Skip to main content

An official website of the United States government

image of a woman breastfeeding her baby

Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding is a special gift that only you can give your baby. But there's a lot to learn, and it may take some time to get the hang of it. WIC can help. The more you know, the more comfortable you will feel the first time you breastfeed your baby.

Learn the breastfeeding basics.

From facts about breast milk to signs that your baby is hungry, WIC has the information you need. Learn how to prepare for the first few feedings. See why holding your baby skin-to-skin is so important. Find out how your breast milk changes. And discover how much milk your growing baby needs.

Breastfeeding is worth it—for your baby, you, and your entire family.

Here's what you need to get started!

Breastfeeding Benefits

Breastfeeding Benefits

Breastfeeding gives babies a healthy start—and is good for moms, too.

Read More

Breastfeeding basics

Breastfeeding Basics

Learn how milk is made, when to nurse, how long babies nurse, and more.

Read More

Common Breastfeeding Challenges

Common Breastfeeding Challenges

Breastfeeding challenges are common, but knowing what to expect and when to get help can help you overcome them.

Read More

Breastfeeding supplies

Breastfeeding Supplies

You don’t need any fancy equipment, but some things can make breastfeeding easier.

Read More

Set yourself up for breastfeeding success starting on day one.

Planning for Your Delivery

Set yourself up for breastfeeding success starting on day one.

Read More

Letter to your future self

Letter to Your Future Self

Breastfeeding can be challenging. Write a letter to your future self to help you recommit on the hard days.

Read More

Talk to Your Family about Breastfeeding

Talk to Your Family about Breastfeeding

Talk about why you choose to breastfeed, and ask for your family’s support.

Read More

Delivery room 101

Delivery Room 101

Baby is on the way! Here’s what to expect when you’re in the hospital.

Read More

Bringing baby home.

Bringing Baby Home

Your baby is here! See what to expect your first few days at home.

Read More

Phases of breast milk.

The Phases of Breast Milk

Learn about the 3 phases of breast milk and why each is good for your baby.

Read More

How breast milk is made.

How Breast Milk is Made

The human body is amazing. Find out how your breasts make milk for your baby.

Read More

Setting your breastfeeding goals.

Setting Your Breastfeeding Goals

Set your short- and long-term goals for breastfeeding before baby arrives.

Read More

How much milk does your baby need

How Much Milk Your Baby Needs

See how small a newborn’s tummy is and learn how to tell if your baby is getting enough milk.

Read More

Baby's hunger cues.

Baby's Hunger Cues

Learn how to tell when your baby is hungry—or full.

Read More

Picture of various fruits and vegetables

Nutrition While Breastfeeding

A nutritious, balanced diet helps you stay energetic and make plenty of milk for your baby.

Read More

5 Breastfeeding Holds to Try

5 Breastfeeding Holds to Try

Try these ways to hold your baby, and figure out what works best for you.

Read More

Clutch or football hold

Clutch or "Football" Hold

Use the clutch hold to breastfeed your baby.

Read More

Cross-cradel or transitional position

Cross-Cradle or Transitional Hold

Use the cross-cradle hold to breastfeed your baby.

Read More

Cradle hold

Cradle Hold

Use the cradle hold to breastfeed your baby.

Read More

Laid back or straddle position

Laid-Back or Straddle-Hold

Use the laid-back hold to breastfeed your baby.

Read More

Side lying position

Side-Lying Position

Use the side-lying position to breastfeed your baby.

Read More

Image of a baby breastfeeding

Steps and Signs of a Good Latch

These tips help you get a good latch—and know if you have one.

Read More

Counselor speaking with a mother

Get Support from WIC

Whether you’re just starting out or having challenges, WIC is there for you at every step.

Read More

Cluster feeding and growth spurt

Cluster Feeding and Growth Spurts

Learn about cluster feeding and what to expect during baby’s growth spurts.

Read More

Breast and Nipple Size and Shape

Breast and Nipple Size and Shape

You can breastfeed no matter what the size and shape of your breast and nipple.

Read More

Ways Your Friends and Family Can Help You

Ways Your Friends and Family Can Help You

Learn about the ways your friends and family can support you.

Read More

What's in Your WIC Food Package

What's in Your WIC Food Package

What’s in your food package depends on whether you’re breastfeeding and your baby’s age.

Read More

How Much Milk Will I Express?

How Much Milk Will I Express?

Most moms make just the right amount for their baby.

Read More

Weaning Your Baby

Weaning Your Baby

Knowing when and how to wean baby can be confusing. Learn how you can make the process a positive one.

Read More

Using Bottles with a Breastfed Baby

Using Bottles with a Breastfed Baby

Planning to be apart from baby? Find tips for feeding baby with expressed milk.

Read More

Pumping and Hand Expression Basics

Pumping and Hand Expression Basics

New to milk expression? Here’s what you need to know before you get started.

Read More

Learning to Pump and Hand Express Milk

Learning to Pump and Hand Express Milk

It may take practice, but soon you’ll be a pro at pumping and hand expression.

Read More

Breastfeeding and Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking

Breastfeeding and Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking

Limit or avoid smoking, most drugs, and alcohol for baby’s health and yours.

Read More