How much nursing help did you get in the hospital? — The Bump
April 2011 Moms

How much nursing help did you get in the hospital?

My post below made me wonder- if you were BF'ing in the hospital, how often did you have nurse or lactation consultant help available? 
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Re: How much nursing help did you get in the hospital?

  • I only saw an LC once, for about 2 minutes. BUT, my nurses were super helpful with showing me different positions & helping to get him to latch.
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  • While I was in the hospital, LC's were "there" but they never let me try on my own while "supervising."  They'd be there for 10 min, rip my boob into the baby's mouth (sometimes it would take all 4 of our hands) and then leave before I felt comfortable.  We ended up supplementing and switching over compeltely to formula when LO kept loosing weight.  I was VERY dissapointed in the help I got in the hospital and after (I called the line when I was home and everything).  Some BF-ing moms might say I didn't try hard enough but no one was there when it was me and LO crying for hours on end because my milk took 11 days to even start to come in.
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  • I gave birth naturally in the "birthing center" part of the hospital and the nurse I had there was really great about helping me with DD's latch, even though the hospital itself didn't have LCs on staff.  Between her and my doula (who also had BF-ing experience), I left the hospital feeling really prepared.

    I also had to transfer to the regular postpartum floor for a night due to untreated GBS (they wanted to monitor the baby for 48 hours.)  That experience was miserable -- I'm not even sure I had my own nurse.  However, my roommate had MAJOR issues getting her baby to nurse -- he screamed and she cried all night -- and nurses did come in to try to work with her.  

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  • My LC was just in once, but the nurses were just as helpful and they were available anytime I tried to nurse. I was completely new at the whole experience, so they were there all the time I needed.
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  • I had to freaking beg for for help and my baby was in the NICU!  They had gotten rid of their NICU LC due to budget cuts and they told me their priority was for the main LC to meet with the "regular" moms who were heading home.  And I doubt she even had time for that, frankly.  It really p!ssed me off.  I wound up having 2 LC sessions over 6 days.  DD was on a strict schedule so it was really hard to get a time with the LC that coincided with when I was allowed to nurse.

    A couple of the NICU nurses were really helpful, others were not and one made me feel like I was hurting DD by trying to nurse her.  We also had a shared room so it was kind of awkward and a big production with a screen, etc.

    If not for the support of my MW and SIL I might not be BFing today.  My neighbor is on the board of trustees for the hospital and asked me about my experience.  I (politely) let her know what it was like.  Hopefully they will change things a bit.

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  • Ours was actually very helpful.  Andrew was born Saturday morning at 11:00. That evening when I was in my room she stopped by quickly to see how it was going and then on Sunday she spent an hour with me working on getting him to nurse.  She helped with the different positions and supervised while he was eating. She also worked with me on pumping.  She stopped by again the next day before we left to see if I had any questions. I was also able to call and talk to her a few days later when I was nervous about him not gaining weight. My hospital has a BF support group on Tuesday mornings where they do weighed feedings as well. I never had to go to that, though, because by then we had the nursing thing down.
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  • NONE and I am convinced it is partly to blame for not getting my LO latched on until she was 8 weeks old! The hospital was so busy they ran out of beds that night and sent people an hour away to another hospital, so I get that they were overworked...but the midwife left immediately after handing her to us and didn't come back to even check on us for 7 hours!!!! We waited ages, thinking they would come back to help clean up the baby (she was delivered onto my stomach and we had skin to skin contact immediately)....finally, we gave up and just got her dressed and wiped off as best we could. I stayed in my bloody hospital gown until the next morning because no one was around to help me post-epidural. It was miserable and I had them release me 15 hours after the birth because I had more support at home than there. 
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  • Within an hour after delivery, the nurse that practically delivered DD (dr showed up a minute or two before crowning) had me sitting up and nursing. She helped me get her in position and latched. That nurse was wonderful. Later that night, the nursery nurse helped me because DD was having trouble latching. She stayed for about half an hour helping us. And the morning I went home, the actual LC came in and watched us and gave pointers for about 10 minutes.
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  • I had a really great experience at the hospital.  Every nurse was a trained LC and they were available anytime I needed them. 

