Breastfeeding provides the best possible nutrition for baby. It protects babies from ear infections, colds, allergies, diarrhea and constipation. It helps babies’ brain and eye development. Breastfed children are less likely to have diabetes or become overweight.
Breastfeeding is also good for moms and families:
- It helps moms lose weight
- It helps moms relax and feel close to baby
- It saves money (no formula or bottle costs, fewer doctor bills and medication costs, less lost time from work)
What to expect
Breastfeeding should be comfortable, not painful. If breastfeeding hurts, ask for help from one of your breastfeeding community resources.
Positioning the baby
- Bring baby to breast (to avoid a sore back, don’t lean over)
- Baby and mom should be tummy to tummy
- Baby’s mouth should be wide open (like a big yawn) before going to the breast
- Much of the dark area of the breast should be in baby’s mouth
- If breastfeeding hurts, break the suction by gently pressing your finger on the corner of baby’s mouth. After baby opens wide, try putting baby to breast again
- Listen or feel for swallowing
Make sure if baby is getting enough milk
You should breastfeed your infant at least every 1-1/2 to 3 hours, or 8–12 times in 24 hours, including night feedings. Moms who breastfeed often make more milk.
By 3–4 days, baby should have at least 3–5 messy diapers and 6–8 really wet diapers in 24 hours. You should hear or feel baby swallowing.
Breastfeeding – How the Family Can Help
Building a Breastfeeding-Friendly Health Department
Dakota County Public Health Department is taking steps to be recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health as a Breastfeeding-Friendly Health Department. Learn more about what we are doing to support breastfeeding as a key strategy to improve the health of mothers and infants.