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.
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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