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Breastfeeding Support

Lactation Services are available to all new moms before, during, and after your stay.

We invite you to network with other breastfeeding moms. For more information, call 239-343-5271 or email prenatal-class@leehealth.org,

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

Lactation support is available to all new moms during their stay in our hospitals and after you are discharged. Board Certified Lactation Consultants are available by appointment and can be made by calling one of our lactation offices. In-person outpatient consultations, phone support and Televisits are also 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

Getting Help

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."

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). 

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.

Call today!

HealthPark Medical Center Lactation Office at 343-5186

Cape Coral Hospital Lactation Office 424-2246

Weigh Station

Cape Coral Hospital has Baby weighing station open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in the Family Birth Suites waiting room. You are welcome to come and weigh your baby and track their growth.

HealthPark Medical center offers a baby weighing station by appointment. Please call 239-343-5271