Breastfeeding Support and Tips

At Henry Ford Birthing Centers, we provide complete breastfeeding support for new mothers like you. From assistance with basic or complex problems, we are here to help -- with coaching during your hospital stay, and continued support after you go home.

After the birth of your baby, a member of our breastfeeding support team will spend time with you to help you learn to breastfeed your baby. You will learn to:

  • Watch for hunger cues
  • Position your baby
  • Help your baby latch on correctly
  • Know if your baby is getting enough to eat

Special breastfeeding situations

Sometimes, health issues may separate you and your baby after birth. We will train you to use breast pumps, establish your milk supply, and know what to do when these situations occur:

  • Low milk supply
  • Oversupply of milk
  • Difficulty latching
  • Feeding multiple babies
  • Nipple or breast infections
  • Pumping and storing breast milk
  • Returning to breastfeeding
  • Feeding preterm or developmentally disabled infants

Breastfeeding tips

The first days of breastfeeding can be challenging. Here are some tips to get you both started right:

  • Your baby may be hungry if you see:
    • Hand-to-mouth movements
    • Mouthing movements
    • Wiggling
    • Crying (usually a late sign)
  • For the first couple of days, your baby may nurse every hour, for 4 - 5 hours, then wait several hours before feeding. This is normal.
  • Your baby may lose weight in the early days, but should return to his/her birth weight by the 2-week check-up.
  • When you are not breastfeeding, or if you are over-producing, it is important to express excess breast milk every 2 - 3 hours during the day. This keeps your body producing enough milk.

Breastfeeding and pacifiers

Although a pacifier can be soothing occasionally, use them carefully, especially before breastfeeding is well-established. They teach your baby incorrectly to latch on to the nipple, instead of breast tissue.

Need breastfeeding help?
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If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
    • drenching sweats
    • new cough
    • shortness of breath
    • body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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