Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby, and is recommended as the best source of nutrition, vitamins and antibodies for your baby's first six months.
Breastfeeding at the Family Maternity Center
After being born, your baby will be placed directly against your body, skin to skin, covered by a warm blanket. This helps your baby adjust from being a fetus to being a newborn, and keeps your baby warm, stabilizes the heart and breathing and calms your baby.
When your newborn is ready to ready to feed, your labor nurse will help you and your baby get started with breastfeeding. With your baby staying in the room with you, you'll learn how your baby tells you "I'm hungry," and how to respond to the baby when it's time to eat.
If your plan is to totally breastfeed your baby, you will want to do lots of feedings (8 or more) each 24 hours during your hospital stay. The more you feed, the more you will encourage your body to make a great milk supply.
There can be situations where giving a baby extra milk beyond breastfeeding is needed. Our staff will help you to know if that is necessary with your baby.
Feed Your Baby Whenever She/He Is Hungry
In the first few days of life, some newborns are very hungry and some of them would prefer to sleep. If you notice your baby sucking on their hands, smacking the lips, moving the tongue in and out of the mouth, this means feed me! It might really surprise you how often this happens. To have the best success with breastfeeding, just respond to your baby by breastfeeding when you see hunger signs.
Don't worry about timing feedings, but know that most babies will nurse 5-30 minutes per breast, and it is good to offer both sides. Let the baby decide how much and how often to eat. If you have a very sleepy baby in the first few days, gently awaken the baby at 2-3 hour intervals for feeding. Skin to skin holding is a great way to do this.
What if breastfeeding hurts?
Sometimes it can in the beginning, but there are many things you can do. It is really important to get the baby positioned correctly in order for the baby to latch well and nurse without causing discomfort.
You may feel some tenderness, but if you are having significant pain, this isn't normal and you should ask for help.
A quick tip: sit back as if you were on your sofa at home ready to watch a movie. Bring the baby to you, but do not lean forward to latch the baby. A good latch is also very important to a good milk supply. Our lactation consultants and nursing staff will help you.
The Breastfeeding Center
EvergreenHealth encourages breastfeeding, and we were the first U.S. hospital to earn the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation from UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
Our nationally-recognized Breastfeeding Center is here to offer you the help and support you need to have an enjoyable breastfeeding experience.
- Your labor nurse will help you and your baby get started with breastfeeding.
- During your hospital stay, our board certified lactation consultants are available to help you solve any breastfeeding difficulties.
- If you need additional help once you're home, the Breastfeeding Center offers both phone and in-person consultation.
If you gave birth at EvergreenHealth, you can access our lactation specialists by phone at (425) 899-3494. Phone consultation is available weekdays 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
After hours, you may contact a nurse at the EvergreenHealth Healthline by calling (425) 899-3000 (press "2" at the prompt).
There is no fee for telephone consultations.
In-person consultation is available to all breastfeeding mothers, regardless of where you gave birth. No referral is needed.
Payment for Breastfeeding Center appointments may be covered by insurance; check with your carrier.
Breast Pumps and Breastfeeding Supplies
The Baby & Family Boutique at EvergreenHealth Medical Center carries several breast pumps for purchase or rental, along with a full line of pump supplies, breast pads, milk storage bags, nursing pillows and breast creams. Visit the Boutique's website
We also offer several classes to prepare you for breastfeeding and help you have a positive experience.
These videos and online sites are recommended by our lactation staff.
Our thanks to Stanford Medicine and the Newborn Nursery at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital for these videos:
Position and Latch Techniques