Expectant mothers often hear that breastfeeding is one of the best things they can do for their babies. Breastfeeding can decrease the rate of common infections, lower the risk of diseases like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and even increase immune function, which is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, breastfeeding does come with its challenges. First-time mothers often state that breastfeeding was much more challenging and overwhelming than they thought it would be. “But the right coaching helps to reduce those challenges and ensure breastfeeding success,” says Phyllis Young, RN, Childbirth Educator and Certified Lactation Consultant with Grand View Health.
If you want to successfully breastfeed your baby, start with these three things:
- Educate yourself on breastfeeding before baby arrives
The most important thing you can do to prepare for breastfeeding is to educate yourself. There are plenty of educational opportunities for learning about breastfeeding. Grand View Health hosts monthly “Breastfeeding ABC” webinars. “We review the ins and outs of breastfeeding with moms to build up their confidence,” Young says. Register at gvh.org/breastfeeding.
- Surround yourself with support and encouragement.
Make sure the people around you are aware of your intention to breastfeed and verbalize your breastfeeding goals. Create a support system of encouraging people who will help you along the way.
- Take advantage of your hospital’s breastfeeding resources.
At Grand View Health, lactation consultants are available during your hospital stay at to help you with feedings, make sure your baby is getting a good latch and help you with any challenges you may be facing. In addition, all of our labor and delivery nurses are trained in breastfeeding techniques and can provide further assistance. Our lactation consultants are also available to help after you leave the hospital. You can reach them at 215-453-4594.
Grand View Health is a participant in Keystone 10, an initiative dedicated to improving the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding for all Pennsylvania infants, mothers and families.
To learn more about breastfeeding and how Grand View Health can help, go to www.gvh.org/the-birth-and-family-center/lactation-services.