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Breast feeding support at Dignity Health Hospitals

Infant Feeding Care


One of the most important choices a new parent makes is how to feed their newborn. At Dignity Health, our physicians, nurses and breastfeeding support specialists are here to help you make the best choice for you and your family.

Our approach to infant feeding is guided by compassion, research, real-world experiences and the infant's and family's unique needs. It’s designed to help all families thrive, supporting both breastfeeding families and those who make an informed choice not to breastfeed.

More about our approach

At Dignity Health, we help all families create a feeding plan, whether they choose breast milk, formula or a combination of both. We follow the latest scientific recommendations and stand by the following six guiding principles:

  1. Promote breastfeeding for its health benefits.

    • We believe that human milk is the most natural way to nourish an infant. Babies who drink only breast milk have a lower risk of health problems, including ear infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and heart disease later in life.

  2. Foster skin-to-skin contact for improved well-being.

    • Research shows that early skin-to-skin contact is ideal for introducing babies to breastfeeding and their new surroundings. Keeping mothers and babies together during the hospital stay also creates bonding opportunities. We support keeping mothers and babies together unless separation is medically necessary. 

  3. Extend feeding support beyond breastfeeding.

    • While human milk is the best source of nutrition for infants, we fully support parents who may need to complement breastfeeding with donated human milk or infant formula.

  4. Provide human milk to premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

    • Many NICU parents are overwhelmed and need special support to feed their infants. Our nurses and breastfeeding support staff educate families on how to use breast pumps and feed expressed human milk correctly.

  5. Teach, empower and support parents.

    • Our staff provides lactation support and education to help families meet their goals and feel confident in feeding their baby. Parents who know how to breastfeed and feel comfortable breastfeeding are more likely to succeed. 

  6. Build a strong breastfeeding foundation.

    • Support, knowledge and practice are essential for successful breastfeeding beyond the hospital walls. As families prepare to leave the hospital, our staff ensures they have the necessary local resources and information to continue their journey with confidence.