- Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding/chestfeeding – the more you know, the easier it will be because you’ll have an idea of what to expect.
- Find a health care provider who is supportive of breastfeeding and let them know you plan to breastfeed.
- Attend prenatal and breastfeeding classes at your local hospital/birth center, clinic, or WIC Program. Check out WIC’s Guide-to-Breastfeeding for a basic overview.
- Practice different breastfeeding positions (with a doll, in front of a mirror works well) so you feel more comfortable when your baby arrives.
- Speak to your family and friends about your plans to breastfeed and ask for their support.
- If you are enrolled on the WIC Program, ask about getting a Peer Counselor to help support your breastfeeding goals.
Hospitals are required by law to make available a breastfeeding consultant or to provide information on where parents can receive breastfeeding information and support. When preparing for your delivery, here are some hospital-related issues to consider:
- Try to deliver your baby at a Baby Friendly hospital or birth center where staff have attended lactation training.
- Tell your doctors and nurses that you plan to breastfeed and not to give any bottles or pacifiers to your baby.
- If your hospital is not Baby Friendly, ask to speak to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who can help support your breastfeeding.
- Let your family know before the birth that you will need to focus on getting breastfeeding off to a good start. Ask them to limit their time at the hospital so you have plenty of time for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact.
The WIC Guide to Breastfeeding reviews positioning, latch, and how to know your baby is getting enough milk. You can also watch a video on latch and positions through WIC Health. Use the search box on this website to find more of the information you are looking for and/or check out the websites below: