Maternal and Family Health Services promotes breastfeeding as the most perfect infant food and encourages new mothers to choose breastfeeding because it is proven to have significant advantages for new mothers as well as infants.
The MFHS WIC Nutrition Program offers valuable information and resources for breastfeeding mothers. Some of the topics covered include:
- Advantages to mother and baby
- How to breastfeed
- Helpful hints
- Problem solving techniques
- Referrals for further help
How can I tell if my baby is getting enough breast milk?
Many concerns during the first few weeks of breastfeeding include doubts about baby getting enough to eat. At about 3 days of age, baby should be nursing anywhere from eight to twelve times a day or about every one and one half to two hours. Initial feedings may last as little as 5 to 10 minutes. Nursing time on each breast should not be limited. Nursing time increases as baby becomes more alert. An important indicator that baby is getting enough to eat is the amount of wet and soiled diapers he has in a given day. After baby comes home, he should have at least 6 wet diapers and 4 soft stools in 24 hours. If in doubt, call your pediatrician, your family doctor or the hospital where you delivered.
Do breastfeeding moms have special needs?
Mom needs to take special care of herself during the first few weeks following delivery. She needs to eat at least 3 meals a day, drink plenty of liquids and be as well rested as possible. Breast milk comes in anywhere from 3 to 5 days following delivery. She may become engorged and her breasts may feel very uncomfortable. Although this only lasts a few days, mom can use the following comfort measures: nursing frequently, using hot and cold compresses on the breast and/or using a breast pump.
What kinds of breast pumps does WIC provide?
Currently, the WIC Program at Maternal and Family Health Services offers three types of breast pumps to participants depending on the need of the individual. For occasional use, the Avent manual pump may be given. Women who may be returning to work or school and require pumping on a more frequent basis may request the Hollister Purely Yours electric pump. This pump however, can only be given if the mother is exclusively breastfeeding with no supplemental formula. Finally, there may also be instances of special needs of mothers and babies where an Elite hospital grade pump (Hollister) may be necessary to maintain lactation. This type of pump is loaned to participants for a three month period and must then be returned to the