I can help

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast milk for 6 months. Breastfeeding has been successfully accomplished by mothers and babies for centuries. However, like other seemingly simple tasks, it takes a lot of words to describe. We've prepared this website to assist the people in the mother's life to help out.

For Grandmother / Breastfeeding Information

I didn’t breastfeed; Why should she?

While infant formula has improved over the years, substituting it for breast milk is not risk-free. Breast milk is best for the optimum health and development of your new grandchild, and your encouragement and support can make a great difference in the success of your daughter’s breastfeeding. By helping her care for her baby and household, as well as offering words of encouragement and support, you can empower her to achieve breastfeeding success and provide optimal nutrition for the health of herself and your grandchild.

Benefits for Your Daughter and Granddaughter

Breastfeeding is not only good for babies, but for moms, too.
Some of the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers include:


  • Helps women lose weight gained during pregnancy
  • Lowers risk of breast cancer
  • Lowers risk of ovarian cancer
  • Lowers risk of osteoporosis (thinning of bones)
  • Less missed time at work and fewer doctor’s visits
  • Less expensive and more convenient
  • Comforts baby quickly, so less crying and happier baby
  • Breastfeeding hormones help mothers feel calm and connect with their baby
  • Lowers risk of heart and blood vessel disease and diabetes
  • Less postpartum bleeding
  • Lowers risk of postpartum depression

You Can Help

  • Hold the baby while mom showers, eats a meal, or gets some sleep.
  • Help older siblings feel special and important during this time of change by giving them attention and praise.
  • Help mom and dad cook, take care of household chores, and errands.
  • Comfort Mom if she feels pressured to host visitors by limiting guests and encouraging her to rest and concentrate on breastfeeding in the early days after delivery.
  • Let her know how proud you are of her for breastfeeding by offering words of encouragement.

Supportive Words

  • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • Lactation consultants at UAB are available to provide support at 205-975-8334.
  • Or call the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 800-994-9663 for support.
  • Just like any new skill, breastfeeding takes practice and patience.
  • Encouraging words, like “I’m so proud of you!” go a long way.

Benefits to Your Partner and Your Baby


  • Breast milk gives your baby the ideal balance of nutrients and infection-fighting antibodies. Mother’s milk contains live cells and other growth factors that help promote the best possible development.
  • Parts of mother’s milk help to activate and develop you baby’s immune system.
  • The special mixture of fats in mother’s milk helps develop the baby’s brain and eyes.
  • Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mom and baby.
  • Breast milk can reduce the development of allergies in babies. The most common allergies in the US are to the casein (cow’s milk protein) and soy. Baby formulas are made from cow’s milk or soy, and early introduction to casein and soy can stimulate sensitivity and result in allergies later.
  • Breastfeeding leads to less diarrhea, constipation, and spitting up.
  • Breast milk is easier for baby to digest and absorb nutrients from.
  • Breastfeeding is linked to lower numbers and severity of respiratory, urinary, ear, and other infections.
  • Babies who are breastfed are less likely to suffer from childhood cancers, asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, eczema, and chronic bowel diseases.
  • Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • Breastfed babies have a better response to vaccinations.
  • Babies raised on breast milk have higher IQ and higher scores on test of development throughout childhood.
  • Babies who drink breast milk have healthier teeth.
  • Breastfeeding is linked with a lower re-hospitalization rate.



And the benefits continue into adulthood and includes
lowering the risk of:

  • High cholesterol
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Insulin dependent diabetes

You can help


    There are several ways you can help mom have breastfeeding success with your new baby, including:


  • Giving mom quiet, uninterrupted time with baby.
  • Helping mom get comfortable: providing a seat with good back support, giving her a footstool to take pressure off her back, plus pillows to help her relax.
  • Helping mom get enough rest by taking care of older siblings and helping around the house.
  • Bringing baby to mom to feed.
  • Helping with baby by bathing, dressing, burping, and diapering.
  • Filling and labeling storage containers if mom is pumping, as well as cleaning breast pump parts.
  • Feeding baby its bottle if mom is pumping.
  • Being a good listener and supporter when mom needs to talk about her breastfeeding concerns.
  • Taking part in skin-to-skin contact with your baby helps baby feel calm and connected.

