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Information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Read the latest >

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Breastfeeding Support

To help you achieve your personal breastfeeding goals, we provide nurturing care, education and support.

We strongly endorse breast milk as the optimal nutrition for newborns. We also know that, while breastfeeding is natural, it is not always easy, and that each mother has unique circumstances. Our highly trained staff works with you to provide personalized support to meet your individual goals and needs.

Lactation support and services

Before birth. We encourage you to attend a prenatal breastfeeding class before your baby is born to improve your breastfeeding experience. Expectant mothers are welcome to call us with questions.

In the hospital. All of our doctors, maternity nurses and board-certified lactation consultants are highly trained and available to help support you in breastfeeding. Breastfeeding classes, taught by our International Board-Certified lactation consultants, are held daily on the Maternity Unit to provide specialized, hands-on breastfeeding support, answer your questions, and assess your progress.

Learn more about our lactation services here.

Read our Infant Feeding Policy.

Kangaroo care

Kangaroo care, the practice of holding a newborn baby to a mother’s chest, makes a difference for newborns and premature infants. For critically ill preemies in our NICU, the practice of kangaroo care results in better outcomes than the same care provided in an incubator. Research shows that skin-to-skin bonding regulates a baby’s breathing and heart rate, and supports early breastfeeding. Kangaroo care also holds benefits for parents, reducing stress and enhancing the bond with your baby. The care team at Packard Children’s has established guidelines to help evaluate when your infant is ready for kangaroo care.

How skin-to-skin bonding helps breastfeeding

Placing your baby skin-to-skin on your chest during the first hours and days after birth has been shown to support your baby’s transition to life outside of the womb, and help establish successful breastfeeding and bonding. In your birth plan, you may include your wish to have your newborn baby (unclothed or wearing only a diaper) placed immediately on your chest and covered with a blanket, where you can relax together for as long as possible. If you or your baby has special medical needs, or if your baby is born prematurely, skin-to-skin time is still beneficial when it becomes medically possible. Your partner can also provide skin-to-skin time with your baby, which helps keep baby warm, and provides bonding time. Your doctor can work with your family to determine what’s best to meet your and your baby’s needs.