What is Baby-Friendly?

Launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, the baby-friendly initiative recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer the finest level of care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding. Our goal is to give mothers the information, confidence and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or safely feed with formula, and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

Learn more by watching our series of "baby friendly" videos.

Breastfeeding Support and Resources

HSHS values breastfeeding as the best and safest way to feed your baby. To support you and your family, a lactation specialist/consultant will see you in the hospital and breastfeeding support is available 7 days/week by phone or appointment after you go home. 

As a baby-friendly hospital, we use the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes to give mothers the information, confidence, and skills they need to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding or formula-feed safely.
Regardless of the method you choose to feed your baby, you will be allowed time, privacy and support to achieve the goals you set for yourself and your little one.

Resources for Breastfeeding

Maternity onto Motherhood (MOM) Program

We have Maternity onto Motherhood (MOM) Coordinators who are specially trained to help you with a wide variety of breastfeeding resources and support throughout your entire breastfeeding journey. From inpatient and outpatient lactation consultations – with certified lactation counselors – to weaning your baby, and everything in-between, we’ve got you covered. Learn more.

Breastfeeding Classes

Free classes are offered monthly for those planning to breastfeed or who are undecided. Classes are taught by a lactation specialist and cover the benefits of breastfeeding, common challenges and techniques for success. To register online for classes, click here.

Breastfeeding Support Group

After leaving the hospital, moms may need additional assistance in breastfeeding. A free support group is offered weekly at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital for all moms who wish to learn new ideas, share experiences and gain confidence in breastfeeding. Led by a lactation specialist, topics include:

  • infant feeding cues

  • latching

  • milk supply

  • weight gain in babies

  • nutrition

  • sore breasts

  • pumping and storage of milk

  • breastfeeding an adopted baby or twins

Participants have the opportunity to discuss concerns, build camaraderie and receive education and support in a relaxed environment. Babies are encouraged to attend. Support people are welcome. For more information and to register, click here.

Milk Depot and Dispensary

We're proud to offer a local milk depot and dispensary in Eau Claire. As the only dispensary in Western Wisconsin, and the third dispensary in the state, we’re part of a network of breast milk dispensaries dedicated to increasing access to donor milk throughout our communities – so you can safely donate and buy local breast milk from an accredited milk bank.
We partner with Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes to ensure the safety of pasteurized breast milk through screening, processing, and dispensing guidelines established by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).
  • Screened donor milk from a milk bank is available for newborns in need at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital.
  • Our milk depot and dispensary is also open to the public. Find out how and where to donate or buy breast milk below.

For Moms at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital

If during your hospital stay at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital you are unable to breastfeed but would like to offer your newborn donor milk, or if your newborn or premature newborn has special needs and is unable to receive your milk, we have the resources on site to safely provide your baby with breast milk from a milk bank.

For the Public

Donate Milk

How to Donate Milk to the Depot
If you have extra breast milk and you’re interested in donating your milk or just want to learn more, visit www.milkbankwgl.org/donate-milk to find out where and how to safely donate your breast milk.


Order Milk

How to Order Milk from the Dispensary
If you have gone through surrogacy or adoption, or have low milk supply, and you’re interested in buying breast milk from a milk bank, call (715) 717-7MOM (7666) or email momprograminfo@hshs.org. We’ll walk you through the process of how and where to get breast milk. To order breast milk and to learn more, visit www.milkbankwgl.org/for-milk-recipients.

Mother-baby bonding


To help you and your baby to bond, it is encouraged you stay together 24 hours a day. This is called “rooming in” and it has been proven to better prepare you to care for your newborn when you return home.

When baby stays in your room, you will have the opportunity to learn more about him or her and recognize things like feeding cues while hospital staff is around to guide you through those first few nights.    

Studies show that mothers get the same amount and quality of sleep when their babies room in as when they are out of the room.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

After baby is born, your care provider will place him or her belly-down directly on your chest. This is called skin-to-skin contact. Your nurse will be there with a warm blanket to cover you and your baby.
Quiet time is encouraged during this first hour as this is the time for mom or dad to hold the baby skin-to-skin providing benefits such as:

  • Positive impact on bonding

  • Reduced perception of pain

  • Reduced incidence of postpartum depression

  • Triggers feeding reflexes and increases breastfeeding success

  • Smooth transition for baby to life outside the womb

  • Increased calmness and reduced crying