At Rush University Medical Center, we believe that breastfeeding provides many health benefits and we support women in providing breast milk to their babies, even the most fragile babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Advantages of breastfeeding include the following:
- Helps babies bond with their mothers.
- Gives babies important nutrients that help protect them against illnesses, such as allergies, ear infections, gastrointestinal problems, asthma and obesity.
- Promotes wellness in mothers; breastfeeding has been linked to lowering a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes II and postpartum depression. And it can help women lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.
- Costs less than formula, which does not provide the same health benefits as breast milk.
Breastfeeding: We Are Here to Help
At Rush, we understand that breastfeeding can sometimes be a challenge, which is why we are here to help you and your baby on this journey and provide breastfeeding tips for success.
Our nurses and lactation consultants are trained to assist new moms and babies with breastfeeding by providing the following:
- Breastfeeding classes for expectant parents.
- Bedside breastfeeding assistance immediately after delivery and then in the privacy of a single room.
- Encourage skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother immediately after birth or, in cases of cesarean sections, as soon as the mother is stable.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth, if mother and child are medically ready.
- Help parents recognize feeding cues for breastfeeding (example, baby turns head, stretches, opens mouth).
- Teach techniques for proper positioning, latching and detaching.
- Educate parents on supply and demand principles of breastfeeding, how to assess if baby is adequately nourished, tips for safe handling and storage of breast milk.
- Lactation support once you get home and support monthly support group meetings. Rush patients seeking support should call (312) 942-5059 if they need help or information.
At Rush, the Baby, Breastfeeding & Beyond Boutique sells merchandise to support breastfeeding. At the boutique new mothers can purchase items while still in the hospital. These include the following:
- Breast pumps and accessories
- Nursing stools
Still Not Sure About Breastfeeding?
Many expectant mothers are wary of breastfeeding. While it is true that breastfeeding can initially be difficult for some women and their babies, Rush can help overcome these problems and help mothers and families become more comfortable with issues surrounding breastfeeding by addressing common concerns:
- Breastfeeding in public
- Juggling breastfeeding with the demands of a job and other children
- Lack of family support
Breast Milk and NICU Babies
Rush has been a national leader in promoting breast milk feeding to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit through its Mothers’ Milk Club. Breast milk has been shown to be a powerful tool in helping these small and vulnerable babies.
- To reach the NICU lactation consultant, please call (312) 942-5068.