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.
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.
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.
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.