Breastfeeding Support

Expect your choice for providing nourishment to your newborn to be respected and supported at Birthways at Mary Greeley Medical Center.


Be confident with the breastfeeding expertise available on Birthways. Mary Greeley Medical Center is designated as a Baby-Friendly hospital by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., the nation’s authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Breast Milk

Human milk contains at least one hundred ingredients not found in any artificial infant milk. Research indicates that breastfeeding your baby can decrease their chances of becoming overweight by 30 percent. Breastfeeding can also:

  • Reduce your baby’s risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma.
  • Provide better resistance to infections.
  • Offer protection from SIDS.
  • Allow for easier digestion and fewer allergies.
  • Help you lose weight faster.
  • Protect you from ovarian and breast cancer.
  • Decrease your risk of osteoporosis.

Expertise and Support

You receive education and assistance on initiation and duration of breastfeeding through the Birthways Baby-Friendly process, which is endorsed by major health organizations and backed by extensive research. Breastfeeding is sometimes frustrating. That’s why we sit down with you and walk you through how to nourish your baby. We spend time with you during your hospital stay to make sure everyone is getting the hang of things. You will come back to the hospital a few days after being discharged so that we can see how things are going. We also recommend the National Breastfeeding Hotline (800-994-9662) Monday-Friday from 8 am - 5 pm.

We encourage mothers and infants to “room-in,” which means they remain together 24 hours a day during their hospital stay. We also discourage the use of formula, unless medically necessary, and pacifiers until breastfeeding is established.

Rely on longstanding Birthways lactation program, and enjoy a free follow up visit with lactation services for all breastfeeding moms and infants.

Benefit from a variety of other breastfeeding resources provided by Mary Greeley, including:

Breastfeeding Support Group: Share and learn in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. The group meets once a month and is facilitated by a breastfeeding specialist. You will have the opportunity to weigh your baby, hear what is working for other mothers, receive information and support, and make connections.

Facebook Breastfeeding Support Group: Another great place to share stories, get support and connect with other breastfeeding moms.

Breastfeeding Class: Get information about what to expect during the beginning days of breastfeeding. Current information on breast feeding is presented.

Mary Greeley Medical Center Home Medical Equipment: Find a variety of breast pumps, pump parts, nursing pillows, and other breastfeeding aids. Insurance will often cover or partially cover items necessary for breastfeeding. Home Medical Equipment is located at 1114 Duff Ave. in Ames.

Donor Milk Program

Take advantage, if needed, of donor breast milk program at Birthways. Donor milk, obtained from the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, is available in Birthways for babies that might need it. A mother’s own milk is used whenever possible to feed her baby, but in certain situations, the baby needs a supplement. These situations could include a baby with a low blood sugar, a premature baby, a baby who is being adopted, a multiple birth, or a very sick mother who is not able to provide her own milk right away.

Trust the milk bank. Milk is donated to the milk bank only by very carefully screened volunteer donors. Donor milk is only used with the permission of parents and is free of charge thanks to support from Mary Greeley Foundation.

Learn more about our Breastfeeding Support Group where you can connect with other breastfeeding moms!

Additional Resources

Here are a few more breastfeeding websites we think you may find helpful.

Stanford School of Medicine Breastfeeding Videos
Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition
Infant Risk Center-Texas Tech University
Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Support for Breastfeeding Moms

Share and learn with breastfeeding moms in a friendly, supportive atmosphere:

Breastfeeding Support Group

Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook

National Breastfeeding Hotline: 800-994-9662

Talk to a Nurse

Call our 24/7 First Nurse phone line to speak with a medical professional and get advice right away.