Get Prepared

The decision to breastfeed your infant can have lasting benefits for you and your child. Discuss this decision with your doctor or midwife while you are pregnant and plan for the following once your baby is born.

Exclusive Breastfeeding
Plan to exclusively breastfeed your baby.  Your baby does not need anything other than breast milk for the first six months of life.  In fact, the baby should breastfeed as much as possible after the birth, in order to get used to latching onto your breast and to establish a good milk supply.

No Bottles or Pacifiers
Do not give your baby artificial nipples (including pacifiers) or any other bottle filled with formula, water or glucose water.  If there is a medical reason for supplementation, the nurse, doctor, midwife and/or lactation consultant should discuss your options.  Often times alternate feeding methods with expressed breast milk can be used.

Skin-to-Skin
When your baby is born, ask to have him/her placed on your chest immediately, skin-to-skin for at least thirty minutes.  If possible, ask that routine newborn evaluations be performed while your baby rests on your chest.  Hold your baby skin-to-skin as much as possible.  A blanket may be placed over you both for extra warmth, but not in between you.  Skin-to-skin has many benefits: babies are warmer, babies are calmer, babies hear their mother’s heartbeat, milk supply is improved, helps get breastfeeding off to a great start!

First Hour
Plan to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth (within 30 minutes to one hour after delivery).  This means place the baby skin-to-skin on your chest as soon as possible after birth and initiate breastfeeding when the baby seems ready (rooting, licking lips, etc.).

Rooming In
If you plan to deliver in a hospital, allow your baby to stay in your room all day and night so you can breastfeed often.