How to Succeed in Breastfeeding


You’re probably set on breastfeeding your baby through at least 3 months, and maybe 6. According to a new study, at least 85% of pregnant women say they want to breastfeed for at least 12 weeks – but fewer than 33% make it. In fact, almost half of all the women who said they wanted to breastfeed for at least 3 months ended up doing so for less than a month, and 15% never made it out of the hospital without giving up.

What’s up with that?

According to the study, which is published in the July issue of Pediatrics, what happens right after delivery has a lot to do with whether or not you will keep breastfeeding. The main factors playing into breastfeeding success are starting to breastfeed within an hour of giving birth (ideally, your baby will be immediately placed on your chest, where he or she will quickly find your nipple); nursing staff NOT giving the baby a bottle or pacifier during your stay in the hospital; and your baby NOT receiving formula while in the hospital. In fact, moms whose babies received nothing but breast milk were twce as likely to breastfeed their babies for at least 3 months as moms whose babies were given formula. Keeping your baby in your room with you rather than in the nursery, demand feeding, keeping your baby in skin-to-skin contact with you as much as possible, and taking advantage of any lactation support services offered also factor into breastfeeding success.

Do/did you have a breastfeeding-friendly birth plan?