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Breastfeeding Support

Every mom and baby should feel comfortable with breastfeeding, which is why UNC REX Healthcare offers a variety of resources to new moms.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding provides your baby with relaxing and enjoyable moments while strengthening your emotional bond. There are many benefits to breastfeeding, including:

  • Increasing your baby’s immunities
  • Serving your baby’s emotional needs and helping to make them feel more secure
  • Fewer allergies, ear infections, digestive and respiratory illnesses, and fewer bouts with colic
  • Providing the perfect nutrition for your baby; your breast milk changes as your baby grows

We recognize that some women cannot or may choose not to breast feed. Consult your physician or one of a member of the lactation services team for any questions relating to your decision to breastfeed.

Lactation Support Services

At UNC REX Healthcare you'll find internationally board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLC) and breastfeeding educators to assist you with breastfeeding needs. These lactation consultants are also registered nurses with specialized training to assist with both routine and specialized breastfeeding situations.

In addition to providing nursing infants and their mothers with consistent and accurate breastfeeding education and outreach through our lactation specialists and breastfeeding educators, the Women’s Center offers:

  • Breastfeeding classes
  • Rental of hospital-grade electric breast pumps
  • A certified bra fitter to assist moms in choosing maternity and nursing bras
  • Free telephone support to assist with breastfeeding questions before or after your stay at UNC REX
  • A quiet and private space to breastfeed

Lactation Station

The Lactation Station is a retail store located within the REX Women’s Center.

The Lactation Station provides a convenient place for families to purchase breastfeeding supplies, including:

  • Breast pumps – both hospital-grade rental pumps and for-purchase pumps
  • Books and other educational materials
  • Nursing pillows
  • Breast pads, shields, bras and more

The Lactation Station carries a variety of name brand products and resources for moms. If you have questions about a specific item, call 919-784-3224.

The Lactation Station is located on the first floor of the REX Women’s Center and is open Monday – Friday from 9 am to noon.

Common Breast Feeding Questions

How long can fresh breast milk be stored?

  • Room Temperature up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit: 4-6 hours
  • Insulated Cooler Bag at 5 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit: 24 hours
  • Refrigerator at 39 degrees Fahrenheit: 5 days
  • Freezer Compartment of Refrigerator with Separate Doors at 0 degrees Fahrenheit: 3-6 months
  • Chest or Upright Deep Freezer at -4 degrees Fahrenheit: 6-12 months
  • Thawed Breast Milk: Keep in refrigerator and use within 24 hours

Can I rent or purchase a breast pump from Rex?

Yes, breast pumps are available for purchase or rental through the Lactation Station, a retail store in the REX Women’s Center.

Learn more about Breast Pump Purchases and Rentals, and questions that you should ask your health insurance provider.

How many times a day should my newborn nurse?

It’s considered normal for your newborn infant to nurse between eight and 12 times in a 24 hour period. Your newborn should be having six to eight wet urine diapers and three to four bowel movements in 24 hours. This is a good sign that he/she is receiving enough milk for proper growth. A weight gain of at least half an ounce per day shows your baby is getting enough to eat.

How can I increase my milk supply?

Consider the following if you desire to increase your milk supply:

  • The best way to increase your milk supply is to nurse more often and/or more frequently.
  • Drink enough fluids to make your urine a light yellow color. However, forcing fluids will not always be beneficial, because your body may attempt to eliminate extra fluids (called diaresing).
  • Allowing your infant to have frequent feedings or using a dual electric breast pump to simulate a growth spurt may help increase production. Don’t pay attention to the amount of milk expressed, just know that you are telling your body to increase milk supply.
  • Herbs, also known as galactogogues, may also help to increase milk supply. Triple Alfalfa and/or Fenugreek are the types most commonly used. Recommended dosage is two to three tablets three times a day (Bottle dosage recommended will differ from this). Mother’s milk thistle tea may also be helpful. All of these products can be obtained at health food store such as Whole Foods or GNC.

Growth Spurts and Breast Feeding

An increase in a baby’s appetite is common at around two or three weeks of age, six weeks of age and three months of age. Typically, an infant will increase the number of feedings for approximately 24-48 hours. More frequent feedings are your baby’s way of building your milk supply.

After a few days of frequent, erratic nursing, your routine should return to normal. If you count at least six to eight wet diapers and three to four bowel movements every 24 hours, you can be assured that your baby is still hydrating. If your infant continues to be unsatisfied or if urine output is dropping, call your baby’s doctor or lactation consultant for further evaluation.

Additional Resources

For your convenience, here’s a list of additional breast feeding resources:

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