Every new mom deserves breastfeeding support. Staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and Registered Nurses, Expressly For You at Baptist Health is Arkansas’ breastfeeding place for the advice and products needed to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
We encourage you to make a prenatal or postpartum appointment to visit with a lactation consultant at Expressly For You. We’re conveniently located on the second floor of the Hickingbotham Outpatient Center at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock and are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. We also welcome your calls or emails anytime. For breastfeeding questions, please call the Breastfeeding Warm Line at (501) 202-7378 or click here to email a consultant.
Below is information to make breastfeeding easy and to help you make a smooth transition back to work. You will also find information on our breastfeeding support group as well as products for purchase or rental. For even more helpful breastfeeding information, follow Expressly For You on Facebook and Pinterest.
Make Breastfeeding Easy
Knowing what to expect the first few weeks after childbirth can help make breastfeeding easier. Below is a detailed timeline about the first 10 days postpartum. If you have any questions or if you are having any difficulties, please call the Breastfeeding Warm Line at (501) 202-7378. Click here to download a PDF of this timeline.
Immediately After Birth
Most babies will nurse better at this time than they may for the next couple of days.
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 his 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.
Make Breastfeeding Work
To best recover from childbirth and to 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.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), your insurance company may provide coverage for lactation consulting and breastpumps. To find out which type of ACA breastpump your insurance will cover and which is the right pump for you, visit breastfeedinginsurance.com.
Breastfeeding Classes & Support Groups
Baptist Health employs specific women’s health specialists to meet every need including breastfeeding classes and support groups.
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. Click here to learn more and to register for breastfeeding classes.
You may also find it helpful to seek advice and counsel from a breastfeeding support group where you can openly discuss challenges with mothers going through your same experiences.
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 breastmilk 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 a lost of rest, drink six to eight ounce glasses of water, milk and juice each day, limit caffeine intake and eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and meat.
What type of breastpump 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 breastpumps. If you have a battery-operated or manual breastpump, 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?
It is a common concern of mothers, who deliver prematurely, to 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 1 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 is 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 of 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.
Expressly For You is a Medela Certified Nursing Center offering breastpumps, nursing bras, slings and other breastfeeding accessories for purchase. A rental program is also available for your needs after discharge from the hospital.
We are conveniently located on the second floor of Hickingbotham Outpatient Center at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock and are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have questions about available products or the rental program at Expressly For You, please call (501) 202-7378.
For your shopping convenience, an online store is coming soon!
Baby Weigh Station
Weight gain is often a concern to breastfeeding mothers. We provide a baby weigh station to weigh your breastfed baby, free of charge. For questions regarding breastfeeding, feel free to call Baptist Health's "Warmline" at (501) 202-7378.
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.
Patient & Caregiver Stories
Anna Markham, Expressly For You Participant
In November of 2012, Anna Markham gave birth to a one pound baby boy named Landon.
After Landon was delivered, many things about his care were out of Anna’s hands and beyond her control. One thing she could do for him, however, was to pump exclusively for her son.
With the help of lactation consultants at Baptist Health that guided and supported Anna through this difficult process, she was able to feed him exclusively breast milk for the first five months of his life.
“The lactation consultants encouraged me and provided me with the resources I needed to be successful at giving my child the greatest gift I could give him,” says Anna. “Studies continue to show the benefits of breast milk for premature babies, and we are reminded of those benefits every day that we enjoy our happy, healthy little boy!”
Aimee Smith, Expressly For You Participant
Aimee Smith is the mom of a sweet, healthy and happy baby girl named Katelyn. Aimee knew from the very beginning that when she had a child, she would choose to breastfeed. Little did Aimee know, breastfeeding has many challenges in the first two months.
On day seven after bringing Katelyn home, Aimee and her husband discovered that she was experiencing colic, a frustrating condition marked by predictable periods of significant distress in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. Babies with colic often cry more than three hours a day, three days a week for three weeks or longer. Nothing you do to try to help your baby during these episodes seems to bring any relief.
Aimee turned to the nurses and lactation consultants at Baptist Health.
