Prepare for Breastfeeding

How to Prepare for Breastfeeding while Pregnant

Your body will do most of the work in preparation for breastfeeding; your nipples become larger, your milk ducts increase and become mature during pregnancy, but YOU can also do a few things to prepare for a great breastfeeding relationship...

There are many breastfeeding problems that can be avoided with just a bit of extra info…


The List

Things that you can do to prepare for breastfeeding

1. Visualize yourself breastfeeding your baby. Believe in yourself! You were perfectly made for this. 

2. Have a natural birth, if possible; medical interventions can cause breastfeeding problems. Most Doulas and Midwifes are breastfeeding friendly. Read about my vback natural birth story here.

holding baby's hand

Women who have had c-section births are less likely to breastfeed their babies. The drugs used during a c-section can take a toll on breastfeeding.

If you do find yourself having a c-section. Read more about breastfeeding after a c-section.

3. Try to breastfeed immediately after birth or at least 2 hours after birth. Let the doctors and nurses know about your plans beforehand. 


breastfeeding crib note, breastfeeding note for nurses
Right-click to download the bedside crib note.

4. Find as much info on breastfeeding as possible. Read through our sitemap, or read our recommended step-by-step e-book on breastfeeding. The more you know, the more confident you will be.

5. If you are going into hospital, request in writing that you don’t want your baby given any formula or supplements. Download the crib note above. 

6. During the last six weeks of pregnancy, you can start massaging your breasts to clear the ducts. Also, use the breast shells (mentioned below) to draw out your nipples, if your nipples are flat or inverted.

Breastfeeding with flat and/or inverted nipples

7. The best way to prepare for breastfeeding, is to attend a breastfeeding class; ask at your hospital.


Things You Might Need

Things that you will need when getting ready for breastfeeding

1. A good breast pump: This is for moms who will need to increase milk supply or store breast milk for later. 

Read more about choosing a breast pump here.

2. A comfortable nursing bra for convenience and support. (Buy them after 36 weeks of pregnancy, so that you don’t get one that’s going to be too small)

3. Get a proper breastfeeding pillow for support and comfort. 

4. Get breast shells if you have inverted or flat nipples, which can be used from five months pregnancy to draw out your nipple in preparation for breastfeeding.

5. Set up a nursing station in a quiet room with a comfortable chair and plenty of pillows for support.

6. A sling can help keep you on the move while you breastfeed on demand. This promotes bonding, skin to skin contact and an increased breast milk production. 

Read more about babywearing here.


Avoid...

Things that you should not do when preparing for breastfeeding

1. Do not toughen your nipples. Your nipples need to be supple for breastfeeding, toughening them will cause them to crack. Wash your nipples with water alone… no soap is needed.

2. Don’t listen to just anyones opinion on what you should do. 

Read uncovered breastfeeding myths.

3. Do not keep formula nearby. Your breasts need stimulation and giving your baby a bottle will cause you to produce less milk.

Read "when is it okay to supplement with formula?"


Finding Breastfeeding Support



Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with breastfeeding preparation

- How does breastfeeding work?

- Breastfeeding step by step guide

- First time breastfeeding moms

- Breastfeeding multiples

- Breastfeeding diet guidelines

- The breast crawl

* Comfortable for newborns up to 35 pounds.

* Hands-free availability.

* Ideal for breastfeeding...

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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr, Studying through Child birth international (CBC, CBD), Author and Mommy of two.