Breastfeeding Resources



Childbirth Connection's Resources on Breastfeeding

  • How Breastfeeding Works: explains the changes in the woman and the baby throughout pregnancy and around the time of birth that make breastfeeding possible
  • Advantages of Breastfeeding: provides a short summary of the health benefits of breastfeeding for women and babies


Childbirth Connection Recommended Books and Videos on Breastfeeding


The Nursing Mother's Companion

The Nursing Mother's Companion (6th edition: 25th Anniversary Edition, 2010), by Kathleen Huggins.

Information, support and practical troubleshooting to help you through all the phases of breastfeeding: planning, first week, first 2 months, months 2-6, months 6-12, and nursing a toddler. With appendices on medication safety and nursing mother resources.

Learn more about The Nursing Mother's Companion from Amazon best pregnancy books

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solution Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America (Revised & Updated Edition, 2006), by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman.

Breastfeeding support: why breastfeed, how to deal with many specific challenges, how to work breastfeeding into your life.

Learn more about The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers from Amazon best pregnancy books



New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition, by the American Academy of Pediatrics; Joan Younger Meek, MD, Editor in Chief

Comprehensive review on the research of the benefits of breastfeeding from the last decade, and provides guidance, resources and information to help mothers establish breastfeeding.

Learn more about the New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding best pregnancy books



Non Profit and Government Organizations Providing Breastfeeding Information and Support


Womenshealth.gov: Your Guide to Breastfeeding: the illustrated PDF publication available in English, Spanish and Chinese presents easy-to-read information on how to breastfeed successfully, and includes tips from experts and breastfeeding mothers.

Womenshealth.gov: It's Only Natural: a campaign to help African American with breastfeeding. Fact sheets and interactive videos cover topics such as myths, overcoming challenges, and finding support.

La Leche League: this international organization provides woman-to-woman support for breastfeeding.

U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC): contains resources to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative: aims to support breastfeeding from the start by identifying strategies in hospital settings to improve breastfeeding outcomes. Resources include a map of designated baby-friendly hospitals and a survey for new mothers, to evaluate if the care they have received is in fact baby-friendly.

Womenshealth.gov: Breastfeeding - Finding Support and Information: reviews the types of health professionals who help with breastfeeding, such as IBCLC consultants, peer counselors/educators and doulas and the importance of mother-to-mother support.

WIC Nutrition Coordinators and Breastfeeding Coordinators: in alphabetical order by state agency name.

Find a La Leche League Group or Leader - a directory of community peer support in the United States

Find a lactation consultant - a directory of professional lactation consultants

March of Dimes: A Visit With a Breastfeeding Support Group: watch real questions and comments from breastfeeding mothers in a peer support group.



Information on How to Breastfeed


Womenshealth.gov: Learning to Breastfeed: covers topics such as preparation for breastfeeding, breastfeeding holds, milk supply, lengths of feedings and more.

Nemours Foundation: Breastfeeding FAQs - Getting Started: answers questions on signs that show a baby is hungry, identifying a correct latch, and making breastfeeding more comfortable.

Nemours Foundation: Nursing Positions: provides pictures and descriptions of the most common breastfeeding positions.

Baby-Led Latch: How to Awaken Your Baby's Breastfeeding Instincts: article describes the process in which babies' instincts lead them to breastfeeding.

American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecologists: Breastfeeding Your Baby (PDF): this FAQ provides an overview of how to breastfeed and answers questions about diet, birth control, work, and breast health.



Milk Supply


Nemours Foundation: Breastfeeding FAQs: Supply and Demand: answers such questions as how to increase milk supply, what to do when producing too much milk, or when baby favors one breast over the other.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin: Delayed or Not Enough Milk Production: reviews the possible causes for delayed and low milk production as well as overproduction.

La Leche League International (LLLI): Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?: summarizes the important signs that indicate whether a baby is getting enough milk and strategies for increasing milk production.

Breastfeeding after Breast and Nipple Surgeries: information and support for mothers who wish to breastfeed after breast or nipple surgery.



Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mother and Baby and Composition of Breast Milk


Coalition for Improving Maternity Services: Breastfeeding is Priceless (PDF): this fact sheet reviews benefits for children such as resistance to infections, protection against chronic disease, benefits for preterm and high-risk infants, benefits for mothers and much more.

American Pregnancy Association: What's in Breast Milk?: lists the proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates found in breast milk.



Returning to Work, Breast Pumps and Milk Storage


March of Dimes: Using a Breast Pump: basic review of different kinds of pumps with pictures, advice on starting pumping and returning to work, and guidelines on storing and thaw breast milk, with an accompanying chart.

Womenshealth.gov: Pumping and milk storage: useful information, charts and pictures on breast pumps (types, mechanism, costs, etc.), milk storage (place, temperature, length), and thawing.

Work and Pump: Troubleshooting your Pump: addresses troubles with pumping, such as, replacing valves, checking for cracks, and hiving pumps tested.

LLLI: Hand Expression (PDF): this handout provides pictures and tips on expressing breast milk by hand.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin: Milk Expression Techniques: talks about the importance of developing a routine for pumping, useful equipment for a "breast pump collection kit", and helpful hints such as creating a schedule, getting comfortable, including baby, and staying positive.



Family Dynamics


March of Dimes: Common Questions for New Dads: answers question "My partner is breastfeeding. What can I do to help?"

