Health professionals widely agree that breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. Infants that are breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life have a lower risk of developing asthma, allergies, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and diarrhea. Additionally, women who breastfed have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes, decreased postpartum blood loss, and more rapid contraction of the uterus. Holly Hill, Registered Nurse and LDS Hospital's Lactation Consultant, stopped by KUTV to explain a few things can help help new moms with breastfeeding.
Stepping Up Program
The Stepping Up for Utah Babies program was developed by the Utah Department of Health to recognize Utah hospitals that have taken steps to promote, protect, empower, and encourage breastfeeding in their facilities. The Stepping Up program guides hospitals to successfully implement Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which are evidence-based maternity care practices that show the best support of breastfeeding, as well as improved care experiences and outcomes for non-breastfeeding families.
LDS Hospital has been working hard to complete these steps to support breastfeeding mothers and so far has completed 5 steps and earned two stars.
The steps completed make sure pregnant women know about the benefits of breastfeeding, help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, and show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation.
In addition to these steps, lactation consultants at the hospital are available on location to work with mothers who begin breastfeeding. Breastfeeding consultants can answer questions and demonstrate techniques that can make the experience as fulfilling as possible.
Having a baby is an exciting and exhausting time. It’s also an important time for bonding. The practice of keeping mom and baby together is called “rooming in” as babies stay in the room with their parents. The time together in the first days of the baby’s life increases bonding and newborn health, reduces crying, and establishes healthy routines. We actively encourage this for our families as there are significant benefits for mom and baby, even including better quality sleep.
Rooming-in benefits for mother:
- Better quality sleep
- Increased confidence in handling and caring for baby
- Ability to learn your baby’s cues (sleepy, stressed, in need of quiet time, or hungry)
- Earlier identification of early feeding cues (rooting, opening mouth, and sucking on tongue, fingers, or hand)
- Improved breastfeeding experience
- Less infant crying and distress (they love to be near you)
- Less “baby blues” and postpartum depression
- Parents are better-rested and more relaxed by the end of the first week home
Rooming in benefits for baby:
- Better quality sleep. Your baby will develop a more regular sleep-wake cycle earlier, and rooming-in may help ease the transition to day/night routines
- More stable body temperatures
- Generally more content, less crying
- More stable blood sugar
- Breastfeed sooner, longer, and more easily
- Lower levels of stress hormones
Rooming-in also helps parents prepare to go home with their new baby. It provides an opportunity for parents and other caregivers to provide total care for the baby in a home-like environment while in the hospital.
At LDS Hospital, they do not require babies to room in, they do encourage it for the benefits for the family.