Breastfeeding: Planning Ahead

Skip Navigation


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.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.