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 a mother and baby desire.
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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 1/6 to 1/4 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.
For support and local resources, call: (408) 885-5950.
Here are two recommended resources with tips and answers to questions that moms often have about breastfeeding:
- Office on Women's Health -Breastfeeding Resources
- American Academy of Pediatrics' HealthyChildren.Org -Breastfeeding Resources
Need help right away?
The Breastfeeding Task Force of Santa Clara Valley offers a comprehensive Santa Clara County Breastfeeding Resource Directory (English, Spanish, and Vietnamese ) of local breastfeeding resource and support, including:
- Lactation Consultants
- Breastfeeding Support Groups
- Local La Leche Leagues and community breastfeeding networks
- Hospital/Clinic Lactation Support Services
- WIC Breastfeeding counselors and clinics
Returning to Work
Mothers and employers visit our Mother-Friendly Breastfeeding Worksites page to learn about breastfeeding policies at the workplace that provides benefits for mothers, children, families, employers, and society.
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, please visit Breast Feeding Task Force of Santa Clara Valley for more information and meeting dates.