Maternity Services Care At NCH

Be Informed, Be Healthy

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Congratulations on your decision to breastfeed

Consultations are welcome during pregnancy, your hospital stay and after you go home. Call 847-618-8545 for more information or view our Prenatal Breastfeeding Class.

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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: before birth, during your stay at the hospital and after discharge. 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.

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:

  • Childhood cancer and diabetes
  • Adult obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory and ear infections
  • Allergic skin disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

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.


Nervous about breastfeeding? Confused? Don’t worry, we’re here for you

We offer a full range of lactation (breastfeeding) 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.

Breastfeeding help in the hospital

  • Lactation specialists provide breastfeeding support as requested by mom, nursing staff or physician.
  • Breastfeeding consultations are automatically scheduled if infant’s medical needs require it.

Breastfeeding support after discharge

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  • 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
  • Mother-Baby Hour – A free NCH-sponsored program where new moms can share the uncertainty of everyday motherhood in a relaxed environment. You and your baby are invited to join one of our perinatal educators at First Presbyterian Church, 302 N. Dunton in Arlington Heights every Tuesday from 10-11:30 am. 

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.

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The first few days of life, babies have no “feeding schedules” and their need to be at 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 do both breast and bottle feed because she needs to return to work, school or has other commitments that will require mom 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:

» Latch problems

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  • Failure to latch-on or poor latch
  • Baby falls asleep within 5 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 breast even with a good latch
  • By day 5, baby has fewer than 6 soaking wet diapers and 3 seedy, yellow bowel movements each day

» Breast/nipple problems

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  • Sore, damaged nipples
  • Severe engorgement not improved after baby nurses
  • Recommendations:
    • Breastfeed frequently, alternating positions
    • Ice/cold pack after feedings
    • Pump to comfort, if pressure not relieved from frequent nursing
  • Blocked ducts or mastitis: a pain in a specific area of the breast that may or may not be accompanied by a lump, redness, or extremely tender to touch. Baby may tend to be fussy during this time as flow of milk may be hindered.
  • Recommendations:
    • Warm compress on affected area for 2-3 minutes before breastfeeding
    • Offer affected side first
    • If possible position baby so there is a pressure from baby’s chin while breastfeeding
    • Ibuprofen (if no allergy) to manage pain and swelling
    • Cold/ice pack for 10 minutes after each breastfeeding
    • Rest as much as possible, drink adequate fluids
    • Call your OB/midwife if your temperature is >100.4°F.
    • Continue above recommendations and if an antibiotic is ordered take all of the medication to prevent reoccurrence

» Later concerns

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  • Diet – no real limitations
  • 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

We also offer outpatient appointments as schedule permits Monday through Friday. Please call 847-618-8545 to schedule an appointment.

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Anesthesia pain control is a very important part of the labor and delivery process. An anesthesiologist from Northwest Suburban Anesthesiologists will work very closely with your obstetrician and labor and delivery nurses to provide you the most state of the art pain control options available. Safety of both you and your baby is our top priority, and our pain management options are designed with this in mind. Therefore, NCH's Anesthesia Department has obstetrics-dedicated anesthesiologist available around the clock, every day of the year!

Patient Controlled Epidural Anesthesia (PCEA)

Epidural pain control has been used for many years in obstetrics. It is a safe and effective way to manage labor-induced pain without sedating you and your baby, unlike intravenous narcotic medications.

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PCEA involves the placement of a small, flexible tube in your back, below the level of the spinal cord. This tube is used to continuously infuse local anesthetic (numbing medicine), directly targeting the pain fibers involved with childbirth. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes to place, and discomfort is similar to having an IV placed in your hand.

Here at NCH, we go a step further and allow you to actively participate in your pain control. If you choose PCEA to help manage your labor and delivery pain, you are given a push button, which when pressed, provides an extra dose of numbing medicine. Studies have shown this method to greatly improve pain control, and safety measures prevent you from over medicating yourself. Overall, mothers are very satisfied with this pain control option.

Cesarean Section

In the event that you require a C-section, the anesthesiologist will be with you throughout the entire process. While no two C-sections are alike, most mothers are able to remain conscious during the procedure, except in emergency situations or special circumstances.

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The anesthesiologist will do all they can to make sure you are awake and actively participating in the birth of your child. If you already have an epidural in place from laboring, the anesthesiologist simply needs to administer additional numbing medicine through the flexible epidural catheter in your back. This process is entirely painless, and in approximately 15 minutes, you will be numb from just below your breasts down to your toes.

If an epidural is not already in place, a one-time spinal injection will deliver the numbing medicine necessary for the C-section. This procedure is similar to an epidural, except no plastic tube is left in your back.

Once your laboring partner is by your side, the C-section will begin.

Post-Cesarean Section Pain Control

Northwest Suburban Anesthesiologists at NCH offer two types of highly effective pain control options for mothers after C-section procedures.

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Duramorph is a preservative-free opioid drug known as morphine. It has been used as medicinal pain control for over a century. When given intravenously, it can sometimes cause nausea, vomiting and itching. To minimize these side effects, we administer this medication directly through your epidural catheter or as a one-time spinal injection. This allows us to deliver the medication in dosages hundreds of times less than what is required intravenously with the same result.

In just a few hours after your C-section, you are able to walk around with your baby with minimal discomfort. The effects of the drug last 24 hours, at which point your obstetrician will start pain medications by mouth.

Transversus Abdominis Plane Block is a newer option for post-C-section pain control. It involves no narcotic medications, but instead uses only numbing medications similar to the medications used in the epidural process. At the end of the C-section, while your abdomen is still completely numb, the anesthesiologist will perform two injections on either side of your abdomen. The injections deposit numbing medication with the help of ultrasound imaging, and are completely painless. The effects of the numbing medication last 24 hours, at which point your obstetrician will start pain medications by mouth.

Both options provide excellent pain relief, and at NCH, we let you decide which option is right for you.

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Maternity Services visitor information

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  • One adult family member or friend is welcome to spend the night during both the labor and delivery, and postpartum periods.
  • A sibling of the newborn may visit anytime during the daytime hours as long as he or she is healthy. For safety reasons minors (including siblings) may not spend the night.
  • All other visitors may visit anytime; the number of visitors is up to mom.
  • Children, who are not siblings of the new baby must be 12 years of age and older.
  • Visitors must not be sick with a cold, fever, diarrhea or sore throat.
  • Visitors may be asked to step out of the room for your privacy and care.
  • For security reasons, all visitors will be asked to give the new mother's first and last name before visiting.

There is also a large viewing window in the waiting room, so you can show your newborn to visitors in the waiting room, if you prefer.

Download visitor guidelines

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  • Parents can bring family members and siblings to visit.
  • Parents are encouraged to visit anytime and stay overnight in their baby’s room.

Baby's First Photos

Northwest Community Hospital brings experienced photographers from Bella Baby Photography to the hospital to capture your baby's first photograph with a natural, artistic style. Your professional mini photo shoot can take place right in the comfort of your hospital room.

Mother-Baby Hour 

A free NCH-sponsored program where new moms can share the uncertainty of everyday motherhood in a relaxed environment. You and your baby are invited to join one of our perinatal educators at First Presbyterian Church, 302 N. Dunton in Arlington Heights every Tuesday from 10 to 11:30 am. 

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