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Breastfeeding FAQs

Mom and Baby ElephantWe emphasize breastfeeding at Dominican Hospital and offer mothers and families extensive information while also helping moms achieve the confidence and the skills necessary to successfully breastfeed their babies.

Dominican Hospital is proud to have the highest exclusive breastfeeding rate in the Santa Cruz County and hold the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation from World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund.

Research shows that by offering breastfeeding services in conjunction with Baby-Friendly Hospital practices, we succeed in promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding. Mothers delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital tend to breastfeed longer than mothers delivering at other hospitals. By choosing to breastfeed you are providing the best source of nutrition for your baby. The benefits a baby receives from human milk will last his whole life.

Common Questions: 

How to effectively position and latch your newborn? 

  • Be sure to sit up as comfortably as you can. Skin to skin is ideal during feedings, unwrap baby, and move your clothes/bra out of the way.
  • Position baby in cross cradle, clutch hold, or cradle hold, side lying is also lovely for resting positions. Supporting baby’s neck and shoulders are most important, use forearm to hold baby and keep baby tucked in closely.
  • Position nipple near baby’s nose, and roll/flip nipple in to baby’s mouth, to help keep baby’s tongue and bottom lip in the right position. Obtaining a deep latch should feel comfortable, like tugging and pulling, and should not hurt. Deep latches will ensure good milk transfer and keep nipples comfortable.

How do I know my baby is getting enough?

  • Many babies have a strong need to suck and therefore your baby will want to nurse frequently. Breastmilk is digested quickly, so breastfed babies need to eat more often than formula-fed babies.
  • Babies often need continuous contact with mom in order to feel secure. All these things are normal, and you cannot spoil your baby by meeting these needs.
  • Your baby suddenly increases the frequency and/or length of nursings. This is often a growth spurt.
  • Frequent nursing within the first few days to a week helps increase your milk supply.

How much weight loss is normal? 

  • A 5 – 8% weight loss during the first 3 – 4 days after birth is normal. If baby is gaining well on mom’s milk alone, then baby is getting enough.
  • Baby should regain birth weight within 10 – 14 days. By day 5, average weight gain is 2/3 – 1 ounce per day (5) – 7 ounces/week. If these goals are not met, call your pediatrician.

Foods to help increase your milk production: 

  • Eating a well-balanced diet, with at least 80 – 90 fl. ounces per 24 hours is encouraged. This can be water, juice, milk, tea, coconut water etc…
  • Lactation cookies, bars, smoothies etc… get creative with these healthy ingredients; oatmeal, flax seed oil, and brewer’s yeast, Mother’s Milk Tea, fennel, and salmon.

Additional Support 

We offer several community support groups such as:  
New Mom’s, Breastfeeding, and Social Support Groups.

Dominican Lactation Warm Line: (831) 462-7862

New Mom’s Support Group 
Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., 3 weeks – 6 months of age Dominican Rehab Yoga/Pilates Room, 610 Frederick St.

Latch Clinic 
Wednesdays, 9 – 11 a.m. 
Dominican Rehab Lactation Office, 610 Frederick St.