Breastfeeding | Lactation Support
Breastfeeding is a natural part of motherhood. We are here to help you get the advice and support to feel comfortable and confident about breastfeeding your baby.
Should I breastfeed my baby?
The scientific evidence shows that breast milk provides the very best nutrition for babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life. After the first six months, mothers are advised to continue to breastfeed through the baby’s first year, along with introducing other foods.
Breast milk changes as your baby grows. The breast milk that mothers produce as they nurse their growing babies will adjust to make sure the baby is getting the right amount of protein, sugar, fat and water.
Health benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for your baby. Breastfeeding lowers the risks of:
- Childhood leukemia
- Childhood obesity
- Ear infections
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain respiratory infections.
Breastfeeding health benefits for mother:
- Helps some women lose weight and get back to their pre-baby weight
- Skin-to-skin contact has emotional and physical benefits
- Lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer
We understand that new moms may have challenges at first with breastfeeding. Talk to your nurse or other providers. We are here to answer your questions.
During your hospital stay
We will offer advice, guidance and support to make sure that your needs are met and breastfeeding your baby is a positive experience. We want to make the breastfeeding experience as comfortable and natural as possible. We will work with you to figure out the methods and positions that work best for your body and your needs.
After your stay: When mom and baby return home
We welcome you to call us with any questions or concerns you have at any time. We offer Outpatient Lactation Program appointments that you are able to attend any time after going home with your baby.
Our MaineHealth birthing centers offer prenatal education classes for mothers-to-be. We want to help you prepare as much as you can before the birth of your baby. We encourage you to attend our childbirth and parenting classes to discuss any questions or concerns you have about the upcoming birth of your baby, breastfeeding, and caring for your baby when you are back home from the hospital.
The following birth centers offer breastfeeding and lactation support for new mothers and their babies. We offer pre- and post-natal education classes and support groups.
- Maine Medical Center: Family Birth Center (Portland, ME)
- Southern Maine Health Care: Birthing Suite (Biddeford, ME)
- Stephens Memorial Hospital: Family Birthplace (Norway, ME)
- Franklin Memorial Hospital: Family Birthing Unit (Farmington, ME)
- Pen Bay Medical Center: Birth Center (Rockport, ME)
- Waldo County General Hospital: Birthing Center (Belfast, ME)
- Memorial Hospital: Family Birthing Center (North Conway, NH)