Breastfeeding is an important part of your postpartum care. Not only does it provide your baby with ideal nutrition and support your baby’s growth and development, but it can also help protect baby and mom against certain illnesses and diseases as well as improve the quality of your recovery. Breastfeeding is also the most intimate contact between mother and child, helping build a strong bond. After you go home, you may have questions or need guidance on breastfeeding. Your doctor and the baby’s pediatrician are always your first source for help. Here are some guidelines to follow as you begin breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeed often; 8-12 times daily at least; a few more feedings is fine
  • Make sure your baby latches on with a wide-open mouth and with the baby's body totally facing you.
  • Feedings usually last 20-30 minutes; you should be able to hear your baby swallow.
  • Burping between feedings on each breast can keep your baby alert to finish feedings; alternate the side your baby starts on at feedings.
  • Baby should have 3-4 soft or liquid yellow stools per day. Baby should have 6 or more wet diapers in a 24-hour period by 5 days of age.

Pumping and Storing Breast Milk

If mom desires to pump her milk for baby, pumping should mirror her baby's feeding times. A good quality electric pump is most reliable for moms to have adequate milk supply for her baby. Please check with your health care provider and a skilled lactation provider for what is best for your baby and your situation. Human milk should be stored in clean containers with a seal such as specific breast milk bags or food grade containers with tight fitting lids. Breast pump parts must be washed after use and sanitized daily.

*These guidelines are for healthy full-term babies and may vary for premature or sick babies: (These are the CDC Guidelines)

  1. Fresh pumped milk can be stored at ambient room temperature for four hours
  2. Store in your refrigerator for up to four days.
  3. Store in your freezer for up to six months. Up to 12 months is acceptable for a dedicated freezer 0 degrees F or colder
  4. Breast milk can be thawed under warm running water; never microwave. If thawed in the refrigerator, use within 24 hours (Start counting the 24 hours from the time it is completely thawed- not the time you pull it out of the freezer). Once it is brought to room temperature or warmed, use within 2 hours. After 2 hours, discard leftover milk.



Your baby's health care provider will guide you on the specific formula for your baby. Formula comes in liquid ready-to-feed, liquid concentrate, and powdered forms. Water must be from a safe source and measured first before mixing with powder or concentrated forms.

  1. Follow the instructions on the label exactly. Don't forget to wash your hands
  2. Feed your baby the amount your doctor recommends and the times per day your doctor specifies.
  3. Use prepared infant formula within 2 hours of preparation and within the hour from when feeding starts.
  4. Prepared formula can be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Bottles can be warmed under running water; never microwave. Discard any leftover milk in the bottle after feeding.
  5. Take apart, rinse, and wash all bottle parts after feeding. Use a wash basin just for washing bottles and feeding items. Air dry. If using a dishwasher, you can use the heat cycle to daily sanitize. Ask your health care provider about how often to sanitize feeding items for your baby.

Additional breastfeeding resources

Here are some additional resources and organizations that you can contact if you need help with breastfeeding:

Tennessee Breastfeeding 24/7 Hotline—855-4BF-MOMS (855-423-6667)

Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women Breast Feeding Assistance (calls are returned)—901-227-9620

La Leche League USA Helpline—877-4-LALECHE

Office on Women’s Health—800-994-5324

Beautiful Beginnings

Baptist has been delivering babies for a century and we've developed Beautiful Beginnings, a unique maternity program designed to support new moms, from labor and delivery to postpartum.

To register for any of our Beautiful Beginnings classes and support groups, call 901-226-5764. Please email if you need further information or have questions.

Other Consultations, Visitations, Support Groups, and Information

Beautiful Bundles Moms Support Group at Baptist Women’s Hospital
Thursdays 12:30 p.m. to 2:30- p.m., in-person or virtual. Call for information.

La Leche League Memphis

Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition

Memphis Area Lactation Consultants Association

Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition

The Milk Medic---Mobile Lactation Service