Nourishing your baby is an intimate matter, but it can be a tricky one to approach alone. Whether it's your first baby or your fourth, we help you achieve the breastfeeding experience you want.
There is not a more perfect food for your baby than your breast milk. Breast milk contains just the right balance of proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates to help your baby grow into a healthy child.
It also protects against illness and infection, lessens the chance of your child becoming overweight and helps establish a close emotional bond between you and your newborn.
That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies drink breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life and for at least the first year as she begins to eat solid food.
Breastfeeding is best because it:
- Provides the best nutrition for your baby. Breast milk contains live cells; it has proteins, calcium and iron that your baby can more easily digest than in formula or cow's milk. It also has fats that are essential to your baby's brain, nervous system and visual development, as well as key vitamins (A, C, D, E and K).
- Helps develop a close bond between you and your baby. Scientists think the loving interaction between a mother and her baby helps newborns learn to socialize and decreases their risk of despair and failure to thrive.
- Decreases risk of your child becoming overweight. One theory for this is that breastfed infants may better control the amount of milk they consume because they rely on internal hunger cues to eat rather than external cues to finish eating.
- Helps protect against illness and disease. Breast milk contains antibodies that help reduce the chance of common childhood illnesses, such as diarrhea and ear infections. Breastfed babies also have lower rates of diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, allergies and asthma when compared with bottle-fed babies.
- Is beneficial to moms. Breastfeeding reduces your risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
Be prepared before your baby arrives. Ask questions and learn how to breastfeed in one of our breastfeeding classes.
John Muir Health is committed to you and your baby before, during and after delivery. Take advantage of these services:
- Lactation experts will answer basic questions you have about breastfeeding and help you find more information or resources. Call (925) 941-7900 for this free telephone service.
- Registered Nurses are on hand after your baby is born, when you begin to breastfeed in the hospital. Schooled in the latest breastfeeding techniques, our nurses will help you get started with each feeding.
- Lactation consultants are available for private appointments to help you with challenging situations or premature infants.
- Our expert team can help find the right breast pump for you to rent or buy, help with a certified bra fitting, or connect you with other breastfeeding resources you're looking for. Call (925) 941-7900 for pregnancy assistance.
- MuirMommies can support you as a new parent. Share your experiences, including those with breastfeeding, and learn tools to help you transition into your new role as a mom through group discussion and parenting educators.
- Private lactation appointments with one of our lactation consultants are available to you at the Women's Health Center. We offer one-on-one consultations and hands-on advice for all breastfeeding concerns. These include latch-on difficulties, inadequate infant weight gain, sore and inverted nipples, severe engorgement, low milk supply and nipple confusion.
The Women's Health Center at John Muir Health carries breastfeeding products such as nursing clothes and bras, breast pumps and parts, breast pads, storage containers and pillows.
For more information on lactation appointments, support products and pump rentals, please call: (925) 941-7900