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Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is important to the health and well-being of new babies and moms. The nutrients and antibodies in breast milk help babies fight off illnesses, infections and other potential health threats, and breastfeeding helps new mothers bond with their baby. What many people are not aware of, however, is that breastfeeding safeguards moms’ health, too!

“According to the World Health Organization, increasing breastfeeding to near universal levels would save over 800,000 lives per year globally,” says Sheila Dedrick, a registered nurse and board-certified lactation consultant who manages Community Memorial Healthcare's New Parent Resource Center. Dedrick says breastfeeding also decreases the risk of mothers developing breast and ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. “The same goal could save 20,000 maternal lives annually from breast cancer alone,” she says.

Dedrick offers 5 tips to help new moms breastfeed successfully:

  1. Take a class on breastfeeding before delivering your baby so you are more prepared
  2. Keep your baby skin-to-skin or with you as much as possible after delivery
  3. Ask for breastfeeding assistance in the hospital
  4. Watch your baby to make sure he or she meets the signs that they are receiving enough during breastfeeding: the baby should be eating at least eight times in a 24-hour period – on the baby’s cue, not on a clock schedule. The baby should be urinating at least once for every day of age until six days old and then should have at least six urinations every 24-hour period after that. The baby should be stooling at least once daily. Do not go over three hours without breastfeeding the baby in the beginning.
  5. Plan a follow-up visit with your doctor for a baby weight check and for breastfeeding help within 2-3 days of delivery. This helps everyone recognize early on if things aren’t going well.

Don’t forget! Community Memorial offers free, unlimited lactation consultations to women who deliver at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, with an international board-certified lactation consultant, for up to one year after delivery.

Visit the New Parent Resource Center to learn about classes to support breastfeeding mothers. The center is located at 2580 East Main Street in Suite 101. Parking is available on San Nicholas Street. If you have any questions, please call 805-658-2229 (BABY), visit or email