Breast Feeding Support
Boone Health’s Lactation Program is here to help you before your baby is born! As part of our Family Life Education series, you may attend our Better Beginnings with Breast Feeding Class to prepare for the arrival of your baby.
From the moment of birth, breast feeding is encouraged with skin-to-skin care in the delivery or C-section room. Breast feeding services continue while in the hospital with personalized teaching and care from a Lactation Consultant and support from our specially trained registered nurses. Breast pumps are available for each mother while in the hospital to facilitate the feeding process.
After mothers are discharged from Boone Health, you are not alone. The Breast Feeding Warm Line is a valuable resource whenever questions about breast feeding come up. The Breast Feeding Clinic is also available for one-on-one consults where the Lactation Consultant can work closely with any mother who has breast feeding challenges. Simply call 573.815.6290 and a Lactation Consultant will answer your question within 24 hours or schedule a time for a personal visit between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday-Friday.
In the event your baby requires care in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) you can still breast feed and are encouraged to do so. Breast milk is especially important for these babies. For the littlest babies, even before they can feed, the mother’s colostrum is collected with a breast pump and placed in the baby’s mouth with a specialized swab. This way, your baby gets the benefits of breast feeding from the very beginning. The NICU has private lactation rooms for feeding your baby. If you are nursing your baby in the NICU after you are discharged, Boone Health has two sleep rooms where you might stay so you are just steps away from your baby. These rooms have a queen bed, TV, mini-fridge, microwave and private bath available on a first-come basis at no cost to you.
We also have a Donor Human Milk program, if needed, for our NICU babies. We recognize that breast milk is the best nutritional source, especially in neonates. If you cannot provide enough breast milk for whatever reason, with your consent, we purchase human milk from a certified milk bank to ensure your baby has the best possible start.
The longer you breastfeed, the greater the benefits!
Benefits for Baby
- Breast milk is the perfect composition for baby.
- Intellectual development is improved as much as 8-10 IQ points since there are certain fatty acids in breast milk which are necessary for brain development.
- Bonding is enhanced.
- Far less otitis media (middle ear infections).
- Protects against allergies.
- Protects against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Far less likely to be anemic.
- Better vision.
- Encourages normal weight gain.
- Meets sucking needs and contributes to proper facial and jaw development (with less orthodontic problems.)
- Less dental caries (cavities).
- Protects against infections: upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, flu, urinary tract infections, general bacterial infections, meningitis and more.
- Less insulin-dependent diabetes, immune system disorders, childhood cancer, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis.
- Baby girls will experience a decreased risk of breast cancer in later years.
Benefits for Mother
- Naturally pleasurable and relaxing.
- Prolactin influences feelings of motherliness.
- Convenient: breast milk is always available.
- Enhances uterine involution (uterus gets back to normal size sooner).
- Delays onset of menstrual cycles.
- Increased caloric demand of 500 calories/day leads to weight loss (especially with longer durations of breastfeeding).
- Healthier baby makes for a happier mother and a decreased incidence of postpartum depression.
- Much less expense than with formula.
- Decreased risk of premenopausal breast cancer, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer.
- Decreased risk of fractures due to osteoporosis in later life.