child Breastfeeding

At the University of Maryland Medical Center, we are committed to helping you be successful at breastfeeding your baby. We offer lactation consultant services to support you whether you want to breastfeed, pump or aren’t sure yet.

Our lactation consultants are registered nurses with specialized training and advanced certification in supporting and educating about breastfeeding.

We provide individualized care to get you started on your feed journey by meeting with you and your baby on the day you deliver and each day you are here.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Babies

Breast milk:

  • Is easy to digest
  • Is packed with the nutrients and vitamins babies need — so much so that babies don't need any other food but breast milk for the first six months of life
  • Protects against infections and viruses like the flu
  • Decreases the risk of gastrointestinal problems, ear infections, allergies, asthma and obesity
  • Decreases the risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • May protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Breastfeeding Benefits for You

Breastfeeding:

  • Is free and convenient
  • Burns about 500 calories a day to build and maintain a milk supply
  • Decreases risk of developing some cancers including breast, uterine, endometrial and ovarian
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Decreases the risk for osteoporosis

Getting the Best Start with Breastfeeding

Right after delivery when you and your baby are stable, your baby should be placed in skin-to-skin contact with you for at least an hour. What this means is that an unclothed baby should be placed on your bare chest. This helps trigger a baby's natural instinct to breastfeed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth. Because the baby is already on the mother's chest, the baby can easily have his or her first feed.

Continue with skin-to-skin contact in the days and weeks following the baby's birth, since it:

  • Increases bonding
  • Helps regulate baby's temperature, heart rate, breathing, blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Promotes breastfeeding

Breastfeeding on Demand

Babies are good at communicating when they are hungry. When they want to eat, they will:

  • Put their hands to their mouth
  • Turn their heads toward the breast and open their mouths (this is called rooting)
  • Lick their lips or stick out their tongue (this is called mouthing)
  • Make soft sounds

Babies Do Best in the Same Room With You

We encourage you and your baby to "room in" while at the hospital since there are advantages for mom and baby, including:

  • Babies cry less and are easier to calm
  • You will learn baby's cues and they get more confidence in knowing how to take care of their baby
  • You can actually able to get more rest
  • Better-quality sleep, since babies develop a more regular sleep-wake cycle earlier, and may help ease the transition to day/night routines

Prenatal Support Services

Before your baby is born, the University of Maryland Medical Center offers free breastfeeding classes for patients receiving prenatal care at:

  • Redwood Office
  • Penn St. Office
  • Midtown office
  • Family Medicine/Paca Street Office

More:

For more information or to register for a class, please email ChildBirthEd@umm.edu.

In the Hospital

Our dedicated team of board-certified lactation consultants is available seven days a week. This lactation team visits with all breastfeeding and pumping patients during their stay, giving special attention to those experiencing challenges.

The lactation team cares for all patients who are lactating and their breastfeeding babies throughout the entire hospital including:

  • Mother-Baby, Obstetric Care Unit
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and other pediatric units
  • Emergency departments and Shock Trauma

Our nurses, location consultants and pediatricians work together to review and support feeding plans. We provide patients with an informative breastfeeding booklet focusing on questions related to either full-term babies or the needs of those in special care units such as the NICU or PICU.

We also provide community breastfeeding support information to lactating patients before they go home.

View Helpful Breastfeeding Videos

Breastfeeding is the Breast Thing for Your New Baby!

Baby Friendly Designation

UMMC is a Baby-Friendly hospital, designated by Baby-Friendly USA. This means the Medical Center is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.