The decision on how to best go about baby feeding is usually made in pregnancy. You have the choice to breast, bottle or combination feed, which is a personal choice. However, in an educational class it is important to note what all the major health organizations say: Breast feeding is the best baby feeding method for mom and baby.
Breast feeding should begin within 30 minutes after birth. To begin simply put the baby belly to belly and help them open their mouth wide and place the nipple in their mouth. (That's the short, easy version.) I highly recommend reading everything you can get your hands on about nursing, and to attend classes specifically designed for teaching moms to breast feed. Many hospitals and birth centers will offer lactation consultants for your assistance.
If you decide to bottle feed, it is important to check with your baby's doctor for the selection of a formula (artificial breast milk) to help ensure adequate nutrition. Making your own formula can be very dangerous to the health of your baby. The equipment you need will depend on what type of bottles you choose and whether you are using bottled water, well water or tap water. Discuss this with your baby's doctor and consider getting a report from your local water company if in doubt about your water supply. How soon you feed your baby after birth will usually depend on the hospital schedule. if you have a preference for formula or bottles, it's best to incorporate that into your birth plans. Classes are also offered by most hospitals. After the birth you will not be given medication to dry up your milk. Usually you will be counseled to wear a tight fitting bra, avoid breast stimulation and to take medications to deal with the discomfort. This can last up to 2 weeks.