A mother is breastfeeding her newborn baby.Giving Your Baby the Healthiest Start

The maternity team at Mease Countryside Hospital believes that breastfeeding is the best feeding choice for mother and baby.  Not only is breast milk the perfect food, it forms a foundation for a lifetime of health. Nursing is a learned experience for both mother and baby. With time and practice, you will learn to recognize your baby's cues. Relaxation, a calm atmosphere and patience will contribute to a successful nursing experience.

Because we are committed to offering breastfeeding mothers the information, skills and support needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies, the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund has designated Mease Countryside Hospital as a UNICEF "Baby-FriendlyTM" birth facility. A Baby-Friendly facility promotes and supports breastfeeding by empowering mothers to give their infant the best possible start in life. We're proud to be part of this international initiative and of the expertise and resources we can offer you with your breastfeeding efforts.

Before birth: preparing to breastfeed

We strongly encourage you and your partner to take our prenatal breastfeeding class prior to the birth of your baby. You will learn about the many ways breastfeeding benefits mother and baby and techniques to assist with breastfeeding. Taking this class will help build your confidence in this natural process. To register, call (727) 462-7500 or enroll through our online class registration finder.


Guidance during your hospital stay

Within the first hour of birth your nurse will assist you with breastfeeding. We encourage you to nurse your baby as often and as long as the baby wants. Since babies normally want to eat 8 to 12 times in 24 hours, we practice "rooming-in." This enables you to be with your baby around the clock while your maternity staff is close at hand to help build your skills as well as confidence. Our Lactation Consultants are available if you need more specialized assistance.

After returning home

Once you return home, our Breastfeeding Help Line is available for advice and support. If you are experiencing difficulty, our Lactation Consultants are also available for in-office consultations by appointment only.

We also have free breastfeeding support groups facilitated by a Lactation Consultant, where you will have the opportunity to meet other nursing mothers. For more information, call (727) 725-6821. We offer a monthly "Out and About" class on returning to work, using a breast pump and how to continue breastfeeding and still enjoy your active lifestyle. To register, call (727) 462-7500 or enroll through our online class registration finder. 

Lactation Supplies

Medela breast pumps are available for rent and sale through BayCare HomeCare. For more information, call (727) 394-6575, option #3.