Breastfeeding Support and Tips

If you’re a new mom or new to breastfeeding, you may have many questions. Our experienced team is here to guide you as you establish breastfeeding with your newborn. Time with your baby in the first weeks and months is special, and we believe it should be as stress free as possible.

You can feel comfortable knowing:

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  • Premier Health is the first health system in Ohio whose maternity centers have completed all steps of a statewide breastfeeding initiative aimed at reducing the state's high infant mortality rate.
  • Our hospitals are recognized as Five Star Hospitals by The Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Hospital Association for taking steps to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding.
  • Our staff includes International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who provide one-on-one instruction and support during your hospital stay, as well as after you go home.
  • We offer Breastfeeding Success classes at each Premier Health hospital to help you gain confidence.
  • Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) moms can benefit from additional support through frequent visits and contact with a Premier Health lactation consultant with NICU experience.
  • Convenient rentals of breast pumps and other supplies can be made through our home health agency, Fidelity Health Care.

Why Is Breastfeeding Important?

Research has shown that breastfeeding provides many benefits for both mom and baby.

For babies:

  • Breast milk provides antibodies to fight off viral and bacterial infections.
  • Breast milk provides vitamins, protein, and fat to promote your baby’s optimal growth and development.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be obese when they’re older.
  • Breastfeeding contributes to emotional well-being.
  • Breastfeeding can lower the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), Type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, asthma, allergies, and many other diseases and conditions.

For moms, breastfeeding can:

  • Reduce the risk of pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer
  • Help lower ovarian cancer risks by preventing ovulation
  • Promote bonding between you and your baby
  • Save both time and money
  • Help facilitate postpartum weight loss as you use extra calories to feed your baby

Getting Breastfeeding Off To a Good Start

The first few hours after your baby’s birth is the optimal window for establishing breastfeeding. Immediately following birth, you and your baby will be skin-to-skin, which will help encourage your infant to feed, ideally within the first 30 to 90 minutes. To help ensure continued successful breastfeeding, keep these practices in mind:

  • Skin-to-Skin Time – Keeping your baby with you, skin-to-skin, as often as possible during the first few days and weeks keeps her calm and cozy and also helps you relax. For skin-to-skin bonding, undress your baby down to only a diaper and place him against your chest (no bra, clothing, or camisole). Place a blanket around the two of you to maintain warmth. Skin-to-skin time has been shown to produce:
      • Less newborn crying
      • Better sleeping patterns for mom and baby
      • More stable newborn breathing pattern
      • Less newborn initial weight loss and better early weight gain
      • More effective feedings
      • On-Demand, Cue-Based Feedings – Feed your baby whenever she shows “cues” of hunger such as: rooting, mouth movements, or sucking; quiet alert state with rapid eye movements; and hand-to-mouth actions with eyes open or closed. Newborns do not nurse on a set schedule, so it’s important to keep your baby with you and feed whenever he shows signs of hunger.

      When Should I Ask For Lactation Help?

      Breastfeeding is a natural process, but problems can occur as you and your baby learn to breastfeed together. We’re here to help. Contact us if:

      • Your baby is not feeding well
      • Your breasts are engorged and painful
      • Your nipples are extremely sore, cracked, bleeding, or blistered
      • Your infant only sucks briefly or very softly and is not nursing well
      • Your baby has fewer than six wet diapers or less than four stools a day after your milk volume has increased
      • Your baby’s stools are NOT yellow by day five
      • Your baby is unhappy, weak, tired, or not interested in nursing
      • Your baby nurses less than eight times in 24 hours and/or appears to sleep most of the day
      • You do not hear swallowing while your baby is nursing

      We want to make sure you’re confident with breastfeeding before you go home, but if questions come up after your hospital stay, please call any of our hospitals to speak with a lactation consultant.*

      Atrium Medical Center – (513) 974-5122(513) 974-5122
      Miami Valley Hospital – (937) 208-6160(937) 208-6160
      Miami Valley Hospital South – (937) 208-6160
      Upper Valley Medical Center – (937) 440-4906(937) 440-4906

      * If you’re unable to reach a lactation consultant and have an urgent need, please contact your physician.

      Common Breastfeeding Concerns And Tips

      Breastfeeding can be a very rewarding experience for both you and your baby. It’s a natural feeding system that has worked well since the beginning of time. However, it can create issues for some moms.

      If problems do arise, consider these tried and true techniques. If problems persist, contact us as soon as possible so you can have confidence in your ability to continue breastfeeding comfortably. Many issues can be improved with a phone consult.

      • Sore Nipples – The top cause of sore nipples is when your baby is not latching onto your breast correctly. Make sure that when positioning, you are tummy-to-tummy or that your baby’s head is in good alignment with his or her body (straight line between ear, shoulder, and hip). Wait for a wide-open mouth before bringing the baby on the breast. The lips should be flanged out and the mouth as far back as possible on the areola (dark skin surrounding the nipple). When your baby is latched correctly, you will feel a tugging or pulling sensation, with no biting or pinching. If sore nipples occur, coat nipples with expressed milk after feedings and allow to dry. Another great healing treatment is black or green tea bags. Moisten the tea bags and apply to your nipples for two to three minutes after feedings, three to four times a day.
      • Engorgement – Engorgement is often mistaken for the normal filling and firmness of the breasts that occurs as the concentrated colostrum (initial breast fluid produced) changes to mature milk about two to five days after birth. Engorgement is a combination of increasing milk and swelling in the breast that causes breasts to become uncomfortably hard, reddened, and hot. Apply cold packs between feedings for the most effective and rapid relief of engorgement. Breast massage prior to feeding can also help. If you’ve received a large amount of IV fluids during labor, ask your nurse, lactation consultant, or LaLeche League member for assistance in learning Reverse Pressure Softening.
      • Nutrition During Breastfeeding – Beware of old wives’ tales. Producing enough milk for your baby does not require a lot of extra calories or avoiding your favorite foods. Do you love spicy foods? Can’t give up chocolate? Love broccoli? Your baby became accustomed to your normal diet during pregnancy so there’s no need to change now. Concentrate on a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of water. Remember: Nursing and removing milk is the best way to make more milk.
      • Frequent Feedings - Your baby should nurse about eight to 12 times each 24 hours. She may nurse frequently for several hours (cluster feeding) and then not for a stretch (maybe three to four hours) while she sleeps. Watch your baby, not the clock, and feed when he shows signs of hunger. Not every cry means hunger. Sometimes a cry means hold me, I’m lonely, or I’m sleepy. Allow your baby to nurse as long and as often as needed. Don’t limit or schedule feedings.

      Contact Us

      If you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, call (937) 208-BABY (2229)(937) 208-BABY (2229) to speak with one of our knowledgeable maternity advisors. They can explain our services, help you find a physician or certified nurse midwife, schedule free tours, and provide registration for childbirth, breastfeeding, and family education classes.

      Call today and let us help guide you through your parenthood journey. Visit our locations page to find a Premier Health maternity center near you and for additional contact information.