Baby-Friendly® Breastfeeding Services
Jefferson Health is proud to be a certified Baby-Friendly® Hospital by the Baby-Friendly® Hospital Initiative (BFHI), an international breastfeeding education and support program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Our Baby-Friendly® program educates and counsels expectant parents to help you make infant-feeding decisions that are best for you and your baby. By educating expectant parents and families on the benefits of breastfeeding and infant bonding, you will feel more prepared and confident caring for your newborn.
As a certified Baby-Friendly® hospital, our providers, lactation consultants, breastfeeding counselors and nurses are specially trained to provide breastfeeding counseling. Our priority is to help you achieve your personal feeding goals for you and your baby. We are one of the only hospitals in the area with a physician who has dual training as a certified lactation consultant. Our dedicated lactation team has extensive experience providing compassionate, expert counseling for breastfeeding and infant bonding to new parents on the Labor & Delivery and Postpartum units. We educate new parents on the importance of early skin-to-skin contact and rooming-in, provide instructions for newborn care and help you recognize your baby’s early feeding cues.
We educate expectant parents on the benefits of breastfeeding and infant bonding as we help you accomplish your infant-feeding goals.
Parent Breastfeeding Benefits
- Helps your uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster
- Improves parent-infant bonding
- Reduces risk of reproductive cancers
Baby Breastfeeding Benefits
- Tailors infant nutrition
- Reduces illness risk
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Enhances infant brain growth
- Improves parent-infant bonding
- Promotes breastfeeding initiation
- Keeps your baby warm
- Calms your baby and you
- Helps you learn feeding cues
- Enables feeding on demand
- Helps you learn infant care
- Enhances your baby’s parental recognition
- Allows you to be present during medical exams
Ways to Get Breastfeeding Off to a Good Start
Common Challenges of Breastfeeding
We are here for you to help you overcome any breastfeeding challenges you encounter, including the common challenges below:
Important Phone Numbers
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospital:
Warmline 215-955-6665 - guaranteed callback from our lactation team within 24 hours
- Jefferson New Jersey:
Daily from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 609-941-2383
For urgent after-hours questions, call the Maternity unit directly 856-582-2781
- Jefferson Abington:
Abington Warm Line: 215-481-6104
Abington Breastfeeding Support Services Outpatient Office: 215-481-6106
- La Leche League of Pennsylvania at 610-666-0359
- Women, Infants, & Children Breastfeeding Support at 215-978-6100 ext. 22
- City of Philadelphia’s Breastfeeding Support at 215-685-5225
In addition to breastfeeding counseling on the Labor & Delivery and Postpartum units and guidance from your provider during prenatal visits, we offer free resources to support your breastfeeding goals.
- Daily breastfeeding classes
- Weekly parent support groups
Frequently Asked Questions
Our specially trained providers, nurses and lactation specialists are here to answer all of your questions, starting with the frequently asked questions below.
When will my milk come in?
In the first few days after birth, your body makes colostrum, which is the special milk for newborns. Your baby only needs a small amount of this milk. It usually takes 3-5 days for you to feel your breasts get fuller as the milk changes into a different milk to meet your baby's changing needs. Your baby will help increase your supply by nursing frequently. At this point, your baby’s stomach will stretch to be able to drink large amounts.
How long should my baby nurse at each breast?
There is no set length of time that your baby should eat. Nursing time can range from 10-30 minutes on one or both breasts at each feeding.
How do I know my baby is getting enough milk?
Knowing if your baby is getting enough milk is tricky to determine in the first few days after birth. All babies, no matter how they eat, will lose some weight, so you cannot refer to their weight for reassurance. It also takes a few days for your breasts to feel fuller.
We suggest parents count the number of feedings your baby has in a day. Babies will breastfeed 8-12 times in 24 hours. Count the number of diaper changes your baby has over a 24-hour period. During the first day of life, your baby will have at least one wet diaper and one stool. Gradually over the first week of life, your baby will increase your breast milk supply through frequent feedings. You will see your baby has more wet diapers each day, indicating an increase in feeding. After one week, your baby will have 6-7 wet diapers per day and four or more stools, which is a good sign that your baby is eating enough. Also, you will be checking in with your baby's pediatrician who will keep a close eye on weight gain and signs of good health.
My baby seems to eat all day. Am I making enough milk?
Babies eat frequently. You should expect eight or more feedings over a 24-hour period. The more your baby eats, the more milk you will make. And babies like to eat during the night so rest up during the day when you can!
Should I offer both breasts at every feeding?
In the first few days, we suggest breastfeeding on the first side for as long as your baby wants. Your baby may stop sucking or let go of your breast when done. At that point, you should offer the second side and let your baby decide to continue or stop feeding.
When can I use a breast pump to store my breast milk?
You can start to pump whenever you like, but you do not need to build a large freezer stash. You only need to have enough milk to feed the baby if you are separated (e.g., if you go away overnight or go back to work). We suggest waiting at least four weeks before offering the bottle. Your baby needs time to help build your milk supply. We also want your baby to learn how to breastfeed well before learning a different way to eat. Any milk that you pump before that time can be frozen and thawed for later use.
Is there anything I can’t eat while breastfeeding?
You can eat anything you like. It is a good idea to vary your diet, so your baby is exposed to different flavors through your milk. If you find something does not agree with your baby (gassy or fussy), cut that out of your diet. But until you eat it, you will never know if it will bother your baby!
Does the size of my breasts affect my milk production?
No, the size of your breasts does not affect your production or your baby’s weight gain. However, larger breasts may have larger storage capacity.