Breastfeeding

UMC is designated a Baby-Friendly Hospital, by Baby-Friendly USA, in implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).

The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding. It promotes, protects, and supports breastfeeding by:

  • Informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
  • Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth
  • Showing mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation
  • Practice “rooming in” to allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
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Breastfeeding delivers many health benefits to babies and mothers. That’s why we encourage moms to breastfeed exclusively for six months and to continue nursing through baby’s first year, even after introducing solid foods.

The Family Birth Center provides comprehensive services for breastfeeding moms before, during and after their stay:

  • Our free breastfeeding class will help you learn the basics before your baby is born.
  • Our nurses are specially trained to assist in your first moments of breastfeeding.
  • We help you accomplish skin-to-skin contact, which involves holding your baby against your skin, as soon as possible after your baby is born. Babies who experience skin-to-skin contact are shown to sleep longer, cry less, eat better, gain weight sooner and come home from the hospital earlier.
  • We practice rooming in with your newborn so you can learn her feeding cues, nurse her as soon as she’s hungry, and begin establishing a good milk supply. With rooming in, babies and moms tend to sleep better.
  • Our Breastfeeding Educators provide free guidance during your stay and afterward. They can help you find the best nursing position, answer any questions you have, and even see you for an outpatient consultation at the Family Birth Center after you’ve returned home.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Your Baby

Your baby gains health benefits as soon as you begin breastfeeding. Colostrum, the yellowish milk women produce soon after childbirth, offers essential calories and nutrients to your newborn. Colostrum also helps protect babies from certain illnesses.

You'll begin producing breast milk a few days after your baby is born. Breast milk contains all the nutrients babies need to be healthy and it has special antibodies to protect your baby from many illnesses. Babies who breastfeed are shown to experience fewer ear infections, fewer urinary tract infections, fewer allergies, fewer illnesses requiring hospitalization, as well as a reduced risk of asthma. These benefits are strongest when babies are exclusively breastfed.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers

Breastfeeding offers a unique way for you and your baby to bond -- but there are a number of health benefits for breastfeeding moms, too.

Studies have shown that breastfeeding women have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer, as well as a reduced risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and postpartum depression.

Breastfeeding also helps your uterus return to its normal size more quickly, and it can help you shed some of the weight gained during pregnancy.

Financial Benefits of Breastfeeding

Choosing to breastfeed exclusively may save your family up to $1,500 a year in formula costs alone. And because of a reduced risk of illness, your baby will likely need fewer doctor visits and you'll miss less time from work. This can save your family stress and money.

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