MUSC Women's Care

musc women's care

Breastfeeding Basics

MUSC Lactation Consultants are available in the hospital Monday through Saturday.

All nurses who are involved with the care of mothers and babies have received breastfeeding education training and are committed to supporting your breastfeeding experience in the first few days after the birth of your child.

  • If the nurse is not able to assist you with a breastfeeding problem she will page the Lactation Consultant.
  • If you are a patient in the hospital and you need our help, ask your nurse to page the Lactation Consultant on call.
  • If you are a physician or nurse making a referral for a lactation consultation, please call the paging operator. After hours, please leave a message at 792-0410. The patient will be seen the next day.

Most breastfeeding mothers want to do whatever they can to be successful nursing their new babies. It is natural to have questions about feeding patterns and how much milk you baby is getting when breastfeeding. Unlike bottle feeding, breastfeeding requires moms to watch their infants more closely for signs that they are hungry and that they are getting the nutrition they need from the breast. 

Brand new infants may be sleepy for the first couple of days. We encourage mothers to breastfeed their infants whenever the baby is acting hungry, such as sucking on her hands, opening her mouth looking for the breast, or licking her lips. Ideally, infants will nurse on both breasts at each feeding for a total of 20-40 minutes per feeding but this doesn't always happen in the first few days. Feeds may be shorter.

You will know your infant is getting enough colostrum (early milk) or milk by the number of feeds, wet diapers and stools your baby has, in addition to her weight gain. Many breastfeeding infants will lose a little weight in the first week but they should be back up to their birth weight by two weeks of age.

The Breastfeeding Records (English  Spanish)* in this section provide a way to keep track of infant feeds and diaper changes. At the bottom of the record is information about our expectations of normal newborns in the first couple of days and then after your milk begins to flow (usually between days 3-5).

Breastfeeding - Getting Off to a Good Start This page is a discussion of the benefits of exclusive and early breastfeeding, especially during the early weeks postpartum. The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recognize that breastfeeding without formula supplementation is the superior form of infant nutrition. While many mothers are worried about their infants getting enough to eat, using formula and bottles can have a negative impact on your infant and your milk production.


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