If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, our goal is to support you in every way we can. We offer a number of resources to help you as you embark on this miraculous journey. While breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, it is also a learning experience for you and your newborn. We understand that there can be challenges, and we want to provide you with the confidence, knowledge and support to help you succeed. In some cases, breastfeeding may not be an option or supplementation may be necessary. We’re here to support you through those situations as well.
Breastfeeding Education and Support
Our clinical staff and certified lactation consultants offer comprehensive breastfeeding education and support. Our lactation consultants are available to new mothers every day from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. We also encourage our new moms to review the Guide to Successful Breastfeeding booklet provided in the folder they receive in the room. This booklet provides information, from proper latching and various breastfeeding positions to manual expression and treatment for engorgement and clogged milk ducts.
The best reason to breastfeed your newborn is a strong desire to do so. It requires your commitment. The first several weeks are a period of adjustment for you and your baby. As the weeks continue and a routine begins to develop, the rough edges begin to smooth.
Some advantages of breastfeeding, from our Guide to Successful Breastfeeding booklet, are listed below.
For the newborn, breastfeeding offers the following benefits:
- Due to breast milk’s protective mechanisms (antibodies), breastfed babies are less likely to develop ear infections, respiratory illnesses and gastrointestinal diseases.
- Breast milk is easily digested. Breastfed babies are rarely constipated and have a lower incidence of stomach upsets and diarrhea.
- The incidence of allergies is decreased.
- Breastfeeding is excellent for jaw and tooth development.
- It is difficult to overfeed a breastfed baby, which may decrease the incidence of obesity.
- Evidence indicates that breastfed babies have lower cholesterol levels as adults, and decreased incidence of adult onset diabetes and childhood cancers.
- Babies love to breastfeed! They can smell you and see you up close.
For the mother, breastfeeding offers the following benefits:
- It encourages bonding between mother and baby.
- Breastfeeding helps the mother’s uterus return faster to its pre-pregnancy size.
- Breastfeeding full time burns up to 500 calories/day, aiding in mom’s after-delivery weight loss.
- It encourages mom to rest.
- It is more cost effective and saves time.
- Breastfeeding decreases the chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer, and osteoporosis. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower the risk.
Sometimes mothers are unable to breastfeed or need to supplement with formula. These situations can happen even to those who are strongly committed to breastfeeding and use every resource and recommendation provided. If this happens to you, you need to try to feel good about your efforts and then give yourself a break. It is natural to feel disappointed, angry or sad, but rest assured, there are many other ways to bond with your baby and provide a healthy start.