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Most pregnancy books end after the birth of the baby or within weeks of the blessed event. This sounds logical if you’ve never had a baby. End of pregnancy = end of pregnancy book. But it’s not the end. There’s a whole “fourth trimester” and I hate for new moms to see the birth as the finish line.  Your baby’s birth is just the beginning! Mommies, you have nine long months to prepare for that crazy “fourth trimester”. Use it!

By prepare, of course, I don’t mean draw up a birth plan, paint your nursery or wash your onsies. A matching crib and glider, changing table and your baby’s name hung in designer letters over his crib don’t even make my list. What will you do if your baby doesn’t latch on correctly when you are trying to nurse him? Your baby will probably nurse at least every two hours so you won’t have time to think about who to call or what to do. What if you are overproducing milk or your baby twists, screams and won’t eat?

Take a breastfeeding class now. Get to know moms who are due ahead of you that you will be able to call and ask for advice. Ask around to new moms and have the name and number of a good lactation consultant handy just in case. Chances are you will use this information. If you have concerns, call your consultant before baby comes. Most will be happy to answer your questions over the phone free of charge.

Don’t know any new moms? Lactation consultants are not all created equal and it is worth putting in some effort to get a good recommendation, again, before baby gets here. Believe it or not, a big belly and baby-less arms are not an uncommon sight at La Leche League meetings. La Leche League is an organization designed to support and inform breastfeeding mothers. Sounds creepy now but trust me, the awkwardness will never outweigh the potential pain and frustration of serious nursing problems. LLL meetings are the perfect place to score a good lactation consultant’s information.

Just because breastfeeding is natural doesn’t mean it will come naturally. There is nothing cooler than picking up your three month old baby and realizing that he is all you. Every inch. There is no faster or easier way to calm your baby and no cheaper way to feed him than the breast. Breastfeeding is worth it! Being prepared makes it more so. Visit kellymom.com for more information. Read up!

More awesome information:

Preparing for breastfeeding

Four families share their breastfeeding experiences

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