As a new or expectant mother, you’ve probably looked forward to the incredible nurturing and bonding experience of breastfeeding, but for many new moms, it can be hard to get started.

Babies need help learning how to latch, and it may take time and effort for your milk to start flowing. We understand these challenges can be frustrating for new mothers, who often have to deal with postpartum emotions that can range from elation to depression. That's why we have lactation counselors to make sure you can always get the help and support you need as you learn to breastfeed.

Is breast milk best?

According to a new national report card on breastfeeding, more U.S. mothers than ever — about three in four — choose breastfeeding over formula, at least in the beginning.

That’s good news because breast milk contains the perfect nutrition for babies. Studies have shown that breastfed infants have a lower risk for allergies, infections and other illnesses, and they’re also less likely to be overweight as children.

Nursing provides benefits to you as well, including:

  • Easier weight loss after delivery
  • Decreased risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression
  • A closer bond with your baby

Facing breastfeeding challenges

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding babies only breast milk for the first six months, and nursing alongside other foods through the end of the first year. But many mothers aren’t able to follow those recommendation because they lack the resources and support they need to keep breastfeeding.

We understand how hard it can be to breastfeed continuously, especially if you’re a working mother who needs to pump breast milk in order to feed your baby while you’re away.

Common issues include:

  • Overfull or engorged breasts
  • Pain
  • Infections
  • Sore nipples
  • Problems latching

That's why we offer lactation support. Our nursing counselors can:

  • Help you teach your baby to latch properly
  • Show you how to prevent or treat infections
  • Explain the most effective way to use a breast pump
  • Help you establish a feeding and pumping schedule to keep your milk flowing as long as you want to keep breastfeeding
  • We provide phone support after discharge home

For more information on breastfeeding and lactation support, call the Arizona State Breastfeeding "Warm Line" at (800) 833-4642 or the lactation line at your Abrazo Health hospital location:

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