Breastfeeding Support

Every new mom deserves breastfeeding support. Staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and Registered Nurses, Expressly For You at Baptist Health offers the advice and products moms need to get breastfeeding off to a good start. 

Through a prenatal or postpartum appointment with a lactation consultant at Expressly For You, you can find the advice and support you need to confidently breastfeed your baby. From nursing tips to the best products, we walk with you through each step of your breastfeeding journey. We also provide a baby weigh station to weigh your breastfed baby, free of charge, to ensure your child is receiving the nourishment needed to grow up healthy.

A Medela Certified Nursing Center, Expressly For You also offers breast pumps, nursing bras, slings and other breastfeeding accessories for purchase. A rental program is also available for your needs after discharge from the hospital. 

Conveniently located on the second floor of the Hickingbotham Outpatient Center at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock, Expressly For You is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  To request an appointment or ask any questions you may have, contact us through the Breastfeeding Warm Line at (501) 202-7378. You can also find helpful breastfeeding information by following Expressly For You on Facebook and Pinterest.

Milk Depot

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock has opened Arkansas’ first non-profit milk depot that will collect breast milk donations from lactating women through Expressly for You. Breast milk is shipped to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas where it is pasteurized and made safe for babies, then dispensed by physician prescription to meet the specific needs of fragile and sick babies with the greatest medical needs, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

As demand for donor human milk continues to outpace supply, Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock’s Milk Depot will give lactating mothers a drop-off location for donations of much-needed breast milk. The depot is now accepting breast milk donations from Arkansas mothers. Women who are currently breastfeeding infants under one year of age are eligible to become donors and can be screened at no charge.

Breastfeeding Information and Tips

Order a Medela breast pump that could be covered by your insurance by filling out this form and bringing it to your next visit at Expressly For You.

Make Breastfeeding Easy

Knowing what to expect the first few weeks after childbirth can help make breastfeeding easier. Learn more about what you can expect in once baby arrives through our detailed timeline of the first 10 days postpartum.

Immediately After Birth

  • Most babies will nurse better at this time than they may for the next couple of days.
  • Frequent effective feeding establishes milk supply. 
  • Have your RN or lactation consultant review proper latch techniques while in the hospital.

One to Four Days

  • Baby may rather sleep than eat. Frequent removal of colostrum from your breasts will help establish a good milk supply. Pumping or hand expression of colostrum is a good idea if you are not seeing obvious signs of effective feeding.
  • If baby is not waking on his own at least every three hours, you must wake him so he is feeding effectively at least eight times in 24 hours.
  • If you do not recognize effective feeding, schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant.
  • Your baby is getting plenty of your milk if he is meeting the goals on the feeding record given to you at the hospital. 
  • Schedule your infant’s first pediatrician appointment.

Three to Five Days

  • You may feel engorged (tender, full) as you begin producing more milk. The most important thing is to keep the breast empty by effective feeding or pumping.
  • Engorged breasts may make it difficult for baby to latch on. Relieve engorgement by alternating hot and cold packs and emptying the breasts frequently. 
  • Your growing milk supply will appeal to baby’s desire for instant gratification and you should begin to hear him or her suck and swallow. Recognize this as a sign of effective feeding. 
  • Some nipple soreness can be present at this time but should be resolved with normal comfort measures such as lanolin cream or hydrogel dressing by days seven through 10. 

Six to 10 Days

  • Any nipple soreness should be resolving/resolved.
  • Baby should appear satisfied after feedings and your breasts may feel softer after feedings. Your breasts may leak in between feedings; this will probably subside after a few weeks.
  • Baby should have six to eight wet diapers and three to four yellow stools per day for the first two months of life.
  • Breastfeed eight to 10 times per 24-hour period, but baby may begin to have one longer interval (up to five hours) between feedings. By the end of the second week, most babies will have regained their birth weight.

Breastfeeding While Working

To best recover from childbirth and establish a good breastfeeding routine, you should take anywhere from six to twelve weeks of leave, as available by your employer. Even after that, a gradual return to work gives you more time to adjust. Be sure to talk with your supervisor about your plans to breastfeed and discuss the option of part-time work hours as well as private areas where you can comfortably and safely express milk at work. 

Moms who return to work full time will need to continue to empty the breasts effectively eight to 10 times per 24 hours, to maintain a full milk supply. This will mean pumping at work two to three times per day. If there is a childcare option close to work, find out if they will allow you to visit and breastfeed during your lunch break. 

