LEARN ABOUT BREASTFEEDING

WHY BREASTFEED? 


With rare exception, breastfeeding is the best choice for mothers and babies. Breastfeeding is good for families and for societies. It also saves lives. Read more about why breastfeeding is so important.

En español

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GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START:

Here are some things you can do during pregnancy and the early days to make sure breastfeeding gets off to a good start:
New born

  • Take a breastfeeding class. If possible, include your partner. Find a breastfeeding class in your area in our resource directory, by contacting the hospital where you will deliver, or by asking your doctor.
  • Choose a hospital that is supportive of breastfeeding. Do they follow the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding? Hospitals who have achieved the Baby Friendly designation have shown they follow these steps. Not sure? Take a tour and ask questions.
  • Choose a care provider who is supportive of breastfeeding.Here are some questions to ask to help you decide if your pediatrician is breastfeeding-friendly.
  • Involve family members. Ask for their support with breastfeeding. Bring them to your breastfeeding class. Refer them to the resources on this website.
  • Get off to a good start at birth. Follow these tips after your baby is born. Request that your baby be placed skin to skin immediately after birth, and remain with you until the first feeding has occurred (commonly referred to by hospitals as “The Golden Hour”).
  • Breastfeed early and breastfeed often. Keep your baby with you in your room (“rooming in”), and allow frequent feeding. Mothers whose babies breastfeed soon after birth and often in the first several days have been shown to have better  breastfeeding success and milk supply.
  • If separation from your baby is medically necessary, protect your milk supply by pumping. Begin pumping and hand massage as soon as comfortable or within six hours of birth in order to provide breast milk for your baby.
  • Attend a support group. Support makes a difference! Find a support group near you. Attend while you’re still pregnant, and plan to attend once you and your baby are ready to venture out of the house.
  • Reach out for help if you need it. See a lactation consultant in the hospital. Make note of the private and community-based support resources.

COMMON BREASTFEEDING CONCERNS: 

Follow the links for answers to common questions and concerns regarding breastfeeding. Still need help? Find help in our directory, or plan to attend a local support group.Learning to breastfeed | Aprendiendo a amamantar

Common breastfeeding challenges | Inquietudes comunes

Pumping and milk storage | Extracción y almacenamiento de la leche materna

Going back to work | El regreso al trabajo

Breastfeeding in public | Amamantar en público

Nutrition and fitness | Nutrición y Estado físico

Mother nursing baby in a garden