Breastfeeding Support

Also known as Lactation

One-on-one guidance and education for you and your baby

Breastfeeding Support at Anna Jaques Hospital

Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do to protect your baby’s health and strengthen your bond. That’s why Anna Jaques Hospital is proud to encourage breastfeeding with one-on-one consultations, support groups and educational classes. Our team is dedicated to setting up you and your nursing baby for continued success. 

Leading the way are board-certified lactation consultants who provide you with breastfeeding support before and after your baby is born. Doctors, nurses and midwives at the Anna Jaques Birth Center also are part of the breastfeeding support team, with special training in this vital area of new baby care.

In recognition of its commitment to breastfeeding support, Anna Jaques received the Breastfeeding Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health many years in a row.

Anna Jaques is also a designated Baby Friendly Hospital, a global health initiative created by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Additionally, all RN's have extensive training in assisting with breastfeeding and provide you with 24/7 support.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breast milk is rich in nutrients that help your baby grow healthy and strong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfed infants have lower risks of asthma, obesity, Type 1 diabetes, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and gastrointestinal illnesses, among other concerns.

And if you breastfeed, you’ll benefit as well. Breastfeeding can lower your risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

Breastfeeding also creates closeness and intimacy between you and your baby. And the moments you share during breastfeeding can help you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Breastfeeding Support at Every Stage

Anna Jaques provides breastfeeding education and support during your pregnancy, during your hospital stay and after you go home.

Breastfeeding Support During Pregnancy

Education and support are vital in helping families meet their personal breastfeeding goals. And it can begin during pregnancy! We invite you to attend our breastfeeding class during your third trimester. Taught by our certified lactation consultants, the class covers a range of essential topics:

  • Benefits of breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding myths and facts
  • Common concerns
  • Community resources and support
  • How to position your baby and help them latch on

Breastfeeding Support at the Hospital

After your baby is born, a lactation consultant will regularly visit your room in the Birth Center to provide breastfeeding support and coaching. They will continue to meet with you throughout your stay and assist with any needed follow up plans at discharge.

The Anna Jaques Birth Center supports “rooming in,” meaning your baby will be in your room with you during your stay unless there is a medical need for otherwise. This option creates a supportive environment for successful breastfeeding. You can feed your baby with a knowledgeable team around you providing advice and guidance whenever you need it.

Breastfeeding Support After You Go Home

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural process, and it’s not always easy. If you have difficulties breastfeeding once you are home, the lactation consultants at Anna Jaques can help. You can make an appointment to meet with one of our IBCLCs International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. Most insurance plans cover this service. To schedule an appointment, call the Lactation Line at 978-463-1079.

In addition, we encourage you to participate in free Baby & Me support groups at Anna Jaques led by our nurses and certified breastfeeding consultants. We help you connect with other new parents and babies, while you gain support from professionals who can answer your questions about breastfeeding and provide support, encouragement and advice on parenthood, infant care and other topics. These groups are open to all families and feeding types.

If you have any questions about breastfeeding, you are welcome to call our Lactation Line at 978-463-1079. If your questions are urgent and concern your baby’s well-being, we encourage you to contact your baby’s pediatrician. 

Donor Breast Milk

Medical experts agree that breast milk is best. But if that’s unavailable, donor human breast milk is the next best thing. Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, a nonprofit community milk bank in Newtown, MA, provides new parents at Anna Jaques with donated human breast milk to supplement with while working on an adequate breast milk supply. Anna Jaques works with the Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast which does all the screening, lab testing, preparing and distributing of donor breast milk.

Anna Jaques uses donor breast milk for babies who may have challenges with low blood sugar or jaundice, as well as those who have lost a large amount of weight since birth. Some babies need it for a feeding or two until milk supply increases adequately, and some may need it longer.

Are you interested in being a human milk donor? Learn more from Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.

Tips for Breastfeeding Success

To breastfeed successfully, you may need support. At Anna Jaques, our lactation consultation team is here to help. Below are answers to commonly asked questions. Reach out to the team for support at any time.
How often should I breastfeed my baby?

Breastfeed your baby “on demand” whenever you notice hunger cues (see below). The benefits of on-demand feeding are more contented babies, fewer breastfeeding complications and a good milk supply.   

Ensure at least 8–12 successful feedings in 24 hours (at least every two to three hours throughout the day and night). Your newborn should wake up during the night to breastfeed at least by the three-hour mark and may need reminders in the first few weeks of life. 

How long should I expect to breastfeed my baby? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. No other foods or supplements are needed unless medically necessary.  

After six months, the AAP recommends that you continue breastfeeding along with giving nutritious, solid foods until age two and beyond.   

Does my baby need formula, even if I am breastfeeding? 

Supplementing with formula can make a baby less content at the breast, increase the risk for illness, and reduce your milk supply. If your baby is growing well on breast milk formula is not needed.

How can I tell if my baby is hungry? 

A baby’s hunger cues can include:

  • Licking their lips
  • Moving their tongue over their bottom lip
  • Turning their head side to side
  • Putting their fists or fingers to their mouth and making sucking motions
  • Crying (this is a late sign of hunger)
Can I use a pacifier to calm my baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you delay using a pacifier until after breastfeeding is going well, or around one month of age. Frequent breastfeeding helps stimulate your body to build a strong milk supply. The more stimulation from your baby, the more milk you produce, and the faster your supply will grow.

What else can I do to strengthen the bond with my baby?

Spend as much time as possible skin-to-skin (holding your naked baby against your bare chest).

Spending time skin-to-skin with your baby has these and other benefits:

  • Keeps the baby warm
  • Helps the baby to breathe well
  • Increases bonding
  • Encourages breastfeeding
  • Calming for both mother and baby

We're Here to Help

To schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant or ask a question, call our Lactation Line.