You have to take a test to get a drivers' license and simple items like toasters come with instruction manuals, but neither is required nor available to have a baby. Add in adjusting to a newborn's schedule, swirling post-partum hormones and a lack of sleep, and the task ahead can seem daunting. There isn't a manual, but there definitely are resources.
Baby-Friendly and Family-Centered Care
Our maternal care is designed to encourage mother-baby bonding and our educational classes help advance family-centered care. Many Texas Health hospitals have been named Baby Friendly hospitals by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, meaning we've gone above and beyond in promoting and supporting breastfeeding. To achieve Ten Step status, a hospital must satisfy several requirements, including availability of lactation specialists, identification of ongoing breastfeeding resources and breastfeeding training for all members of the mother-baby nursing staff.
Get Support from Lactation Specialists
Many women assume that because breastfeeding is a natural process, their milk will flow easily and everything progress smoothly. For some women this is the case, but for many, assistance from professionals who specialize in lactation can be a lifesaver. A consultant can assess mother-and-baby progress with breastfeeding and make recommendations that can prolong and enhance breastfeeding for both. They can address these concerns:
- Preventing and managing sore nipples or engorgement
- Latch-on difficulties
- Returning to work
- Slow weight gain or weight loss
- Mastitis/breast abscess
- "Baby blues" or fatigue
- Refusal to nurse
Consultants work with other health care providers to help with early interventions before small difficulties become overwhelming problems.
Breast Pump Rentals
Some of the Texas Health hospitals offer breast pumps for rent. Ask your childbirth education coordinator if they are available at your hospital.
Accept Help from Familiar Faces
Family and friends will be excited to help and see your baby. Don't be afraid to take them up on their offers to assist with housework, cooking, laundry or other tasks. This is your time to focus on the basics of eating, sleeping, feeding your baby and enjoying time together as a family.