4 Lactation Experts Share What You Should Know for Breastfeeding Success, Before Baby Arrives

4 Lactation Experts Share What You Should Know for Breastfeeding Success, Before Baby Arrives

You have got to read these gems I got from 3 Lactation Consultants. I reached out to them because I want every mother to have success at breastfeeding  (if that is what they are seeking.)  Breastfeeding is such a great bonding experience and has so many benefits for the baby and family.

 Preparation can contribute greatly to the success of breastfeeding which is why I asked them to answer this question:

What is your number one tip to give to a new mom to prepare herself for breastfeeding that will lead to success?

Do you want to know the answers? Here is what they had to say…


Sheridan says:

Don't Google. Actually, let me be more clear: Don't Google for breastfeeding answers. While Googling can be a valuable resource, it can also be a big rabbit hole and can get confusing or even scary. 
The one thing you should google is for a local lactation consultant who can be a part of your team pre- and post-natally. The LC can answer questions, provide education as you're preparing for your little one to arrive. Then, once that kiddo shows up, the LC can help you with hands-on teaching, more Q&A sessions, and helping normalize what you're going through. Having a baby is intense. Throw a pandemic in the mix and it takes "intense" to a whole new level. You don't have to struggle, you don't have to guess, you don't have to figure it out on your own. 
Sheridan Ross, IBCLC (she/her)
Baby Sips: In-Home Lactation Consulting
650-BABYSIPs (650.222.9747) text is best

Katie says:

The one thing I always share with anyone the reaches out before they deliver is to have an IBCLC come to your house 24-48 hours after you come home from the hospital. That way we can catch things before the wheels fall off of the bus. Ideally, they will have found someone to work with before delivery. Also, have your pump in reach and your parts clean...you never know if you will need to use it right away. 
Katie Howser, IBCLC
Registered Lactation Consultant

Lori has 2 really good tips, here they are:

  • Engorgement is a common reason why new mothers suffer from breast pain in the first week of breastfeeding.  Frequent and efficient milk removal is my #1 tip for preventing painful breast tissue.  If you want to know more about how to prevent engorgement and how to get relief if this does happen to you, find out more on my website. Link below.
  • The challenges during the early days of newborn breastfeeding catches so many new moms by surprise, so my #1 suggestion is to not assume breastfeeding is going to be easy. Take a comprehensive breastfeeding class to help build your breastfeeding confidence and to learn what the most common challenges new mothers have and tips for helping solve them if they happen to you.


 Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC

 If you want to prepare for breastfeeding, Lori has online classes that you can find here: aabreastfeeding.com/breastfeedingclass


Jennifer says:

Breastfeeding is natural but it can take some unexpected twists. Create a breastfeeding plan. It's like a birth plan. First research what can stack the odds of success in your favor. Then discuss what you learned with ALL your birth and postpartum support people. Finally ask them what they can do, want to do, or will do to help you be successful in reaching your breastfeeding goal. AND have lactation support on speed dial because the best laid plans often need adjustments along the way.


Jennifer is a La Leche League Leader, Labor Doula, Mama Mentor, and Bodyworker specializing in healing postpartum bodies. Her websites is here:http://slolaboroflovedoula.blogspot.com/

My non expert tips:

Now- I am no expert. I am a mother who had success in breastfeeding and someone that has studied health & motherhood (pregnancy, labor, and postpartum).  I know more than some but I claim no expertise. These are 3 things that I know attributed to my success.  

  • I prepared by researching the correct latch. If I hadn’t I would have had no idea that the whole nipple and areola would be inside the baby’s mouth. I would have thought it was just the end of the nipple and would have given up with nipples causing me a lot of pain and a baby that wasn’t getting enough milk. 

  • I prepared my freezer with nourishing food. Labor can be very labor-intensive… You need to replenish your stores with electrolytes and nutrient-dense foods. Building your body with these nutrient blocks will build your body up to be able to give yet again.  My births both ended up in hemorrhages. This could have lead to low milk supply if I wasn’t prepared with grass-fed liver, cod liver oil, farm eggs, bone broth soups, and plenty of veggies (along with Floradix -an iron supplement & prenatal vitamins) I would not have built up my blood supply so quickly. Having my husband prepare my meals those first few weeks also helped. I know this helped me because I lost a lot of blood and 2 weeks later my blood levels were almost normal.

  • Having a quiet birth and having the first few hours after birth to hold my new baby. Some call this the “Golden Hours.”  I have heard that the first 2 hours after birth holding kangaroo style (skin on skin) creates the most oxytocin ever. EVER. Recently read from an expert in Australia that it is actually 3 hours that need to be held sacred for mother and baby. You won’t be producing milk yet but have the baby suckle as he or she wants. This is what stimulates the milk to come in. The colostrum that comes out is so so good and healing for baby. So you aren’t doing nothing! This hormone- oxytocin happens every time you nurse and so important to the process. You are setting a precedent here in these hours. This bonding is nothing to be forgotten in preparing for success in breastfeeding! Dr. Robyn Thompson is an advocate for these “golden hours”. 

  • After reading what the 3 lactation experts that are certified with an IBCLC it got me thinking about another factor that contributed to my success. I had a home birth with midwives that came to my house for the birth and postpartum. They were not just there for the birth and hours after. They came to my house and checked on me and the baby a few times the first week and weekly thereafter for a few weeks. Any questions about breastfeeding were answered. They asked me about soreness and saw the latch I had with my babies. This made me confident and get the help I needed. For any other help, they suggested a local Lactation Consultant who had a free weekly group class.  With many hospital births, it is a completely different care model and the experience is different as well. Once you are home - you are on your own to find the help you need. So definitely take their advice!

So there you have it ladies! Tips from the experts and my own four cents on the subject. I would love to know what you think or if you have any questions you would like me to find the answer to?? 

Make sure to sign up for my newsletter to be informed of more blog posts and information that makes motherhood a little easier.  Love you mama. 

P.S. Do you want to know the difference between a CLC and a IBCLC?  Here is the answer from Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC:

For someone to become a CLC,


  •         they need to attend 45 hours of classroom education,
  •         pass a test that takes a few hours and,
  •         they get their certification – which never needs to be renewed
  •         There is no requirement for mentorship or clinical skills
  •         costs between $500-$800


  IBCLCs come into this profession via several different pathways.  Depending on the education and experience you start with, will depend on what course work and hours of mentorship and clinical skills you need, which will, of course, determine how much it cost you to receive your IBCLC certification.


My Pathway -  I started with no previous experience or appropriate college courses.

 I had to first start with my CLC, which was 45 hours of classroom education. 

Take 14 college level health science courses.

Then the clinical skills and mentoring first begins.

2 years of mentorship

1000 hours of supervised clinical skills


All of the above equaled:

  •         2000 hours of lactation work Before eligible for taking the exam
  •         Fees associated with mentorship and testing  and books is well over $15,000
  •         Certification  exam ( and $800) that needs to be recertified every 5 years

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