Planned Parenthood: Breastfeeding as Birth Control: reviews the contraceptive effects of birth control, including effectiveness, safety and pros and cons.

Mayo Clinic: Breastfeeding While Pregnant: answers the question if it is safe to breastfeed while pregnant with another child.



Nutrition, Alcohol, Drugs, and Medications

MyPyramid in Action: Tips for Breastfeeding Moms (PDF): offers information on the nutritional needs of breastfeeding women, as well as weight loss and physical activity. Also available in Spanish.

Breastfeeding Today: The Breastfeeding Mothers Nutrition (PDF, pages 9-11): professor of nutrition Ted Greiner presents a common-sense approach to health and nutrition in breastfeeding mothers.

Mayo Clinic: Breastfeeding Nutrition - Tips for Moms: answers questions about how many calories, fluids and breastfeeding women need to consumer, what foods to eat and what to avoid, vegetarian diets, and allergic reactions in babies.

LLLI: What about drinking alcohol and breastfeeding?: summarizes research on alcohol consumption while breastfeeding, addresses the effect of intoxication and abuse, and reviews the importance of planning ahead and other considerations, as well as risks and benefits and alternatives.

LLLI: Smoking: answers questions on the safety of smoking or using smoke cessation products while pregnant.

Infant Risk: detailed, research-based information about the safety of various medications and toxic exposures for breastfed infants. Includes a forum for asking specific questions.

Motherisk: Breastfeeding and Drugs: reviews the specific drugs that are not safe to consume while nursing, including social drugs. Motherisk also provides a call-in helpline: 1-877-439-2744.



Problems and Concerns for Breastfeeding Mothers


Womenshealth.gov: Common Breastfeeding Challenges: advises breastfeeding mothers on what they can do and when to ask for help on issues such as sore nipples, engorgement, plugged ducts, infections/mastitis, fungal infection, nursing strike and others.

Nemours Foundation: Breastfeeding FAQs -- Pain and Discomfort: answers question about pain and cramping while nursing, breast infection, nipple pain and engorged breasts.

LLLI: Breast Problems and Pain: directory of questions and answers on topics such as hurting breasts, plugged ducts and mastitis, repeated mastitis, painful let-down reflex, preventing sore nipples, thrush, breast leaking, and engorgement.



Special Needs Breastfed Babies


March of Dimes: Breastfeeding Your Baby in the NICU: how to tell if baby eating enough, and what to do when experiencing trouble.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin: Moving toward Breastfeeding: signs a high-risk baby is ready for breastfeeding, getting ready for discharge. Also addresses topics such as nutritive feedings, test weighing and provides hints for beginning to breastfeed and breastfeeding at home.

LLLI: Is it possible to breastfeed my baby who was born with Down Syndrome?: answers question and explains special benefits of breastfeeding and offers helpful hints.



Extended Breastfeeding and Weaning


Mayo Clinic: Weaning Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers: advice on when and how to wean, when to delay weaning, and nutrition after weaning.

LLLI: Breastfeeding Beyond a Year: explores myths, and benefits and cultural influences of extended nursing.

LLLI: Do I Need to Stop Breastfeeding When My Baby Gets Teeth?: answer to this question and tips on steps mothers can take to prevent nipple soreness before, during, and after nursing sessions.



Personal Questions and Concerns for Breastfeeding Mothers


CDC: Travel Recommendations for the Nursing Mother: advice for traveling with and separate from a nursing infant, maintaining milk supply and storing milk while traveling, and immunizations and air travel.

USBC: Key Facts about Breastfeeding in Emergencies: research about the protective effects of breastfeeding during emergencies and mothers' ability to produce milk.

WHO: Up to what age can a baby stay well nourished by just being breastfed?: provides answer and useful chart of foods to offer baby by age, texture, frequency and portion.

LLLI: Responding to Criticism about Breastfeeding: guidance on how to respond to criticisms, with specific suggestions of phrases to use.

LLLI: FAQ on Tattoos and Breastfeeding: answers questions on the safety of getting tattoos and tattoo removal while breastfeeding.

LLLI: Breastfeeding after a Cesarean Birth: discusses the impact of a planned versus unplanned cesarean on breastfeeding, as well as common concerns and tips for achieving breastfeeding.

Mayo Clinic: Breastfeeding an Adopted Newborn: answers questions if it is possible to produce breast milk without having been pregnant.

Mayo Clinic: Breastfeeding twins: information on making multiple feedings manageable, benefits, simultaneous feeding positions, and producing enough milk.

Human Milk Banking Association of America: includes information about donating milk and a directory of milk banks.



The Law: Breastfeeding Rights and Protections


National Conference of State Legislatures: Breastfeeding Laws: detailed table showcasing a summary of all state breastfeeding laws.



Advocacy and Research


CDC: Breastfeeding Report Card: table of outcome indicators for breastfeeding by state.

CDC: Hospital Support for Breastfeeding: with an emphasis on preventing obesity, the findings presented show that most hospitals do not fully support breastfeeding. Also includes several interesting related graphs, charts and figures.

The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding: this fact sheet covers basic facts on the prevalence of breastfeeding in the US, the health and economic benefits of breastfeeding, and obstacles to achieving breastfeeding and what communities can do to help.

WHO: Infant and Young Child Feeding Data by Country: directory of global breastfeeding rates.


Most recent page update: 8/1/2014


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