  • Our hospital didn't specifically have any LCs. They sort of looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if there was one. (We're really rural.) But they said any of the nurses could help me, and they did. Since I had a c-section, everything is sort of a drug-induced fog, but I know the nurses came in and helped me with positioning, asked if he seemed to be getting something from both breasts (because every time they walked in, I just happened to be nursing on the same side--and I think I was favoring one side because of being hooked to IVs, monitors, etc).

    While I was still PG, I went to the LLL website, and there's one LC in a little town of about 500 people maybe 20 minutes away, but I never called her. Just a few weeks ago, I found out that one of our friends is an LC. She just doesn't want to be listed on the LLL website because she wants people to just "find her" through word of mouth. I *wish* I'd known this because Jared plays guitar and sings with her husband, and we're at their house all the time. I would have been way less stressed if I'd known one of my friends was a certified LC. Ooops.

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  • In the hospital, I met with the LC once and it was about an hour before I was going home.  DD was sleeping and she didn't stay to watch or check back in.  However, the nurses that I had were amazing and so helpful!  They got me started right after birth and would stop by to check throughout my stay and show me different positions.  If LO was having trouble, they offered tips and/or helped me to get the correct latch.  They also told me to call them down anytime I was getting ready to nurse if I thought I wanted help. 

    There is a LC consultant at our pediatrician's office, too.  So, I made sure to schedule my appts with her just to continue to make sure things are going okay.  We had a weight check appt. after being released from the hospital and she called two more days that week to see how things were going and ask if we had questions. 


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  • I had a lot of help.  I didn't meet with a certified LC until the next day since the one on shift left before LO came out.

    However the nurses made sure I had all the support I needed and one of them training to be a LC came as soon as her shift started because I had asked for a LC.  She stayed and we got a good latch, etc..  Every day I was asked if I needed one and no matter what I said one stopped by just to make sure.  They gave me their phone numbers as well for when I left the hospital.

    My hospital also runs a breastfeeding support group twice a week with LCs.  I went to one and it was super helpful.  The LC at the hospital even called me at home a few days after I left to see how we were doing.

  • Every nurse I had had some knowledge/input to help me BF.  That being said, they all typically had different opinions! The LC came in the first day and was very helpful and patient. She came back the second day before we left to help and see what kind of progress we had made with our latching issue.  She helped us make a BF/pumping/supplementing plan to use until DD figured out how to latch.  Fast forward to DD's 1 week checkup with her pedi and we still hadn't resolved the latch issues and I was developing mastisis and about to quit all together.  The pedi called the LC we had seen in the hosptial and made us an appointment to go right over to see her.  She helped us decide we needed a nipple shield and I felt a renewed confidence and so much better after going back to see her. She was so encouraging and didn't make me feel bad about using the shield.  One of the main nurses who had tried to help me BF would not let me use a nipple shield because she didn't feel it was true BFing and told me I didn't need it. Overall, my opinion is that the nurses are going off of their own beliefs/experiences and they aren't very consistent in what they have to say!
  • A lot. I delivered vaginally with no complications, but I gave birth early morning Friday, so I was there almost three full days. I kept requesting appointments with a LC, so I wound up with that happening 4 separate times. I also had the overnight nurses help me with latch and positioning several times. I'm sure they thought I was a PITA, but I got DS nursing!
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  • I delivered my son at 10:22 p.m. My goal was to nurse him as soon as possible. The nurse tried to help me the first time, but he did not want to latch on. 30 minutes later I tried again, but there was no one there to help. I got him on, but apparently the wrong way.

    After that they took me to my room and he went to the nursery. He was in there for 5 hours before they brought him to my room! Not b/c he was having problems. I woke up scared to death something was wrong b/c he had not been brought to the room after an hour like they said on the tour.

