Breastfeeding provides your baby with a strong nutritional start and helps with emotional development. Breast milk is an easily digested, nutrition source filled with antibodies that protect against infection. Breastfeeding also promotes bonding and contributes to a special, loving relationship with your newborn.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life. Complementary foods rich in iron should be introduced gradually beginning around 6 months of age. Breastfeeding should be continued for a least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."
Some mothers find breastfeeding more difficult than they expected. It's even more difficult when the baby is hospitalized away from the mother. But most difficulties can be overcome with instruction and guidance.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin recognizes the importance of breastfeeding to families and the health of their children. Our lactation consultants are available for one-on-one meetings with mom and baby and host a weekly breastfeeding support group called Mom's and Milk Club.
We urge all moms who are pumping to watch the Hands on Pumping video from Stanford University, which shows how to get more milk with each pumping session.
Below are links to more information about breastfeeding and breast milk pumping:
- The Benefits of Mother's Own Milk
- Adding to Mother's Milk
- Milk Expression
- Milk Expression Techniques
- Milk Collection and Storage
- Delayed or Not Enough Milk Production
- Breastfeeding the High Risk Newborn
- Moving Toward Breastfeeding
There are a number of helpful websites that can provide you with more information about breastfeeding:
- 24-hour Cribside Assistance: A Site for Dads by Dads
- Kellymom Breastfeeding and Parenting
- Medela Breastfeeding
- La Leche League
- International Lactation Consultants Association
- Wisconsin Association of Lactation Consultants
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
- American Academy of Pediatrics