If you live in Durham, hope to breastfeed, and are about to birth in a hospital, what are the things you need to know?
Written by Durham Families
Create a Breastfeeding Plan
Your Breastfeeding Plan is your plan of action. It helps your family and health care providers understand your ideal hospital experience and feeding goals. Consider working together with your partner to fill out this Breastfeeding Plan. It will help you set your breastfeeding goals and it will help your health care team understand what you need during and after delivery. This plan can be completed with your doctor, your baby’s doctor, or the hospital staff.
Things to know
- Breastfeeding is natural, but does not always come naturally
- Skin-to-skin: Have your baby’s skin in direct contact with yours
- Nurse very frequently
- Ask for help, find support – Every question is a good question.
- The more your baby nurses the more milk your body will make.
- Babies nurse not only for nourishment, but for many other important reasons.
- The more you know about nursing before you have a baby, the better prepared and more confident you will be!
- Start early and continue to build a strong support network.
- Lactation Support: Find a lactation consultant, La League Leader, or friend/family member that can support you after you leave the hospital or birth center.
- There should be a lactation consultant that visits daily while you are in the hospital.
- Know whether your pediatrician has a lactation consultant on staff
- If your goal is to get baby on the breast in the delivery room, make it known.
- Take a nursing bra with you
- Hardly any milk will come out at first, and that’s ok. Your body is producing colostrum, which is important for your newborn, who also has a very tiny stomach. More milk will come, either gradually or suddenly, over the next several days.
- Look for the term Baby Friendly Hospitals: These are hospitals that will support rooming-in and breastfeeding for newborns and their families
- What if there is no one else with you in the hospital? Some hospitals in the area have a volunteer doula pool. You can also hire a doula if that’s in your budget.
- Have somebody to advocate for you – whether that be a partner, another family member, or friend or support person.
What are the best web sites?
- Kelly Mom
- Durham La Leche League
- Baby-Friendy USA
- Black Women Do Breastfeed
- International Breastfeeding Center: Info sheets and video tutorials that can be really helpful at 2am.
- Pacify App on the iPhone. It has 24h video breastfeeding support
- Global Health Media
Other questions for the hospital
- Where will it be easiest to room in?
- What if there is no one else with me?
- Where is the best lactation support?
- What hospitals have the highest breastfeeding rates after birth and then a few weeks out?