Breastfeeding For Mothers

Mother breastfeeding infant

Breastfeeding protects against:

  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Ear infections
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Obesity
  • Breast and ovarian cancers

Support for You and Your Baby

There are various professionals and support groups available during your breastfeeding journey.

Lactation Professionals 

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) is an invaluable asset to encourage you when breastfeeding is going well and to provide information and support to help prevent and manage your common concerns. IBCLCs and CLCs help you with:


  • Prenatal counseling to address factors that may affect breastfeeding
  • Basic position and latch of your infant
  • Information about practices that promote successful breastfeeding
  • Preventing and managing  common concerns such as poor latch, inadequate milk transfer or supply, nipple or breast pain, and calming a fussy baby
  • Milk expression and storage if you must separated from your baby
  • Strategies for breastfeeding after returning to work
  • Breastfeeding in challenging situations, such as breastfeeding twins or triplets, a premature or sick infant, or infants in special medical situations


Find an IBCLC near you or click here to locate a designated breastfeeding expert (DBE) within your community.  Support from a lactation professional is also available through the Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline

Mother breastfeeding infant

La Leche League is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed.  All women interested in breastfeeding are welcome to attend the monthly group meetings or call a Leader for breastfeeding help.

Find a La Leche group near you.

Other Community-Based Support Groups

Check with social media groups such as Facebook and for local peer support in your community.  Classes may also be available through your delivery hospital, local health department, or insurance provider.

Mother breastfeeding infant

Breastfeeding Advocacy Groups

Local breastfeeding coalitions bring individuals and organizations together. They enable women, families, and community members to share ideas, break institutional and cultural barriers, and solve problems related to breastfeeding, in addition to empowering and educating the public.​  There are five local breastfeeding coalitions across the state:


East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition Serving the Greater Knoxville Area

Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition Serving Nashville / Middle Tennessee Area

Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition serving Memphis and Shelby County

Chattanooga Area Breastfeeding Connection

Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition

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Additional Resources

USDA WIC Breastfeeding Support

CDC About Breastfeeding

Your Guide to Breastfeeding:  This easy-to-read publication by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health provides women the how-to information and support needed to breastfeed successfully.

  • It explains why breastfeeding is best for baby, mom, and society and how loved ones can support a mother's decision to breastfeed
  • Expert tips and illustrations help new moms learn how to breastfeed comfortably and how to overcome common challenges.
  • The wisdom of real moms is shared in personal stories that reassure and encourage.

Women's Health Breastfeeding Fact Sheet