Breastfeeding Basics

*****The Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline is here! Mommas - you can call this number day or night and expect to speak with someone live to help you! Very excited to have this up and running. It is 1-855-4BF-MOMS (1-855-423-6667). Please share to help us spread the word! ******


Human Milk 4 Human Babies


For Info on free support groups, contact  Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition


Maybe your baby has a lip or a tongue tie. Visit Dr. Paige Prather in Franklin for a consult.

Breastfeeding Difficulties Nashville

Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition "Join our group of volunteers (parents, medical, health department, community) to plan and execute projects to help moms immediately initiate breastfeeding and meet their goals. We are outward focused on making direct, positive change within our community."

 A great list of Nashville breastfeeding resources and support groups is listed here.

If you want a good recipe for lactation cookies, visit Peaceful Parenting and Katy's Lactation Cookies.

Breastfeeding has been proven time and time again to be the most beneficial way to feed a newborn, for both mom and baby. However, not all circumstances and people are the same, so breastfeeding may not be the right option for all mothers. The AMA recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of 12 months, and continuing for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby (1).

The benefits of breastfeeding include, but are not limited to:

  • Passage of antibodies from the mother to the infant, in a time when the infant does not have their own immune system to speak of. (2)

  • Reduced risk of certain types of breast cancer for mother. (3)

  • Economic benefits due to reduced cost of formula, storage, delivery, and time to prepare. (4)

  • Easier portability. If you choose to exclusively nurse, food is ready and on tap at all times, in all places! And if you choose to pump, your partner or another caretaker can take turns feeding the baby.

  • There is also a lot to be said for the bonding that can happen between a mother and infant, though this bonding is possible to achieve with bottle feeding as well. Closeness is the important thing to take from your time feeding baby, no matter how you choose to do it.

Formula feeding is trying very hard to catch up to the nutritional benefits of breast milk. It may never get to 100%, but the overall benefits of breastfeeding long term have been overstated in recent years (5). So if you try breastfeeding and choose not to continue, remember that you helped even in whatever time you got in, and that formula feeding is safe and effective… and will still result in a healthy, happy, and full baby! And that’s really the biggest goal.

  • Formula feeding can be much more accommodating for working mothers. Without having to take breaks to pump, productivity and accommodations are left out of the rapidly increasing pile of things new mothers are forced to deal with.

  • Formula is not as easily digested as breastmilk, and so will satiate baby for longer periods. This may allow for a more routine feeding schedule and longer periods of continuous sleep for baby, and so also for mother.

  • Nighttime feeding sessions can be easily handled by another caretaker without mother having to worry about keeping supply up.

  • If baby is sensitive to certain foods, mother won’t have to adjust her diet to accommodate.

If you choose to breastfeed, remember that it may not be an easy journey, but there are resources out there to those who need them.

  • Tennessee law states that a mother has the right to feed in any place they are legally allowed to be. Do not ever let someone bully you into a bathroom stall or your car.

  •  Federal law states that your employer is required to provide you both breaks and a safe, clean, private location to pump breastmilk while at work.

  • There are plenty of meetings, organizations, lactation consultants, and hotlines in the area that will provide everything from quick answers to in-home, hands on help.

                                 o La Leche League
                                 o St. Thomas Midtown Breastfeeding Outreach Clinic
                                 o Vanderbilt Breastfeeding Support (lists free support groups meeting almost every day)
                                 o Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition
                                 o TN Department of Health Breastfeeding Support Hotline 1-855-423-6667
                                 o Weigh-to-go Baby (Nashville Birth and Babies)
                                 o Gala Breastfeeding Support Group (NOVA Birth Services)

1. AAP Reaffirms Breastfeeding Guidelines
2. How Breastmilk Protects Newborns
3. Association Between Breastfeeding, reduced Risk of Aggressive Breast Cancer
4. The Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review and Analysis
5. Breast-feeding Benefits Appear to be Overstated, According to Study of Siblings

Breastfeeding Consultants: Please be aware that not all consultants are the same. Ask about their credentials. To understand the difference read  this blog post.

Most hospitals have a lactation center and consultants that can help you. In my experience, they have not been very helpful. Plus, you have to drag you and baby out to the hospital to get help. If you hire a Lactation Consultant (LC) or a IBCLC (lactation nurse) they will come to your home and give you specialized care and a plan to be successful in breastfeeding. 

Kate Cropp (IBCLC) at Nashville Birth and Babies

(Nancy Hinsley (IBCLC)


Blessed Beginnings (Angela & Diane IBCLC) will come to your home and costs $100 the first hour.

Jackie Randolf (IBCLC) 615-218-5130


Ashley at Lactation Destination 615.812.7856 costs $80 for 60 to 90 min session.


Sarah McKay (IBCLC)


 Lydia Kay Podmolik McGrew (Clarksville)

615-972-5395 "I am available to the community for home/hospital visits for my Lactation Services! This includes but is not limited to:


Breastfeeding Difficulties Nashville

Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition "Join our group of volunteers (parents, medical, health department, community) to plan and execute projects to help moms immediately initiate breastfeeding and meet their goals. We are outward focused on making direct, positive change within our community."


The Newborn Nurse Maternal/Neonatal RN of 12 years 615.785-7300

When Should I seek Help?

If you are having any issues or concerns about breastfeeding, get help now. TODAY! Waiting could lead to bigger problems or losing your milk supply.

If you are planning to breastfeed during your pregnancy, you may wish to attend a meeting or class about breastfeeding to get a head-start on some common difficulties you may face and advice for what’s to come. Once the baby is born, you may see a lactation consultant in the hospital who can show
you various latching techniques and positions to get you off to a good breastfeeding start. After you are discharged and are at home with baby, you may still find that you need support, advice, or help with breastfeeding. There are peer-support groups, such as La Leche League, where you can find advice and wisdom from seasoned mothers who may have experienced similar troubles. If you are having specific concerns or problems, you may wish to seek out a CLC or IBCLC to assist you directly with your personal issue. Some reasons for seeking a CLC/IBCLC include difficulty or pain during latching, excessive infant weight loss, or over/under supply of breastmilk. Mothers facing difficulties such as multiples, preemies, or infants born with medical conditions such as cleft palate also benefit greatly from seeking professional advice.

Thankfully, there are a lot of resources and support out there to help you through your breastfeeding journey. Just because it’s natural does not make it simple or easy! Reach out for help as often or as much as you need it and remember that other people have struggled too. Some people you may reach
out to for help may include an LC, CLC, or IBCLC.

  1. LC: Lactation Consultant – Someone who can offer guidance and support in lactation but is not certified.

  2. CLC: Certified Lactation Counselor – Has taken a course in breastfeeding training and passed a final examination. They typically help with commonly encountered situations and may refer someone to an IBCLC for more difficult situations.

  3. IBCLC: International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants – Has extensively studied the science of lactation and put in the most hours. They sit for a board exam, similar to medical doctors. This is the only internationally, standardized lactation credential available.


  • Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  •  La Leche League International – a mother-to- mother support group with pages for specific regions/countries/states. They offer support meetings as well.

  • – Evidence-based information on breastfeeding, sleep and parenting.

  • – for mothers who may return to work/school and will be pumping.

  • 1-855- 423-6667 – Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline – staffed by IBCLCs and CLCs, operates 24/7.

Nashville, TN 37221

© 2019 by

Blissful Birthing TN, LLC

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