You can and should prepare for breastfeeding. Your stay at the hospital will be short, and the main focus there will be on practical matters. Information acquired in advance will help you learn and understand new things. You can prepare for breastfeeding by talking about it with your family and friends, reading the Family Support’s Breastfeeding and food section and the breastfeeding guides for mothers and families, and visiting the websites Naistalo (in Finnish) and

All of these provide information on the first days of breastfeeding, proper latching, the baby’s hunger signs, hand expression and several other important topics. During pregnancy, you can also visit the City of Helsinki’s breastfeeding support group. There, you can receive tips on breastfeeding directly from other mothers.

Breastfeeding and your family’s plans on how you will be feeding your baby are natural topics to bring up at the maternity and child health clinic.

A mother breastfeeding her baby.

Breastfeeding instructions for expectant families

Maternity care during pregnancy provides information about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to prepare for it, as well as on the hospital’s treatment practices.

You can receive information from:

  • your own maternity and child health clinic
  • family coaching
  • maternity hospital

The Helsinki region has a breastfeeding card in use, which each family will receive together with their maternity clinic card. The breastfeeding card can be used to monitor what kind of information a family has received on breastfeeding and which topics should be reviewed before the baby is born.

Naistalo and the City of Helsinki’s breastfeeding guides provide useful information on the subject.

Breastmilk is the most natural food for the child.

  • It is always ready to use, at the right temperature, pure and designed for the baby’s needs.
  • Breastmilk has the perfect content of fat, protein and carbohydrates for the baby’s digestive system as well as for the baby’s growth and development.
  • Aside for vitamin D, it has sufficient amounts of all vitamins and minerals in an easily absorbed format. The baby is given vitamin D in accordance with the maternity clinic’s instructions, starting from the age of two weeks.

What if I cannot or do not want to breastfeed? 

Breastfeeding recommendations 

Breastfeeding is a family matter 

How can I prepare for breastfeeding? 

Nursing is not just nourishment for the baby 

How to achieve the best possible start to breastfeeding? 

Breast care 

A mother is breastfeeding her baby in the baby's own pace.

See also:

Breastfeeding – a guide to mothers (pdf)


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