Welcoming a new baby can be both an exciting and overwhelming time in a new mother’s life. There is so much information available, it’s hard to know what advice to heed. However, when it comes to breastfeeding, the more information you take in, the more successful your breastfeeding journey can be.
“The most important tip that I can give is to educate yourself,” said Megan Bosworth, nurse manager of the Kootenai Health Family Birth Center.
Megan recommends mothers take advantage of all the resources available to them. That includes everything from prenatal breastfeeding classes, to books on the subject, to social media groups, and connecting with other moms who are breastfeeding. Megan also encourages mothers to speak to their physician or midwife early on in pregnancy about their plans to breastfeed.
“Doctors and midwives can help educate on how to troubleshoot breastfeeding complications before they happen,” she said.
The reality is, breastfeeding is not easy for every mom. There are many factors that can make it difficult early on, but the benefits of breastfeeding are worth trying to work through the struggles.
“Breastfeeding is a wonderful journey that mom and baby will be on together,” Bosworth said. “There are significant health benefits to breastmilk feeding for mom and baby.”
Some of those benefits include reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in mom, as well as postpartum depression. In babies, it can help prevent obesity and diabetes, and offer immunity-boosting antibodies and healthy enzymes. It also allows for important bonding time between mom and baby.
“When babies are at the breast, they hear their mom’s voice and the sound of her heartbeat,” Megan said. “This is vital for the child as they grow up and learn to self-regulate and trust their caregivers.”
Wherever your breastfeeding journey takes you, mothers can always look for support with the Kootenai Health Family Birth Center to help make it a positive experience for mother and baby.
What can you expect from Kootenai?
The Golden Hour: Every mother is given the opportunity to have uninterrupted skin to skin contact with her baby for the first hour immediately after delivery. Research shows babies who have this benefit breastfeed better.
Outpatient Lactation Support: The Kootenai Health lactation team offers a free monthly breastfeeding class. A support group also meets weekly in-person, as long as COVID-19 allows. Kootenai Health’s team of International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants are available seven days a week for prenatal visits, outpatient lactation consults and phone advice. To talk with one of them call (208) 625-5091.
Learn More: To find more breastfeeding resources or take a virtual tour of Kootenai Health’s Family Birth Center, visit kh.org/family-birth-center.