Breastfeeding support is an important medical intervention in the first hours, days and weeks after delivery. The goal is to improve the breastfeeding experience for both mother and baby. Healthy breastfeeding allows the baby to receive the nutrition he or she needs to grow at a normal rate and develop a strong immune system.
Receiving the appropriate breastfeeding care at the hospital is vitally important to maternal and newborn health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of mothers who don’t receive hospital breastfeeding support stop breastfeeding earlier than they should. Obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) doctors and lactation specialists at the hospital provide breastfeeding support for postpartum women who are having trouble while attempting to breastfeed. Common problems include:
- General pain or discomfort
- Milk overproduction or underproduction
- Poor latch
Most breastfeeding support begins in the first few minutes or hours after delivery, when it’s critical to develop successful breastfeeding habits. An OB-GYN doctor, a nurse or a lactation specialist will provide the mother with general breastfeeding advice and best practices and will also observe the mom as she breastfeeds her baby. During this observation, the OB-GYN doctor, nurse or lactation specialist checks for any signs of poor breastfeeding. Depending on the specific problem, he or she will offer the following types of support:
- Educating the mother about normal newborn patterns and feeding cues
- Giving verbal coaching and encouragement
- Providing hands-on corrections or adjustments to help mom and baby find a more successful or comfortable feeding position
- Providing tracking tools such as feeding and voiding logs
- Teaching the mother how to maintain lactation and ease discomfort using manual expression and breast pumps
- Treating infections, chafing and other physical issues
Personalized Care at Temple Health
Temple Health is the area’s premier provider of maternity care services for new and soon-to-be mothers. Temple offers the full spectrum of maternity care, from family planning and fertility services to prenatal care, baby-friendly labor and delivery, newborn screenings and postpartum support. We practice a “rooming-in” approach, allowing mother and baby to remain together the whole time they are in the hospital. Rooming-in helps mothers learn their babies’ feeding cues and ensures there is no interference in the bonding process, which is an important factor in breastfeeding.
Our Temple OB-GYN doctors help new mothers achieve a positive breastfeeding experience with personalized, hands-on care and education backed by university research. They also provide ongoing support after patients are discharged from the hospital to help address any breastfeeding issues that may arise at home.
Our understanding of the complex problems associated with breastfeeding will help patients receive appropriate treatments with the latest in evidence-based lactation support.