    The LC came in twice, but always after I just finished nursing. I feel like I did not get enough help after delivery in the hospital. It took 3 weeks to get Liam back to birth weight.

    Now, when I made an appointment after I left the hospital a week later they were amazing with helping me. The damage was done though, so now I breastfeed and supplement with formula. 

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  • I had an hour consult on my last day with an LC who told me that my nipples were too big for nursing, that "nursing isn't for everyone" and that I needed to start DS on formula right away. She was a miserable human being and I'm not sure why she is in this profession. So, I spoke with my nurse who told me that my nipples were fine, that I could nurse and that DS had only lost 4% of his birth weight so there was no reason to push formula that early. She was wonderful and made me wish that I hadn't even spoken to the LC. All the nurses I had tried to help, but they only had a few minutes each time. Apparently my hospital is certified as a "breast friendly" hospital, so all the nurses had to go through extra training to help with BFing.

    However, now that I've been through it before, I would change my approach. DS had a hard time latching on, so I wish I had been pumping colostrum and feeding him that from my finger. I would have tried to nurse and then started pumping for 20 minutes each time afterwards. I wasn't given a pump (even though I requested one) until 24 hours after he was born. I also would have ripped that bottle of formula out of the LCs hands. I was so shocked and she made me feel so awful like my DS was starving and was going to die, that I just let her feed it to him, but I regret that and wish that I had stood my ground more. 

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  • Since Violet immediately went into the NICU - I was lost on what was going to happen with my breastfeeding request. Thankfully a very kind NICU LC came in the room a couple of hours after delivering and brought me a pump w/ all the goodies & got me started on that. She was the nicest one I dealt with out of the three. When I got the go ahead to start BFing Violet - she had a wonderful NICU nurse at the time that was VERY patient with V & I. The next round wasn't that same - the NICU nurse was nice & all but didn't give extra assistance...when she saw me crying with my screaming baby in my arms she asked if I wanted to see an LC - I nodded yes. The LC wasn't as ... nice I guess you could say. The kind NICU nurse that helped me in the beginning warned me that they may make us use a nipple shield & although it can help - it should be a last resort. Well, what do you know...within 3 minutes of trying to get Violet to latch...this LC whips out a nipple shield & that was that. Violet latched on well but then came the demands of having to pump after each session and the stress that this may kill my milk supply.

    The final LC was nice enough & helped me set up my pump...she had a lot of free stuff too. One of the few perks. lol


    I eventually weaned Violet off the nipple shield on my own...since I felt mixed about the support I was given at the hospital I figured it would just be better if I did this on my own....

  • I know that with DS I had an LC visit 3 times...with DD nobody just showed up but I could have asked if I wanted. In hindsight I wish I'd asked with DD, because I got latched onto badly once on each side, and it led to 2 weeks of pain and cracked and bleeding nips.
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  • As soon as LO was handed to me after delivery I asked the L&D nurse help me get started with breastfeeding.  Actually, 12 hours earlier when she started her shift, I expressed my desire to breastfeed as soon as possible and asked then if she would help me.  Fortunately, with her help, LO latched right away.  Every nurse that came in after that I asked questions- am I doing this right? how is her latch? etc.  And the first few times I paged the nurse to let her know that I was about to feed LO and could she help me make sure I was doing it right.  I'm sure I was a huge PITA, but after getting my $30k hospital bill, I have no regrets, and actually the nurses seemed happy enough to help, (and we did give a small box of chocolates to every nurse that helped me.)   Although I asked for an LC right away, she only came on the 2nd day and although I had just finished breastfeeding 30 minutes prior, I asked if I could do it again so that she could see, and she gave me a few additional pointers.  I was adamant and demanding (in as nice a way as possible) about getting as much help with breastfeeding as possible because I was clueless. 

