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. In an effort to further support you with a healthy start for you and your baby, Summa Akron City Hospital is pursuing a "Baby Friendly Hospital" designation. This is an international award given to hospitals that achieve the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Read more about this initiative.
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 Akron City Hospital campus.