Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can give your baby the best possible start in life. If you believe breastfeeding is best for you and your baby, you can be successful with the right information and support.

On this page, you can explore more information about breastfeeding, including benefits, common concerns, how to get and give support, and stories from breastfeeding families.

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Breastfeeding Benefits

Research shows that breastfeeding provides many benefits for your baby and for you. 

For Baby

Breastfeeding helps protect your baby from:

  • Becoming sick, including ear infections

  • Getting certain conditions, like asthma

  • Dying suddenly while sleeping (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS)

  • Being overweight

For Breastfeeding Person

Breastfeeding can help you:

  • Recover faster from giving birth

  • Lose baby weight faster

  • Prevent certain types of cancer 

  • Save more money

  • Bond with your baby

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Breastfeeding is the best thing I could have ever done for my baby. I feel awesome. I feel so good about myself that I am a young, black woman that is doing it."

-Courtney

Pictured here with her daughter, Denym, in 2016

 

Common Breastfeeding Concerns

 

Supporting a Breastfeeding Person

While the person doing the breastfeeding does not need a partner to breastfeed, a supportive partner or loved one can help her succeed. People who have support are more likely to start breastfeeding and to continue longer.

 

Breastfeeding is hard work, so if you have a breastfeeding person in your life, there are a lot of ways that you can help take care of them and show them some love. Also, just because you may not be the parent doing the breastfeeding, there are still many ways to bond with your baby.

Ways to Take Care of the Breastfeeding Person

  • Watching older kids so they can focus on feeding the baby

  • As often as possible, tell them they're doing a great job

  • Watch the baby so they can take a shower, catch up on sleep, or just have time for themselves

  • Making sure there's plenty of food in the house so they can keep up their strength

Ways for the Non-breastfeeding Parent to Bond with Baby

  • Cuddling and bathing baby

  • Changing diapers

  • Skin-to-skin when baby is born

  • Feeding baby expressed milk in a bottle (when the baby is older than a month)

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“If you love your partner, you should want what is good for them and encourage them to do that."

-James

Pictured here with his wife, Leviticus, and their children, in 2016