In addition to being the most natural way to feed your baby, breastfeeding further enhances the bonding experience and provides the best nutrition for your new baby.
The process of breastfeeding and your milk change as your baby grows and develops. A newborn's feeding routine may be different than that of a breastfeeding six-month-old. As the baby grows, the nutrients in your milk adapt to your growing baby's needs.
Should You Breastfeed?
Breastfeed if possible. It is the healthiest and safest option for most infants and supports an infant's ability to fight certain infections. Current recommendations state that mothers should breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and continue breastfeeding for the first year.
Breastfeeding Support Resources
Breastfeeding support is offered during your hospital stay, and is also available on an outpatient basis. Our goal is to help you gain confidence in feeding your baby through education and assistance with breastfeeding. Summa Akron City Hospital is the first and only hospital in Summit County to receive the Baby-Friendly® designation. This is an international award given to hospitals that achieve the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Read more about this initiative.
Summa and our community offer additional breastfeeding assistance, including:
- Lactation Center at Summa Akron City Hospital: Call (330) 375-4271 for help or more information.
- Breastfeeding Mothers Group at Summa Akron City Hospital: Meet other mothers, weigh your baby, and talk with a Summa Lactation Consultant. Meets Mondays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Professional Center North building, 75 Arch Street, Suite B-1. Free parking. Call (330) 375-3493 for more information.
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Peer Helpers: Contact your local WIC office (Summit County Health Department on Graham Road Circle) at (330) 926-5726 for free help.
- Breast Pump Rentals or Purchase: Elizabeth Studer in Massillon, (330) 837-0220; Edgepark, (800) 321-0591; Visiting Nursing Service, (330) 344-4867; Mommy Xpress, (844) 641-2255
- Outpatient Consultations (not affiliated with Summa Health): Elizabeth Studer in Massillon, (330) 837-0220; Elizabeth Maseth at Akron Children’s Hospital, (330) 543-4531; All Natural Beginnings with Jeri Ball, (330) 603-0793; Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio with Dr. Ann Witt, (216) 291-9210
- LaLecheLeague: Visit LLLohio.org for complete listing.
- National BF Helpline: Call (800) 994-9662 Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Help available in English or Spanish.
- Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio: Call (614) 566-0630 or visit ohiohealth.com/mothersmilkbank
Choosing the Right Breastfeeding Alternatives
Bottle-feeding. If you decide not to breastfeed, or are unable to breastfeed, commercial iron-fortified formulas can provide adequate nutrition for your infant. Infant formulas contain adequate amounts of protein, calories, fat, vitamins and minerals for growth. However, formula does not contain the immune factors present in breast milk, which can help prevent infections. Offer cow's milk-based formula with iron as a first choice of formula if not breastfeeding.
To learn more about successful breastfeeding, register for our basic skills class held at Summa's Corporate Services Center, 1077 Gorge Blvd, Akron.