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

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.

Rooming-In

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 day.

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 cesarean birth.

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.

Successful Latching

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.

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