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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Public Health and Social Services

Lactation and Infant Feeding Assistance in Thurston County

Breast/Chest-feeding is one of the best ways to protect the health of both you and your baby. Not only does it create a special bond with your baby, but it also has many long-term health benefits and is a safe and affordable way to feed your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both recommend breast/chest-feeding exclusively for 6 months and then up to at least a year (and longer if possible)! 

Thurston County has many local resources for you because we know how important it is to have the support and information you need!

LIFT LOGO lactation and infant feeding in Thurston

Thurston County Drop-In Lactation Support Group

Why Should I Breastfeed?

mothers and babies in circle support group

Babies can consume human milk directly by breastfeeding or chest-feeding (a term used by transgendered or non-binary parents), or by drinking expressed milk from a bottle or cup. You will often hear the term “lactation” used because it is inclusive to all the parents who may be breastfeeding, chest-feeding, or pumping and feeding their babies breastmilk. All offer incredible benefits!

Click on the links below to learn more about breastfeeding basics, benefits, and challenges:


The early days and weeks of lactation can be overwhelming, Wherever or however you deliver, strong support and evidence-based information are crucial to setting the foundation for how you feed your baby. You may have heard terms like “The Golden Hour”, “Colostrum”, and “Engorgement”, click below to explore what the early days might be like.

mother breastfeeding baby right after birth
woman pumping breastmilk while sitting at table on phone

Following recommended storage and preparation of breast milk can maintain safety and quality of expressed breast milk for the baby's health.

Carefully read and follow the instructions on the infant formula container. These steps will help you know how to prepare and store your infant’s formula correctly. Preparing your infant’s formula according to the instructions is important.

Image of baby formula with scoop and bottle
black mother breastfeeding infant while working on computer

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act requires employers to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for their nursing child, and a place to pump at work, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.

Contact our Maternal Child Health Program at (360) 485-5476 or e-mail phss_lift@co.thurston.wa.usif you have additional questions.