When the nurse handed me my newborn son to feed for the very first time, I felt helpless. Suddenly a tiny, breathing bundle depended on me for survival, and I had to be his feeding station. If he wouldn’t latch on, I panicked. If he would pull away too soon, I worried my milk wasn’t enough. I lacked the information, the preparation, and the control to figure out the dos and don’ts of breastfeeding. I felt like I was in way over my head.

When my daughter arrived four years later, I was more confident. I had knowledge on my side, and that made all the difference. 

Breastfeeding is a lot like learning to ride a bicycle. Initially, it can feel a bit daunting. But, have faith. With some practice and learning, you’ll pick up the technique in no time. 

How your body starts preparing for breastfeeding

A lot of women complain about sore breasts early on in pregnancy. In fact, I complained about them even before I took the pregnancy test. The rapid hormonal changes inside your body trigger a lot of physical and internal developments as your body prepares for the birthing process. Your body also starts getting ready to produce milk to feed your little one [1]. 

  • During the first trimester, breasts get bigger, and you also develop tender nipples
  • Your body may start producing colostrum from second or third trimester; you may leak a bit from your breasts
  • By the third trimester, your body produces a cocktail of hormones (estrogen and prolactin) that enable milk production

Note: After delivery, your baby’s suckling triggers the hormone oxytocin, which in turn activates the let-down process.

How to increase your chances for successful breastfeeding

Following tips may help your milk supply. 

Preparing for breastfeeding before delivery:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that is nutrient-rich which your body needs to prepare itself for adequate lactation
  • Take prenatal supplements prescribed by your doctor
  • Create a birthing plan to ensure your doctor/hospital places your baby on your breast immediately after birth. This increases your baby’s chances of breastfeeding correctly (it is possible even if you undergo a C-section surgery)
  • Attend prenatal/breastfeeding classes to learn about various latching positions and dos-n-donts of breastfeeding
  • Invest in maternity bras 

Breastfeeding after delivery:


It’s one thing to create life in your womb, and bring that baby into the world. It’s another, to be a 24/7, all-you-can-eat buffet service. Some mothers find it easy. But for most mothers, it can be a struggle. But if you do your homework, your body and mind will both be adequately prepared to get the job done.