Your breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby. This first food goes way beyond just providing essential nutrition though. Breast milk contains antibodies, which protect your baby from infection, illness and disease. It lowers your baby's risk of having asthma and allergies, promotes a healthy weight and enhances the bond between you and your baby.
Breastfeeding can be beautiful and also challenging. It’s normal to have trouble. Just remember, the most important thing is to feed your baby – whether that’s breastfeeding, using expressed breast milk or formula. Next, ask for help. Banner Health offers breastfeeding and lactation support before and after delivery. Learn more about breastfeeding.
Banner Health’s International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) are experts when it comes to helping new mothers with breastfeeding and/or pumping breast milk. They provide lactation support by working with you on breastfeeding positions, proper latch techniques and address any concerns or challenges you’re having.
Banner Health offers day, evening and weekend prenatal and postpartum classes and support groups on all aspects of breastfeeding and lactation, including milk supply, preventing and managing pain, pumping, milk storage and working while breastfeeding. Our certified consultants focus on preventive care to promote successful breastfeeding from the start. After the baby is born, our team helps families overcome breastfeeding challenges including specialized support for mothers breastfeeding more than one baby or nursing a sick or premature infant.
Banner Health’s labor and delivery and postpartum nurses are also trained breastfeeding specialists. After delivery, we encourage lots of skin-to-skin contact to help your baby learn to nurse. If you need additional support, our lactation consultants are available to provide lactation support while you’re in the hospital or after you go home.
There are lots of tools to help mothers with breastfeeding and expressing breast milk. Banner Health’s lactation consultants can help you navigate the best lactation products, equipment, vitamins, advice and more.
While you’re admitted, Banner Health has hospital-grade electric breast pumps and other lactation supplies and equipment available to you. Once you return home, we also have a rental program. Be sure to check with your health insurance company. Many cover the cost of renting equipment or the cost to purchase an electric breast pump for you.
If your baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Banner Health provides a hospital-grade electric breast pump so you can still give your baby the benefits of your breast milk. The NICU has a dedicated refrigerator/freezer for mother’s milk and each mother has her own individual tray to avoid the chance of any mix-ups.