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How to Choose Your BEST Birth Place

Nursing Your BEST

Where you birth your baby matters.

Women can have many options for places to birth: at home, in birth centers, and in hospitals. A woman who chooses deliver at hospitals or birthing facilities that practice the WHO/UNICEF’s Ten Steps nurse for a longer time and feel more confident caring for their babies when they get home.

Facilities with Baby Friendly Designation  are some of the best places you can deliver your baby, since they have proven they support nursing moms. They require nursing training for all their staff and encourage policies that ensure nursing support. Learn how places that support the Ten Steps help you reach your nursing goals.

Find a hospital or facility that supports nursing in your area

Nursing-friendly Practices

If you are considering a hospital that is not Baby Friendly, here are some breastfeeding-friendly practices to ask for:

Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact with your baby right after birth for at least an hour. This is referred to as the “Sacred Hour” and helps with bonding, healing, and early nursing.

Rooming-In

Rooming-in or sharing a room with your baby, day and night, so you can nurse and respond to baby’s early feeding cues.

Give Only Human Milk

Giving your baby no food or drink other than human milk unless there is a medical need.

Lactation Support

Help with nursing at any time.

No Bottles or Pacifiers

Giving no bottles or pacifiers to your baby as they can hide early feeding cues, which reduces milk supply.

You can complete a nursing plan (link to Create a Nursing Plan) to ask for these practices. Give a copy of your nursing plan to your care provider, support team, and anyone else involved with your birth.

More Considerations When Choosing a birth environment

Should I take any special classes before or after baby is born?

YES!

Many facilities and organizations offer classes on parenting, the birth process, baby care, sibling preparation, nursing, and even first aid or car seat safety.

If possible, you should take a class to know your options and feel comfortable about the choices you make have to make during birth.  It’s your birth experience and your baby, so it’s OK to ask lots of questions!

Ask your WIC nutritionist about classes near you!