Find Breastfeeding Help at Your Local Southcoast Hospital
Many studies have shown breastfeeding is best for mother and baby. From a reduction in the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis for women to a decrease in the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome, diarrhea, ear infections, leukemia and allergies in children, breastfeeding is a win-win for many moms and babies.
In addition, each of our maternity units at Southcoast Health offers the services of trained and certified lactation consultants in Fall River, New Bedford and Wareham, MA. These are nurses whose job is to promote breastfeeding and educate and assist moms to achieve success in their efforts.
For successful nursing, follow these tried and true tips:
- Nurse frequently and on demand. Babies nurse every one to three hours. Feed your baby at the first signs of hunger, such as when waking up or sucking on hands. If baby cries before being fed, it is much harder to get her to calm down and nurse.
- To begin, bring baby toward you, tummy to tummy. Don’t lean over baby. Stroke baby’s lips with nipple and she will root. Open her mouth wide in search of the breast. Pull baby onto breast quickly, making sure baby takes some of the areola, the dark ring around the nipple. If baby takes only the nipple, break the suction with your clean finger into the corner of baby’s mouth. Correct positioning is crucial to preventing sore and cracked nipples.
- Most newborns require 20 to 40 minutes to complete a feeding and should feed on each breast with a burp after each one. Let your baby end feeding on each breast. You will hear them slow or stop sucking and swallowing. Break the suction. Start next feeding on second breast.
- You will know your baby is getting enough by the number of wet and soiled diapers she produces.
- Day 1 (before milk is in): One wet and one soiled diaper.
- Day 2 (before milk is in): Two of each type of diaper. The soiled ones will appear black because of meconium baby is excreting. Breast milk works as a laxative to rid baby of meconium.
- Days 3 to 5 (milk comes in): Six or more wet diapers and two to four stools a day. (Note that some babies pass stools every day, while others will go a day or two before passing stools.)
- Nursing mothers should take care of themselves, as well as the baby. Nap when they nap and let the housework go. Eat well-balanced meals as you did during pregnancy and try to get some exercise every day, like taking your baby for a walk.
- Don’t use street drugs or smoke. A smoking mother predisposes her baby to respiratory illnesses. Consult your doctor.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed through their first year and after that for as long as is mutually desired.
Take Advantage of the Southcoast Baby Café
Southcoast is proud to host Baby Café, a friendly and comfortable drop-in session for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to learn more about breastfeeding. Mothers can relax, share tips and techniques, and socialize with other moms. Peer support and one-on-one help from specially trained health professionals is available, including professional lactation support and WIC peer counselors.
The program is led locally by Southcoast Health Obstetrician/Gynecologist Uma Harinarayanan, DO, with assistance provided by Southcoast lactation consultants. For the latest locations and schedule, visit our events calendar or reach out to us at the information below.
To speak with a lactation consultant, call:
Charlton Memorial Hospital — (508) 973-7062
St. Luke’s Hospital — (508) 997-MILK
Tobey Hospital — (508) 273-4060
To register for a breastfeeding class, call:
Charlton Memorial Hospital — (508) 973-7308
St. Luke’s Hospital — (508) 973-5445
Tobey Hospital — (508) 273-4545
Southcoast Health works with moms in Fall River, New Bedford, Wareham, MA and surrounding areas to offer breastfeeding resources like the Baby Café.