You have a lot on your mind during pregnancy, and breastfeeding may not be at the top of the list. However, lactation consultants at Olathe Medical Center suggest researching and planning for breastfeeding as early as 16 weeks. Here are a few things to help you achieve breastfeeding success.
First, it’s important to know the many benefits of breastfeeding, including:
- It lowers your baby’s risk of certain infections.
- It helps you recover more quickly from childbirth.
- Women who breastfeed also have a lower risk for certain breast and ovarian cancers.
- Breast milk is rich in the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your baby needs to grow and develop, and it even changes to meet your baby’s needs.
Then, follow these tips from our lactation consultants.
- Taking time during pregnancy to learn about breastfeeding before delivery is a great way to set yourself up for breastfeeding success. Olathe Medical Center offers a two-session class called Breastfeeding Basics & Breastfeeding: Beyond the Basics. The first session covers the basics of breastfeeding and common concerns of new moms. The second session is a more in-depth discussion of topics, including pumping, introducing the bottle, going to work, starting solids, weaning, and breastfeeding challenges. You can register for these classes at olathehealth.org/classes or by calling 913-791-4312.
- While you’re in the hospital for delivery, get one-on-one support from our breastfeeding experts. Our Birth Place nurses and Board-Certified Lactation Consultants will support you as much as you would like during the first hours and days of your baby’s life. They can help with positioning and latching and may recommend some products to assist with breastfeeding. Pediatric Speech Therapists are also available to assess your baby’s ability to feed or suck. A wide variety of breastfeeding products are available at the OH! Baby Boutique and Auburn Pharmacy, including breast pumps for rent.
- Once you and baby are home, continue to seek out breastfeeding support. Join our lactation consultants at a free, weekly breastfeeding support group at Olathe Medical Center to share and learn in a friendly, supportive environment. You can weigh your baby, ask questions and meet other breastfeeding moms. Learn more at olathehealth.org/classes.
There may be situations that limit one’s ability to breastfeed and situations where formula may be medically indicated. No matter what your feeding plan is, know you are giving your baby the love and support they need to grow and thrive. Our goal is that you have the support you need to be successful on you breastfeeding journey.
For questions or more information, please call our lactation consultants at 913-791-4415.