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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

Courtney and Denym.png

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

  • Why should my baby sleep alone? I feel safer with my baby near me.
    We know that when parents sleep in the same bed as their baby, they are trying to do what they think is best. Unfortunately, co-sleeping is really dangerous. Most sleep-related deaths in Baltimore happen when babies sleep with an adult or with other children. Remember, it doesn't take much for a baby to suffocate. Co-sleeping is a common practice in some cultures. While it is wonderful to preserve most cultural traditions, some need to be adapted. For example, American beds are soft, high, and have a lot of blankets and pillows. These features make them unsafe for babies. If you are worried about bonding, keeping your baby's crib in your room is a great idea! Share a room, not a bed.
  • My baby sleeps better when they’re next to me. What are some other ways to soothe them?
    The sleep habits you set now will carry into childhood. When you put your baby to sleep in a crib from the beginning, they will get used to it. You will also be able to sleep better and more soundly knowing your baby is safe. Here are some of the things that you can do to help your baby sleep peacefully in their crib: Swaddle your baby (NOTE: you should stop swaddling when your baby starts to roll over) Create a bedtime routineUse a pacifier Give your baby a massage The first few weeks with a baby are rewarding, but the lack of sleep can be challenging. Hang in there. It will get better.
  • But isn't my baby more likely to choke on their back?
    Many parents believe that babies are more likely to choke if they sleep on their back. This is not true. In fact, your baby is LESS likely to choke on his or her back. Watch the video clip understand why.
  • What if my baby can roll over?
    Once babies are able to roll over from back to stomach on their own, there is no need to watch or reposition them during sleep. Babies should still be placed on their backs for sleep, but you don't need to worry about keeping them that way. Do not use a pillow or rolled up blanket to keep your baby on his or her back. These items increase the chances of your baby suffocating.
  • My older relatives say that they put their babies to sleep on their stomach.
    You may hear from older relatives that they put their babies to sleep on their stomachs. A lot has changed in the last 20 years and we now know a lot more about infant safety. In fact, when pediatricians began recommending that babies sleep on their back, the number of babies dying in their sleep dropped dramatically.
  • Why do I need to get a crib for my baby to sleep?
    The crib is the ONLY safe place for your baby to sleep. Your baby shouldn’t sleep on an adult bed or couch or with pillows, cushions or stuffed animals. Your baby could be suffocated in these soft materials. Your baby also could become trapped in between cushions on a couch or get stuck between the bed and the wall. These tragic situations occur all too frequently in Baltimore City.
  • Won't my baby get cold without a sheet or blanket?
    Dress your baby in a sleeper for warmth, but do not use blankets or allow your baby to get too warm. Overheating can be a risk for SIDS. A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in the same amount of layers that you are wearing. If the room temperature is comfortable for you, then it is also comfortable for your baby.
  • Is it safe for my baby to wear a sleep sack?
    Sleep sacks and wearable blankets can be part of a safe sleep routine. Because these are an extra layer, be mindful of overheating, a leading cause of SIDS. You can avoid overheating by following this rule: when inside, dress your baby in the same number of layers that you are wearing. If a room's temperature is comfortable for you, it's comfortable for your baby. Please also remember that not every product that is marketed for safe sleep is actually safe, even if it is sold in stores or online. For example, weighted sleepwear is not safe. Before you purchase these products, it is important to do your research and to ask your baby's doctor. To check if a product has ever been recalled, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall List.
  • What kind of crib should I get for my baby?
    Your baby’s crib does not need to be fancy or expensive, but it must be safe. There are many types of stationary and portable cribs (such as a Pack ‘n Play™ or the portable crib given out by HealthCare Access Maryland) that are safe—you just have to make sure that it meets current safety guidelines. When purchasing a crib, look for Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification. If you borrow a crib, check to make sure that the slats are no more than 2-3/8 inches apart. Widely spaced slats can trap an infant's head. The mattress should be firm and fit snugly in the crib. The crib sheet should fit tightly all the way around and under the mattress. Nothing else should be in the crib with your baby – no quilts, blankets, comforters, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals, or soft toys. Car seats and infant carriers should not be used as your baby’s bed. Your baby could get knocked over or roll over. It’s just not worth taking a risk.
  • Why is it important to have a smoke-free home?
    Babies who breathe in smoke are more likely to have lifelong health problems. They are also more likely to die while sleeping. Smoke is a houseguest that always overstays its welcome. Even if you open a window, it drifts around the house and even stays in fabrics and dust. Keep the air in your home clean by asking smokers to go outside. Here are some tips to make your home smoke-free: Ask smokers to smoke outside Get all ashtrays, matches, and lighters out of your home Post a sign on your front door so visitors know not to smoke 

  • Doesn't my baby need to spend time on their tummy?
    Yes! You can provide 'tummy time' when he is awake and being watched. This will help strengthen his neck and arm muscles and prevent flat spots on the back of his head.

Common Breastfeeding Concerns

Supportive Partners

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."


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


Breastfeeding Videos

Breastfeeding Videos

Breastfeeding Videos
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Breastfeeding in Baltimore City

Breastfeeding in Baltimore City

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Baltimore’s Breastfeeding Super Moms

Baltimore’s Breastfeeding Super Moms

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Breastfeeding Your Baby in Public in Baltimore City

Breastfeeding Your Baby in Public in Baltimore City

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Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers in Baltimore City

Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers in Baltimore City

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Breastfeeding Videos

Breastfeeding Help
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):


Guadalupe Franco (Highlandtown): 443-703-3676


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

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