Breastfeeding, or nursing, is when you feed your baby breast milk, usually directly from your breast. Breastfeeding is a personal decision that brings benefits to both you and baby. It’s a good idea to talk with your family and healthcare team to find out if breastfeeding is right for you and your baby.

At least 82% of all women in the United States breastfeed and here's some things for you to know- The size of your breast or nipples does not matter. Breastfeeding takes practice, time and support. It is your legal right to breastfeed in public and your supervisor at work is required to make accommodations for you to have time and space to pump or express milk at work. Setting up a plan and a support system are keys for a successful breastfeeding journey.

Mother breastfeeding her newborn near a windwo
Mother breastfeeding her child sitting on a bed.
Nurse hands a baby to mom

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Mother smiling at camera feeding her baby

For Baby   

  • Early milk (colostrum) is the perfect first food for baby-supplying them with important antibodies to stay healthy.
  • Provides baby with the ideal nutrition, containing the perfect mix of vitamins, proteins and fats-everything baby needs to grow!
  • Easier to digest than formula
  • Provides bonding, comfort and security
  • Prevents childhood obesity

For You 

  • Early breastfeeding helps contract the uterus and slows bleeding (important for your recovery)
  • Nothing to buy or prepare
  • Burns extra calories
  • Allows for more bonding
  • Breastfeeding for longer periods of time lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers
  • Helps prevent Type-2 Diabetes and Osteoporosis


Quick Tips for Latching 

  • Support baby’s neck
  • Avoid holding the back of baby’s head
  • Allow baby to move as they need
  • Baby’s ear, should and hips should be in a straight line
  • When baby opens wide (like a yawn), help them onto your nipple- baby’s mouth should cover both your nipple and areola.
  • Lean back and relax your shoulders and back if you’re hunched over.
  • Baby’s chin should touch the breast first.
  • Make sure the nipple is deep in baby’s mouth.
  • Baby’s nose may touch the breast during a deep latch.
  • Watch for suckling- you should see a strong, steady suck-swallow- breath pattern. You should also notice a rhythmic motion in baby’s cheek, jaw and ear. When your milk comes in, you should hear the sound of swallowing or gulping.
  • Messaging and compressing the breast while feeding helps the milk flow.
  • Avoid giving pacifiers or bottles until breastfeeding is going well.
  • Ask for help from your nurse or lactation consultant.


Additional Resources 

There are many experts that can help you address issues and offer encouragement and support. If you’re experiencing trouble breastfeeding it may be useful to contact one of the following resources:

A lactation consultantPregnant woman looking at tablet
A nurse that specializes in lactation

A postpartum doula

Your baby’s doctor

Your doctor

Friends and family members who have breastfed

Pickles and Ice Cream Georgia 
CSRA Perinatal Task Force find them on Facebook


Asian Mother breastfeeding her baby



If you’ve sought out professional help and are still having trouble breastfeeding, remember that it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Talk to your baby’s doctor about whether you should consider supplementing with formula or formula-feeding. What babies really need is love and attention from you- and that doesn’t come from the breast or the bottle.