Preparing for Breastfeeding

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on August 09, 2022
2 min read

If you're planning to breastfeed, remember it's just like learning any other new skill. And you get better with practice. Here's how to prepare.

  • Talk to your OB and pediatrician about breastfeeding.
  • Read a few books, such as the New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • See if your hospital has a lactation consultant to help new moms learn about breastfeeding. Many hospitals offer this service for free.
  • If not, consider hiring a certified lactation consultant yourself. For more information, contact the International Lactation Consultant Association.
  • Keep handy your lactation coach's and pediatrician's phone numbers.

  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing.
  • Be prepared for some breastfeeding challenges. It may take patience to figure out how to get a hungry baby to latch onto your breast.
  • Talk to your partner about breastfeeding.
  • Plan how to make your mate feel involved in feeding.
  • Talk with your doctor about how you should eat when breastfeeding. Ask how to know if your baby has any intolerance to certain foods you eat.
  • Ask your doctor about birth control that is safe to use while breastfeeding.
  • Talk to other moms who breastfeed or have breastfed. Ask them how they fit pumping into their work schedule and how they coped with sore nipples. Join a local new mom's group for advice and support.


  • Set up a quiet corner or room for breastfeeding.
  • Many women find the U-shaped pillows particularly helpful for nursing.
  • Some women find it helps to have their feet raised on a footstool.
  • Have your nursing bras washed and ready, if you haven't already started wearing them.
  • Line up several button down shirts or dresses to make nursing easier.