself that will be respected by all staff involved in your care.
What do you want?
While you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to start preparing for the idea of breastfeeding. Learn as much as possible about breastfeeding in the beginning, about the newborn infant’s behavior, early rooting and suck signals, your breasts and body’s physiology, and decide what you want to do. Talk with your partner, if you have one, or with a friend. You may decide that you want to try to nurse (and discover who this new little individual is and how it feels this time), or you may decide you want to breastfeed part of the time or not at all. Whatever you decide, it’s your decision and no one has the right to question your decision.