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.

 

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

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

 

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. A new Baltimore City ordinance requires that all employers with two or more full-time employees must provide a safe, clean space for breastfeeding mothers to pump. They also have to give you time to pump. To learn more, read the full ordinance.




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

  • Changing diapers

  • 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."

-James

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

 

Breastfeeding Videos

 
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. 

Breastfeeding Resources

Support Groups

Support groups led by certified lactation counselors. Available in Hightlandtown and Upton/Druid Heights.

Shasha Satchell (Upton/Druid Heights):

410-706-6131

Guadalupe Franco (Highlandtown): 443-703-3676

WIC

 WIC provides extra support to breastfeeding moms, including counseling and expanding food packages.

1-800-243-7337

ABOUT US >

Sponsored by the

Office of Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young,

Baltimore City Health DepartmentFamily League of Baltimore, and HealthCare Access Maryland

 

Made possible by generous funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, City of Baltimore, Maryland Department of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon