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Breastfeeding for a Great Beginning

Breast feeding mom and baby

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, with continued breastfeeding—in addition to appropriate complimentary foods—for one year or longer. Some of the benefits to both mother and baby are:

  • Breast milk provides balanced nutrition and includes maternal antibodies that strengthen the baby’s immune system.
  • Breastfeeding enhances mother/child bonding.
  • Mothers who breastfeed have added protection against breast and ovarian cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis.
  • Because breastfeeding burns calories, it can help mothers lose pregnancy weight.

MarinHealth® Medical Center is one of fewer than 600 hospitals in the United States to earn the prestigious Baby-Friendly® Designation. Sponsored by the United Nations International Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization, the International Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative recognizes hospitals and birth centers that offer an optimal level of breastfeeding care and support.

We use the latest evidence-based data to implement our breastfeeding policy. Because babies don’t regulate their body temperature at birth and are subject to stress and cold, we delay bathing for 12 hours. Instead, we gently wipe newborns down and place them on their mother’s breast for skin-to-skin bonding. This keeps babies warm, encourages nursing, stimulates milk production, and regulates their blood sugar. We also delay weighing, measuring, and the administration of Vitamin K and eye ointment. Our nurses work with new moms to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth. We also teach mothers how to pump and maintain lactation when they are away from their babies.

Breast feeding mom and baby

Resources and Tips for Breastfeeding Success
Breastfeeding is a natural experience, but it doesn’t always come naturally. Our team guides you every step of the way. After you bring your little bundle home, these tips should help with breastfeeding success:

  • Create a comfortable space just for breastfeeding. A comfy rocking chair is ideal. Have pillows, burp cloths, nursing pads, and water within reach.
  • Wear a comfy top that is easily unbuttoned or pulled up.
  • Let your baby set the schedule. Newborns tend to eat every few hours. You will soon learn your baby’s signals, such as opening and closing their mouth, making sucking noises, turning inward in search of a breast, drooling, fidgeting, whimpering, or crying.
  • Nurse baby on one side until your breast feels soft or no longer full. Then take a break to burp the baby, and try to feed from the other breast. If the baby doesn’t show any interest or latch on, they are probably satisfied. Start your next feeding with the full breast.
  • Treat your nipples gently. Pat them dry after feeding and change pads if you leak milk.  Sore nipples can be soothed with pure lanolin but consult a lactation consultant if breastfeeding is painful.
  • Don’t stress over length or frequency of feedings. Each baby has a unique schedule. If your baby is growing well and meeting developmental milestones, you’re doing just fine.
  • Don’t give up—get help. In the early weeks, some women need extra help with breastfeeding. Call MarinHealth’s Lactation Center at (415) 925-7522 or talk to your doctor.
  • Get support from other new mothers. MarinHealth offers a free, virtual, weekly support group for new mothers. This is an ideal forum for discussing breastfeeding, newborn care, and general parenting questions. You might even make some new friends! Learn more.

    To speak with one of our lactation consultants or make an in-person appointment, call (415) 925-7522.

Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and how a Baby-Friendly® hospital can help you get started and have a positive experience after giving birth by listening to this short podcast. If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, sign up for MarinHealth’s maternity email series.

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