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How to Choose Your BEST Care Provider

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Nursing Your BEST

Your care provider can be an excellent source of information throughout your pregnancy.

She or he can help you learn what to expect through each stage and can answer any questions you may have about childbirth and nursing. It is very important to choose a care provider who shares information freely, explains your options, and supports your birth and nursing choices.

There are certain practices that help you and your baby get off to a better start with nursing, such as holding your baby skin-to-skin right after birth, rooming in with your baby, avoiding bottles and pacifiers, and avoiding human milk substitute (formula). 

Here are some questions to ask your care provider during pregnancy:

  • What is skin-to-skin and how does it help me with nursing?
  • Can you teach me hand expression?
  • How will my breasts change during my pregnancy?
  • Should I change my diet or take vitamins?
  • If my baby needs supplementation, can you show me feeding methods other than a bottle?

If you are planning a hospital birth, here are some additional questions to ask:

  • Do you deliver at a Baby Friendly Hospital?
  • Will I be able to hold my baby skin-to-skin right after birth? What if my baby is born early, or if I have a cesarean delivery?
  • Are there staff at the hospital who can help me nurse my baby in the first hour after delivery, and later on too, if I need help?
  • How do I make sure the hospital does not give my baby pacifiers or a bottle? Do I have to use a pacifier to keep my baby calm?
  • If my baby needs human milk substitute (formula), will the hospital staff or care providers speak with me before offering it to my baby?
  • Can I keep my baby in the room with me throughout my hospital stay?
  • Who can help me with nursing after I leave the hospital?

These are also good topics to discuss with the staff at your hospital when you take a tour and learn about their labor and delivery practices.