Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a very healthy way to feed your baby. The lactation consultants at Altru Health System have trained our mother-baby nurses to assist you with breastfeeding throughout your stay. Our lactation professionals are available for breastfeeding support and education services. They will answer any questions or assist you once you’ve gone home.

To reach the lactation staff, please call 701.780.5467.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Your breast milk is made specifically for your baby, and breastfeeding provides many benefits for women’s health. Here are just a few reasons you may want to breastfeed:

  • Your body provides just the right amount of nutrients for your baby.
  • Breast milk changes to meet your growing baby’s needs and is easy to digest.
  • Breastfeeding decreases the baby’s risk for health issues such as asthma, colds, earaches, eczema and food allergies, while also leading to less colic, diarrhea and constipation.
  • Breastfeeding is inexpensive.
  • Breastfeeding helps your body recover from childbirth faster. Weight loss can be easier, and it helps your uterus return to its normal size.
  • Breastfeeding helps establish a strong bond between mother and baby.

What to Eat While Breastfeeding

When breastfeeding, you need to eat a variety of healthy foods, just as you did when you were pregnant. Breastfeeding requires 500 extra calories a day, which allows your body to make the milk your baby requires. These extra calories should come from eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day.

Breast Pumping

Breastfeeding mothers may benefit from using a breast pump to maintain their milk supply, facilitate going back to work and allow dad to feed the baby. They are available for purchase and to rent from Yorhom Medical Essentials, where you can find a variety of breast pumps and supplies available. With proper documentation and a prescription from your healthcare provider, these supplies may be fully covered by your insurance.

For more information about obtaining a breast pump through insurance, please call 701.780.5822.

Breastfeeding Support and Education Services

Altru offers a variety of opportunities for breastfeeding education, including breastfeeding classes.

Altru Health System and Altru Health Foundation provide complimentary walk-in breastfeeding clinics for breastfeeding mothers, as well as for pregnant women interested in learning more about breastfeeding their new baby. Altru’s Breastfeeding Clinic is held every Wednesday from 1–2 p.m. at Altru Family Medicine Center, in the small conference room located on the first floor.

At the beginning of each meeting, we have trusted breastfeeding educators discuss a variety of topics, which may include:

  • Getting started breastfeeding
  • Helping your baby latch correctly
  • Bottle-feeding versus breastfeeding
  • Low milk supply and oversupply
  • Clogged milk ducts and mastitis, a condition where the breast tissue becomes inflamed and/or infected
  • Preparing to go back to work and pumping
  • Pain after breastfeeding
  • Introducing a bottle to your baby

You will be able to breastfeed or pump as you wish, and certified lactation consultants and counselors can offer guidance and feedback if needed. A BabyWeigh Scale will be available to check your baby’s weight and milk intake during a feeding.

These meetings allow you to find breastfeeding support from other mothers through great conversation and encouragement.

Breastfeeding Resources

The lactation consultants at Altru’s Family Birthing Center recommend several books, resources and guides on breastfeeding:

For more information about breastfeeding, contact one of our lactation team members at 701.780.5467.