Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the most natural and nourishing way to feed your baby. Unlike any other food, mother's milk provides your baby with abundant nutritional support, antioxidants, enzymes, immune properties and live antibodies. Plus, breastfeeding helps you bond with your baby and offers emotional benefits for both of you.

If you’ve never breastfed before, Mercy can help you get started, with education, personal assistance and ongoing support.

Breastfeeding has many benefits

Your milk is simply the best food you can give your baby. Research has shown that breastfeeding offers many health benefits, including:

  • Stronger immune systems and resistance to infection
  • Decreased risk of bacterial meningitis
  • Lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Less diarrhea, constipation, and upset stomach
  • Fewer colds and a decreased risk of pneumonia

And, the health benefits continue even after your baby is weaned. Children who were breastfed have a decreased risk of childhood cancers, type I and II diabetes, and many other conditions.

There are benefits for moms, too, such as a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis.

We’re here to help you

It’s common for new moms to have some challenges with breastfeeding – after all, this is new for you and your baby. Mercy's lactation specialists are experts in teaching you the basics of breastfeeding. Our certified lactation consultants, available at each hospital, will guide you on techniques and timing. You’ll learn how to store your milk, handle any challenges and get Dad involved in making breastfeeding a success. Even after you and your baby have gone home, our lactation consultants can help with any questions or challenges.

Mercy also offers breastfeeding classes and support groups, where you can get additional in-person assistance and connect with other new moms.

Breastfeeding in the NICU

Moms with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can use a electric breast pumps to provide breast milk for their baby.

After your baby leaves the NICU, we'll help you schedule follow-up appointments with your pediatrician or a Mercy lactation specialist until your baby is nursing well. We’re also happy to provide breastfeeding supplies and follow-up consultations.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful, rewarding experience for you and your baby. Your Mercy lactation specialists welcome the opportunity to help you feel comfortable and confident every time you breastfeed.

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