How to Prepare for Breastfeeding in 15 Tips!

Breastfeeding is a natural and healthy way to feed your baby. Breastfeeding has so many health benefits for both mother and child. As well as an incredible experience that mothers cherish as they nurture their children. Here are some tips on what you can do now on how to prepare for breastfeeding and to be ready when the time comes:

1) Find a lactation consultant

2. Learn the benefits of breastfeeding

3. Take a breastfeeding class

4. Find a support group

5) Stock up on all of the breastfeeding essentials

6) Get your partner involved!

7) Know how often your baby should eat

8) Make sure your room is prepared

9) Read the best books on breastfeeding

10) Write out your breastfeeding plan

11) Learn the different breastfeeding positions

12) Get a nursing pillow

13) Find the right breast pump for you

14) Get a good nursing bra

15) Learn about how to have a great milk supply

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Find a lactation consultant

If you are pregnant and planning to breastfeed, finding a lactation consultant is a great idea.

lactation consultants can help you with everything from learning how to breastfeed to dealing with any problems you may encounter while breastfeeding.

They can also provide support and advice to help make the breastfeeding experience a positive one for both you and your baby.

Learn the benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has so many health benefits for both mother and child, including everything from a lower risk of asthma, pneumonia, ear infections, and allergies to a reduction of the risk of being overweight or being diagnosed with diabetes- not to mention it’s just plain good for their health.

Breastfeeding is an incredible experience that mothers cherish as they nurture their children. Here are some more reasons to breastfeed your baby:

-It provides your baby with essential nutrients that are necessary for growth and development.

-Choosing to breastfeed helps protect your baby against infections, including diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.

-It may also help protect your baby against chronic diseases such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes later in life.

-Nursing is convenient and economical.

-Breast milk contains antibodies that help to protect your baby from infections.

Take a breastfeeding class

Taking a breastfeeding class by a certified lactation consultant or other trained professionals is a good idea if you are planning to breastfeed your baby.

Not only does it provide you with the vital information you need to know about how to feed your baby, but it can also provide support in case any issues arise when nursing.

This way, when you bring your newborn home, you’ll be prepared to care for her in every possible way because of everything you’ve been taught!

There are many classes available online as well as in-person in some locations. Breastfeeding is important to learn well since it is something that will be part of your daily life for several months or years to come.

Find a support group

Find a support group to meet other breastfeeding moms!

If you’re having trouble with breastfeeding or just want to get some support and advice from other experienced breastfeeding moms, reach out to the online community or attend local mommy groups.

Breastfeeding groups provide mothers with an opportunity to share their experiences in an open environment where they won’t feel judged. It’s also a great way to make friends while preparing for breastfeeding!

Stock up on all of the breastfeeding essentials

If you’re planning to breastfeed your baby, it’s a good idea to stock up on all of the essentials. Here are some of the things you’ll need:

A nursing bra

An incredibly soft, comfortable nursing bra can make all the difference when it comes time to breastfeed.

-Nursing pads

These help keep your clothes dry and prevent leaks when breastfeeding. Nursing pads help keep clothing dry and keep milk leaks from happening in public, which can be an embarrassing encounter when unprepared!

-Nipple cream

Nipple cream helps soothe and protect your sore nipples from soreness and cracking that can happen while nursing.

-Breastfeeding pillow

This pillow can help make breastfeeding more comfortable for both you and your baby.

-Bottles and nipples

If you plan to use bottles to store breast milk, make sure you have enough bottles and nipples to go around. Babies need a lot of bottles when they’re growing up, so it’s important to have enough on hand!

You’ll also want to make sure you pick up some nipple wipes since they’ll definitely come in handy throughout the day. Some bottles even come with them already included within the product itself!

-Milk storage bags

Milk storage bags are great for storing pumped milk in the fridge or freezer.

Grab your free breastfeeding checklist here!

Get your partner involved!

One great way to prepare for breastfeeding is to get your partner involved!

If you’re breastfeeding without any problems, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are other people around who can help with feeding times! If possible, enlist the help of your spouse or other family members to help support breastfeeding so you can rest when needed. By sharing tasks, everyone wins!

They can help you with feedings by burping, changing diapers, and do anything else that will help make the experience smoother for both of you. Plus, it’s a great way for him to bond with his new baby!

Know how often your baby should eat

Breastfeeding is extremely natural but also requires some work on both ends.

