In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Shari Criso, Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Midwife, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant has provided the following 5 tips for successful breastfeeding. This week, Shari has launched her DVD series, Simply Breastfeeding: The Criso Breastfeeding Method, online – a FREE comprehensive resource for new and expecting parents on her website, My Baby Experts. The goal? To make Shari’s free class offer available year-round, so no parent should ever have to pay to learn how to breastfeed if they cannot afford the education.

Successful Breastfeeding Tips

By Shari Criso

1) Get the right education and professional support before you deliver.

Breastfeeding actually needs to start before your baby is even born. Your body has been preparing for it from the minute you got pregnant (one of the first signs of pregnancy is breast growth) and now you need to prepare your mind. Taking a good and comprehensive breastfeeding class with your partner is one of the best ways to ensure your long term breastfeeding success. Most pregnant couples will take a childbirth class to get ready for birth, but few will take a breastfeeding class. This is a big mistake! You will need this knowledge and information the moment your little one is born.

2) Choose the right pediatrician that supports breastfeeding and your decisions.

One of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to breastfeeding and your baby is choosing the right pediatrician. Find a doctor or a practice that fully supports breastfeeding. Almost all pediatricians will tell you they support you to breastfeed (it is the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics to exclusively breastfeed for at least 1 year), however you have to look for other signs that your pediatrician may not be fully on board with your decision. Talking to you about supplementing before there is even a problem, giving you formula samples in their office even when you are telling them you want to breastfeed, or just not listening to you and your concerns. These are all signs that it may not be a good match. Just because you have started seeing one doctor does not mean you need to continue or that you can’t find another that is more compatible with your choices for your child. Don’t give up until you find the right one, as having that “partnership” is priceless!

3) Be committed!

Have confidence in yourself and your bodies ability to breastfeed. When I teach my students in my breastfeeding class, I always tell them that successful breastfeeding is 2% skill and 98% confidence and commitment! This is so true. Your body is perfectly designed to feed your baby. It is how our species has survived for thousands of years! The biggest issue that most new moms encounter is their lack of confidence or other people’s lack of confidence in their ability to fully nourish their baby. It is not possible that as mammals, half or more of the population has some genetic condition that makes them unable to produce enough milk! Other mammals don’t have this problem. Yet the current CDC statistics show that only 13% of American women are exclusively breastfeeding by 6 months! Trust yourself and your body. The chance that mother nature would have you grow and deliver this beautiful baby, and then just not be able to feed it are slim to none!

4) Always seek expert advice if breastfeeding is not going well.

Always seek breastfeeding advice from a breastfeeding expert. There are many people out there who claim to be experts and that is where there is a lot of conflicting and misinformation is being distributed. Friends who are successful at breastfeeding may be very valuable for support, but try to avoid advice from friends or family who were not successful at breastfeeding, something they did didn’t work and it may be the exact advice they are giving you. Be careful about what you read on the internet. So many of us turn to this as our main source of information, but you don’t always know where or who the information is coming from. Did you know that most of the formula companies have websites completely dedicated to “educating moms on how to breastfeed?” A major conflict of interest, don’t you think? Lastly, don’t assume that just because someone has a nursing license or a medical degree they have had the proper training in breastfeeding. Most nurses never get any breastfeeding education in nursing school and most doctors (even the pediatricians) get little to no education as well! Like anything in medicine, when you have a specialized problem always seek out the specialist. In this case, you want an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). To find one in your area visit www.ILCA.org

5) Prepare beforehand with some essential equipment.

Although you may hear some moms saying “that all you really need to breastfeed is your baby and your breasts” and this is technically true, there are some products out there that can make your experience much, much easier and more enjoyable! With all the thousands of breastfeeding products on the market, it can be very confusing and overwhelming to decide what is important and what isn’t. That is why I created my “Breastfeeding Essentials” list (and video). It is based on the experience of thousands of successfully breastfeeding moms, and will help you to totally focus on just the products you really need. Waiting until after the baby comes so “you can see how it goes” before purchasing some of these essential items can actually be the reason for your lack of breastfeeding success!

Shari Criso’s entire DVD class is available for FREE streaming online at http://www.sharicriso.com/mybabyexperts as a comprehensive resource in honor of World Breastfeeding Week to support her passionate commitment to educate as many new & expectant parents for free as possible!

Shari Criso is a Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Midwife, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, baby product expert, nationally recognized parenting educator and author, entrepreneur, and most importantly, mother of two amazing daughters. Her specialty boutique in New Jersey, the Birth Boutique, is a 5000 sq/ft oasis for new and expecting parents! The Birth Boutique features all the best brands and hard-to find products, baby gear and strollers, diaper bags, christening gowns, cloth diapers, maternity clothes, nursing bras and much, much more! Shari and her husband/partner Joe, teach amazing live classes to expectant couples together, and now offer their classes, DVD programs, education and consultations remotely through “My Baby Experts!”

*Images and article provided by Shari Criso.*