Newborn baby on mom's chest.

How to feed your baby is a big decision. Island Health is here to support you with evidence-based information so you can make an informed decision. We encourage everyone to meet with our lactation staff during pregnancy to discuss any personal worries and make a plan on how to get off to a great start. If you have had a challenge with breastfeeding a baby in the past or have a risk factor that may impact your supply or baby’s ability to latch, talk to our lactation consultant to make a plan for success.

Before your baby arrives, meet with our lactation team to discuss:

  • Colostrum harvesting guidance for those dealing with gestational diabetes or risk factors for low supply;
  • Breast pump flange sizing and guidance for expressing, storing and giving human milk to your baby;
  • Making a plan if your baby may have a challenge feeding such as a cleft lip/palate or if you have had breast surgery.

After baby is here, our lactation consultant and family physician will listen to any concerns you may have and can provide reassurance or problem solving. If you are worried if your baby is getting enough breast milk, your baby will be weighed before and after they eat to see how much they are transferring exactly.  If it’s on the low side, position, deeper latch and frequency suggestions will be shared. Or, the issue may best be resolved by looking at lab work, suggesting a supplement or considering a prescription.

If you are dealing with soreness, an assessment of your baby’s oral anatomy, positioning and a deeper latch will be provided. A plan for healing nipple trauma will be made. If your baby’s oral anatomy and latch are impacted by a tight frenulum, the option to have a frenotomy performed will be discussed and offered. The team will offer post-frenotomy support.

In addition a session with the lactation staff is helpful in the following situations:

  • Forceful let down
  • Weak suck
  • Rashes
  • Breast pain or mastitis
  • Plugged ducts
  • Cluster feeding and growth spurts
  • Maintaining your supply when away from your baby
  • Inducing lactation
  • Feeding twins
  • Weaning

Our Medical Director, Dr. Sara Weeks has a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree and offers osteopathic manipulation therapy as an optional part of the treatment for baby. Birth can impact a baby and these gentle releases/stretches can help with feeding concerns.

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Published on May 16, 2023