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Research conducted to examine nurses' breastfeeding support to first-time mothers is sparse in Turkey.To identify informational, practical and emotional support that mothers had received from nurses in the early postpartum period.A descriptive and cross-sectional study of 192 mothers who took part in the research prior to discharge from a maternity hospital in Ankara, Turkey. Mean, standard deviation and percentages were used to analyze the maternal characteristics. Chi-square test was used to analyze informational, practical and emotional support received by the mothers in relation to socio-demographic characteristics. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate risk factors for in-hospital formula supplementation and experiencing breastfeeding problem.The mothers stated that the information provided should be adequate (41%), given individually (36.3%) and taught through practice (41%). Supplementary feeding was the only statistically significant predictor of in-hospital breastfeeding problems [P < 0.01, odds ratio (OR) 0.109, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33–0.361]. Experiencing a breastfeeding problem, not receiving practical support, and the unavailability of nurses were statistically significant predictors of supplementation respectively (P < 0.01, OR 0.084, 95% CI 0.023–0.309; P < 0.05, OR 0.239, 95% CI 0.071–0.809; P < 0.05, OR 3.442, 95% CI 1.059–11.183, respectively).Informational, practical and emotional support offered by nurses has the potential to make a difference in reducing breastfeeding problems and in-hospital supplementation. Practical support could be enhanced through effective implementation of early maternal/infant skin-to-skin contact in a busy hospital environment.