Babies need to eat often. During the first few months, they will eat every two to three hours.

There are a few signs that you can look for to know when your baby is hungry. Some of these include licking their lips, bringing their hands towards their mouths, becoming fussy, or sounding like they are sucking on something.

Breastfeeding sessions typically last 15-20 minutes. Know your babies cues for when they are done by looking if their hands seem open and relaxed, they are calm and relaxed.

If they are still fussing they could just need a burp before continuing to breastfeed.

Read more about how much milk your newborn should eat here.

Make sure your room is prepared

Before the baby comes make sure you prepare the room where you plan on breastfeeding! You’ll want to make sure that it’s clean and ready before your baby arrives so you don’t have a big mess to deal with in addition to everything else going on after birth!

Have a good nursing chair that is comfortable and supportive with a table to hold snacks or drinks to stay replenished with you breastfeed your baby.

how to prepare for breastfeeding

Read the best books on breastfeeding

If you’re looking for a good read on breastfeeding, look no further! Check out some of these great books on the topic:

Breastfeeding Answers Pocket Guide by Nancy Mohrbacher

This book is a great resource for everything from getting started with breastfeeding to solving common problems.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International

This book is a classic when it comes to breastfeeding, and offers tons of helpful advice on the topic.

Latch: A Handbook for Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage by Robin Kaplin IBLCL

This book covers everything from the beginning to the end of your breastfeeding journey.

Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Sharon Mazel

This book is great for breastfeeding mothers who are also working mothers (or anyone really!) and having trouble juggling everything. It offers lots of advice on how to make things work.

The Breastfeeding Book by William Sears, M.D., and Martha Sears, R.N., with Becky Flora

This book covers virtually every topic related to breastfeeding without making you feel like it’s too much information.

Write out your breastfeeding plan

In order to best prepare for breastfeeding, it’s important to have a plan in place! Here are a few tips to help make things go as smoothly as possible:

-Let the hospital know that you are planning to breastfeed

-Make a list of all of your questions about breastfeeding

Before going into labor you can get them answered while at the hospital with lactation consultants before going home with baby, just in case you don’t have time once the baby arrives.

-Ask to have the baby do skin to skin with you right after birth to initiate their first latch.

-Have them know that you want the baby to stay in the room with you so you can further bond with your baby and learn their feeding cues.

-Let them know if you are avoiding supplementing with formula of any kind.

-Be sure to say that you are waiting to introduce a pacifier until the breastfeeding relationship has been established at about 6 weeks.

-Write out your goals with how long you want to breastfeed, how you choose to breastfeed and come up with a plan for support if a problem arises.

how to prepare for breastfeeding

Learn the different breastfeeding positions

There are a few different breastfeeding positions that you can try out to see what is most comfortable for you and your baby. Some of the most common positions are:

-The Cradle Hold:

This position is the classic breastfeeding position and is great for newborns as it supports their head and neck. You can do this by sitting in a chair with your baby facing you, or by sitting on the bed with your baby tucked up against your chest.

Support your baby’s head and body with the same arm and the side you are breastfeeding on.

If you are having trouble getting your baby to latch with this position, then try the cross-cradle hold or the football hold for more control and support.

-The Cross-Cradle Hold:

This position is also good for newborns and is done by cradling the baby’s head in one hand and your baby’s body rests along your opposite forearm.

So if you are nursing on your left breast, you will hold the baby’s body and head with your right forearm and hand.

-The Football Hold:

This position is good for when you have larger breasts and want to be able to see your baby a bit more to get a good latch!

To get into this position sit on the bed or in a chair with your baby lying next to you on your nursing pillow and under your arm.

Use your forearm to hold your baby clod to your body and you hand to support the back of their head and to bring them to your breast.

-The Side-Lying Position:

This is another good position once the baby gets older as they will most likely be able to roll from back to stomach by themselves.

lay down on your side with plenty of pillows behind you for support. Lean forward slightly and place your arm behind their head and shoulders, bringing them closer towards you until they can latch onto your breast.

Lean backward so that you aren’t putting any weight on top of the baby and use your free hand to support their neck and head while they eat.

-The Upright Breastfeeding:

This is a great position for when the baby starts to crawl around on their own. While sitting in a chair with your baby facing you, get them settled slightly lower than you so that they can comfortably get to your breast.

Use one arm to support their bottom and the other arm to help guide them towards the breast so that they can latch on easily.

