Pindara Private Hospital Maternity
Part of Ramsay Health Care

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Breastfeeding

We recommend that your baby has unlimited access to breastfeeds, according to their individual needs, right from birth. This will help establish a good milk supply and is why 24-hour rooming-in (staying close to your baby) is so important.

Breastfeeding information during your pregnancy is available in our Antenatal Classes.

Breastfeeding your baby is not always easy - your previous experiences or concerns are important. In these situations a Lactation Consultant can help you either develop a plan prior to the birth of your baby, or assist you after your baby has been born. If you are or are to be a Pindara patient and feel that this would be of benefit to you, please contact the Pindara Maternity Unit to arrange an appointment.

Our hospital staff support breastfeeding and our Breastfeeding Policy supports and protects you and your baby as you gain confidence during your hospital stay and when you go home. Our Breastfeeding Policy is based on the W.H.O. Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:

  1. Pindara Private Hospital has a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.
  2. Pindara Private Hospital trains all healthcare staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Pindara Maternity Unit staff inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Pindara Maternity Unit staff place babies in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour and encourage mothers to recognise when their babies are ready to breastfeed, offering help if needed.
  5. Pindara Maternity Unit staff show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Pindara Maternity Unit staff give new born infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Pindara Maternity Unit practises rooming-in; allowing mothers and infants to stay together 24 hours a day.
  8. Pindara Maternity Unit encourages breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Pindara Maternity Unit staff give no artificial teats or dummies (pacifiers or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Pindara Maternity Unit staff foster the establishment of breastfeeding support and refer mothers on discharge from the facility.

Please contact the Maternity Unit if you wish to view the full Breastfeeding Policy.

Actions that help protect, promote and support breastfeeding include:

  • skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately after birth and initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life;
  • breastfeeding on demand (that is, as often as the child wants, day and night);
  • rooming-in (allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day);
  • not giving babies additional food or drink, even water.

We recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the baby's life.

A complementary diet of food and breast milk is recommended from 6 months until past twelve months or longer.

Breastfeeding can also continue if you are planning to return to work outside of the home.

Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months has many benefits for the infant and mother. Chief among these is protection against gastrointestinal infections which is observed not only in developing but also industrialized countries. Early initiation of breastfeeding, within one hour of birth, protects the newborn from acquiring infections and reduces newborn mortality. The risk of mortality due to diarrhoea and other infections can increase in infants who are either partially breastfed or not breastfed at all.

Adults who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight / obese. Children and adolescents that have been breastfed perform better in intelligence tests. Breastfeeding also contributes to the health and well-being of mothers; it reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and helps space pregnancies–exclusive breastfeeding of babies under 6 months has a hormonal effect which often induces a lack of menstruation. This is a natural (though not fail-safe) method of birth control known as the Lactation Amenorrhoea Method.

For more information please visit www.breastfeeding.asn.au

Advantages of breastfeeding for the Mother?

  • Promotes bonding
  • Short and long term health benefits
  • Uses up maternal fat stores
  • Minimises bleeding after birth, delay in the onset of menstruation
  • May lead to stronger bones and less osteoporosis
  • Reduced risk of cancers

Advantages of breastfeeding for the Baby?

  • Easier to digest than other forms of milk
  • Breast milk changes over days, weeks, months and years to meet baby’s changing nutritional, immunological and developmental needs
  • Food allergies rarer and less severe
  • Better jaw development
  • Higher IQ scores
  • Long term health benefits
  • Reduced gastric problems
  • Reduced hospital admissions

Advantages of breastfeeding for the Family?

  • A healthier baby means reduced costs in Doctor’s visits and medicine
  • Cheap compared to artificially feeding
  • Safe and convenient

Once your baby is born (whether by vaginal or caesarean birth), we will immediately place it onto your chest, so that it is in direct skin-to-skin contact with the mother or father if circumstances require. This contact will help establish its instinctive breastfeeding behaviour and also help the mother to recognise early feeding cues. Skin-to-skin contact also promotes bonding between you and your baby and helps calm your baby. Typically, after the first cry, your baby will generally lie still and be relaxed for a while. It will then become more active and with open eyes put its fist into its mouth and start reaching out for the nipple. Your baby will often gaze into your face and eyes during this stage and then begin to crawl toward the breast where their mouth will gape widely, grasp the nipple and begin to suckle.

