Skip to navigation menu Skip to content


Mom Breastfeeding in the Hospital

Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

By Dr. Erica Willis, Pediatric Associates

Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed and bond with your baby. Although women have been nursing infants for thousands of years, it isn’t always something that comes easily for new moms or their babies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for a baby’s first six months. Human milk offers protection against diseases and illnesses that formula cannot. Breastfed babies are less likely to have ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. Children who breastfeed for more than six months are less likely to develop childhood acute leukemia and lymphoma than those who receive formula. Additionally, studies show that breastfed babies have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

With those benefits in mind, many new moms – about 80 percent – plan to breastfeed once their baby is born. Challenges along the way, such as difficulty with latching, may lead many to give up. Six months after birth, only 14 percent of moms continue to exclusively breastfeed, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, some challenges can be overcome with guidance from a healthcare professional such as your babies’ pediatrician or a lactation consultant.

One of the easiest ways to prepare for breastfeeding is for parents to take a class. Learning what to expect and how to navigate any challenges can help you get off to a good start. Here are some other tips to consider:

Talk to A Lactation Consultant

Ask your doctor to recommend a lactation consultant. Reach out before your baby is born if you have questions. In many cases, consultants will help new moms over the phone if they’re having trouble. Some will make visits to the house.

Begin Breastfeeding As Soon As Possible

If you can, cuddle with your baby skin-to-skin immediately after birth. Benefits of skin-to-skin include bonding and facilitating breastfeeding. Breastfeed as soon as possible, usually within 30-60 minutes after delivery.

Avoid Using a Pacifier, Sugar Water, or Formula

Ask the hospital staff not to give your baby a pacifier, sugar water, or formula, unless medically necessary.

Breastfeed Often

Let your baby stay in your hospital room so you can breastfeed often. Once you are home, have your baby sleep in a crib or bassinet in your bedroom so you can breastfeed more easily at night.

Be Patient

Be patient with yourself. Breastfeeding takes practice, and it’s normal to feel frustrated in the first six weeks.

Ask for Help When Needed

Partners, spouses, and extended family members can help, too, by offering encouragement, reassurance, and assistance around the house.

Like this post?

Sign up to receive our once monthly email with more kids' health tips from the region's most trusted name in pediatric health care.

About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.