Because of  the Affordable Care Act (ACA), your insurance company may provide coverage for lactation consulting and breast pumps. To find out which type of ACA breast pump your insurance will cover and which is the right pump for you, visit breastfeedinginsurance.com.

Baptist Health employs specific women’s health specialists to meet every need including breastfeeding classes. 

Classes provide preparation for successful breastfeeding by discussing the many benefits of breastfeeding, explaining how to get started, teaching basic techniques and providing solutions to common problems. Classes are open to all breastfeeding mothers or women interested in breastfeeding in the future. We recommend that you bring a support person with you who will learn these same basic skills and help you while you are in the hospital and at home. Register for a breastfeeding class.

Breastfeeding an Infant in the NICU

The health advantages of providing mother’s own milk to her infant are profound and well-researched, especially for sick or premature infants. Premature milk is loaded with higher amounts of several ingredients to protect newborns against infection until their own bodies can protect themselves. Any amount of breast milk is an important part of your infant’s treatment plan in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). To better prepare your body for breastfeeding, be sure to get plenty of rest, drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water, milk or juice each day, limit caffeine intake and eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and meat. 

What type of breast pump should I use?

To help stimulate milk production, it is important to use a hospital grade, double-electric pump and empty both breasts at the same time. Our lactation consultants recommend the Medela Symphony or Medela Pump In Style Advanced breast pumps. If you have a battery-operated or manual breast pump, these can be used after you have reached a full milk supply. A rental program is available for your needs through Expressly For You at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock. For more information specific to your needs, contact a lactation consultant at (501) 202-7378.

How often should I pump?

Since breastfeeding is a “supply and demand” process, it is important to begin pumping within the first eight to 12 hours after delivery, if possible. In the first week or two after delivery you need to pump as often as eight to 10 times daily, which is as often as a full term baby would breastfeed in the immediate days after birth. 

How long should I pump?

In the beginning when you are producing small amounts at each pump session, the session lasts for 10-15 minutes. Later, after your milk has “come in” abundantly, you should continue pumping past when the milk stops to flow for one to two minutes. The last droplets of milk contain the highest levels of fat which provides the greatest calories for your premature baby. Also, by emptying the breast more completely, the body will receive an important message to make more milk for the next pump session. If the breasts do not get emptied completely or often enough, the body begins to produce less milk. 

Some mothers say the milk never stops flowing while they pump. Typically, you should not pump longer than 30 minutes, even if the milk is still flowing. Also, if you pump this long, you may not need to pump as often as a mother who can express her breasts in a shorter time period.

What amount of milk should I expect?

Mothers who deliver prematurely often wonder if they are producing “enough” milk. There are many factors that can affect the amount of milk produced, particularly in the first few days after delivery. A slower onset of milk production does not mean that a mother will not make enough milk for her baby. It simply means it may take a few more days to catch up with mothers who have had uncomplicated deliveries. The best scenario is to be pumping 750-1,000 mls of milk each day by the end of two weeks. This is generally the amount your baby will need each day at discharge. To discuss any milk supply issues or concerns, contact our lactation consultant at (501) 202-7378.

How should I store my milk?

You will be pumping milk into bottles or bags provided by the hospital or NICU. It is important to label your milk with the name, date and time it was pumped. You can store all the milk from a single pump session into one container but do not add new milk to a previous collection. You can bring fresh milk directly to the NICU. However, if it will be days before you visit, please freeze immediately after it is collected. It can be frozen for 48 hours. Once milk has been thawed, it needs to be used within 24 hours.

When can I start nursing a preterm baby?

Infants develop coordination of their sucking-swallowing-breathing abilities, which are required to eat by mouth, when they reach approximately 32-34 weeks gestation. Things you can do to help your baby breastfeed when it is appropriate is Kangaroo Care or placing the baby skin-to-skin with you. Next is “non-nutritive sucking,” which means the baby gets a chance to nuzzle/lick on an empty breast one to two times a day. As your baby develops further, you will be allowed to offer your baby a breastfeeding session. The frequency of these sessions will gradually increase as your baby becomes stronger.

In the NICU, we can provide you with comfortable chairs, footstools and pillows to aid you in positioning the baby at the breast. Typical positions to begin with are the football and cross-cradle holds. The nursing staff in the NICU can address most concerns you may have with breastfeeding. However, if a concern arises that poses a special need, one of the lactation consultants can be called to assist you. We also provide the Mother’s Own Milk Club for NICU families each Tuesday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. for education and support.

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