Breastfeeding FAQs

Do all mothers-to-be need to attend a breastfeeding class?
Many new parents tell us they are happy that they took a breastfeeding class before delivery. The class familiarizes parents with breastfeeding basics, hospital procedures, and services provided by our lactation consultants.

Can you recommend a good breastfeeding book?
The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins (Harvard Common Press) is an easy-to-read book that addresses everything you need to know about breastfeeding. Also, Making More Milk by Diana West is very helpful in understanding the breastfeeding process.

Can I come to the Lactation Center if I deliver at another hospital?
Yes!  We would be happy to have you visit our centers, located in the Women’s Center at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital.

Will my insurance cover my visit for a breastfeeding consultation?
While we cannot predict or guarantee if your insurance will cover the visit, we will provide you with forms to file for reimbursement. Mothers receive a complimentary 20 minute visit, charges are $15 for 15 minutes thereafter.

What can I expect during my consultation?
You, your baby and any support person you would like present will meet with a consultant in our comfortable, private consultation room. We schedule your appointment to coincide with your baby’s feeding time, optimizing our ability to assess your breastfeeding situation. We use Medela’s BabyWeigh scale to weigh your baby before and after feedings to tell how much milk the baby receives. A personalized feeding plan is developed and your goals are reviewed to make breastfeeding a satisfying experience for both you and baby.

Does my doctor need to refer me?
No, nursing mothers can self-refer as well as be referred by their doctor.

Will a Lactation Consultant automatically come see me in the hospital?
We make every effort and it is our goal to visit every breastfeeding mother during their hospital stay. Our lactation consultants are currently available Monday – Friday during the Lactation Center’s hours at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital. Our nursing staff are able to help get breastfeeding off to a good start; however if you wish to see the lactation consultant, please call the Bon Secours St. Francis (843) 402-1356 or the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital at (843) 606-7343.

Should I buy a nursing bra before I deliver?
It is helpful to purchase a nursing bra before coming to the hospital. The Lactation Center’s staff are certified bra-fitters and can assist you with selecting the right bra for you. We feature bras from Bravado and Medela, in a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes. We will be happy to fit you while you are at the hospital as well.

Do all nursing mothers need a breast pump?
No. Breast pumps are needed when the baby is unable to nurse well or mother is unable to feed in the first days after delivery. Hospital-grade pumps and pump kits are available should you need to pump under these special circumstances while you are an inpatient. Pump rentals are available after discharge. Many mothers choose to use a pump to collect milk for feedings when they are away from their babies due to work or school, we can help you select the pump that best meets your needs. Medela breast pumps are available for purchase or rental.

How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
Babies should nurse every 2-3 hours on average. Wake your baby if he or she is sleeping longer than three hours during the day or four hours at night. A newborn usually has a wet and soiled diaper for each day of life. By day five, you should expect six to eight clear, wet diapers and three to five “bigger than a quarter” sized bowel movements. Once your milk supply increases (usually between days three and five after delivery), your breasts will feel softer after feedings. A visit to your baby’s doctor is recommended within two to three days to examine the baby and monitor weight gain.

My breasts are leaking now.  Is that normal?  I am not due for a few weeks.
Yes, some mothers experience leaking of colostrum, the “early” milk stored in your breasts during pregnancy.  Many mothers do not experience leakage, that is not cause to be concerned.

Who do I contact after regular office hours or on weekends?
The lactation consultant will return after-hours calls usually the next business day. If you are unable to reach our office, call your doctor or obstetrician as indicated if you are experiencing significant problems.

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