Choosing to breastfeed your baby will bring you an experience that you will always cherish.
Breastfeeding is a key component of your baby’s health. It is important, however, to learn correct breastfeeding techniques in order to gain the most benefit for you and your baby.
As a nationally certified Baby-Friendly hospital, our staff is committed to helping you connect with your baby while breastfeeding. We give families practical techniques and support when learning how to express milk directly from the breast or into a bottle using a breast pump.
On-Site Lactation Consultants
During your stay at Kootenai Health, lactation consultants will answer questions and assist with initiating breastfeeding. If you have difficulty breastfeeding, your physician can refer you for a formal consultation before or after discharge.
Lactation consultants are also available via phone to answer questions and provide advice about breastfeeding. To talk with one of them call (208) 625-5091.
How can a lactation consultant help?
Lactation consultants help prevent and manage difficulties in the following areas:
- Sore nipples
- Sucking difficulties
- Promoting ample milk production
- Baby latching to the breast
The lactation consultant can also help families with infants who have special breastfeeding needs due to:
- Slow weight gain or failure to thrive
- Multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.)
- Premature birth
- Separation of mother and baby due to illness or work
- Food intolerances and/or allergies
- Cleft lip and/or palate
For more information, please call one of our lactation consultants at (208) 625-5091.
Breastfeeding is one of the most rewarding and also one of the most challenging experiences of motherhood. Here is an assortment of education materials that will help you on your breastfeeding journey.
Please see our Introduction to Breast Pumping and Medela Symphony Pump How-to videos
Please know that we have lactation consultants available for new mothers to help provide real-time assistance and guidance.
Donor Human Milk
Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Kootenai Health receive specialized and attentive care.
While a mother’s milk is the best and preferred feeding option for infants, there are times when a baby is unable to receive milk from their mother and we need to supplement with donor human milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of human milk for all preterm infants. It supplies nutrients and helps protect against allergies, sickness, and infections.
Kootenai Health receives all donor human milk products for the NICU from our vendor Prolacta Bioscience. Our vendor partner ensures donor milk is standardized to meet a minimum of 20 calories per fluid ounce and is screened for HIV 1 and 2, HTLV I and II, HBV, HCV and syphilis. Additionally, every ounce donated is DNA matched to the mother and tested for drugs and contamination prior to processing. If you have a child in the NICU and have questions about donor milk, please discuss with your care team.
If you are interested in becoming a breast milk donor, please view more information by clicking on the links below.
Information on the milk banking process
Donors are able to donate from the comfort of their own home using specially designed shipping containers.
Please note: We do not accept breast milk donations at our facility.