What to expect (timeline)


  • Birth. The first hour after birth is a good time to breastfeed for the first time.
  • First Day. Baby will be sleepy for the first 36 hours of life, so feedings will likely be short and scattered. Your baby will drink about 1 teaspoon of colostrum—a rich, thick, yellowish milk—at each feeding. Feed the baby whenever he or she displays hunger cues. Because babies sleep a lot in the first day or two, we encourage you to unwrap and stimulate your baby to observe for hunger cues 8-12 times a day. Your baby may not nurse every time you attempt to wake him or her. This is a good time for both you and your partner to get rest.
  • “Second Night.” After the first 36 – 48 hours, your baby is likely to be sensitive to stimulation and be fussy. Usually, this isn’t hunger, but instead is your baby’s desire for a familiar environment that is calming and quiet. Place baby on your or your partner’s chest, skin-to-skin, and he or she will feel more secure.
  • First Week. Feedings will take place frequently, at least 8-12 times a day, and often without a schedule. White milk has come in at this time, and because it is more digestible than formula, breastfed babies will eat more often than those on formula.
  • Up to 6 Weeks. Feedings will be less frequent and take less time.

Supportive Words


  • Just like any new skill, breastfeeding takes practice and patience.
  • Most new moms pump only drops of milk for the first few days. This is normal.
  • Many things can temporarily decrease milk supply: illness, hormone changes, stress, having a setback in baby’s condition, and especially lack of frequent emptying of the breast.
  • Questions about breast feeding are normal. The lactation consultants and nurses at UAB are available to help us at 205-975-8334. Or, we can call the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 800-994-9663 for support.
  • Complement her on how amazing it is that she is providing food for your child and how she responds to the baby’s hunger cues.

Holds & Positions


Help with breastfeeding holds


    There is no “right" hold when breastfeeding except to find a hold that feels good to mom and baby.
      To help mom find a hold that feels good to her, here are some common holds to help her try:


  • Laid Back Nursing. This may be the first hold you’ll experience. While still in the delivery room, place your baby on your chest skin to skin with only a diaper on your baby and both of you covered with a blanket. Within the first hour or so, your baby will naturally work his or her way toward your breast to nurse (called a “breast crawl”). You can gently support baby’s back as he or she crawls into position and support your breast as your baby positions him/herself close to your nipple.

  • Cross cradle hold. Good for newborns because it supports their whole body and head. Hold your baby along the opposite arm from the breast you are going to use. Support your baby’s body with the palm of your hand over the baby’s shoulder blades and your forearm along the baby’s spine. Your fingers will be wrapped around the shoulders and along the base of baby’s head and jaw line. Line up your nipple with the baby’s nose and with baby’s tummy facing your tummy ( nipple to nose and tummy to tummy). Be patient and wait for the baby to open his or her mouth wide like a yawn. Baby’s head should be tilted back and the chin raised upward. Gently bring the baby to the breast with baby’s and mom’s tummies touching.

  • Clutch “football” hold. Good for newborns especially for c-section moms and moms with a strong “let down” reflex. Hold your baby with the same arm as the breast you are using. Support your baby’s body with the palm of your hand over the baby’s shoulder blades and your forearm along the baby’s spine. Your fingers will be wrapped around the shoulders and along the base of baby’s head and jaw line. Line up your nipple with the baby’s nose and baby’s tummy facing your side and ribs (nipple to nose and tummy to mommy). Be patient and wait for the baby to open his or her mouth wide like a yawn. Baby’s head should be tilted back and the chin raised upward. Gently bring the baby to the breast with baby’s tummy and mom’s ribs touching. A pillow turned upward and placed behind mom’s back makes room for baby’s legs and mom’s elbow.

  • Side-lying position. Good for c-section moms and moms who have large breast. Lie on your side with your baby on his or her side facing you. Support your baby’s body with the palm of your hand over the baby’s shoulder blades. Your fingers will be wrapped around the shoulders and along the base of baby’s head and jaw line. Line up your nipple with the baby’s nose and baby’s tummy facing you. Be patient and wait for the baby to open his or her mouth wide like a yawn. Baby’s head should be tilted back and the chin raised upward. Gently pull your baby close to bring the baby to the breast. Your baby faces your body.

  • Cradle hold. Hold your baby with his or her body and shoulders on your forearm and his head cradled in the bend of your elbow. Baby’s whole body should be facing yours. This hold is best used when your baby is a little older and has better head control.