Breastfeeding (Lactation) and Infant Feeding

A mother snuggles her young baby while breastfeeding.

At OHSU, we are passionate about helping you feed your baby. We support you and your goals when it comes to breastfeeding (or not). You can expect:

  • Expert breastfeeding support in the hospital and after you go home.
  • Lactation consultants who are board-certified and also trained in nursing.
  • Breast pumps and accessories at OHSU pharmacies.
  • Classes that focus on breastfeeding support.
  • Help with infant feeding concerns, whether or not your baby is breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding support in and out of the hospital

You’ll find expert guidance and support during your hospital stay and after. We know that learning to breastfeed can be challenging. You’ll find:

24/7 in-hospital breastfeeding help. All labor and delivery nurses and recovery nurses are trained in breastfeeding. They can help around the clock when your baby is feeding.

In-hospital certified lactation consultants. For more complex issues, our lactation consultants are available every day to visit your hospital room or the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). If your baby is in the NICU, they can help you express or pump milk.

Breastfeeding help once you’re home. Our outpatient lactation consultants are board-certified and are also nurses. They can also help you prepare for breastfeeding before your baby's birth.

Infant feeding support

Lactation consultants at the OHSU Center for Women’s Health can help with all types of infant feeding questions and problems, even if you aren’t breastfeeding. They can support your transition from breastfeeding to formula or solid food, and answer infant feeding questions of all kinds.

What is breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding (or chestfeeding) is feeding human milk to your baby. You may feed your baby directly from your breast or chest. You may also use your hands or a pump to express milk for your baby.

Human milk provides the ideal mix of fats, sugars and protein that your baby needs to thrive. As your baby gets older, your breast milk adjusts to meet their nutritional needs.

Benefits for babies:

  • Protects against ear infections, diarrhea and colds
  • Lowers risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  • May reduce the risk for asthma, childhood obesity, allergies and type 2 diabetes

Benefits for breastfeeding parents:

  • Can help lower your risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and breast and ovarian cancers
  • No cost, unlike formula
  • Convenience; your baby’s food is always with you.

Soon after your baby is born, nurses will encourage you to hold your baby skin-to-skin. This promotes milk production and helps your baby to suckle. Your baby will also stay in your room with you 24/7. This encourages bonding and breastfeeding.

Our nurses can:

  • Show you how to latch your baby to your breast.
  • Help with breastfeeding positions.
  • Answer your questions and address concerns.

Watch a video about breastfeeding in the first hour from Stanford Medicine.

Many people leave the hospital before or just as their milk comes in. Our lactation consultants are available for virtual or in-person appointments. We can help you with:

  • Painful nursing
  • Latching difficulties
  • Cracked nipples
  • Babies with low weight gain
  • How to tell if your baby is getting enough milk
  • Advice for pumping milk and returning to work
  • Breast milk storage tips
  • Feeding twins or other multiples and pre-term babies
  • Transitioning from bottle to breastfeeding or chestfeeding

Other services

Breastfeeding classes: Learn what to expect and how to breastfeed successfully.

Pumps for purchase: You’ll find Medela breast pumps and accessories for sale at our pharmacies.

Donate milk to help others: Donor breast milk is an important part of medical care for at-risk infants whose own parents cannot supply enough milk.

Our team

These infant feeding experts are here to help before your baby is born, right after you leave the hospital, and throughout your feeding journey. They offer virtual or in-person appointments.

For patients


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Center for Women’s Health
808 SW Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239
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