Maternity Unit

During Your Hospital Stay

Breastfeeding guidelines

West Gippsland Healthcare Group recognises that breastfeeding is the best method of infant feeding.

In accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines, West Gippsland Healthcare Group protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding and is a Baby Friendly Accredited organisation.

West Gippsland Healthcare Group respects your right to choose how you feed your baby. In order to make that choice we will provide you with current information about breastfeeding.

Skin to skin contact

Breastfeeding within the first hour after giving birth helps you establish breastfeeding. Continuous skin to skin contact after birth encourages your baby to learn how to feed; his/her sucking reflex is strong during this time. Skin to skin contact also enhances bonding and keeps your baby warm.

Exclusive breastfeeding

Breast milk is all your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Giving other fluids may interfere with the establishment and success of breastfeeding. Dummies, bottle teats and nipple shields may interfere with the normal process of milk production and with your baby’s ability to learn to milk the breast properly.

Baby-led feeding

Babies feed frequently. Breastfeeding whenever you or your baby wants to, without restrictions or timing, works best. Waking your baby to feed if he/she sleeps too long can also be helpful.

Rooming in

Keeping your baby with you all the time helps establish breastfeeding. You can respond to your baby’s needs as they arise. Rooming in improves your confidence and independence.

If problems arise

Breastfeeding is a learned skill. You may experience difficulties or challenges while establishing breastfeeding. We are committed to providing skilled and dedicated support to assist you and your baby. A lactation consultant is available in hospital, or once you are at home. To contact the lactation consultant please telephone breastfeeding support on (03) 5623 0672.

Medical conditions

It may not be possible to follow these guidelines where medical problems exist. If such a situation arises, this will be discussed with you and appropriate adjustments made.