Skin-to-skin contact is important for all babies because it helps with bonding, keeps your baby warm, keeps your baby's blood sugar in a normal range and gets breastfeeding off to a great start. Babies who are held this way also cry less. Skin-to-skin holding allows your baby a gentle entry into the world and assists your baby to progress through a number of amazing developmental skills.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits to Moms who Breastfeed

  • Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers
  • Reduced risk of anemia
  • Protection against osteoporosis and hip fracture later in life
  • Helps return mother’s body to its pre-pregnancy state more quickly
  • Helps delay return of fertility and to space subsequent pregnancies
  • Develops special emotional relationship and bonding with her baby
  • Breastmilk is FREE – which reduces or eliminates the cost of formula
  • Breastfed babies are sick less, thus reducing healthcare costs to the family and requiring less time away from work
  • Decreased mortality of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been linked with total time of breastfeeding

Benefits to Babies who are Breastfed

  • Human milk provides children with the most complete and optimal mix of nutrients
  • Breastmilk has a varying composition, which keeps pace with the infant’s growth and changing nutritional needs
  • Protects against diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and other stomach upsets
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Protection against ear infections and respiratory illnesses
  • Reduced risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Protects against meningitis, childhood lymphoma, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Entercolitis
  • Reduced incidence and severity of allergies
  • Babies enjoy a special bonding & emotional relationship with their mothers
  • Breastfeeding plays an important role in emotional development

Babies have better brain and nervous system development

Environmental and Social Benefits of Breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding reduces cost of healthcare by promoting healthier children and mothers
  • Breastfeeding reduces global pollution by reducing the use of resources and energy to produce, process, package, distribute, promote, and dispose of material created by formula
  • Reduces the tax burden on communities and government to ensure children are properly fed
  • Reduced absenteeism in the workplace due to child illness

When and How

If possible, it’s best to start breastfeeding within the first hour after birth. While in the hospital, ask your nurse any questions that you may have. Ask your nurse to watch you latch the baby on so you can feel comfortable going home and confident that you know and understand proper latch position.

Relationship with baby and breastfeeding

Forming a good breastfeeding relationship with your baby takes time. Don’t feel discouraged if it does not happen easily right away. Breastfeeding takes time and practice. You and your baby will soon become comfortable with each other.

Reasons to Get a Lactation Consult

It’s important to pay attention to the appearance of your nipples. Sometimes your exhibit nipple may appear inverted. Nipples appear “flat” but will stand when stimulated. If you are concerned, talk with your provider or a lactation consultant for advice.

Breastfeeding support

If you are breastfeeding, we will provide you with information about breastfeeding support groups like Baby Café. More about BMC’s Baby Café is located at

Burping Your Baby

  • Burp your baby after each feeding
  • Not all babies will burp within the first few days after birth

How to Burp your Baby:

  • Positioning
    • Lay your baby over your shoulder
    • Lay your baby across your lap, belly down
    • Sit your baby on your lap with their chin supported
  • Usually the pressure on your baby’s belly is enough to bring up the air
  • Pat your baby’s back gently or stroke their back with an upward motion. If they did not get a lot of air in their stomach while they were being fed, then they may not burp. Some babies may need to be burped part way through the feeding. If so, resume feeding after they have burped.

Breastfeeding support

Online Support Groups

Please click on the following link for more information and to register:

One-on-One Help (virtual and in person)

New England Mothers First: 508-921-4157 telehealth consults/possible in home consult

Fill out online form to request consult

Spanish and Portuguese speaking Lactation Consults Available

Phone and web-based support

Boston Breastfeeding Coalition Warmline (7 days /week, 9a-5p):  857-301-8259 or     

Vital Village virtual support groups

BMC Breastfeeding Warmline 617- 414-6455, response time usually 24-48 hours

La Leche League of Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Vermont local phone support in your area

Nursing Mothers Council of Boston Association for Childbirth Education (BACE) 617- 244-5102

WIC for eligible families, WIC peer counselors can help for a list of lactation services available

Helpful Websites

Kelly Mom
excellent information on most topics related to breastfeeding, mother’s milk and pumping.

La Leche League International
excellent information available in many languages

Center for Disease Control

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 

Online Breastfeeding Classes

Free weeklong class from Stanford University

Free quick overview with videos, also from Stanford University