Hospital Policies and Breast-Feeding - Topic Overview
It is important to have
breast-feeding 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 breast-feeding. Before
having your baby, research the breast-feeding 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 breast-feeding 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 breast-feeding.
Supplemental feedings. Tell the hospital staff that your baby is
to be exclusively breast-fed 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 breast-feeding.
Pacifiers or artificial nipples.
Hospital staff should not give your newborn pacifiers or related items without
your permission. They may interfere with breast-feeding.
Find out whether your hospital can help you with breast-feeding 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
breast-feeding support groups or other contacts, just in case you need help
establishing and continuing your breast-feeding routine.