Breastfeeding is normal and natural, but we recognize that it is a learned skill for a new mother and baby. Covenant’s Birth Center offers a class, support staff, even a boutique that features breastfeeding supplies.
Breast milk is the most perfect food for your baby. Consider the following:
- The nutrients in your breast milk are matched to your
baby's nutritional needs and are not duplicated in processed formula.
- Breast milk is easier for your baby to digest
- Research shows that breastfed babies have fewer
allergies, get sick less often than formula-fed babies, their immune systems
are stronger, less likely to be colicky, constipated or experience diarrhea.
- Breastfeeding has health benefits for mothers
including losing weight faster and may help protect against breast and ovarian
cancer and osteoporosis.
- Breastfeeding saves money
- No bottles, nipples or formula to fuss with every time baby is hungry.
Our nursing staff and lactation consultants provide bedside help with breastfeeding and individualized teaching seven days a week. We know how important the first days after birth are, and our first priority is to help you breastfeed comfortably and for you to be confident that your baby is feeding well. You can also call after you and your baby go home for breastfeeding help and follow-up by telephone.
Breastfeeding – The Best Food, is our prenatal breastfeeding class that helps you discover how to provide your baby with nature’s perfect food. You will learn how to position and latch your baby on, recognize early feeding cues and satisfaction cues, avoid difficulties and how best to fit breastfeeding into your lifestyle. Dads and/or partners are encouraged to attend also. Evening classes are offered on an ongoing basis. For class dates and registration information, please call 866-COVENANT.
Nurturing Notions Boutique is a convenient, one-stop shop for all your breastfeeding needs. The first hospital boutique of its kind north of Detroit, Nurturing Notions offers an array of products for breastfeeding mothers and their babies and features a certified nursing bra fitting specialist who can assist women in finding the right type of nursing bra, including extended bra sizes.
At Nurturing Notions you will find:
• Breastfeeding books and resource materials
• Nursing pads
• Storage bottles
• Nursing tops and pajamas
• Diaper bags
• Infant toys
Breastfeeding mothers can also buy or rent top quality breast pumps. Nurturing Notions features Medela Breast Pumps – hand and electric pumps are available for sale; hospital grade, electric, double breast pumps can be rented.
Nurturing Notions also features gift certificates – perfect for a new mother and baby.
Located on the fourth floor of Covenant Medical Center Harrison, 1447 North Harrison in Saginaw, Nurturing Notions is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 4pm
For more information, call 989.583.4419.
If you plan to formula feed your baby, discuss with your
baby’s doctor the best formula for your baby. Carefully read and follow the
directions for preparation and storage on the package. The doctor will also tell you how much your baby should eat at each feeding. Be sure to discard any formula left over after a feeding and rinse the bottle and nipple. While it is no longer necessary to sterilize bottles and nipples, they must be washed in hot soapy water and rinsed after each use.
During your stay you will be introduced to "Kangaroo Care", or skin-to-skin contact. Your baby is placed unclothed next to your chest, between your breasts, then covered with a blanket. This method has proven to be advantageous for baby as well as parents. Baby's father can also participate in Kangaroo Care.
Covenant HealthCare supports newborn screening as required by the State of Michigan. Screening involves a blood test and hearing test. For more information, refer to “You, Your Baby and Covenant”. It is important to provide the name and address of the physician who will provide follow up care for your baby. Test results are mailed to the baby’s doctor.
Your baby will be discharged from the hospital with a short stump of the umbilical cord. It is important to keep the cord and surrounding area clean and dry. The site becomes your baby's belly button. The cord has no nerves, so the baby will not feel anything if you touch it.
The yellow cord clamp is removed after the cord is dry (when the baby is about a day old). The cord will dry and fall off in 10-14 days. Remember to keep diapers folded below the cord so it doesn't get wet from baby's urine. This will help to prevent infection. Call the doctor if:
- The cord oozes blood or yellow/green discharge
- A bad smell develops
- There is redness around the base of the cord
Your baby's doctor my have further instructions on how to care for the cord.
Change the baby's diaper when wet or soiled. Clean the infant by wiping from front to back. Use a fresh wipe or a clean area of washcloth for each stroke. Put a clean diaper on baby.
Babies do not require a bath every day. During the first four days after birth only warm water should be used to bathe the baby. After the initial bath, sponge bathe until the cord falls off and/or a boy's circumcision (if done) is healed; then you may position the baby in a shallow tub to bathe. Plan your baby's bath around the family schedule. Bathing before a nap or bedtime is a good idea. Infants usually sleep well after a bath.
Crying & Colic
Babies cry as a form of communication. Crying is a normal, healthy part of infancy. Many mothers learn early that their baby's cry is different depending on their needs. When your baby cries, check these basic needs; is baby hungry, tired, sick, in pain, not comfortable (maybe a diaper change is necessary). Most babies have a normal fussy period in the evening. They may seem more needy than usual. These fussy times may last up to three months of age. When your baby cries, go to him/her as soon as you can. Try a soothing strategy for at least 10 minutes before trying another strategy.