Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended as the ideal nutrition for newborns by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). If you’ve already obtained a breast pump to help sustain your commitment to breastfeeding, then you already know the profound effects human breast milk has on the overall health of you and your baby.

As you continue to prepare for the arrival of your little one, you may wonder if you should bring a breast pump to the hospital. The very best way to procure an action plan is to find out what options are available to you.

Plan Ahead, Know Your Options

To make certain you are adequately prepared you should investigate your options by researching the equipment and services your birthing center has available to support and encourage breastfeeding. Having a breast pump can certainly be an asset in helping mothers remain committed to breastfeeding. However, it is best to discuss the appropriate timing for introducing a breast pump with your healthcare professional to determine what’s right for you. Don’t underestimate the importance of having the support of a breast pump though, as it will undoubtedly be of the essence on your breastfeeding journey.

Skin-to-Skin Contact & First Feedings

The American Academy of Pediatrics is just one of many sources that promote the value of skin to skin contact and natural breastfeeding post-delivery. More specifically, the AAP suggests newborns with no evidence of respiratory compromise be placed on the mother’s abdomen and remain in direct skin to skin contact with the mother immediately after delivery until the first feeding is accomplished. This recommendation is made with the understanding that both mother and child are healthy and capable of this particular feeding method.

Studies have shown that the skin to skin contact helps mothers produce prolactin (hormones released by the pituitary gland that stimulates breast development and milk production in women). The skin to skin contact has an emotionally calming effect on infants as well. If latching is an issue for successful breastfeeding, or a medical professional suggests otherwise, a breast pump may be necessary in order to maintain adequate milk supply and relieve engorgement symptoms. Under such circumstances, a hospital can provide the necessary equipment for pumping and counseling services through a lactation consultant.

Have a Breast Pump Ready

If you don’t have a breast pump then click here to let Aeroflow Healthcare see if you qualify for a breast pump through insurance. Most insurance policies allow members to obtain a breast pump at any time during pregnancy, so it is never too soon to check this item off your list. Simply submit your information via the online portal and the Breast Pump Specialists at Aeroflow will take care of the rest.