Breastfeeding Support

Though breastfeeding is considered a natural way to feed a newborn, it may not always come naturally - both mother and baby may take some time to learn what works best. Continuing a longstanding commitment to caring for women and their families, caregivers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Prentice Women's Hospital provide new mothers with resources and support for breastfeeding including classes, the most up-to-date educational materials and access to lactation consultants who are international board certified.

Classes

Women who plan to deliver at Prentice are encouraged to attend breastfeeding classes led by certified lactation consultants. Participants learn about feeding techniques and positions, pumping, and breast milk storage. Instructors also recommend that husbands, partners, mothers or sisters attend, as they can be supportive and informed coaches when a mother begins breastfeeding.

Breast Pump Rentals

Women can rent breast pumps to use at home. Learn more.

Breastfeeding Services at The New Prentice Women's Hospital

In response to feedback from mothers and their families, expanded breastfeeding resources are available at  Prentice Women's Hospital. Breast pumps will be available for new mothers in postpartum rooms and also in the neonatal intensive care unit, where families will be able to spend time with their critically ill newborns in family-centered bays. Here, a new mother will be able to pump with privacy at the bedside of her infant, thus reducing the amount of time she needs to be away from her child. Two separate pumping rooms also will be available in the neonatal intensive care unit. Lactation rooms also will be available on the first and second floors for breastfeeding mothers who visit Prentice.

In the Hospital

Postpartum nurses at Prentice serve as a new mother's first resource for breastfeeding. Many of these postpartum nurses have earned special certification as lactation counselors and can guide a mother in the basics of positioning her baby and coaching the newborn to latch on to the breast. In response to growing needs of new mothers, the goal is for all postpartum and neonatal intensive care nurses at Prentice to earn lactation counselor certification over the next few years. Mothers who need additional assistance can request help from one of Prentice's certified lactation consultants.

Special Needs

Working collaboratively with the postpartum nurses, lactation consultants often help new mothers with more complicated needs, such as developing pumping schedules for babies in the Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who cannot yet breastfeed and assisting with breastfeeding as the baby matures. Lactation consultants also facilitate the Mother's Milk Group, a free, weekly support and information group for mothers with newborns in intensive care. New parents also can view educational breastfeeding programs in their rooms using the hospital's on-demand video system and patient education television.

Resources

New mothers also have access to portable breast pumps and visiting mothers can use one of five "mothers' rooms" throughout the hospital to pump in a private setting.

At Home - Breastfeeding Help

If you have trouble with breastfeeding after you leave the hospital, you can find helpful information on the La Leche League's Web site. You may also call the Le Leche League at 1-800-525-3243 (LALECHE).

You may also contact the International Lactation Consultant Association online.