In the Hospital


Your choice of birthing facility makes a big difference in how you and baby are supported in breastfeeding. Talk with your insurance company and learn all options you may have. Then, talk with each hospital on your insurance list and learn how they will help you establish breastfeeding.

Some topics to cover include:

  • Delay and even limit birth interventions like induction and anesthesia (research alternatives to pain medication)
  • Can my baby and I do immediate skin-to-skin?
  • Baby and I want to do first feed with skin-to-skin within the 1st hour
  • We want to delay unnecessary procedures until after first feed (bath, etc)
  • I want routine procedures and assessments done with baby on my chest
  • Baby and I want to room-in so I can learn baby’s feeding cues and how to care for baby while I have help in the hospital

Some hospital routines make it harder on you and your brand new baby to breastfeed. Tell your nurse “No” to the following:

  • Baby to warmer right after birth – baby skin-to-skin against your chest is best warmer. It helps regulate body temp and heartbeat.
  • Swaddling – baby cannot eat wound up with hands wrapped up. Place baby skin-to-skin on your chest and you can place a blanket or sheet over both of you
  • Visitors into room immediately after birth – baby is alert immediately following birth and you want to take advantage of this time for the first feeding. Don’t miss this opportunity for this special bonding time just for you, your support person and baby.
  • Bath in nursery
  • Sent to Infant Observation Unit (nursery) at night – Rooming In allows you to learn baby’s feeding and satisfaction cues while you have the help of hospital staff. Research proves moms actually rest MORE when baby is with her in the room.
  • Taken to nursery for pediatrician visit – Ask your pediatrician or family doc to “round in the room”. Otherwise, baby is separated from you for 3-4 hours which might leave baby hungry and crying and staff might supplement with formula during this time.

Remember, you are Momma! You are the client and partner in your baby’s care. Ask for help or ask for something to be changed so you can best protect you and baby and breastfeeding.