Skip Navigation or Skip to Content
Parent breastfeeding newborn infant

Preparing for Breastfeeding and Pumping: Your Guide to a Confident Start

Bringing a new life into the world is a magical experience, but it’s also filled with unknowns and uncertainties, especially when it comes to breastfeeding and pumping. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and nervous about something that is unlike anything you’ve ever done before. But it doesn’t have to be scary. With a few simple steps, you can prepare yourself and turn this into a beautiful and empowering experience.

Getting Started

Educate Yourself

Knowledge is your greatest ally. A lack of experience, instruction, and information is one of the most common obstacles that first-time parents face with breastfeeding.1 But if you take the time to learn the basics, you will be much better prepared.

You can start by reading reputable sources and books on breastfeeding. And don’t hesitate to reach out to a certified lactation consultant before you give birth. They can provide personalized guidance tailored to your circumstances. Many hospitals or healthcare providers offer prenatal breastfeeding classes where you can learn the basics and ask questions in a supportive environment. These experts can be invaluable sources of information and support.

Talk with Your Doctor

Speaking with your doctor about your health and how it may affect your pregnancy and milk supply is essential. Discuss any medical or mental health conditions that may make breastfeeding or pumping more difficult. Also, address any supplements or medications you may be taking and talk about treatments that will work while breastfeeding.

Build Your Support System

One of the keys to breastfeeding success is having a strong support system in place as you adjust to your new role.2 Friends and family will likely be offering lots of help during this time. Feel free to accept it! Whether it’s dropping off meals, helping out around the house, or making a diaper run, having someone take care of you while you take care of the baby will be a huge help.

You can also connect with other expecting or experienced moms who have gone through the same journey. Consider joining local or online support groups where you can share your concerns, seek advice, and find encouragement.

Make a Plan with Your Partner

It’s important that partners understand the importance of their role during this journey too. You two are a team, and their support can make a world of difference. Whether it’s taking a larger part in cleaning, cooking, watching the baby while you rest, or just being there to listen, their participation will take some of the burden off the breastfeeding parent’s shoulders. And if you’re pumping, they can bond with the baby by taking turns feeding them as well.

Prep for Pumping

Even if you plan to primarily breastfeed, you may need to pump milk occasionally. Some moms may choose to pump exclusively, depending on the family’s needs. Order your breast pump ahead of time so you can familiarize yourself with the parts and settings and learn all about pumping and breast milk storage. Most health insurance plans will cover breast pumps, so be sure to contact your insurer to find the best option or even a free pump. If you plan to work outside the home, go ahead and speak with your employer now about a good location for you to pump at work.

Get the Essential Gear

To make your breastfeeding and pumping journey smoother, now is the time to gather the essential items you’ll need. These may include:

  • Nursing and pumping bras: Nursing bras are a must-have for quick and easy breastfeeding, and hands-free pumping bras let you multitask while you pump.
  • Nursing pads: These go in your bra and will protect your clothing from breast milk leaks between feeds and pumping sessions.
  • Breastfeeding pillow: Provides extra support for baby (and your arms and back!) while breastfeeding.
  • Nipple balm: Helpful for soothing sore or cracked nipples.
  • Breast milk storage bags or containers: Vital for storing pumped milk safely.

Remember Every Journey is Unique

Breastfeeding and pumping can be challenging, and it’s okay to seek help and adjust your plan along the way. Even with all the planning and preparation, sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you hope. If you want to breastfeed but are struggling, reach out to your lactation consultant or ob-gyn. They may be able to work with you on issues like your baby’s latch, low milk supply, or pumping techniques.

At Dr. Brown’s, we have Certified Lactation Counselors available for one-on-one consultation. Contact us here and we’ll connect you with one of our Lactation Counselors to answer your questions about breastfeeding or pumping. And it’s free!

But even after seeking help, if you’re still having trouble or you simply decide not to breastfeed, that is ok too. Choosing a path that works best for you, your baby, and your family will be the right decision.


The information contained is for informational purposes only and is NOT intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely solely on this information. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider.


  1. US Department of Health and Human Services – Breastfeeding: Surgeon General’s Call to Action Fact Sheet
  2. La Leche League GB – Supporting a Breastfeeding Mother
< Back to Dr. Brown's Blog

Don't miss out!

Free Shipping when you spend $25.
You are $25 away from free shipping!