“I thought it was my milk supply or something I was doing wrong, but they assured me it was not me,” says Aimee. “They told me that colic babies are that way sometimes when you breastfeed and I just needed to hang in there.
“The lactation consultants at Baptist Health always answered all of my questions and had so many natural remedies they told me to take along the way while breastfeeding to help me get over that hump. They told me to call any time of the day, even if it was just for moral support. I truly do not think I would have kept up breastfeeding if it were not for the wonderful support I received from Baptist Health.”
Aimee and her husband consider themselves blessed to have a healthy and happy five-month-old baby girl.
Dr. Jennings, Expressly For You Participant
As an Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr. Jennings likes to be prepared. Her pregnancy was no exception.
Dr. Jennings consulted with the lactation consults both before and after her delivery. The consultants gave her many references to help her prepare, but she found the support she received from the entire lactation team after delivery the most valuable.
“My decision to breastfeed was automatic to me given my profession and knowledge of all the benefits; however, it also proved to be one of the most difficult aspects of the transition into motherhood,” says Dr. Jennings. “I used the lactation team for everything from advice on techniques for breastfeeding, schedules for my daughter and me, supplies for pumping when that time came, and most importantly, encouragement.
“They were always there to reassure me about the normal adjustments it takes for mother and newborn to be successful with breastfeeding. I am happy to say that Ella, my three month old daughter, is thriving and we are making breastfeeding and pumping a part of life while I am back to work full time. I truly do not think I could have done all of this without such wonderful support.”
Kayce Green, Expressly For You Participant
A week after she gave birth, new mom Kayce was experiencing less than desirable results from breastfeeding.
“My nipples were cracked and bleeding; I winced every time he latched. I was not making enough milk to sustain him and he continued to lose weight,” says Kayce.
The main reason for cracked or bleeding nipples is an improper latch, which can also cause severe nipple pain. Correcting your nursing technique can go a long way toward letting cracked nipples heal. Sometimes just the slightest change in positioning will make a world of difference. A lactation consultant can help you figure out how to position your baby to get a better latch.
“Meeting with the lactation consultants at Baptist Health saved me from quitting breastfeeding. Rhys is nearly five months old and I am still going strong,” says Kayce. “I could not have done this without the support of her and our pediatrician.”
Stephanie Allbritton, Expressly For You Participant
Breast milk is best for your baby, and the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. With the number of new moms breastfeeding ever increasing, the knowledge of how and why to breastfeed is not inherently known.
“Seeing a lactation consultant helped me achieve my goal to breastfeed both of my children. I was able to learn techniques that make it so easy to breastfeed. Certain positions the lactation consultant showed me made it seem like a breeze,” says Stephanie Allbritton, mother of two.
Breastfeeding's protection against illness lasts beyond your baby's breastfeeding stage, too. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can reduce a child's risk of developing certain childhood cancers.
“The lactation consultants told me the benefits both my children were able to receive through breastfeeding and helped make my decision so much easier,” says Stephanie. “ Without a lactation consultant I wouldn't have made it fourteen months breast feeding with both my children!”
Jessica Kirkpatrick, Expressly For You Participant
One of the main struggles of breastfeeding for the first time is learning to get your newborn to latch.
“Having a lactation consultant really helped me from going crazy when I had my newborn babies. Both babies wouldn't latch and did a lot of yelling at me,” says Jessica Kirkpatrick. “I was able to call the lactation consultants at Baptist Health, and not only did they show me the tricks and helpful tips for breastfeeding, but also they were very comforting in a chaotic time.”
“In my opinion breastfeeding is so much more difficult (especially with twins) than I expected and it was really nice to have someone knowledgeable that I could turn to in my time of need,” says Jessica.
Elizabeth Oyler, RN Talks Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom
Elizabeth Oyler, RN Talks Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer
Find out more about the breastfeeding project with Baptist Health and Arkansas Department of Health providing 24 hour support for breastfeeding mothers:
Jessica talks about Telehealth Lactation Consulting
Jessica talks Maternal Health Benefits from Breastfeeding