At Memorial Hermann, we encourage breastfeeding, as it benefits both mom and baby. To help women and their families before and after birth, we provide a wide range of breastfeeding resources, including lactation consultants, educational classes and more.
Breastfeeding is a natural and normal way to provide optimal nutrition, immune system support and emotional nurturing for the growth and development of infants. Breastmilk delivers nutrients, enzymes, growth factors, hormones and anti-inflammatory properties that can positively impact a baby’s development and reduce a child’s risk of infections. And breastfeeding can provide a special time of bonding and can aid in the mother’s recovery process after her body has undergone pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of:
Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of:
Despite these benefits to mother and baby, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one in four infants is exclusively breastfed, as recommended, by the time they are 6 months old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first 6 months of age before introducing nutritious complementary foods. For most infants, there is no need to introduce infant formula or other sources of nutrition prior to 6 months of age. Beyond 6 months, the AAP supports continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods, if mutually desired by mother and child, until the child is two years or age or older. These recommendations are consistent with those of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Memorial Hermann joins the global effort to protect, promote and support breastfeeding practices.
Prior to delivery, we encourage expectant mothers to learn about breastfeeding and to begin talking with their support team about this decision. We invite mothers to download a free copy of Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care at any time throughout pregnancy or after. This booklet is designed to help moms prepare to care for themselves and their babies after birth and includes helpful topics such as changes to expect after birth, breastfeeding, safe sleeping environment and more.
In addition, we provide classes for new parents and refresher courses for current parents on breastfeeding, childbirth education, newborn care, infant CPR and related topics. We also offer classes for other family members, such as grandparents and siblings, to provide them with opportunities for learning and support. Find an in-person or virtual class about breastfeeding and register online, or call (713) 222-CARE to register by phone.
Adequate counseling and support are essential for mothers and families to initiate and maintain optimal breastfeeding practices. Memorial Hermann’s team of skilled and knowledgeable board-certified lactation consultants provides a full spectrum of services to help address mothers’ questions regarding breastfeeding during and after their hospital stays. We encourage all moms to ask their care teams for assistance and support.