Breastfeeding Education & Support

Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing not just for your baby’s health, but also for your own health and for the positive relationship it can promote between you and your baby.  However, just because breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t mean it always comes easy.  If you’re struggling with nursing your new baby A Woman’s Healing Center is here to help.

Breastfeeding Experts

Our all-female team of obstetrician-gynecologists are knowledgeable about breastfeeding and are able to provide you with support and resources should you have breastfeeding questions or concerns prior to or following delivery. Not only are our doctors and nurses educated in the breastfeeding, many of them are also mothers who have experienced breastfeeding first hand.

The Breastfeeding Support You Need

Whether your breastfeeding goal is 3 weeks, 3 months, or 3 years, we want to help you meet it!

Prior to delivery, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your breastfeeding goal with your doctor during a prenatal visit.  We’ll discuss the importance of skin-to-skin contact following delivery and delaying non-medically indicated newborn care (such as weights, measurements, and baths) until after baby has had the opportunity to nurse.  In the case of a planned cesarean section, we will work to get you nursing as soon as possible for your and your baby’s specific medical situation – whether that’s in the delivery or recovery room.  Should pumping after delivery be indicated (for example with a premature baby), we can help guide you through that process.

Following discharge from the hospital, if you have concerns about how breastfeeding is going or how your baby is doing, please call our office right away. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have and want to make sure things keep going well.

What patients are saying

The doctors at A Woman’s Healing Center saw me through two pregnancies and delivered both of my kids! My experiences were both so different and wonderful, (as all babies are) and I felt equally cared for and safe during both deliveries! Since having my daughter in 2016, I have moved to a different city and I can’t seem to find anyone I like as well as the doctors at A Woman’s Healing Center, I suppose I might just drive up to Fort Collins whenever I need an OBGYN appointment! An additional HUGE plus for me was all the help I got with breastfeeding from Dr.Grove as well! I was able to breastfeed both my kids to about 11.5 months and you guys supported me all the way! Thanks A Woman’s Healing Center! I miss you soooooo much!

- Faith

Frequently asked questions

How is breastfeeding good for mothers?

Breastfeeding has the following benefits for nursing mothers:

  • Breastfeeding burns as many as 500 extra calories each day, which may make it easier for you to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy.
  • Women who breastfeed longer have lower rates of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • Women who breastfeed have lower rates of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, a hormone that causes the uterus to contract. This helps the uterus return to its normal size more quickly and may decrease the amount of bleeding you have after giving birth.
  • Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby and may help to alleviate or combat the symptoms of postpartum depression.

How does breastfeeding benefit babies?

Breastfeeding benefits your baby in the following ways:

  • Breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, protein, and minerals needed for a baby’s growth and development.  It is nature’s perfectly designed food for human babies!
  • As your baby grows, your breast milk changes to adapt to the baby’s changing
    nutritional needs.
  • Breast milk is easier to digest than formula.
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, and allergies.
  • Breastfed infants have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Any amount of breastfeeding appears to help lower this risk.
  • If your baby is born preterm, breast milk can help reduce the risk of many of the short-term and long term health problems that preterm babies face, such as necrotizing enterocolitis or other infections.

When should I begin breastfeeding?

Most healthy newborns are ready to breastfeed within the first hour after birth. For all normal vaginal deliveries and in most planned cesarean sections, we support mothers holding their baby “skin-to-skin” immediately after birth.

Holding your baby against your bare chest right after he or she is born triggers reflexes that help your baby to attach or “latch on” to your breast.  In the first days, you will produce colostrum, a thick, yellowish pre-milk that is very nutrient-dense.  Your baby will have a small stomach, so he or she will need to nurse very frequently.  This is normal and good – frequent nursing will help insure your milk comes in, typically on the 3rd day after birth (or 5th day following a cesarean section).

How long should I breastfeed my baby?

It is recommended that babies exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months of life, and then continue breastfeeding for two years and beyond – as long as is desired by the baby and mother.

Exclusive breastfeeding means to feed your baby only breast milk and no other foods or liquids unless advised by the baby’s doctor.  This includes not feeding your baby infant formula unless medically indicated, however if you are unable to breastfeed exclusively, it’s important to keep in mind that any amount of breast milk is beneficial to your baby.

Breastfeeding should continue as new foods are introduced through the baby’s first year. You can keep breastfeeding after the first year or two, as long as you and your baby want to continue.

You can use a breast pump to express milk at work to provide milk for your baby when you are separated. This also helps to keep up your supply while you are away from your baby.

How do I know my baby is hungry?

When babies are hungry, they will nuzzle against your breast, suck on their hands, flex their fingers and arms, and clench their fists. Crying usually is a late sign of hunger.  Try to watch your baby for cues, not the clock, and feed him before he starts to cry.

When babies are full, they relax their arms, legs, and hands and close their eyes.

How frequently do I need to nurse?

Your baby’s stomach is very small, and breast milk empties from a baby’s stomach faster than formula. For these reasons, you will typically breastfeed at least 8–12 times in 24 hours during the first weeks of your baby’s life. If it has been more than 4 hours since the last feeding, you may need to wake up your baby to feed.

Each nursing session typically lasts 10–45 minutes. Once your breast milk transitions from colostrum to mature milk, your baby will soak at least six diapers a day with urine and have at least three bowel movements a day. After 10 days, your baby will be back up to birth weight.

How can I learn more about breastfeeding or get help?

If you want to learn more about breastfeeding, our blog is a great resource.  There are many articles about breastfeeding here.

Expectant mothers can ask questions about breastfeeding at their prenatal appointments, and/or while attending our childbirth education class.

If you have recently given birth and have breastfeeding questions or need breastfeeding support, the following resources are available to you:

  • Poudre Valley Hospital lactation consultants (while still in the hospital)
  • Call our office to speak with a nurse
  • Schedule an appointment to speak with one of our doctors
  • La Leche League of Fort Collins

Please reach out to us or your baby’s doctor if you are concerned about breastfeeding or your baby.