As we begin to reopen Rush University Medical Center for elective procedures and in-person care, we are putting your safety first. For information about COVID-19, see the latest updates. Rush accepts donations to support our response effort, staff, and patients and families.

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Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding provides many health benefits to both babies and mothers. At Rush, staff support you in providing breast milk to your baby, 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 cancer and ovarian cancer, diabetes II and postpartum depression. 
  • Costs less than formula, which does not provide the same health benefits as breast milk

Breastfeeding help at Rush

Breastfeeding can sometimes be a challenge, which is why staff at Rush are here to help you and your baby.

As part of Rush’s breastfeeding policy, nurses and lactation consultants at Rush are trained to assist new moms and babies with breastfeeding by providing the following:

  • Breastfeeding classes for expectant parents.
  • Bedside breastfeeding assistance immediately after labor and delivery and then in the privacy of a single room in the mother baby unit.
  • Encouragement to initiative skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother immediately after birth or, in cases of c-sections, as soon as the mother is stable.
  • Help initiating breastfeeding within an hour of birth, if mother and child are medically ready.
  • Help recognizing feeding cues for breastfeeding (example, baby turns head, stretches or opens mouth).
  • Techniques for proper positioning, latching and detaching.
  • Education for 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 parents get home and support group meetings.

Breastfeeding supplies

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
  • Bras
  • 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. Staff at Rush 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.