Breastfeeding entails numerous advantages for the health of mother and child, as well as for society in general. For hundreds of years, mothers have been breastfeeding their children, however, the lactation period rarely proceeds without complications. In spite of the medical and technological progress, breastfeeding problems occur with 50% of nursing women in Austria within the first three months after delivery. This means an extraordinary pressure on mother and child. Yet, most of the breastfeeding problems can be resolved with simple measures, so that nursing can be continued unhindered. Counseling and assistance by health professionals at the beginning of the lactation period can have a significant influence on the success and overall duration of breastfeeding. The range of tasks of medical and health care professionals comprise somatic as well as mental care and assistance to breastfeeding mothers. Moreover, professional breastfeeding counseling and assistance within the first weeks can help to prevent breastfeeding problems. Difficulties in the breastfeeding management can be diagnosed and corrected at an early stage by monitoring the breastfeeding situation and, by means of this, further problems and premature ablactation can be avoided. However, in order to enable health care professionals to be confident in dealing with breastfeeding mothers, appropriate theoretical and practical education is required. Therefore, to promote breastfeeding, it is essential to create favourable social, institutional and political conditions.