Many moms already feel overwhelmed by all the changes they’re experiencing in pregnancy and their concerns about delivery.
With recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that moms breastfeed their babies exclusively for 6 months, there’s a real need for education, classes and support starting before the baby is born. If you live in Silicon Valley, you’re in luck, because El Camino Hospital has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the state, thanks in large part to the complete range of breastfeeding support available for every mom and baby.
Getting a Good Start with Classes
Moms who take a breastfeeding class and have time to learn how to hold a baby, get them latched on and learn what to do for common concerns prior to their baby’s birth, are much more likely to be able to breastfeed. At El Camino Hospital, the breastfeeding classes use life-sized dolls so that moms can practice. Dads are welcome too, and don’t worry, no one takes off their clothes to practice.
Once the Baby Arrives
After a baby’s delivery, every effort is made to help moms breastfeed their newborn within the first few hours. There are many benefits for both mom and baby and the mother-baby nurses are on-hand both in the delivery room and the postpartum unit to assist with breastfeeding practice every few hours. We know that practicing and having plenty of support available round the clock helps moms feel more comfortable with this new skill.
Another important consideration is to have specially trained lactation specialists, registered nurses who are internationally board certified lactation consultants IBCLCs, available to new moms as an added level of support.
After You Go Home with Your New Baby
Lactation support doesn’t end when you go home, it continues with free support groups and one-on-one scheduled appointments available with a lactation consultant. These can easily be arranged by registering online or calling 650-988-8290 for the Mountain View Campus or 408-866-3905 for the Los Gatos Campus.
What about Breastfeeding supplies?
Baby gear and supplies to make life easier for new parents has come a long way in the last few years. With Maternity Boutiques at both the Mountain View and Los Gatos campus, which are conveniently located near the support group sessions, new parents can find virtually everything they need for breastfeeding, from pumps and milk storage bags, to nursing bras and comfortable clothing for mom and baby. It makes it so much easier to get everything you need in one stop, and not have to move the baby, the car seat and stroller from store to store to find hard to locate items such as nipple shields, creams and safe herbs that increase milk supply.
Barbara Dehn RN, MS, NP is a practicing Nurse Practitioner and health expert, known as Nurse Barb. She is locally based and works with El Camino Hospital to share health information with the community.