Breastfeeding Resources

Doctors agree: Breast is best. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. They recommend continued breastfeeding supplemented with solid foods until a baby is 2 years old and beyond. And if you need help breastfeeding, resources are available.

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Why Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is healthy for babies and moms. Breast milk provides the perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and other nutrients your baby needs to grow.

It’s also convenient and inexpensive and helps your baby stay healthy. Breast milk may protect your baby from some diseases.

Moms who breastfeed recover from labor and delivery faster. Breastfeeding may lower your risk for some diseases, such as breast cancer. And it’s the optimum skin-to-skin way to bond with your baby.

But breastfeeding can be a challenge to some new mothers. It can be especially difficult if you don’t have support from family and friends. They may not have breastfed their babies and don’t have advice to share.

Plenty of breastfeeding resources are available to new moms at UPMC. All UPMC labor and delivery hospitals have lactation services available.

The UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital Lactation Center is one of the leading breastfeeding resources in Pittsburgh. In addition, UPMC Magee-Womens has lactation services available in central Pennsylvanianorth central Pennsylvania, and northwest Pennsylvania.

Breastfeeding Resources at UPMC Magee-Womens Lactation Centers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women’s early experiences with breastfeeding are important. Those first few days can affect whether and how long they keep breastfeeding. Without support, many women become discouraged and choose a different method for feeding.

UPMC Magee offers phone, virtual, and outpatient breastfeeding resources and lactation services. They are available to any mother, whether she delivered at UPMC Magee or another facility. Virtual appointments are available from anywhere in Pennsylvania.

Here are some of the breastfeeding resources we offer:

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs)

Each year, more than 25,000 babies are delivered at UPMC Magee locations, with 10,000 of them born at UPMC Magee in Pittsburgh. Our lactation experts have years of experience teaching, counseling, and problem-solving for new moms.

A lactation consultant is a trained professional who specializes in breastfeeding. They earn certification through the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants and work in conjunction with doctors and nurses. The consultants work with new moms to answer questions, address concerns, and help tackle any breastfeeding issues.

Prenatal classes

For moms-to-be, it’s important to understand what breastfeeding entails and that even though it’s “natural,” it can still be difficult. UPMC Magee offers both online and in-person classes to help support moms who are choosing to breastfeed even before they give birth.  Our prenatal breastfeeding classes and consultations offer:

  • Education for moms expecting multiple babies, who may face unique challenges to breastfeeding.
  • Nipple assessments.
  • Support for moms who had trouble breastfeeding a previous child.
  • Tips for moms who will be exclusively pumping and bottle feeding.

Postpartum consultations

The first few days are critical to successful breastfeeding. When your baby is born, simply let your nurse know you would like a lactation consult. We offer consultations for:

  • Problems positioning your baby.
  • Problems with your baby latching onto your nipple.
  • Returning to work and successfully breastfeeding.
  • Sore nipples.
  • The challenges of nursing multiples.
  • Transitioning a premature infant from a feeding tube or bottle to a breast.
  • Worries about your baby not gaining enough weight.
  • Worries about your milk supply.

A full-service retail center

For moms who deliver in Pittsburgh, the Magee Lactation Center offers a full range of breastfeeding supplies and accessories. They include:

  • Breastfeeding aids (such as nipple shields).
  • Breastfeeding and parenting books.
  • Breast pump rentals.
  • Breast pump sales.
  • Maternity and nursing bras.
  • Nursing pillows and stools.
  • Professional assistance with selecting the correct breast pump for your needs.

Other Breastfeeding Resources

If you’re having trouble breastfeeding or simply have questions, there are more breastfeeding resources to turn to. Some are:

  • Your pediatrician. Your baby’s doctor is a trusted source of information about breastfeeding. If they can’t answer your questions, they can refer you to someone who can.
  • Your partner. When you receive positive support from a partner, you’re more likely to nurse your baby longer and have feelings of success. Talk to your partner about how important it is to have their support.
  • La Leche League International is a nonprofit organization with branches all over the United States. Their goal is to help mothers breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education. They offer webinars and a Facebook support group, as well as local leaders and groups.
  • WIC Breastfeeding Support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers peer support and the WIC Buddy Program for breastfeeding for WIC recipients. Find out if you’re eligible.

When breastfeeding feels challenging, remember you’re not alone. A supportive friend or professional can help you over the rough spots. You and your baby will be nursing pros before you know it.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

Office on Women's Health, Breastfeeding Resources, Link

CDC, Breastfeeding, Link

UPMC Health Library, Breastfeeding, Link

La Leche League International, Resources, Link

U.S. Department of Agriculture, WIC Breastfeeding Support, Link

About UPMC Magee-Womens

Built upon our flagship, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, and its century-plus history of providing high-quality medical care for people at all stages of life, UPMC Magee-Womens is nationally renowned for its outstanding care for women and their families.

Our Magee-Womens network – from women’s imaging centers and specialty care to outpatient and hospital-based services – provides care throughout Pennsylvania, so the help you need is always close to home. More than 25,000 babies are born at our network hospitals each year, with 10,000 of those babies born at UPMC Magee in Pittsburgh, home to one of the largest NICUs in the country. The Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee in Pittsburgh as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health; U.S. News & World Report ranks Magee nationally in gynecology. The Magee-Womens Research Institute was the first and is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology, with locations in Pittsburgh and Erie.