Lactation & Breastfeeding
We are on a journey to become a ‘baby-friendly’ accredited facility, a three-year project we hope to accomplish 2016. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
Fort HealthCare and other hospitals and birthing centers must comply with the following guidelines for the implementation of the U.S. baby-friendly hospital initiative:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff,
- Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement the policy,
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding,
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth,
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if separated from baby,
- Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated,
- Practice rooming-in (allow mothers and infants to remain together twenty-four hours a day),
- Encourage breastfeeding on-demand,
- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants,
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to groups upon discharge from the hospital or birth center.
Many of these initiatives are already routine at Fort HealthCare, but to achieve all of these guidelines, Fort HealthCare has developed high performance work teams to build additional leadership skills among staff, promote employee pride, and improve health outcomes for families in the community. For more information, visit BabyFriendlyUSA.org.
With help from our lactation consultant specialists, 80-90 percent of mothers begin breastfeeding their babies shortly after birth. Bedside consultant services help new moms recognize feeding cues and share breastfeeding positions and techniques.
Studies have shown that 91% of mothers who deliver their babies at our birthing center are successfully breastfeeding at both two and five weeks after birth. Mothers are provided with patient and helpful instruction at their bedside while in the hospital, and after they’ve gone home, moms can come back and see our lactation consultants by appointment.
Contact a lactation consultant by calling (920) 568-5396.
Breastfeeding Mothers Support Group
Last Thursday of the Month
4:30 - 7 p.m. / Fort Memorial Hospital - OB Classroom
There are many reasons why breastfeeding is good for your baby:
- The colostrum - a yellow, watery pre-milk – that your breasts make for the first few days after birth helps your newborn’s digestive system grow and function.
- Breast milk has antibodies that help your baby’s immune system fight off sickness. Babies who are breastfed also have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, allergies, and colic.
- The protein and fat in breast milk are better used by the baby’s body than the protein and fat in formula.
- Babies who are breastfed have less gas, fewer feeding problems, and often less constipation than those given formulas.
- Breastfed babies have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Breastfeeding is good for babies, but it also provides the following benefits for mothers:
- It is convenient – Your baby’s food is always available and ready at the right temperature.
- Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which makes the uterus contract and helps it return to its normal size more quickly.
- It may decrease your risk of some forms of cancer and other illnesses.
- It may help you lose weight gained during pregnancy faster than you would if you were bottle-feeding.
- It is less expensive than bottle feeding with formula.
- It creates a special bond between you and your baby.
At Fort HealthCare, breastfeeding is discussed all throughout pregnancy, and more information is presented both in person and through our childbirth preparation classes. Feel free to ask questions or for more information at any time.
Like most decisions for first-time mothers, purchasing a breast pump can be a daunting task. For women who deliver at Fort Memorial Hospital or use a Fort HealthCare physician for their infant care, we offer breast pumps for sale at-cost, meaning there is no markup like there is at big box stores.
Access to a breast pump is critical to continue breastfeeding when mothers return to work or are caring for a premature infant. Many mothers prefer the freedom pumping offers, allowing others to feed the baby, or they simply choose to pump and bottle-feed. Whatever the reason, having a breast pump is a wonderful option for mothers who wish to provide breast milk for their babies.
Effective January 1, 2013, health insurance companies are REQUIRED to cover breast pumps, so check with you plan to see what their requirements are. Further, breast pumps are an eligible flex spending expense.