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Breastfeeding: Planning Ahead


Breastfeeding is a learned skill that gets easier over time. You are more likely to succeed if you plan ahead. You can learn about the basic techniques and make a plan for where you will get help and support.

How to plan ahead

Here are some things you can do ahead of time to get ready for breastfeeding.

  • Talk to your doctor or midwife about your plans to breastfeed, and ask questions now.
  • Take a class about breastfeeding, and learn how it's done best.

    A class will give you tips on:

    • Different positions.
    • Getting a good latch.
    • Knowing when it's time to feed.
    • Keeping up your milk supply.
  • Find out about a hospital's or birth center's breastfeeding policies.
    • Check to see if the hospital or birth center has lactation consultants.
    • Ask if there is a policy for:
      • "Rooming in." This means that your baby stays with you so you can breastfeed more.
      • Not supplementing your baby's diet unless it's for a medical reason.
  • Build your support network.

    Be clear about who will help with chores and diaper changes so you can focus on what's most important: successful breastfeeding. Think about who you'll turn to when things get challenging. Will it be a friend, a support group, your doctor, or a lactation consultant?

  • Get the supplies you'll need.

    For example, you may want breast pads, nipple cream, extra pillows, and nursing bras. Find out about breast pumps too.

Related Information


    Current as of: July 10, 2023

    Author: Healthwise Staff
    Clinical Review Board
    All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.