Neighbor to Neighbor
A breastfeeding education program from the Women's Hospital Lactation Department
Helping Babies and Breastfeeding Moms
From pregnancy to birth and breastfeeding, the professional staff at The Women's Hospital Lactation Services are here to help. We are committed to education and support of breastfeeding. Our hospital policies reflect this commitment. In addition to providing 24-hour lactation coverage, each of our nursing staff has attended a 20-hour breastfeeding course.
Breastfeeding classes and Education
Mothers planning to deliver at The Women's Hospital may choose to attend our Breastfeeding and Pumping classes. Breastfeeding classes provide useful information for breastfeeding moms. Register online
or call 812/450-BABY.
Breastfeeding information packets will also be given at the preadmission appointment prior to delivery and expecting mothers are also welcome to stop in at the Great Beginnings store to talk with a lactation consultant or pick up written information.
As a patient...
Immediately after delivery, you are encouraged to place your baby skin-to-skin. For a mother who delivers via cesarean section, skin-to-skin contact is even done in the recovery room. This skin-to-skin contact with your baby helps stabilize baby's breathing, heart rate, and blood sugar. It decreases crying and optimizes the opportunity for your baby to latch. It also boosts your baby's immune system by colonizing baby's body with good bacteria from the mother. Skin-to-skin contact is also encouraged with dad. The benefit to baby is tremendous no matter if this is done with mom or dad...it is the skin-to-skin contact that matters.
Once your baby is placed skin-to-skin, the process of latching onto the breast can begin. Our lactation consultants are available to assist with breastfeeding from delivery to discharge. A lactation consultant will check in with you after delivery, each morning and and is available for you to call for assistance with feedings throughout the day and night. Rooming in with your baby is encouraged. A mother who rooms in with her baby is better able to learn baby's feeding cues. Babies who are fed on demand are more alert during feedings, remove more milk and help ensure a good milk supply.
Pacifier use in the first three to four weeks after birth is discouraged since pacifier use can decrease the infant's time at the breast and possibly affect milk supply. The Women's Hospital does not provide a pacifier for newborns, but one can be brought by the parents or purchased at the Boutique.
Supplements such as water or formula will not be given to the infant unless medically necessary or if a parent requests. Supplements affect breast stimulation and thus milk production. When supplementation is necessary, human donor milk from the Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank may be used if you want to avoid formula. Information on how this donor milk is screened and processed can be provided to you by the lactation consultant. Go here to learn more.
If your baby goes into the NICU, lactation support is available to help you express milk using a breast pump. Lactation assistance is available throughout the baby's stay in the NICU, and after you go home with baby. The lactation consultant works with the neonatologist and the nursing staff in the NICU to make sure that pumping and breastfeeding goals are met as the baby progresses from kangaroo care to breastfeeding.
After leaving the hospital
After discharge from the hospital, our staff calls to follow-up with mother and baby and offer assistance if needed.
Mothers are invited to attend the Mom's Cafe for baby weight checks, visit with a lactation consultant and connect with other breastfeeding mothers. Siblings are welcome and toys are available for them. Weight checks are also available in Great Beginnings seven days a week during our office hours. One-on-one consultation is also available for a one-time nominal fee.
Breastfeeding moms are encouraged to call the Warm Line at 812/842-4239 with any questions or concerns after discharge.
Consultation with a lactation specialist is recommended if:
- Baby has low output. Day 1-3, expect at least 3 stools and 2-3 wet diapers. Day 3-5 expect at least 2 stools and 3-5 wets. Day 5 and beyond, expect at least 2-4 stools and 6-8 wet diapers.
- Baby continually falls asleep at the breast and does not keep up a continuous pattern of suckle-swallow for 15-20 minutes per feeding.
- Baby has lost more than 7% of birth weight.
- Baby is unsettled and cries excessively.
- Mother is anxious about breastfeeding.
- Mother has sore, cracked or bleeding nipples.
- Mother has engorged or painful breasts.
- Mother has difficulty with latch or positioning of her baby.
- Mother thinks her supply is low and wonders if she should supplement breastfeeding with formula.
- A typical feeding lasts more than an hour.
- There are special circumstances, such as prematurity, twins, anomalies, or maternal health concerns.
- Baby gets a thrush infection.