  • imageJaneBeam:
    While I was in the hospital, LC's were "there" but they never let me try on my own while "supervising."  They'd be there for 10 min, rip my boob into the baby's mouth (sometimes it would take all 4 of our hands) and then leave before I felt comfortable.  We ended up supplementing and switching over compeltely to formula when LO kept loosing weight.  I was VERY dissapointed in the help I got in the hospital and after (I called the line when I was home and everything).  Some BF-ing moms might say I didn't try hard enough but no one was there when it was me and LO crying for hours on end because my milk took 11 days to even start to come in.

    This. I called for her several times, but I never got more than a few minutes with her each time. We also started supplementing while in the hospital, and I stopped BF all together between 11 and 12 weeks. :(

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  • We were lucky.  We got help from the nurse who helped with labor and delivery, all of the nurses in the Mother Baby unit, the Lactation Consultant on staff with the hospital and the Lactation Consultant on staff with my pediatricians office.  The problem I had is, they all had different ways of helping.  Some of them were very hands on,  some would talk me through it.  A couple of them told me to use my hands to open up his mouth before latching, a couple told me absolutely not to do this, because he would never learn on his own.  Now he's 3.5 months and my nipples are FINALLY almost completely healed and it hasn't hurt to feed him for 5 days straight!
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  • I delivered at a hospital that is, like, "breast feeding friendly" or something - some sort of nationwide recognition. Like, all the nurses are certified lactation consultants or something like that. I could have had a lactation consultant come to my room any time I wanted one. They also had daily classes in the nursery, but I didn't go to those.
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  • Drew was in the NICU for the first 8 hours of his life and the first person to help me with breastfeeding was his NICU nurse.  She was awesome.  She made it clear, simple, and was so calm.  After that we had an LC visit us once a day for the remaining two days.  She said we could call her other times if we needed, but Drew was such a natural I really didn't need any help.  I called the LC line at the hospital three times after arriving home (once that first week, once the second week, and once at three months) and each time found the LC on call very helpful. 

    With Lizzy the LC came twice the first day and once the second.  They spent a little more time with me b/c she was a much lazier nurser and needed some encouragement.  I also needed some extra reminders about positioning and support.  The LC said that's common for 2nd time moms who nursed for a long time (I nursed Drew for 14.5 months).  She said we get lazy too, haha!  It's definitely true though - I was over confident in my ability because I had months and months of experience with a baby that latches himself.  I needed a big refresher on how to latch a newborn.

    All in all, I've been extremely pleased with the nursing support I've received.  I think support and education are the two biggest factors in BFing success.

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  • Every day a LC visited me. The first two days they were in and out bc I had no flipping clue what I was doing and didn't know how to ask. The third day one of the LC came in (who was my nurse the first night in recovery) and we seriously talked for maybe 2 hours. She was sooo helpful and I am grateful for her!!! Just when I wanted to give up, she talked me through everything and encouraged me.
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  • I got a TON of help! The nurses all stayed in with me multiple times for 30-60 minutes at a time.  And the lactation consultant actually came in to see me on her day off, because Wyatt was having trouble.  The hospital I went to is fairly small and I received a ton of personal care. 
  • I met with the LC twice while in the hospital, each time for a good 30 min or so.  Each nurse would also help and offered a lot of helpful tips.  I would say that I left feeling pretty prepared.
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  • I saw a LC immediately after I was wheeled into recovery (I had to have a c-section), she was there for about ten minutes. I requested to see one about a day after that and I don't remember exactly (thanks to the drugs) but I'm pretty sure one didn't come until moments before I was being discharged to check up and give me some last minute pointers.
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  • My hospital was amazing in my opinion as a first time mom. I had DD at 7 PM on Monday and the nurses were great about showing me how to feed her and different positions then first thing the next morning a LC came in to help me, and checked in probably 4-5 times during the day and then again the next morning before we left. Not only that but she called me every day for the first week home, just to see if I had any questions or needed any help. I have recommended that hospital to everyone I know! 
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  • As much as I wanted them to be around to help me. I had the LC come in almost every day just to check on us and make sure things were going ok.
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