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Picture of a graphic of a young mother fully covered while Nursing her new baby.

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

1.) Breast is best, but why? Learn why giving only breast milk is best for your baby and you and why formula can cause problems. Use WIC, other moms, books, and videos as resources. Take a breastfeeding class.

2.) Tell the world! Let your OB doctor, Family, friends, and employers know that you are planning to give only breast milk and need their full support. Tell the Labor and Delivery doctors and nurses as well as the nursery and postpartum nurses that you want only breastmilk for your baby.

3.) Hold your newborn skin-to-skin right after birth. Your baby will be alert and interested in breastfeeding. Tell your doctor and nurse that you want this if it is not offered.

4.) Room-in with your baby. This will allow you to respond to your baby's cues and breastfeed as soon as he shows he is hungry. Don't wait for him to cry.

5.) Frequent feeds, not formula. Don't use formula just because it is provided. Some hospitals provide formula to all mothers even if there is no medical reason. If formula is given, your baby will be too full to breastfeed often.

6.) Think ahead. If you will return to work, start off with breastfeeding only so your body makes the milk your baby will need. Introduce bottles later.

7.) Ask for help if you need it. Ask your nurse if the hospital has a lactation specialist available.

8.) Don't get discouraged if you have difficulties. Most breastfeeding problems can be easily fixed. Ask for help from a friend or relative who has breastfed or your WIC counselor. The Breastfeeding Resource Directory lists breastfeeding help available in your area.

9.) Plan for the long-term. Get comfortable breastfeeding away from home; make a plan for pumping when you return to work or school.

10.) Get to know other breastfeeding moms. Make new friends, join a La Leche League mother's group. Most importantly, have fun getting to know your baby!
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