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.
Research shows that breastfeeding provides many benefits for your baby and for you.
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)
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
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."
Pictured here with her daughter, Denym, in 2016
What if my friends and family don't support my choice to breastfeed my baby?
Breastfeeding is natural—your body was made to do it – but some people don’t get it at first because they are not used to it. Even if your friends and family don’t support your decision, there are many people in Baltimore City who will.
I'm worried that I won't be able to breastfeed because I work or go to school
You do not have to stay with your baby all the time to breastfeed. Talk to your health insurance company, your doctor, or WIC if you need a pump. Before going back to work, speak to your employer to set a time and place to pump.
I could never breastfeed in public--what would people think?
In Maryland, you have the right to breastfeed anywhere your baby is allowed to be with you. Remember, breastfeeding is natural. You should never feel ashamed about feeding your baby.
I am afraid that breastfeeding will hurt
You may feel some pain when you first start breastfeeding. That’s common. Usually you can fix the problem by working on your technique. Many people can help you with this, such as your doctor, breastfeeding counselors, and WIC clinic staff. Usually the brief pain you feel when your baby starts to feed goes away. Make sure you ask for help!
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
Skin-to-skin when baby is born
Feeding baby expressed milk in a bottle (when the baby is older than a month)
“If you love your partner, you should want what is good for them and encourage them to do that."
Pictured here with his wife, Leviticus, and their children, in 2016
If you tried breastfeeding and don't like it, or you decide you would rather formula feed, that is ok. Fed is best and you should never feel bad for making the decision that is best for you. If you want to breastfeed and are having trouble with it, there are a lot of people in Baltimore City who are here to help.
Support groups led by certified lactation counselors. Available in Hightlandtown and Upton/Druid Heights.
Shasha Satchell (Upton/Druid Heights):
Guadalupe Franco (Highlandtown): 443-703-3676