Women’s Health  ›  Obstetrics

Breastfeeding Support

If you’ve decided to breastfeed, you are making a very important decision for your baby’s health as well as your own–and NCH Breastfeeding Support Services will help you every step of the way. Breastfeeding for at least the first year of a baby’s life is recommended by most professional medical organizations because breast milk provides not only nourishment, but also protection from many illnesses. Consultations are available during pregnancy, your hospital stay and after you go home. Our Baby Café is a weekly class guided by our lactation experts for mothers and children up to six months. Call 847-618-8545 for more information or view our Prenatal Breastfeeding class schedule.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is proven to benefit both the nursing baby and mother. For the baby, breast milk provides an optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies that improve lung function and decrease the risk of:

NCH has been awarded a special grant to encourage mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months for these optimal health benefits. Hospital staff will work with mothers to get the baby to breast within one hour of delivery. We follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of giving your baby no bottles or pacifiers unless medically ordered.

Assistance Breastfeeding

We offer a full range of lactation services to help you learn more about breastfeeding—before your child is born, while you’re in the hospital and after you and your baby go home.

  • Lactation specialists provide breastfeeding support as requested by mom, nursing staff or physician
  • Breastfeeding consultations are automatically scheduled if an infant’s medical needs require it
  • Consultations by phone welcomed at any time
  • New mothers are encouraged to call for any reason, such as:
    • Growth spurts
    • Pumping guidelines
    • Returning to work
    • Too much or too little milk
    • Medications
    • Introducing solid foods
    • Teething
    • Subsequent pregnancies
    • Weaning
    • Or anything else of concern to mother/baby
    • Outpatient visits by appointment – call 847-618-8545

Baby Café

Weekly breastfeeding support group for moms and babies up to about six months of age, or crawling.

Join us for this free mother-to-mother support and sharing group. Guided by experienced lactation consultants, the group offers a weekly discussion, a scale to weigh babies and resources for moms.

Every Wednesday, 1–2:30 p.m.

Located in the Women’s and Children’s Services classroom on the fourth floor of the hospital. No registration is required.

Northwest Community Hospital
800 W. Central Road, Arlington Heights

Learning to Breastfeed

After giving birth at Northwest Community Hospital, you will be encouraged to keep your baby in your room. By keeping your infant with you whenever possible, you will become attuned to your baby’s feeding cues and able to respond as needed.

The first few days of life, babies have no “feeding schedules” and their need to be at the breast can be misunderstood. They may often “cluster feed” (especially at night) wanting to be close to mom, not only for food, but for security. Baby can also be difficult to wake even after 3–4 hours during daytime feedings.

Occasionally, a mother chooses to both breast and bottle feed because she needs to return to work, school or has other commitments that will require her and baby to be separated. In order to protect the learning process, it is recommended that you wait until breastfeeding is well established before introducing a bottle or a pacifier. You may request a pacifier or a bottle to feed your baby, or give the staff permission to feed, at any time. If bottle feeding is requested or necessary on a continued basis, we recommend you start pumping in order to establish/protect your milk supply and prevent extreme engorgement when milk comes in.

Call Breastfeeding Support Services at 847‑618‑8545 for the following conditions:

Latching Problems
  • Failure to latch on or a poor latch
  • Baby falls asleep within five minutes of starting
  • You do not see/hear the baby swallowing
  • Baby doesn’t soften or “empty” at least one breast each feeding after your milk is in
  • Fussy baby at the breast, even with a good latch
  • By day five, the baby has fewer than six soaking wet diapers and three seedy, yellow bowel movements each day
Breast/Nipple Problems
  • Sore, damaged nipples
  • Severe engorgement not improved after baby nurses
  • Blocked ducts or mastitis (pain in a specific area of the breast that may or may not be accompanied by a lump, redness or extreme tenderness)
Other Concerns
  • Diet
  • Recommended breast pumps
  • Building up a supply of breast milk in the freezer
  • Baby has slow weight gain
  • Low milk supply
  • Teething
  • Weaning
  • Any other questions related to breastfeeding or your breasts
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