Line Up Help at Home
To ace breastfeeding, a new mom needs to be free to sit comfortably and nurse. If you're trying to cook, clean, entertain visitors, and write a gazillion thank-you notes (not to mention do all those loads of newborn laundry), there's simply no way you'll be able to breastfeed enough. This too-busy pace can lead to trouble establishing a good milk supply -- and getting in sync with your little one's nursing habits.
Smart Steps Arrange for help before the baby arrives: Call on family and friends who can lend a hand in those first few weeks. (We're talking to you, Superwoman!) No relatives around? Postpartum doulas provide wonderful support. (Find a local one at Dona.org, or get recommendations from your OB or midwife.) Ditto for grocery-delivery services and part-time housekeepers. As you settle into motherhood, don't hesitate to limit visitors to one or two at a time, and to only close friends and family. Ask each one to do something helpful, such as bring a meal, pick up the dry cleaning, or toss a basket of laundry in the washing machine; they'll be psyched to lighten your load.