Get Ready
Fall in Love
Keep Baby Close
Learn Your Baby
Protect Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding is one of the most precious ways to enjoy being close to your baby. There's no greater feeling as a mom than knowing you are helping your baby grow and become healthy with your milk. It's a gift that lasts a lifetime!

Learning How to BreastfeedLearning How to Hand Express Milk


All babies are born with the drive to breastfeed, but they need to practice to develop the skill. As a new mother, you may feel like you need practice, too. Frequent feedings at the breast in the first days after birth help mothers and babies work together to get it right!

How to breastfeed

Babies were born to breastfeed. It’s not hard to get off to a good start when you follow some simple steps.

  • This is the side-lying hold.
  • Hold your baby skin-to-skin as often as you can so baby can latch by himself.
  • Try other holds while you are in the hospital and help is near. This is the cradle hold.
  • This is the cross-cradle hold.
  • This is the clutch hold.
  • Make sure baby is ready to latch. Calm him first if he is fussy. If he is sleepy, hold him skin-to-skin to wake him.
  • Hold baby so he is close to you and faces your breast. He should not have to turn his head to reach your breast.
  • Support baby’s neck and shoulders with your hand so he can tilt his head back. Do not put your hand against your baby’s head.
  • Watch until baby’s mouth opens wide (like a yawn). Bring him in close. Your nipple will be against the roof of your baby’s mouth.
  • If it doesn’t feel right, place your finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth to break the suction and try again.
  • Give it time. You and your baby are learning a new skill!
  • When you keep me close, I show you when I want to eat.
  • I see your nipple near my nose. I smell scents that comfort me.
  • I start smacking my lips.
  • When I open my mouth wide you pull me in close.
  • I taste the milk you have made for me, and my tummy begins to feel full.

Breastfeeding goes better when mom’s champion is there to support her.

  • Learn all you can about how to hold and latch the baby.
  • Help mom see that the baby is latched well. Look for baby’s wide open mouth, flared lips, and his chin pressed against mom’s breast.
  • Help mom keep track of baby’s feedings as well as wet and soiled diapers.
  • If baby is crying or upset, help mom calm him first.
  • Give her praise!

You’ll love breastfeeding!

When your baby is positioned and latched well, feedings are comfortable for both of you!

  • You will make plenty of milk for your baby.
  • Your baby will be able to get more milk so he can grow.
  • It helps you prevent sore nipples.
  • It will help prevent your breasts from getting engorged.
  • Both you and baby will be satisfied and content.

You can enjoy breastfeeding even when…

You Had Your Baby by C-Section

You can breastfeed your baby no matter how you gave birth. If your incision is sore in the first few days, try holding your baby in the “clutch” hold. You can also lay your baby across your chest sideways so his knees and feet do not push against your belly.

You Want to "Do Both”

If you want to breastfeed and use bottles later, try to start out just breastfeeding at first. Your baby will need around 3 or 4 weeks to learn how to breastfeed the right way. If you give bottles too soon she may prefer the faster flow of milk from a bottle and get frustrated at your breast.

Your Baby is Crying and Upset

When a baby cries it can be hard for him to focus on latching. Don’t try to force the baby to latch. Instead, calm the baby first. Hold him skin-to-skin. Sway him gently. Talk softly. Ask your champion to help you calm the baby. Once he is calm, he will be able to latch more easily.

Your Baby is too Sleepy to Feed

Newborns often sleep a lot in the hospital, especially if you had medications during labor. If the baby does not wake to feed on her own after about 3 hours, go ahead and wake her. Your milk is digested after an hour and a half or so, and she needs your milk to grow. Watch for baby’s active sleep phase when her eyes flutter or she moves her mouth. Hold her skin-to-skin. Change her diaper. Talk to her, or gently try to wake her.

You’re Shy Nursing in Front of Others

It’s natural to feel a little shy about exposing your breasts in front of other people. Speak up about what you want. You can ask your champion to help you get the privacy you need. Once you and baby get used to nursing, you may feel better about feeding in front of others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my baby won’t latch?

Both you and your baby will learn how to breastfeed together. It may take a little time! If baby will not latch easily, try holding him on your chest skin-to-skin and lie back a little. Most babies will latch on their own when they are on mom’s chest skin-to-skin. If baby still has trouble figuring it out, ask your nurse to help you.

How often should I feed the baby?

A new baby needs to eat often to gain weight and grow. Watch for baby’s cues she is ready to eat. When she sucks on her hands or shows other signs she is hungry, offer the breast. Offer the breast at least 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.

How long should I nurse the baby?

New babies often take a while to nurse at first. As they get a little older they get better at getting the milk. Rather than timing your baby’s feeds, watch your baby instead. When he gets sleepy, gently compress or squeeze your breast to make the milk flow a little faster. Once he falls off the breast on his own, he is through with that side. Change your baby’s diaper or wake him gently and offer the other breast.

Will it hurt to breastfeed?

Some moms say their breasts are a little tender at first. But pain is a sign that something is wrong. If you feel pain or pinching, it may be a sign that your baby is not latched well. Ask for help!

And there you have it

Women have been breastfeeding since the beginning of time! You have everything you need to do it, too.