Breastfeeding:  starting out right


Breastfeeding is the natural and normal way of feeding infants and young children. Learning about breastfeeding while you are pregnant will help you start out right.  Most  prenatal classes also provide at least a session on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be easy and trouble free for most mothers, with the right support. Keep in mind, however, that breastfeeding is a new skill that mother and baby need to learn together, so be patient with yourself and your new baby as you figure out what works best for you.

The basis of breastfeeding is getting the baby to latch on well; a baby who latches on well gets milk well. Before you leave the hospital, you should be shown how to check that your baby is latched on properly and that baby is getting milk from the breast.

Here are a few ways breastfeeding can be made easier:

  • The baby should be skin-to-skin with the mother and have access to the breast immediately after birth
  • The baby should be kept skin to skin with mother as much as possible immediately after birth and for as much as possible in the first few weeks of life

There should be no restriction on the length or frequency of breastfeeding; supplements of water, sugar water, or formula are rarely needed.

There are many resources for breastfeeding mothers available at, including links to helpful websites, books and other supports. Some helpful sites include:

Your family doctor will also be able to help you with breastfeeding support. If you don’t have a family doctor for pregnancy, post-partum and/or newborn care, you can find one in the directory at

Find a family doctor for your pregnancy and beyond at

Pregnancy Vancouver is a project of the Vancouver Division of Family Practice (VDoFP). The VDoFP is creating a network of Family Doctors to enhance and facilitate knowledge exchange about prenatal and postpartum care, connect Family Doctors, and improve the maternity care referral process.