Breastfeeding should not hurt. Correct breast attachment and positioning of your baby are vital to avoid problems. There may be some initial discomfort, a ‘drawing sensation’, but this should ease quickly. Education and supervision of initial feeds is an important feature of our postnatal care.

The key to beginning and continued milk production is demand feeding and adequate removal of milk from the breast. Once the milk has “come in” the breasts decide how much milk needs to be made for your baby according to how much has been removed, so supply equals demand. We recommend that your baby has unlimited access to breastfeeds right from birth according to their individual needs. This will help establish a good milk supply and is why 24-hour rooming-in (staying close to your baby) is so important.

For the first few days the frequency of feeds will depend on your baby. Our policy is not to initiate the use of artificial teats for breastfeeding babies where possible. The sucking action required for dummies and/or artificial teats, and that required for breastfeeding varies significantly and can be confusing for your baby. In addition, dummies can sometimes mask hunger signs in your baby, meaning you may miss important opportunities to feed your baby and establish your milk supply.

Some mothers are concerned about the idea of going home before their “milk is in” or before breast feeding is “fully established”. By the time you are ready for discharge your milk may or may not be “in” or may be in the process of “coming in”. Pindara Maternity Unit staff aim to have you attaching your baby to the breast correctly and independently and to be able to recognise effective sucking by the time you are ready to go home.

Your lactation will take a few weeks to fully establish and will undergo numerous changes during that time in response to baby’s feeding pattern and needs.

For ongoing support when at home there are private Lactation Consultants available, Support Groups and The Australian Breast Feeding association. Contact details are provided on discharge.

You are also welcome to attend weekly or fortnightly visits at our Postnatal Clinic (up to 6 weeks of age) with an experienced Registered Midwife after you are discharged home from hospital.

  • Feeding at least 6-8 times in 24hours
  • Has 6-8 pale, wet nappies in 24 hours
  • Does soft poos
  • Is looking bright and alert and contented
  • Is sleeping between most feeds in the 24 hour period, and is gaining satisfactory weight

Breast feeding is the normal and most beneficial way of feeding your baby. It provides all the essential nutrients for growth, development and protection from illness and disease.

As a Baby Friendly Health Initiative accredited hospital Pindara Private Hospital supports breast feeding. Our staff will encourage you to breastfeed and support and care for you as you learn to feed your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of the baby's life.

If your informed choice is to artificially feed your baby, we ask that you supply your own formula and bring this into hospital with you. The maternity staff will then provide you with individual instruction on how to feed your baby while you are in hospital.

Around the age of 6 months, an infant's need for energy and nutrients starts to exceed what is provided by breast milk, and complementary foods are necessary to meet those needs. An infant of this age is also developmentally ready for other foods. If complementary foods are not introduced when a child has reached 6 months, or if they are given inappropriately, an infant's growth may falter. Guiding principles for appropriate complementary feeding are:

  • continue frequent, on-demand breastfeeding until two years of age or beyond;
  • practise responsive feeding (e.g. feed infants directly and assist older children. Feed slowly and patiently, encourage them to eat but do not force them, talk to the child and maintain eye contact);
  • practise good hygiene and proper food handling;
  • start at six months with small amounts of food and increase gradually as the child gets older;
  • gradually increase food consistency and variety;
  • increase the number of times that the child is fed: 2-3 meals per day for infants 6-8 months of age and 3-4 meals per day for infants 9-23 months of age, with 1-2 additional snacks as required;
  • use fortified complementary foods or vitamin-mineral supplements as needed; and
  • during illness, increase fluid intake including more breastfeeding, and offer soft, favourite foods.

Breast milk is also an important source of energy and nutrients in children aged 6 to 23 months. It can provide half or more of a child's energy needs between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months. Breast milk is also a critical source of energy and nutrients during illness, and reduces mortality among children who are malnourished.