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5 Tips to Prepare Your Body for Breastfeeding

Published in Birthing Services, For the Health of It  Author: Certified Lactation Consultant Kate Wilber, RN

While pregnant, many people ask us how they can begin to prepare themselves physically and mentally for breastfeeding. In all cases, the best thing you can do to prepare is to look for education and support.

  1. Where can I learn more about breastfeeding?
    Take a breastfeeding class, join a support group or schedule a prenatal consultation with an international board-certified lactation consultant. At CentraCare, we offer an excellent resource, an app called Yomingo, that contains information about pregnancy, breastfeeding and much more. Download Yomingo today!
  2. How do I prepare my breasts for breastfeeding before giving birth?
    No physical preparation is needed. Your breasts will naturally adapt to their new role.
  3. How do I toughen my nipples for breastfeeding?
    You do not need to strengthen your nipples. If you are concerned about pain, the best plan is to learn how to accomplish a good latch. You also should learn how to correctly use a breast pump and how to fit the flange, the part of a breast pump that fits over your nipple to form a seal.
  4. How can I increase my milk supply while pregnant?
    Unfortunately, there is no way to increase milk supply while pregnant. Learning about breastfeeding and how the breasts produce milk will provide good background information for how to increase milk supply once you have your baby.
  5. What foods should I eat to increase milk supply before birth?
    While you can’t increase milk supply during pregnancy, you should focus on eating healthy for both you and baby. Maintain a balanced and nutritious diet and stay hydrated to meet the demands placed on your body. Your plate should feature the five food groups — fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein:
    • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
    • Choose whole-grain products for at least half of your grains.
    • Select low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese.
    • Pick from a variety of different proteins.

To learn more about preparing your mind and body for breastfeeding, schedule an in-person, 30-minute prenatal lactation consult by calling:

  • Melrose: 320-256-4228
  • Monticello: 763-271-2218
  • St. Cloud: 320-654-3630
  • Sauk Centre: 320-352-6591