Breastfeeding is the first step to a healthy life. Not only does breastfeeding create a special bond between a mother and her baby, it also provides great health benefits for both. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that babies are breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life and to continue for at least the first year and as long mother and baby desire.
Breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illnesses and contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs. Below are a few tips to help you get started:
- You do have enough milk! Your newborn's stomach is the size of a cherry and will only hold one sixth to one fourth of a teaspoon or less per feeding.
- Your breast milk may look yellow and be thicker the first few days. This is colostrum and is the best milk for your newborn. As your baby's stomach develops and is able to hold more milk, your breast milk will also increase and change to be a thin white color.
- Cuddle! Skin-to-skin contact comforts your baby and stimulates an increase in your milk supply. This is a great way for your partner to bond with baby too.
- Watch those early hunger cues and not the clock. Babies communicate that they are hungry by moving their mouth, arms, and legs and sucking on their hand.
- Babies cry for a lot of reasons. Don't worry, you will figure out what they need. Be as kind and patient to yourself as you are with your baby.
- Keep practicing. Breastfeed about 8 to 12 times a day to ensure your baby gets enough milk.
Need help right away?
The Breastfeeding Task Force of Santa Clara Valley offers a comprehensive Santa Clara County Breastfeeding Resource Directory of local breastfeeding resources and support, including:
- Lactation consultants
- Breastfeeding support groups
- Local La Leche Leagues and community breastfeeding networks
- Hospital and clinic lactation support services
- WIC Breastfeeding counselors and clinics
Returning to work
Parents, caregivers and employers visit our Family Friendly Workplace Certification (FFWC) Program page to learn about family friendly and breastfeeding policies at the workplace that provides benefits for mothers, children, families, employers, and society.
To learn more about your breastfeeding rights at the workplace review the California Lactation Accommodation Code and for resources visit the Family, Medical, and Pregnancy Disability Leave for Employees in California.
The Breastfeeding Task Force of Santa Clara Valley
The Breastfeeding Task Force of Santa Clara Valley is a collaborative of local organizations, agencies, and individuals working together to promote maternal and infant health through breastfeeding. The Task Force meets bi-monthly. Visit the Breastfeeding Task Force of Santa Clara Valley Facebook for more information and meeting dates.
- Women, Infants, and Children
- Find a Lactation Consultant Directory
- Nutrition for Breastfeeding Moms
- Birth Registration
- Every Woman California
- First 5: Santa Clara County
- County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services
- Office on Women's Health Breastfeeding Resources
- American Academy of Pediatrics Breastfeeding Resources