Here are some breastfeeding tips for before you go to the hospital, while you are there, and for when you are back home.
Prior to the baby being born-become well informed.
- Read recommended books or go online to learn more about breastfeeding.
- Take a prenatal class-this will help you understand the benefits of breastfeeding, how the breast works and the basic principles of milk production.
- Get the support of your partner-include him in classes and information that you read.
- Don’t let others affect your decision to breastfeed. Remember that what one women’s experiences are with breastfeeding, especially if they are negative, doesn’t necessarily mean that is the way it will be for you.
- Have a written plan that includes your desire to exclusively breastfeed.
- Think ahead and get prepared. Research different breast pumps. Call your insurance company and find out what“personal use” breast pump that they will provide and process on how to obtain one. Research different bra’s, creams, etc. prior to coming to the hospital.
While you are at the hospital
- Request immediate skin to skin after you deliver prior to bathing, assessments, medications etc. Vital signs and assessments can be done while doing skin to skin.
- Room in with your baby as much as possible. Request test such as lab work and hearing screening test to be done in your room with you. Some medical test/procedures have to be done in the nursery such as circumcisions and x-rays, however, mom and dad can accompany baby if needed.
- Reinforce decision to exclusively breastfeed and not to give bottles of formula or pacifiers unless medically indicated (and after your permission) to the nurses caring for you.
- Remember if you need help, please ask. If desired, you can request a lactation consultant if needed.
After you are discharged
- Plan on spending a lot of time resting, holding your baby skin to skin, and breastfeeding in the early weeks.
- Refer to the Breastfeeding booklet in the Baby and You folder for management of common breastfeeding concerns.
- Monitor the baby’s feedings and both the number of wet and messy diapers the baby has in a 24 hour day. Take this information with you to the Lactation Consultant if you go, or to the physician’s office. These are clear indication to determine if breastfeeding is going ok.
- Plan to see the baby’s doctor per his recommendations or sooner if needed.
- Have an IBCLC certified Lactation Consultant’s number available.
Reference: Intermountain Healthcare fact sheet: “Breastfeeding: Tips for Before, During, and After Your Hospital Stay”, 2014.