Breastfeeding is the most natural and nutritious way to encourage your child’s development. Your milk is a unique combination of fats, sugars, minerals, proteins, vitamins and enzymes—customized to promote your child’s growth. Nursing at the breast also enhances the bond between mother and child.
Mid Coast Hospital has been nationally recognized for our high-quality international board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs) and lactation consultants (LCs) who provide a lactation program that supports the needs of breastfeeding families. A lactation consultant is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. They have had specific education, a minimum of 2000 hours clinical experience working with breastfeeding families and have passed an exam sponsored by the International Board of Lactation Examiners. They are required to do continuing education and to retake the exam every 10 years.
Our Lactation Services
- Breastfeeding Prep Class: A free class that is offered periodically throughout the year. Covers the basics of breastfeeding with lots of time for your individual questions. Partners are encouraged to attend. Register for this class.
- Inpatient Rounds: The LC will visit breastfeeding families while still in the hospital. We are available to help with feedings and to answer questions.
- Outpatient Visits: The LCs are available to meet with families that are having issues with breastfeeding. Moms can self refer or be referred by their primary care provider.
- Telephone Consults: Patients are encouraged to call the LC with questions or concerns. We have private voice mail if not immediately available. If it is an issue we can’t resolve over the phone, we may encourage an outpatient visit.
- Mother’s Circle: Our Mother's Circle support group meets twice a month. It is a fun, informal opportunity to meet other new mothers and talk about the joys and challenges of babies and motherhood. The LC is available for questions and to do baby weights. Registration is required for this free group.
- Pump rentals: We are a Medela pump rental station and also carry many of the Medela accessory items such as pump kits, shells and supplemental feeders.
Breastfeeding Education & Resources
Does breastfeeding hurt? Breastfeeding your baby should not “hurt”. Many women describe latch as a “firm tugging” while the baby feeds. Check the shape of your nipple when the baby releases it. It should be the same shape as it was when you started the feeding. If it is compressed and flat. The baby is not on deep enough. Continuing to feed with a shallow latch is painful and may lead to nipple damage. Call the LC and get help with the latch.
How do I know the baby is getting enough? Babies that are feeding well are content after feedings and are gaining weight consistently. In the first few weeks babies eat 8-12 times in 24 hours and have a bowel movement with most feedings. The breast may feel firm and full before the feeding and should feel soft after the feeding.
Where can I find information about pumping and milk storage? Get detailed information here.
How do I measure for a nursing bra? Learn more.
Will assist you with obtaining a breast pump through medical insurance at no or low cost to you.
Sponsored by an IBCLC with well researched information.
The International Breastfeeding Centre run by pediatrician Dr. Jack Newman.
Information about breastfeeding after breast surgery.
Resources and information about breastfeeding from the Maine CDC.
- Oatmeal, almonds and hummus help you make more milk.
- Cold medications that are safe to take when pregnant may decrease your milk supply. Check with your provider or LC.
- Most newborns will swallow milk from a bottle after a feeding at the breast even if they are not hungry! So, bottle feeding is not a good way to evaluate effective breastfeeding.
Lactation Support at MaineHealth
Learn more about lactation support services at MaineHealth.