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Breastfeeding Support/Lactation Services

At Lowell General Hospital, we agree that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed and nurture a baby; however, it is a learned art. A new mother needs knowledge and practical assistance to help her have a positive breastfeeding experience. The breastfeeding support programs at Lowell General Hospital are designed to offer education, counseling and support so that breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for both mother and baby.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant.

Child Health Benefits

  • Recent studies show that babies are less likely to develop ear infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea when breastfed exclusively for six months.
  • Breastfed babies may be less likely to be obese in childhood.
  • Some studies suggest decreased rates of:
    - sudden infant death syndrome in the first year of life
    - reduction in incidence of insulin-dependent (type 1) and non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes mellitus, lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkin disease, hypercholesterolemia and asthma
  • Breastfeeding has been associated with slightly enhanced performance on tests of cognitive development
  • Breastfeeding during a painful procedure such as a heel-stick for newborn screening provides analgesia to infants

Maternal Health Benefits

  • Earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight
  • Decreased risk of breast cancer
  • Decreased risk of ovarian cancer
  • Possibly decreased risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis in the postmenopausal period

Inpatient Lactation Consultants

All professional staff on the Mother/Infant unit are able to provide support for our breastfeeding moms. Because we understand that sometimes there may be additional needs, a Certified Lactation Consultant is available to visit privately with new moms in the Mother/Infant Unit. Lactation consultants offer breastfeeding assistance and answer questions about breastfeeding before mom and baby head home.

Breastfeeding Class

This class, designed for mothers-to-be, will introduce you to great information about breastfeeding, how to get started and other practical tips. You will also address the advantages and myths of breastfeeding, common problems, and nutrition and pump information. We recommend you begin attending this class around the seventh month of pregnancy, although you are welcome to join at anytime. Fathers and support people are encouraged to attend. To get more information, click: Breastfeeding.

Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic

Occasionally, breastfeeding problems occur that are not easily solved by telephone advice. In this instance, you and your baby may benefit by making an appointment to see a Certified Lactation Consultant in our Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic. The Lactation Consultant will assist you in identifying the cause of the problem and will work with you to plan the management of your situation. At your individual clinic visit, the Lactation Consultant will review your breastfeeding course, observe a feeding session and provide you with a breastfeeding plan. If appropriate, she will notify your doctor of your progress and her recommendations. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of an appointment with a Certified Lactation Consultant. Some insurance companies will require a referral from your primary care physician prior to your appointment. To make an appointment with one of our Lactation Consultants, please call 978-937-6334.

New Mothers Support Group

Complementing our inpatient breastfeeding services, Lowell General offers a FREE drop-in support group for new mothers. This group provides a place to come with your questions and concerns and meet other mothers and babies. The new mothers support group is open to all mothers and their babies regardless of feeding preference. To get more information, click: New Mothers.

Telephone Support

After your discharge from Lowell General Hospital, you may have additional concerns about breastfeeding. We welcome you to call a lactation consultant at 978-937-6334 with your questions. If you are calling regarding an urgent matter or are concerned regarding your babies health, please contact your pediatrician.

For Your Information

Remember, breastfeeding is a learned art and we're here to help. To make an appointment to speak to a Lactation Consultant, call 978-937-6334.

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