Main content

    Health Information

    Planning Ahead for Breast-Feeding

    Planning Ahead for Breast-Feeding

    Plan a breast-feeding strategy during your pregnancy.

    • Talk to your health professional early in your prenatal care about your plans to breast-feed. During your first visit, you will have a breast exam to detect any lumps or irregularities. If you have inverted nipples, which fold inward instead of pointing out, your health professional can suggest ways to prepare for breast-feeding.
    • Arrange to attend a breast-feeding class and possibly join a breast-feeding support group. These are offered at many hospitals and birthing centers by midwives or breast-feeding (lactation) consultants. Classes and support groups can help you anticipate and manage breast-feeding difficulties should they arise.
    • Write down any breast-feeding questions or concerns, and discuss them with your health professional.
    • Purchase breast-feeding items, such as breast pads and shields, bottles, nipple cream, nursing pillows, and burping pads. Also, rent or purchase a breast pump before you deliver. Having a breast pump available after delivery may be helpful when your milk comes in.
    • Talk to friends and family members about your decision. Discuss how their support in your efforts is important.
    • Buy a breast-feeding book for quick reference. Your health professional may have a good recommendation.

    If you are planning on working away from your baby after a maternity leave, look into accommodations for pumping. The ideal setup is a quiet, private room where you can pump a couple of times a day. Some states mandate that employers allow breaks and privacy for pumping. If you don't live in such a state, talk to your human resources department about making arrangements that work for both you and your employer.

    By Healthwise Staff
    Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
    Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Last Revised July 23, 2012

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

    1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.