The Special Delivery Family Birthing Unit at Bridgton Hospital supports mothers in their choice of how to feed their baby.
Breastfeeding is encouraged because of the proven health benefits to mother and child, but in some cases, it is not an option. We will help you adjust to either breastfeeding or formula feeding.
We are happy to note that the majority of our mothers (about 82 percent – which notably exceeds the national average) do choose to breastfeed their newborns. Our designation as a Baby-Friendly ® hospital ensures that we offer complete support to mothers who will breastfeed.
Our staff includes two certified Lactation Counselors. Both provide support and education for breastfeeding mothers. Bridgton Hospital also offers breastfeeding classes six times a year. Classes are open to any expectant mother who is considering breastfeeding her baby. Women who attend are strongly encouraged to bring their support person to the class. Topics covered in the class include the benefits of breastfeeding, skills and techniques during the first days of breastfeeding, and breast care. There is a $10 fee for class. We also host "Mom's Milk", a breastfeeding support group, and we offer breast pump rentals and other breastfeeding supplies. FMI about the classes, support group or breastfeeding equipment: Call 207-647-6090.
Many health specialists besides the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund advocate breastfeeding, when possible. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics advocates breastfeeding, as does the U.S. Surgeon General, who recommends breastfeeding babies for at least the first six months of life. At that point you can start introducing solid foods. Healthcare experts believe that it is optimal to breastfeed for 12 months or longer, depending on you and your baby's needs.
The benefits to your baby include:
While breastfeeding, you have more opportunity to bond with your child, and enhance your emotional relationship. For more information call: 207-646-6090.