Covenant Women’s Care Center is a designated Texas Ten Step Facility. The program is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing Texas hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care by awarding this designation for successfully implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Mothers are provided information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their infants.
More than two decades of research have established that breast milk is perfectly suited to nourish infants and protect them from illness. Breast-fed infants have lower rates of hospital admissions, ear infections, diarrhea, rashes, allergies and other medical problems than formula fed babies, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The greatest benefits are derived when babies are breastfed exclusively (breastmilk is the only food) for the first six months of life.
We offer in-patient breastfeeding education and lactation consultations. We staff internationally board-certified lactation consultants who work in concert with your nurse and physician when the need arises.
After delivery and recovery, you will be transported into one of our Mother-Baby Suites for the remainder of your stay. These suites enable both mother and baby to stay together and receive all care from our experienced Mother-Baby nurses in the comfort of your own room. The suite also provides a comfortable place for your support partner who we encourage to stay overnight.
Whether vaginal delivery or cesarean, we want to honor the first sacred hour of your baby’s life. This takes place in the hour immediately following delivery and is designed to give you, your baby and your support partner some quiet time to establish bonds that will last a lifetime. This connection of the unwrapped baby lying directly on your skin is called skin-to-skin contact and can provide you and your baby time to get to know each other. This initial snuggling also has very important health benefits for you and your baby.
Research shows feeding cues may be masked. In addition, pacifiers may cause long stretches between feedings, affect suck and cause delays in milk supply. Pacifiers are recommended only after baby is breastfeeding well.
Beyond these practices, Covenant Hospital provides encouragement and support for breastfeeding through our prenatal breastfeeding class, postpartum breastfeeding support group and weight check clinics.
If bottle-feeding is your choice of infant nutrition, our staff provides you with education on bottle feeding techniques and formula preparation in a supportive environment.
Are you planning to breastfeed? If so, it is time to talk to your OB and get a prescription for a breast pump.
You might be thinking, "Which pump is best for me?" Do some research, all breast pumps are not created equal! Different things work for different women.
If you would like to discuss pump options call a Covenant lactation consultant: 806-725-6403. We would absolutely love to discuss all things breastfeeding with you!
Overwhelming scientific evidence proves that breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants, reaping great health benefits for families, the health care system and society. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.
- Breast milk is perfect nutrition which continually changes to meet growth and development needs
- Breast milk is easy to digest resulting in less colic and digestive problems
- Antibodies in breast milk keep babies healthier resulting in fewer ear, respiratory and urinary tract infections
- Breastfed infants have a decreased incidence of SIDS
- Breastfed children are less likely to suffer from Type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, allergies, childhood obesity and childhood cancers
- Breastfed children score higher on cognitive and IQ tests
- Helps mom recover and return to pre-pregnant weight more quickly
- Lowers moms risk for postpartum depression
- Decreases her risk for type 2 diabetes and for breast and ovarian cancers
- Reduction in risk for cardiovascular and other related diseases
- Breast milk is always ready to use, easy to transport and access
- No formula to buy or bottles to prepare and clean
- Economical: Breastfeeding costs about $300/year and formula feeding costs approximately $2,000 to $3,000/year
- Breastfeeding saves on long-term health care costs
- Breastfed infants require fewer doctor visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations
- Breastfeeding mothers have fewer work absences and higher work productivity
- Breastfeeding is kinder to the environment using no electrical energy in preparation and producing far less trash, waste and pollution than formula feeding
- Take a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class during your 7th month of pregnancy. This class will teach and demonstrate basic breastfeeding skills prior to delivery.
- Keep your new infant skin-to-skin or in close proximity to you 24 hours a day so you can observe and learn frequent, subtle feeding cues.
- Feed baby on demand approximately 8 or more times in 24 hours.
- Do not limit nursing time and allow infant to feed from both breasts until satisfied.
- Request help from nursing or lactation staff anytime problems or concerns arise.
- Use the “Breastfeeding Log” provided by the hospital which, allows you to track feedings as well as your infants wet and dirty diapers. This will help you determine if baby is getting enough to eat.
- Learn and practice several comfortable breastfeeding positions during your hospital stay. Positioning the baby correctly will help prevent many early problems such as sore nipples and engorgement.
- Do not give formula bottles unless medically indicated. Your infants doctor or your nurse will discuss this with you should it become necessary.
- Do not use pacifiers during the first few weeks while breastfeeding is becoming established. Pacifiers mask feeding cues and encourage non-nutritive sucking patterns resulting in sore nipples and poor milk transfer.
- Learn how to manually express breast milk. Nursing or lactation staff will teach you this valuable skill prior to discharge from the hospital.
- Know how to access help and support for breastfeeding after discharge.