For mothers who deliver at Mercy and have decided to breast-feed their baby, lactation and breast-feeding support is available for you following your baby’s birth. Our nurses are trained to provide exceptional guidance and support for new breast-feeding moms and babies. Mercy Mother-Baby Nurses receive annual breast-feeding education, and new nurses receive eight hours of lactation education provided by a lactation consultant. However, some mothers and babies may need a little extra assistance learning how to breast-feed. For these special circumstances, Mercy has International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and Lactation Counselors available during your hospital stay to help you. The lactation staff is specially trained to manage your lactation needs, including: assisting with latch, breast-feeding with challenging circumstances, or initiating a milk supply for a baby in our NICU. We are here to help you.
During your second or third trimester, we encourage you to attend our Breast-feeding Essentials Class. This single session class is offered twice a month on Tuesday evenings. For more information and registration, details can be found at www.mercydesmoines.org/baby or by calling (515) 643-MOMS.
Planning for Your Stay
We encourage you to get your breast pump before you deliver and bring it with you during your hospital stay. We can assist in showing you how to operate your pump and fitting you for the correct flange size to ensure comfort and maximum milk transfer during pump operation.
Moms are encouraged to put baby to breast in the first hour after birth. Your birthing center nurse can help you with this. You are also encouraged to put your baby skin to skin as much as possible in the early days to promote breast-feeding. The Mercy Women & Infants' Center Breast Pump Purchase and Rental Information flier provides a resource for purchasing or renting your pump, as well as information on the breasft-feeding and pumping supplies carried by Mercy's outpatient pharmacies.
Once you have been moved from your birthing suite to the Mother/Baby recovery suite, the nursing staff will be available to help you and your baby learn to breast-feed. Should a larger issue become present, our nursing staff will contact one of our lactation consultants to visit in your room. Your lactation consultants will be able to help you one-on-one, and make an individualized plan for home, if continued breast-feeding support is needed. They will be available by phone for support and questions after your discharge. To reach one of our lactation consultants by phone contact us at (515) 358-2082.
Outpatient Breast-feeding Support
Mommy & Me
Come join us for this gathering of moms and babies. A Mercy International Board Certified Lactation Consultant will be present to address your questions and concerns. Breast-feeding observation and assistance with latching are provided as well. Scales are available for before and after feeding weight checks. This group meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 11 a.m. to noon, in the East Tower Auditorium on Level A at Mercy Medical Center. Registration is not required.
Breast-feeding Evening Support Group
Meet other breast-feeding moms at this informal support group. General breast-feeding education will be discussed. A scale will be available if you would like to weigh your baby. This group meets on the third Monday of each month from 6 to 7p.m., in Conference Room 1 in the East Tower on Level A.