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Breastfeeding Information

In addition to being the most natural way to feed your baby, breastfeeding further enhances the bonding experience and provides the best nutrition for your new baby.

The process of breastfeeding and your milk change as your baby grows and develops. A newborn's feeding routine may be different than that of a breastfeeding six-month-old. As the baby grows, the nutrients in your milk adapt to your growing baby's needs.

Should You Breastfeed?

Breastfeed if possible. It is the healthiest and safest option for most infants and supports an infant's ability to fight certain infections. Current recommendations state that mothers should breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and continue breastfeeding for the first year.

Breastfeeding Support Resources

Breastfeeding support is offered during your hospital stay, and is also available on an outpatient basis. Our goal is to help you gain confidence in feeding your baby through education and assistance with breastfeeding.

Summa and our community offer additional breastfeeding assistance, including:

  • Lactation Center at Summa Health System – Akron Campus: Call 330.375.4271 for help or more information.
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Peer Helpers: Contact your local WIC office (Summit County Health Department on Graham Road Circle) at 330.926.5726 for free help.
  • Breast Pump Rentals or Purchase:
    • Elizabeth Studer in Massillon 330.837.0220
    • Edgepark 800.321.0591
    • Visiting Nursing Service 330.344.4867
    • Mommy Xpress 844.641.2255
  • Outpatient Consultations (not affiliated with Summa Health):
    • Elizabeth Studer in Massillon 330.837.0220
    • Elizabeth Maseth at Akron Children’s Hospital 330.543.4531
    • All Natural Beginnings with Jeri Ball 330.603.0793
    • Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio with Dr. Ann Witt, 216.291.9210

  • LaLecheLeague: Visit for complete listing.

  • National BF Helpline: Call 800.994.9662 Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Help available in English or Spanish.

  • Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio: Call 614.566.0630 or visit
  • Ohio Department of Health Breastfeeding Hotline:  24/7 free of charge, The Appalachian Breastfeeding Network (ABN) operates with live, trained lactation professionals. Services are available to all callers, including mothers, their families and partners, expectant parents, and health care providers, call 888.588.3423.

Choosing the Right Breastfeeding Alternatives

Bottle-feeding. If you decide not to breastfeed, or are unable to breastfeed, commercial iron-fortified formulas can provide adequate nutrition for your infant. Infant formulas contain adequate amounts of protein, calories, fat, vitamins and minerals for growth. However, formula does not contain the immune factors present in breast milk, which can help prevent infections. Offer cow's milk-based formula with iron as a first choice of formula if not breastfeeding.

To learn more about successful breastfeeding, register for our basic skills class held at Summa Health Corporate Office, 1077 Gorge Blvd, Akron.

Video 1

Exclusive Breastfeeding

Video 2

Feeding Time

Video 3

Rooming In

Video 4

Skin to Skin

Video 5
Breastfeeding Mothers Group

Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.