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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Lee Health is starting to reschedule appointments, surgeries, and procedures that were delayed during the pandemic. You can be confident that we will provide the most exceptional care in the safest environment. Learn More

Breastfeeding Education

Please note that our in-person breastfeeding classes are no longer available due to COVID-19, however virtual breastfeeding classes are being held through WebEx.

Services To Help New Moms

Plan to give your baby the best possible start! Learn about breast-feeding fundamentals and common problems encountered in the first few weeks of breastfeeding.

We offer classes once a month from 4pm - 5pm on certain Wednesdays at HealthPark Medical Center. Board certified lactation consultants teach all classes. The cost of the breastfeeding class is $20 per couple.

For more information, call 239-343-5271 or email prenatal-class@leehealth.org.

Breastfeeding Club

We offer free breastfeeding clubs at two hospitals. We invite you to network with other breastfeeding mothers. Bring your baby. Siblings are also welcome! 

  • 10 a.m. Mondays at Cape Coral Hospital
  • 10 a.m. Wednesdays at HealthPark Medical Center

For more information, call 239-343-5271 or email prenatal-class@leehealth.org

Virtual Breastfeeding Class

This class will provide 1 hour of virtual instructions followed by an optional 15 minutes of questions and answers. Breastfeeding classes take place monthly throughout the year. All classes are taught by board-certified lactation consultants.

The cost of the breastfeeding class is $20 per couple.

To view class dates and register online click here or for more information, please email prenatal-class@leehealth.org or call 239-343-5271 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

You are encouraged to complete your classes within 3-4 weeks before your due date.

Lactation Services

Lactation services are available to all new moms during their stay in one of our hospitals. Consultations are available by appointment and can be made by calling your hospital’s lactation office.

  • Cape Coral Hospital: 239-424-2246
  • HealthPark Medical Center: 239-343-5186

After you are discharged from the hospital, you can make an appointment for consultations with a breastfeeding professional.

  • Cape Coral Hospital: 239-424-2246
  • HealthPark Medical Center: 239-343-5186

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates breastfeeding as the optimal form of nutrition for infants. The AAP states that "human milk and breastfeeding of infants provide advantages with regard to general health, growth and development, while significantly decreasing risk for a large number of acute and chronic diseases."

Our certified breastfeeding counselors and board-certified lactation consultants assist mothers to become more comfortable with feeding their infants. New moms are encouraged to ask about how to:

  • Know your baby is getting enough milk
  • Determine that breastfeeding is going well
  • Return to work and continue breastfeeding

Getting Help

Recognizing that breastfeeding is normal, desirable and achievable, our lactation consultants provide education, help and support for nursing mothers throughout Lee and surrounding counties. Our certified breastfeeding counselors provide 24-hour support to breastfeeding mothers at the bedside. Our consultants make rounds and offer assistance to breastfeeding moms who have additional concerns.

Our staff works closely with you and your physician to assure a team approach to your care.

All of our lactation consultants are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). 

Lactation Services Include

  • Bedside, outpatient and telephone consultations
  • Breast pump rental
  • Prenatal breastfeeding classes

Assisting Breastfeeding Mothers: 239-343-5186

Experienced, new, and soon-to-be moms can all benefit from our various programs. Our staff is ready to assist with:

  • Difficult latch-on
  • Perceived or actual low milk supply
  • Sore nipples
  • Breast engorgement
  • Infant with slow weight gain
  • Re-lactation or induced lactation
  • Mothers returning to work
  • Flat or inverted nipples
  • Nursing twins, triplets, or more
  • High risk mothers (mothers that have experienced breast surgery, breast trauma, hyper/hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary disease, gastric bypass or fertility treatment)
  • Educational materials
  • Questions about breast pumps and equipment

During those times when a lactation consultant is unavailable, mothers can turn to our certified breastfeeding counselors for basic breastfeeding education and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will my milk come in?

Usually within two to five days. Until then your baby will receive colostrum, a rich, high-protein pre-milk that is just right for your baby during those first few days.

How soon after birth should I start to breastfeed?

Most babies have a strong desire to suck when they are first born, so this is an excellent time to introduce the breast. Many mothers offer the breast while still on the delivery table. The baby should go to breast immediately (within 5 minutes) of delivery or as soon as possible.

How often should I breastfeed at first?

Most babies need to breastfeed at least eight or more times within each 24 hours (including nights) for the first few weeks. Watch for your baby’s hunger cues: Rooting, turning head side to side, licking, bringing hands to face/mouth, or making little sucking motions are all indications that it is time to breastfeed. Respond to cues early. Don't wait till the baby is crying. A crying baby is more difficult to latch.

