Topic Overview

It is important to have
breastfeeding support from your doctors, nurses, and
hospital staff who care for you and your baby. Fortunately, most people
involved in health care are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Before
having your baby, research the breastfeeding policies at your hospital of
choice. Look at policies related to:

  • The first feeding. Unless your baby is born
    needing immediate medical care, it is best to begin breastfeeding within 1
    hour of birth. Also, immediate skin-to-skin contact with your baby after
    delivery may help promote long-term and successful
  • “Rooming in,” which encourages having your baby in
    the room with you. This policy usually allows more frequent breastfeeding.
  • Supplemental feedings. Tell the hospital staff that your baby is
    to be exclusively breastfed from birth, unless supplementation is medically
    needed. If hospital staff feed your baby water, sugar solution, or formula
    immediately after birth without a medical reason, it may make it harder for you
    to establish breastfeeding.
  • Pacifiers or artificial nipples.
    Hospital staff should not give your newborn pacifiers or related items without
    your permission. They may interfere with breastfeeding.
  • Follow-up.
    Find out whether your hospital can help you with breastfeeding issues after you
    go home. Personal visits by a
    lactation consultant are best. Assistance and advice
    given over the phone also is helpful. See if you can get information on
    breastfeeding support groups or other contacts, just in case you need help
    establishing and continuing your breastfeeding routine.

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Other Places To Get Help


La Leche League International

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Women’s Health


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 16, 2017