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Breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding: Bonding with your Baby

    Breastfeeding is beneficial to both you and your baby. Your breasts will fill with milk (turning warmer and firmer) approximately two to five days after you give birth. At first, breastfeeding may be difficult or intimidating, but it is one of the best things you can do for your child.

    Benefits for your baby:

    • Increased protection against infections, asthma, allergies, and diabetes
    • Easier digestion and decreased likeliness of stomach upset
    • Enhanced brain development
    • Lower chance of obesity later in life
    • Sense of bonding, comfort, and security from mother

    Benefits for you:

    • Higher likelihood to return to your pre-pregnancy weight and reduced risk for long-term obesity
    • Faster postpartum recovery and reduced risk of postpartum bleeding
    • Increased closeness and bonding with baby
    • Decreased chance of developing breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis
    • More cost efficiency and convenience

    Lactation consultants

    We offer certified lactation consultants and breastfeeding counselors. Our trained and capable nursing staff is also on hand to provide you with lactation support at any time.

    Mothers who wish to nurse their babies soon after birth can receive assistance from lactation consultants, who will review correct breastfeeding and pumping techniques with you and will be on hand to address any questions and concerns you may have, including proper nutrition while breastfeeding.

    Breastfeeding Techniques

    Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are encouraged while you breastfeed. Because what you eat and drink can be passed down to your baby through breast milk, it is not recommended that you drink alcohol while breastfeeding. You should limit your caffeine consumption while breastfeeding, or feed your child more than an hour after you have caffeine. 

    Cues that your baby is ready to feed:

    • thrusting his or her tongue against her bottom gum (rooting)
    • smacking his or her lips
    • lifting his or her hands toward the mouth
    • rapidly fluttering eyes while his or her eyes are shut
    • crying is a very late cue that your baby needs feeding, be sure to calm him or her before you attempt breastfeeding

    Make sure both you and your baby are in a supportive, comfortable position for feeding with your baby’s head and body level with your breast and your arm under his or her back for support. Once your baby latches onto your whole nipple and areole you should not hear any clicking or smacking sounds during the feeding.

    Complications to watch out for while breastfeeding:

    • If you develop blisters, bruises, or cracks on your nipples, your baby is not positioning or latching properly. Do not use lotion or soap and water; instead rubbing your nipples with the colostrums/breast milk that you excrete after feedings will condition your nipples and protect them from bacteria.
    • If you develop breast engorgement (hard, painful, swollen breasts) establish early, frequent feedings 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period and do not go three hours without breastfeeding or pumping.

    Breast Pumping Techniques

    At times (if your baby is premature or you are returning to work), you may need to use a device to electronically pump your breasts for milk. Do not get overly anxious if you do not produce much milk from your first attempts at pumping; stress and exhaustion can inhibit your “let down” reflex.

    To enhance your “let down” reflex while pumping:

    • Pump in a quiet, relaxing place
    • Make sure you are warm and comfortable. Showering  or applying warm cloths to your breasts before pumping can help.
    • Breastfeed frequently to establish your milk supply for pumping
    • If using a single-breast pump, set-up alternate breasts by pumping each breast for five to seven minutes at a time until only drops of milk come out
    • Follow the directions of your individual equipment, but always shut the machine off before removing your breast
    • Date your container and refrigerate or freeze milk immediately after pumping; breast milk can stay in the refrigerator for 48 hours
    • Thoroughly wash and clean your equipment at least once per day

    Sign up for breastfeeding classes and support groups.

  • Questions? Call Us:

    1.800.346.7834

    Accreditation & Partnerships


    Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Seal

    Designated by the City of Philadelphia and Maternity Care Coalition.


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