Breastfeeding support helps mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals
Many resources are listed on this page. You can also contact one of these groups:
While you are pregnant
Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding.
When you deliver
- Hold your baby skin-to-skin right after birth, and throughout your hospital stay. This helps your baby adjust from womb to world, and is comforting for both of you.
- Breastfeed within one hour of delivery, and frequently thereafter. It may take a while to get the hang of it since you are both learning together. Practice breastfeeding every 1 to 2 hours – whenever your baby shows early signs of hunger. This helps you make plenty of milk.
- Room-in with your baby. Keep your baby with you both day and night. Rest when your baby rests. Limit visitors. This early time of being together is precious.
- Give your baby breast milk only. Unless ordered by your healthcare provider, do not offer any water, formula or other liquids.
- Do not give your baby a pacifier until 3 to 4 weeks of age. Breastfeeding is great for soothing a fussy baby.
- Get help with breastfeeding while you are in the hospital. Ask to see a Lactation Consultant or other resource.
- Before leaving the hospital, find out who to contact for help and support once you are back home.
After baby comes
Breastfeeding support is very important for achieving your breastfeeding goals.
Tips for success
- Feed your baby often, about every 2 to 3 hours day and night.
- Frequent skin-to-skin contact will help encourage feeding.
- Learn to recognize your baby’s early hunger cues, such as rooting and licking his lips, and feed then.
- Check your baby’s diapers – wet and dirty diapers indicate that your baby is getting plenty to eat.
- Look for weight gain. Your baby will gain about 4 to 8 ounces each week.
- Your baby will eat more often, or have longer feedings, during growth spurts. This is normal.
Signs that your baby is getting enough breast milk:
- Baby feeds at least 8 to 12 times a day
- A steady weight gain of 4 to 8 ounces a week
- At least 6 wet diapers and 3 soft, yellow stools in 24 hours by the sixth day of life
- Baby seems satisfied after a feeding, baby’s body relaxes
Contact a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if:
- Breastfeeding is painful
- You have positioning or latching concerns
- Baby is not back to birth weight by 2 weeks
- Baby will not wake up to feed at least 8 times per day
- Baby falls asleep or stops nursing immediately after latching on
Recommended online resources