Exclusive Breastfeeding Recommended for Baby’s First 6 Months
Infant feeding decisions are important to the health of new babies and their mothers from the very beginning. Our trained Childbirth Center staff strives to educate and support each family’s personal feeding choices.
Practice Makes Perfect
After delivery, our nurses will show breastfeeding mothers how to position their baby to get a wide latch at breast. You will learn how to tell that baby is getting plenty of milk. Expect to practice breastfeeding at least 8-12 times a day (and night) in order make plenty of milk! Get a head start by attending a free Breastfeeding Basics Class during your third trimester.
Skin to Skin Contact
After birth, uninterrupted recovery time next to mom’s familiar heartbeat is the ideal place for most newborns to recover. This warmth and security is soothing to baby and the relaxation hormones released in mom’s body at this time are very beneficial to jumpstarting the milk-making process. If, for medical reasons, Mom isn’t able to hold baby right after birth, Dad works just as well to calm and comfort baby!
Everyone is excited to see the new baby, but it is important to keep baby skin to skin to establish the first breastfeeding during the 1-2 hours after birth. Baby is most alert and ready to learn during this time. Skin to skin holding should be repeated over the first days to awaken a sleepy baby and to help get a proper breastfeeding latch.
Plan to Exclusively Breastfeed
Pediatric experts agree that babies fed only breast-milk and nothing else for about the first 6 months are healthiest. We’ll teach new parents how to monitor their baby closely for the rare situations when supplemental feeding is needed. However, unnecessary formula feeding often causes breastfeeding difficulties to get worse, not better. Among other risks, the use of formula has been shown to lower breast-milk supply and increases the infant’s risk for infections.
Keep Baby with Mom 24 hrs a day
Successful breastfeeding is supported when mom and baby stay together and get to know each other. We’ll introduce new parents to their baby’s movements and behavior that lets them know when baby is ready to eat. This “Rooming In” is even for vulnerable babies, like those born a little early, needing to have their heart rate and breathing monitored closely. Our Special Care Nursery at SJRMC provides telemetry monitoring in mom’s room so that most babies stay together with their families.
Avoid Pacifiers for 3-4 weeks
Artificial nipples, like pacifiers and bottle nipples introduced too early can contribute to breastfeeding problems with poor latch, sore nipples, and low milk supply. For mothers who want to feed both by breast and by bottle, waiting a few weeks will ensure a good latch, full milk supply, and steady infant weight gain before trying new skills related to bottle feeding. Please contact Breastfeeding Support Services at 505.609.6484 for more information.
Breastfeeding Support Services/Appointments and Phone Consultation
Breastfeeding assistance is available six days a week by Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC). Consults can be made during your pregnancy, hospital stay or after going home with your new baby. Clinic visits and phone consults are free of charge and can be scheduled by calling 505.609.6484
SJRMC Employee Breastfeeding Accommodations
Employees have access to hospital grade double electric breast-pumps for use when they return to work after the birth of a new baby. Please contact Breastfeeding Support staff at 505.609.6484 for details and registration.
SJRMC Childbirth Center proudly supports local non-profit efforts to promote a breastfeeding supportive community in San Juan County.