Here’s what the hospital did right in our case with the first baby:
- Offered a breastfeeding class before the birth.
- Brought baby to nurse as soon as possible after delivery – my daughter was allowed to kind of crawl up my body – it was so cool!
- Encouraged rooming in with baby, helping mama bear say “no” to sugar water.
- Didn’t give a formula bag or formula samples when I went home.
And what they could have done differently:
- Provided lactation consultants on the weekend. I gave birth on a Friday evening and didn’t have access to one.
- Not insisted on supplementing with sugar water when I’d made a commitment to breastfeed. They did not end up supplementing because I told them they couldn't unless it was absolutely medically necessary.
- Helped improve my latch and explained that my mature milk would come in later.
- Not given us a pacifier – we felt at the time like we needed it for our sanity but didn’t understand how it may have interfered with my milk supply.
As a mom, I’m authorized/required to give unsolicited advice to expecting parents. If you decide to breastfeed your baby, ask your doctor or midwife how the birthing hospital or center supports breastfeeding. Or you can call the hospital’s maternity ward to discuss a short list of breastfeeding needs. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice in hospitals, you can include breastfeeding support in your choice criteria.
Don't miss The Breastfeeding Chronicles: Prologue and Part I! Coming Soon: Breastfeeding Chronicles Part III: The Return of the Mommy.
- Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative: Baby-Friendly USA
- WA Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System: Breastfeeding Duration in Washington
- Ceners for Disease Control and Prevention: Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Moms and Babies