We believe in the power of
breastfeeding to create healthier, stronger, smarter children.
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance is committed to
earning the "Baby Friendly" designation from the World Health
Organization and UNICEF.
Skin-to-skin holding is a
wonderful way to bond with your baby, calm your baby, and wake
your baby for feedings. Dads can also do skin-to-skin, which
provides similar benefits and promotes bonding and attachment.
Most babies are more alert soon after birth. Research
demonstrates the importance of early skin-to-skin holding and
initiation of breastfeeding. Let your family know the importance
of this early interaction with your baby and encourage them to
allow some privacy and quiet time after the birth.
At Texas Health Alliance, we try
to minimize separation and encourage moms to keep their babies in
their hospital rooms. Rooming-in provides the optimal environment
for learning about your baby and getting breastfeeding off to a
good start. It also allows nurses to provide education and care
at your bedside. We encourage our new families to take advantage
of our designated Quiet/Nap Time from 1 to 4 p.m. each
How to Know When Baby is Hungry
It is best to learn your baby's
hunger cues and feed baby early and often. Cues to watch for
include moving, squirming or stretching; yawning or moving their
mouths while seeming to be asleep; opening their mouths or
turning their heads from side-to-side; and bringing their hands
to their faces and/or sucking on their fists or fingers.
All babies cluster feed, often
eating every one to three hours on an average of eight to 15
times during a 24-hour period. These early and frequent feedings
help increase your milk supply more quickly. If your baby is
sleepy, you may gently wake him/her by unwrapping your baby,
holding skin-to-skin, or providing diaper care.
Babies are up more at night during
the first few weeks. It's helpful to have a family member stay
overnight to help. This especially important if you have a
Is Baby Getting Enough Milk?
Breast milk is usually all your
baby needs. It is best to breastfeed and avoid formula
supplements unless recommended by your pediatrician. In the first
few days, before your milk comes in, your body will produce
colostrum, also known as "the first milk." Colostrum is
concentrated and provides just the right amount of carbohydrates,
proteins, and antibodies. You will want to count your baby's wet
and dirty diapers to be sure he or she is getting enough to eat.
Your baby will have some weight loss, but should be back to birth
weight by two weeks.
Early introduction of pacifiers
and bottles has been shown to interfere with getting
breastfeeding off to a good start. Pacifiers and artificial
nipples can alter the way an infant sucks, contribute to sore
nipples and interfere with establishing a good milk supply, which
is highly dependent on early frequent breastfeeding. We will not
provide pacifiers for infants.