Lactation Services and Support | Women's Health | Loyola Medicine

Lactation Services and Support

Comprehensive Support to Guide New Mothers in Breastfeeding

Loyola Medicine has experienced lactation consultants to help guide new mothers learning how to breastfeed their babies. Loyola is the only academic medical center in Chicago to be named a Baby-Friendly Hospital, meaning that our medical center has been recognized for providing optimal care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding.

Breastfeeding has been found to provide enormous physical and emotional benefits for both mother and child. Breastfeeding helps infants and their mothers bond sooner and recover from the stress of pregnancy, labor and delivery. It allows mothers to provide the ideal food for their babies: a perfect mix of protein, vitamins and fats. 

The first feedings produce colostrum, which contains antibodies to fight off viruses and bacteria. This helps to reduce a newborn’s risk of developing ear infections, respiratory illnesses, asthma, allergies and diarrhea; it also reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies who breastfeed also are less likely to require hospitalization.  

Breastfeeding has been shown to help moms recover, with women returning to their pre-pregnancy weight faster. Women also experience less vaginal bleeding, and the uterus regains its normal size sooner. In addition, breastfeeding can reduce one’s breast cancer risk, as well as the chances of developing ovarian cancer. It also has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis and depression.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of a baby’s life. For this reason and more, Loyola provides individual breastfeeding support and education. Our board-certified consultants teach a breastfeeding class and will visit you during your hospital stay, whether you deliver at Loyola University Medical Center or Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

Why Choose Loyola for Lactation Services?

Loyola provides truly integrated clinical care for women and their babies before, during and after delivery. As part of an academic medical center, Loyola’s expert clinicians perform and teach the latest surgical techniques and medical treatments in numerous locations across the Chicago area. 

Our lactation consultants hold International Lactation Consultant Association certification; they not only follow guidelines set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics, but also demonstrate a passion for helping young moms interested in breastfeeding. In addition, our nurses have earned Magnet status, which means they have been recognized for delivering the highest level of care.

What to Expect with Lactation Services

Loyola’s lactation consultants, who are nurses, will visit you in your hospital room to assist you with effective nursing techniques and other breastfeeding tips, such as helping your baby latch properly. Your lactation consultant will help you find the most comfortable breastfeeding position, whether it be the cradle hold, football position, cross-cradle or side-lying. They can help you get comfortable while nursing, using a pillow or support to properly position your baby. 

If you are pumping in the hospital, your lactation consultant will answer your questions about when and how often to pump and feed your baby. New moms with infants in the neonatal intensive care unit also are encouraged to meet with a lactation specialist. 

Our skilled and compassionate lactation consultants can answer your questions about:

  • Breastfeeding techniques
  • Breast milk storage
  • Common breastfeeding problems, like sore nipples, and their remedies
  • Continuing to breastfeed while working outside the home
  • Health benefits of breastfeeding 
  • How breastfeeding changes a woman’s body
  • Use of breast pumps

If you would like to speak with a lactation specialist after discharge from the hospital, please call our helpline at 708-216-3592 from 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and ask for the Birth Center. One of our consultants will return your call.

Advanced Research to Improve Breastfeeding Techniques

Loyola’s expert obstetrics program is actively pursuing new research with a focus on patient-centered outcomes, including studies on breastfeeding. As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here; read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.