5 Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding Pre-Baby

We prepare for a new baby’s arrival in so many ways.  
Birthing class, check! 
Hospital bag packed, check!
Baby’s clothes washed and put away, check!
A plan for breastfeeding, hmmm....

It is all too often we have the intention to breastfeed, but don’t have a plan postpartum. Scrambling to find the support needed when recovering from birth, sleep-deprived, and trying to find your footing as a new mom is not a recipe for success. Luckily, there are many ways you can prepare yourself for breastfeeding before your baby arrives.

  1. Take a class. There is so much breastfeeding knowledge to soak up, and it’s important to understand the basics before you give birth. When does baby’s poop transition from meconium to yellow?  How often should baby eat? How much weight is typical for baby to lose after birth? It’s so helpful to understand all this ahead of time. That way, you can spend your time bonding with your baby, instead of scrambling to find the answers. Many hospitals offer breastfeeding classes that can help you gain this valuable information. You can also find classes online or at your pediatrician’s office.
  2. Find support. Finding people you can go to when you have questions about breastfeeding is essential. The adage, “it takes a village to raise a baby,” couldn’t ring truer for breastfeeding. First, find the name and number of a lactation consultant in your area. Sore nipples, slow weight gain, and many other breastfeeding problems can be addressed by this member of your healthcare team. Second, identify a member of your family or a close friend who has breastfed in the past and would be willing to share tips or offer words of encouragement. Feeling like you’re supported and empowered is just what you need when you encounter a breastfeeding problem.
  3. Get your breast pump. Be sure to take advantage of a free breast pump, if you have an insurance plan that offers one. Call insurance before you’ve had the baby to figure out where you can get your pump and what is covered under your plan. If you have options, this gives you time to read reviews, ask friends, and research which pump would work best for you. Some insurance companies allow you to order the pump ahead of time. Others will request that you wait until your baby is born. It will be much easier to get your pump on time if you’ve already written down the make and model of the pump you want, along with the number for the pump distributor.
  4. Stock up on supplies. There are a few items you’ll want to have readily accessible after you give birth. These include nursing pads, nipple cream, breastfeeding pillows, as well as nursing bras and clothes. These are perfect for your breastfeeding stations. Which brings me to my last prep tip...
  5. Prepare breastfeeding stations around your home. Think about where you plan to spend a lot of time with your little one. It may be the couch, your bedroom, or perhaps the glider in the baby’s nursery. You’ll be breastfeeding there, too! So, it’s a great idea to fill a basket near each with the supplies you’ve stocked up on. Things to add to the basket include snacks, a bottle of water, nipple cream, nursing pads, diapers, wipes, and burp cloths. Now you’ve got convenient breastfeeding stations at the ready.

With a bit of preparation before your baby arrives, you can give yourself the best chance at reaching your breastfeeding goals! Knowledge, support, and supplies can help make your life easier at a time when simplicity is key. Your postpartum self will thank you.

---Hello world, we’re Kudos! The first and only natural disposable diaper where your baby sits in 100% clean, breathable, soft cotton all day. Not plastic. Join our mailing list below to learn more.

---This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Kudos.

About the author

Chelsea Johnson is a birth doula and certified breastfeeding specialist living in Pittsburgh with her husband and two children. After graduating college and spending 8 years in a corporate gig, Chelsea left to pursue her passion for helping new moms and babies navigate the joy, and often uncertainty, that accompanies pregnancy, breastfeeding, and postpartum recovery. Birth aside, Chelsea’s recipe for a perfect day includes hockey watching, bread baking and coffee drinking. To learn more about Chelsea, visit Birth Doulas of Pittsburgh: http://www.birthdoulasofpittsburgh.com/chelsea-johnson.html.

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