Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Lactation Program

Congratulations on the news of your pregnancy! In the next few months you will receive lots of information about your pregnancy and your new baby. One of the choices you will need to make is how you will feed your baby.

Here at St Joseph Hospital we are a designated "Baby-Friendly™ Hospital" (the only one in Nashua and the second in the state of New Hampshire). The designation is given by UNICEF and the World Health Organization for meeting the highest level of care and support for breastfeeding mothers. This designation means that all of our nurses are trained to help breastfeeding mothers have a positive breastfeeding experience.

Getting started

To get you started, we offer a Preparing to Breastfeed class every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., which you can take at any time prior to your due date. Click here for details and registration. The class is taught by our certified lactation consultant (a nurse with special training in helping mothers breastfeed), who will answer your questions and provide information on the following:

  • Benefits of breastfeeding
  • How to prepare your breast
  • Nutrition while nursing
  • How and when to breastfeed
  • Help for any special situations (e.g., breastfeeding multiples)

One-on-one support

During your hospital stay, your nurse will spend time helping you breastfeed or bottle- feed your newborn. You will also have help from one of our certified lactation consultants. We recommend feeding your baby by watching for feeding cues while you spend time together. Some babies feed more often, and some feedings will last for 10 to 20 minutes or as long as 40 minutes depending on your baby.

Help at home

Our support follows you home! We have several ways to help you. Our Childbirth Center nurses staff two special 24-hour hotlines, to answer questions about you or your baby. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, a lactation consultant will call to check in with you within the first week and will continue to call for as long as you wish.  You can also set up an outpatient lactation visit with Teri D'Onofrio once you go home should you encounter any problems. Please contact Teri at (603) 595-5300, ext. 66047, or email at

Help at home

New Moms' Support Group, Monday's 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Geared towards new moms and newborns up to four months old. this New Mother's Series is free to attend, however, it is best to register if you plan on attending by calling Community Health Education at (603) 595.3168.  Contact: Teri D'Onofrino, RN, IBCLC at (603) 882.3000 ext. 66047.