8 Ways to Prepare For Breastfeeding Before Baby Arrives

Making preparations to breastfeed during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do…

Breastfeeding is natural, but doesn’t always come naturally.

There are CERTAIN things you can do before baby arrives so that you have the greatest possible chance of reaching your breastfeeding goals.

Some top lactation consultants (IBCLCs) share how you can best prepare ahead of time.

 
Mom preparing to breastfeed before baby arrives
 

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Gather Information and Resources

“Take a breastfeeding class and read books related to breastfeeding. Schedule a prenatal consultation with an IBCLC and identify local resources such as support groups and friends who can support your goals for breastfeeding.”

-Chelsea DeSorbo, IBCLC, RLC at Bliss Lactation

*Our favorite book on breastfeeding is THIS one. It’s well-loved by the lactation consultant community and offers some of the best advice you can get your hands on!*


Set up an interview

“Many healthcare offices offer an interview with the provider before becoming a patient. Use this time to ask some questions such as, if they have a breastfeeding-friendly office policy, are supportive of continuing breastfeeding even if an issue like jaundice arises, or if they have IBCLCs to refer you to if you experience problems.”

-Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC at Lactation Link




Have your breasts examined

“I recommend to have your healthcare professional look at your health history and examine your breasts to make sure medically and physically things are discussed to make sure you have the best breastfeeding outcome. For example, if you have flat and inverted nipples there are things you can do in pregnancy that can help pull them out if needed. “

-Barbara Ryan, IBCLC at Barbara Ryan IBCLC





sit in on a local breastfeeding support group

“Sit in on a local breastfeeding support group. It’ll give you an idea of some of the difficulties that women may face and you’ll know where to go should your own problems arise.

-Julie Matheney, IBCLC at The LA Lactation Lady

Pro Tip: Want to find a La Leche League meeting near you? Search here!





Have a lactation consultant lined up

“Meet with them before your delivery so it’ll give you a more confident start and you can lean on them once baby is born.

-Barbara Ryan, IBCLC at Barbara Ryan IBCLC





Include a feeding plan for the first 3 days in your birth plan

“Tell everyone on the birth support team that you intend to breastfeed. Mention things like pacifier use, where baby will sleep, and what to do if you and baby get separated after delivery.”

-Danielle Downs Spradlin, IBCLC at Oasis Lactation Services




Take a prenatal breastfeeding class

“The number one thing I would recommend is to take a high quality prenatal breastfeeding class. We as a society have such a lack of understanding of how our bodies work. You need to know how milk is made and have a basic and realistic understanding of what breastfeeding will look like.”

-Julie Matheney, IBCLC at The LA Lactation Lady




Set Your Expectations

“Breastfeeding is a learned skill that requires a lot of practice. In the early weeks it’s often not the breastfeeding so much as all the ‘other stuff' (and especially the lack of sleep) that makes it feel so daunting. Ask for help and hang in there!”

-Beverley Rae, IBCLC at Breastfeeding Resources


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8 Easy Ways to prepare for breastfeeding before baby arrives

8 Easy Ways to prepare for breastfeeding before baby arrives

 

Related Pre-Baby Breastfeeding Post:

35 Veteran Breastfeeders Give Their Best Breastfeeding Advice to Newbies

Summary of the 8 easy ways to prepare for breastfeeding before baby arrives:

  1. Gather information and resources

  2. Set up an interview

  3. Have your breasts examined

  4. Sit in on a local breastfeeding support group

  5. Have a lactation consultant lined up

  6. Include a feeding plan for the first 3 days in your birth plan

  7. Take a prenatal breastfeeding class

  8. Set your expectations