Breastfeeding Program

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Mothers who breastfeed their babies give them a healthy start in the world. During and after your hospital stay, our nursing staff and lactation consultants provide you with the support you need to breastfeed your newborn. 

Newsweek has recognized our maternity care on its Best Maternity Hospitals 2021 list. Hospitals on this list provide high-quality care for both the mother and baby. 

Breastfeeding & Coronavirus

Worried about nursing your baby due to COVID-19? Read info on breastfeeding during the coronavirus FAQs.

Breastfeeding Experience

UVA leads the way in offering support to newly breastfeeding mothers:

  • UVA is one of only 12 hospitals recognized by the Virginia Department of Health for its support to breastfeeding moms.
  • In 2014, a federal survey ranked UVA in the top 5% of hospitals for our support of breastfeeding.
  • In 2015, UVA Children’s Hospital earned an international award for its support of breastfeeding mothers.

The Breastfeeding Program at UVA Health

Our award-winning breastfeeding program encourages and teaches you how to give your child the most healthy start possible. View breastfeeding program transcript.

Policies That Promote Breastfeeding

Much of our success comes from policies and procedures put in place as part of our work to earn the international Baby-Friendly designation. To this end:

  • All babies are put skin-to-skin with their mother immediately after birth.
  • Babies sleep in the same room as their mothers at all times.
  • All staff have been trained to support breastfeeding mothers, even in the NICU.
  • Lactation consultants visit new mothers regularly.
  • We work to get your newborn breastfeeding within an hour of birth.

Preparing to Breastfeed?

Sign up for a free breastfeeding class.

Problems Breastfeeding?

Get support over the phone or in person. See a lactation consultant at a clinic in either:

We visit with every new mother after delivery. If you’re having breastfeeding problems, we’ll help you cope.

Breastfeeding Issues We Support

  • Latching
  • Milk intake and supply
  • Breast refusal
  • Nipple confusion
  • Nursing and medications
  • Nipple soreness and breast pain
  • Plugged ducts
  • Engorgement and oversupply
  • Tongue tie
  • Mastitis
  • Baby's slow weight gain
  • Baby refusing a bottle
  • Pumping and breastfeeding when returning to work/school

Nursing Support Resources

If you want to learn more or find encouragement, you can:

Breast Pumps & Breastfeeding Supplies

The Affordable Healthcare Act requires insurance companies to provide breast pumps to mothers who want one. Talk with a provider or lactation consultant about what kind of pump will work for you. Then call your insurance company to find out what’s covered.

Parenting Classes

We offer parenting classes to help you get ready for parenthood. Register for our breastfeeding basics class.