Let the baby stay on the first breast as long as he or she wants. He'll let you know when he's finished by either coming off by himself or by changing his suck to non-nutritive. You can burp the baby and offer the other breast. He may or may not take it. Again, let him decide the duration. It might be for just a few sucks or for much longer. Start the next feeding with the breast that received the least attention (second breast) at the last feed.

How do I know if my baby is getting enough?

Babies need to nurse eight or more times in 24 hours to get enough milk. Nursing this often will also help bring in your milk. Your milk will probably come in about two to five days after your baby is born.

For the first few days you should count wet diapers. There should be one wet diaper for each day of your baby's life. For example: one day old = one wet diaper, two days old = two wet diapers, etc., up to the 5th or 6th day.

After your milk comes in and your baby has been getting your milk for 24 hours, watch for these signs...

Your baby is probably getting enough if:

  • Your baby nurses 8 or more times in 24 hours. It is normal for very young babies to wake up often to nurse.
  • Your baby has two or more bowel movements every 24 hours.
  • The bowel movements are changing from black and sticky to a yellow liquid.
  • You can hear your baby swallow while nursing.
  • Your baby is usually active when awake.

Get help if you see any of these signs:

  • Your baby has a very dry mouth.
  • Your baby's skin or eyes have a yellow color.
  • Your baby doesn't wake up to be fed.
  • Your baby does not nurse well.
  • You feel your baby does not look well.

If I get sick, should I stop nursing?

With very few exceptions, continuing to nurse protects the baby. Your breast milk is full of antibodies that are passed on to your baby. On the occasions when your baby does become ill, he will be less sick and recover faster because of the antibodies in your milk.

If I must take a prescription medication, should I stop nursing?

There are very few drugs that would prevent you from nursing your baby. Call your lactation consultant for information on acceptable or alternative medications. 

Should breastfeeding hurt?

Beyond some initial tenderness, breastfeeding should not hurt. If breastfeeding is painful, take the baby off the breast and begin again. If breastfeeding continues to hurt or bruises, blisters, or scabs develop on or around your nipples, contact a lactation consultant. 

If you did not find your breastfeeding issue addressed here, please do not hesitate to call. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday (excluding holidays) and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. After hours you may leave a voice message.

When to Call for Help

Call the Lactation Consultant if:

  • You do not feel that breastfeeding is going well.
  • Your breasts are engorged.
  • Your baby is five days old and you do not think that your mature milk has come in yet.
  • It is difficult to get your baby to attach to your breast.
  • Your baby cries and/or sleeps at the breast and does not nurse for more than a few sucks.
  • Your breasts or your nipples hurt.
  • Your baby is four days old and does not have three or more bowel movements each 24 hours.
  • Your baby is four days old and does not have seven to eight wet diapers each 24 hours.
  • Your baby has had a weight check and is not gaining well.
  • Your baby is not calm, happy and sleepy after feedings.
  • You feel you need to give your baby something more than your milk.
  • Your baby sleeps most of the time. You think your baby would rather sleep than eat.
  • You plan to return to work or school. (Call for an appointment two weeks before you plan to return to work or school).
  • Supplementation has been ordered by your physician.
  • You have any questions about breastfeeding.

The First Days of Breastfeeding

Advice for the breastfeeding mom during her hospital stay from delivery to day seven:

  • OFFER THE BREAST WITHIN THE FIRST HOUR OF BIRTH
  • Babies often are sleepy the first 24 hours. Do not be concerned if your baby seems uninterested. Holding your infant in skin-to-skin contact can get them interested in feeding.
  • After the first 24 hours, it is normal for babies to nurse frequently. Let the baby feed as often as he likes day and night.
  • Feed the baby as soon as he or she shows signs of hunger. Head turning from side to side, fist to mouth, and lip-licking are all signs of hunger. Do not wait until the baby is crying.
  • Breastfeed your baby when he or she is hungry. You should breastfeeding eight or more times within each 24 hours, including nights.
  • The more often you feed, the more milk you will have.
  • Breast milk takes up to five days to "come in." Until then your breasts produce small amounts of colostrum, which fits perfectly in your baby's small tummy. Colostrum is all your baby needs the first few days.
  • Allow the baby to finish the first breast before offering the second. Do not rush. Depending on appetite, he may or may not feed on the second breast.
  • For greatest breastfeeding success, avoid the use of bottles, pacifiers, and formula.
  • Expect one wet diaper on day one (one day = 24 hours), two wet diapers on day two, three on day thee, and so on, up to day seven.
  • Ask for help. The first few days of breastfeeding can be a challenge. Call your nurse for assistance or request a Lactation Consultant at HealthPark Medical Center (239) 343-5186 or Cape Coral Hospital (239) 424-2246.

Call today!

HealthPark Medical Center Lactation Office at 343-5186

Cape Coral Hospital Lactation Office 424-2246