Your hospital and breastfeeding


Coming soon! Your baby is coming soon. And you’ve decided to breastfeed your new baby. That’s wonderful!

Your questions You may want to ask your hospital questions weeks or months before you go there to have your baby. Does your hospital offer childbirth classes? Does your hospital offer a maternity tour? How does your hospital help mothers breastfeed? When you go to the hospital for classes or a tour, be sure to ask all your questions.

The help and support your hospital gives you can make a big difference in getting breastfeeding started well. Read more here>>

Speak up! It’s important for you to get the information and support you need. Write down your questions before you visit the hospital or phone them. It will help to have your questions handy.

You may also want to ask these questions:

Your question: Does this hospital have a “golden hour?”

Why ask this question? The “golden hour” is the first hour right after your baby is born. Your baby will be placed on your chest, and your baby’s skin will touch your skin. This is called “skin-to-skin.”

Skin-to-skin makes it easy for your new baby to find your nipple and start breastfeeding by himself. This will also be a special bonding time that you will never forget.

Your question: I want to have my baby in my room all the time. Does this hospital have rooming in?

Why ask this question? Rooming in is very important because it will help you get a good start with breastfeeding.

Your new baby will want to eat very often during the day and at night. That is one very important reason that your baby needs to be in your room all the time. Your baby will tell you when he wants to nurse and when he wants to be close to you.

You will learn what your baby wants by watching him and listening to him. Would you like to read about baby behavior right now? Click here>>

In the hospital you and your baby will have the chance to practice breastfeeding. This is important for both of you. Breastfeeding often right from the start will help you make the milk your baby needs.

Your question: Does this hospital have nurses and lactation experts who can answer my questions?

Why ask this question? Breastfeeding is normal and natural, and babies know what to do. But most new mothers have questions. And you can expect to have questions too.

Your question: Will this hospital’s staff be there to give me support?

Why ask this question? Some new mothers wonder if they’re doing it right. It’s important to have people nearby who can support you as you get started with breastfeeding.

Tell everyone what you want!
• Tell your OB doctor, family, friends and employers that you plan to breastfeed. And that you want their support.
• Tell all the doctors and nurses you see in the hospital that you want only breastmilk for your baby.
• If the hospital doesn’t offer you the chance to hold your new baby skin-to-skin, tell your doctor and nurse that you want this.
• If your hospital doesn’t offer rooming-in, ask for it. You will begin to know what your baby needs if you are together all the time.

Breastfeeding concerns after baby is born If you are a WIC parent and you have questions or concerns, you can:
• Call the WIC Breastfeeding Helpline at (323) 905-1248
• Come to WIC and speak with a WIC educator
• Come to a breastfeeding support group at your WIC center.

Are you on WIC? Read more about WIC’s breastfeeding support here>>