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Lactation Support

Woman cradling her pregnant stomach in her hands.We know you have a million questions, and that’s okay! We’re here to answer them. Contact UMMC Lactation Support (601) 815-7461.

Getting Started

Best Fed First Trimester: Making an informed decision

Congratulations! We are thrilled you have chosen the University of Mississippi Medical Center to care for you and your baby. As your body begins adjusting and changing, it’s preparing to make the perfect first food for your baby—breast milk. In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations, UMMC strongly recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life, with continued breastfeeding along with complimentary baby foods for the first year and beyond.

  • Good for Your Baby
    • Research shows your baby will have a stronger immune system and be better protected from short-term illnesses such as ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, and long-term illnesses such as allergies, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), childhood cancer and diabetes.
    • Breast milk has all the right ingredients for growth and development.
    • Breast milk is easier to digest—which may reduce spit-up and gas.
    • Breast milk has been associated with lowering your baby’s risk of being overweight later in life.
  • Good for You
    • Breast milk is convenient, free and can be frozen for future use.
    • Research suggests you’ll more quickly get your figure back and your uterus to pre-pregnancy size.
    • You’ll decrease your risk of breast and ovarian cancer and bone disease.
    • You’ll have time to bond with your baby.

Nursing Your Newborn

Best Fed Second Trimester: Making an informed decision

Be patient with yourself and your baby, and remember to ask for help. Our staff is here for you. Contact UMMC Lactation Support (601) 815-7461.

The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding

In accordance with recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, UMMC encourages you to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of your baby’s life, with continued breastfeeding and complimentary foods for the first year and beyond. Breastfeeding maximizes the health benefits available to both you and your baby for years to come.

What to Expect at First

You may have noticed changes in your breasts. This is simply your body making your baby’s first milk, or colostrum, which has all the nutrition your newborn needs.

Two or five days after your baby’s birth, your milk volume will increase noticeably to meet your baby’s growing needs. Because newborns breastfeed frequently and on no set time schedule, plan on feeding at least 8-12 times
every 24 hours for the first few weeks. Nipple tenderness is common during the first few weeks of breastfeeding, but feeding your baby should not be painful. If you experience pain, let us know. We can help by observing a feeding and correcting any problems.

Breastfeeding in the Hospital

In the hospital, the first time you hold your newborn skin-to-skin is the perfect time to start breastfeeding. Your baby is usually alert and interested in suckling. Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t show interest in breastfeeding immediately. By holding your baby skin-to-skin on your chest and covered by blankets to keep you both warm, your baby will soon start to show an interest in feeding. In fact, we encourage you to hold your baby skin-to-skin as much as possible during your hospital stay.

Exclusive breastfeeding during your hospital stay:

  • Protects your baby from infections.
  • Keeps your baby’s blood sugar levels stable.
  • Helps you make more milk.
  • Helps you with decreased blood loss after delivery.

When Do I Feed My Baby?

Keep your baby close at all times and help feedings go more smoothly by feeding your baby as soon as you notice early hunger cues.

Early cues include:

  • Baby becomes more alert and active.
  • Baby opens his or her mouth and looks to put something in it. This is called the rooting reflex.
  • Baby starts smacking lips or putting fingers near his or her mouth.
  • Baby makes sucking motions.

Later cues include:

  • Baby moves head frantically from side to side.
  • Baby begins crying.

Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?

Your newborn may want to breastfeed more than you might expect. These early and frequent feedings help your body establish its milk supply for your baby. Our staff will help you to recognize signs that your baby is getting plenty of milk, so you don’t have to worry.

Give Your Child a Healthy Start

Best Fed Third Trimester: Making an informed decision

It’s almost time! Not much longer until you meet your beautiful baby. If you have any questions, even after you get home, contact UMMC Lactation Support (601) 815-7461.

Practice Makes Perfect

It usually takes a little practice to get the hang of breastfeeding. UMMC encourages you to exclusively breastfeed your baby while in the hospital and continue after you go home. We have experienced nurses and lactation staff to assist you with feedings. Feeding at home will be much easier if you learn as much as you can while in the hospital.

Skin-to-Skin Care

Your baby will be placed on your chest soon after birth. It’s during this “skin-to-skin care” time that the first feeding often occurs (as long as neither you nor your baby requires special medical attention).

Skin-to skin care:

  • Promotes bonding.
  • Helps your baby transition from the womb to the outside world.
  • Helps your baby cry less, sleep better and stay warmer than they would wrapped in a blanket.

Don’t worry if your baby isn’t immediately interested in feeding. Hold your baby skin-to-skin, covered by blankets to keep you both warm, and your baby will soon start to show an interest.

The "Golden Hour"

Most babies begin to show interest in eating sometime during the first hour after they are born. During this special time, or the "Golden Hour," we won’t separate moms, dads and babies, so you can all bond. We ask that your extended family wait to hold your precious little one until after you have spent the "Golden Hour" with your baby.

Rooming In

You will be encouraged to keep your baby with you in your room—called “rooming in.” Benefits of rooming in include:

  • You can get to know your baby better.
  • Baby gains weight better.
  • Baby develops less jaundice.
  • Baby sleeps better and cries less.
  • Mother’s milk comes in sooner.
  • You start learning your baby’s feeding cues.

Making Enough Milk

Early and frequent breastfeeding helps your body establish a full milk supply for your baby. A newborn may want to breastfeed more than you might expect, especially at night. It’s important that your baby feeds often in the first
few days after birth to help your body make plenty of milk. Pacifier use in the first few days after birth is not recommended. Pacifiers can be used after breastfeeding is well-established, usually a few weeks after delivery.
Our staff will help you recognize signs your baby is getting plenty of milk.

Effective Positioning and Latching Techniques

You will receive plenty of breastfeeding support in the hospital during your first feedings. We will show you how to:

  • Support your breast in a comfortable hold.
  • Hold your baby close (tummy to tummy).
  • Pull your baby in towards your breast once their mouth is open wide (like a yawn) and tongue is down, called “latching on.”
  • Use proper latching on and position techniques.