Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth believes in the power of breastfeeding to create healthy and strong children, and has designed its maternity care to fully support new moms in breastfeeding their newborns. Studies show that breastfeeding gives infants the most complete nutrition possible because breast milk provides the optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies necessary for babies to thrive.
Because of the hospital's efforts to protect, support and promote breastfeeding, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have recognized Texas Health Fort Worth as "Baby-Friendly."
We recognize, too, that your breastfeeding needs are as individual as your baby. That's why we offer a number of resources, including:
Making Breastfeeding a Success
Texas Health Fort Worth offers the following recommendations for breastfeeding success:
Breastfeed Your Baby in the First Hour after Delivery
Most babies are alert soon after delivery. Research demonstrates the importance of breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby within the first hours after birth. Inform your family and visitors before you deliver that the priority is for baby and mom to have quiet time together after delivery. This may mean that their visit may have to wait until you get to postpartum.
Put Your Baby Skin-to-Skin Before and/or After Feedings
After birth, place your baby on your chest and cover both of you with a blanket. This will help to soothe the baby and help stabilize his/her body temperature, pulse and breathing. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a healthy newborn should be placed and stay in direct skin-to-skin contact until the first feeding is completed. This is also a wonderful way for Dad to bond with the baby.
Feed on Demand
Get to know your baby by learning his/her hunger cues such as lip smacking, mouth opening and bringing his/her hand to mouth. Feed the baby early when he/she shows these signs of hunger. Crying is a late hunger cue; the goal is to feed before crying begins. Babies cluster feed, often feeding every 1-3 hours or 8-12 times during a 24-hour period. Feeding often will help bring your milk in. If your baby is sleepy, wake him/her every three hours.
Make This Time Special
Realize that breastfeeding and bonding with your newborn may sometimes require you to limit visitors. Your family and friends will understand that this is an important and intimate time for your growing family.
Let Your Baby Room-in
The nurses at Texas Health Fort Worth want to minimize separation of mom and baby, which is why rooming in is promoted. By having your baby with you both day and night, you are able to learn his/her feeding cues. Nurses will check on you regularly to provide support and assistance.
Research shows that babies feed more frequently at night in the first few weeks and that mothers who have their baby fed in the nursery often have a delayed milk supply. In order for you to respond to your baby's needs at night, breastfeeding mothers are discouraged from taking sleeping pills. You may want to ask a family member to stay with you overnight to assist you. This will be especially important if you had a Cesarean delivery. Limit visitors during the day to allow you to take a much needed daytime nap.
Avoid Pacifiers and Artificial Nipples
They may interfere with optimal breastfeeding and the baby's suckling. If a baby is showing feeding cues, put him/her to the breast. This stimulation is important in the establishment of your milk supply. Pacifiers are not provided by the hospital.
Do Not Supplement with Formula unless Recommended by Your Pediatrician
Your colostrum is all that your baby needs in the first few days of life. Your baby's stomach is very small and colostrum comes in small, concentrated amounts to provide just the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and antibodies in an easy-to-digest form. A full-term baby's stomach is only the size of a marble on day one; it will grow larger every day! You will want to count your baby's wet and dirty diapers to be sure they are getting enough. Your baby will have some weight loss (yes, loss — it is expected that your baby will lose some weight after delivery before starting to gain). Your baby should be back to his or her birth weight by 2 weeks.
Be Patient and Let Us Help!
Texas Health Fort Worth is committed to supporting your family's decision to breastfeed. During your hospital stay, our nurses and lactation consultants will offer instruction on breastfeeding. Lactation consultants are available to assist you if you are experiencing any difficulty.
The hospital's Breastfeeding Resource Center and Boutique offers lactation consultant services, rental and purchase of breast pumps, and breastfeeding accessories and supplies.
Click the link above or call 1-877-THR-WELL
Breastfeeding Resource Center and Boutique
Navigating the skills and emotions of breastfeeding can sometimes be challenge once you are at home. Our Breastfeeding Resource Center and Boutique is designed to support you in giving your baby a natural, healthy start to life. Whether you need a nursing bra, breast pump, breastfeeding pillow, listening ear or earful of advice, the Breastfeeding Resource Center and Boutique can help meet your needs. The center offers the following:
- Lactation Consultant Services — The center is staffed by registered nurses who are internationally board-certified lactation consultants. They can assess a mother and baby's progress, making recommendations that can prolong and enhance the breastfeeding experience. To make an outpatient appointment with a lactation consultant, please call 281-250-BABY (2229).
- Rental or Purchase of Breast Pumps — The center stocks hospital-grade, double electric breast pumps for rent as well as a variety of breast pumps for purchase.
- Breastfeeding Accessories and Supplies — Browse through our online shopping resource
The Breastfeeding Resource Center and Boutique is located at 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue on the ground floor of the Bloxom tower. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday; closed on Sunday.
Questions? Please call 817-250-BABY.