Breastfeeding will be different for everyone, so it’s important that you find something that works best for you and baby!

Get a nursing pillow

A nursing pillow can be a great help when breastfeeding.

I recommend the My Brest Friend Pillow. This is essential for a comfortable feeding experience and a great tool throughout your breastfeeding life.

It can provide extra support for your baby, which can be helpful in the early stages when they are still getting used to breastfeeding.

There are a few different types of nursing pillows available, so it’s important to find one that is comfortable for you to use. Some of the popular nursing pillow brands include Boppy and My Brest Friend.

Find the right breast pump for you

When you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to have a good breast pump to rely on. Not all pumps are created equal, so it’s important that you find the one that is right for you.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a breast pump:

-How often will you be using it?

-How long will you need to use it each time?

-Do you need to pump in both breasts at the same time?

-Is portability important to you?

-Do you want a lot of features, or is a basic pump okay?

Once you have answered these questions, you can start researching the different breast pumps available. The best way to do this is by reading reviews from other moms who use them.

If you are still not sure about which pump is best for you, then I recommend the Medela Pump in Style with On-the-Go Tote and the Spectra 9Plus Portable Pump. This pump met all my needs as a breastfeeding mom and was very affordable!

You can also read more about the best pumps for having you milk come in here and a comparison with the Spectra S1 and S2 here.

Be sure to read how to travel with breast milk here and the best breast milk coolers here.

Get a good nursing bra

Nursing bras are essential for breastfeeding. It will help you feel more comfortable and secure while you are feeding your baby.

I recommend the Kindred Bravely Pumping and Nursing Bra. This bra is very comfortable and has a lot of support. It also comes in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find one that best suits your needs.

Another great feature of this bra is that it is seamless, which makes it perfect for wearing under clothes. It also has a stretchy fabric that will grow with you throughout your nursing journey.

I love that you can use it for pumping and nursing so it’s two bras in one!

Learn about how to have a great milk supply

A good milk supply is key for breastfeeding. Here are a few tips to help you increase your milk production:

  • Drink lots of fluids:

It’s important to drink plenty of fluids when you’re breastfeeding in order to keep your milk production up. Drink water, juice, and herbal tea to keep yourself hydrated.

  • Eat:

Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This will help give your body the nutrients it needs to produce milk.

  • Get adequate rest:

Breastfeeding can be tiring, so make sure you get plenty of rest. This will help your body produce more milk.

  • Pump or nurse regularly:

Breast milk is made on a supply and demand basis, so the more often you feed or pump, the more milk your body will produce. It’s also important to make sure that the baby feeds from both breasts during each session in order to increase your milk production.

  • Avoid certain foods:

Certain foods can decrease your milk production, but there are plenty of other healthy options that won’t hurt it!

Foods that may decrease your supply include alcohol, caffeine, sage, and peppermint tea. You can read more about which foods decrease your supply here and other foods to avoid here.

  • Do lots of skin on skin with your baby:

Having lots of skin-on-skin time with your baby is a great way to boost your milk supply. It also helps if your baby “nurses” from you as soon as he or she is born, so you can have a good latch right from the start!

how to prepare for breastfeeding

  • Bring your baby to the breast as often as possible:

Breastfeeding on demand will help increase your milk supply. Your let-down reflex will be triggered when your baby is suckling, so the more often you nurse or pump, the better!

Be excited This is such an incredible part of motherhood!

Breastfeeding is something mothers cherish as they nurture their children in need of constant care.

Breastfeeding is an amazing experience and a wonderful way to bond with your baby. It’s such an incredible part of motherhood, and I’m so excited to be able to do it!

Now you are well on your way on how to prepare for breastfeeding! Breastfeeding may be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Not only is breastfeeding a natural and healthy way to feed your baby, but it has so many health benefits for both mother and child. Breast milk is made on a supply-and-demand basis meaning that the more often you breastfeed or pump during each session will increase your milk production. You can also read about which foods decrease your milk production here if you are curious what foods might reduce any potential struggle with producing enough breastmilk here.

Be sure to read Breastfeeding for Beginners: 12 Tips to Breastfeed Successfully and The Best Foods to Increase Milk Supply for Breastfeeding Moms


About the author

Lacy Reason is a highly experienced and compassionate lactation counselor, who has dedicated her career to educating and supporting new mothers on their breastfeeding journey.