Labor & Delivery Newborn Education

Newborn Education Resources

As the region's first Baby-Friendly designated hospital, Carson Tahoe is proud to support optimal outcomes for you and your baby. Based on the "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" this internationally recognized program provides mothers with the information, skills, and confidence needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Carson Tahoe also incorporates immediate Skin-to-Skin Care, Responsive Feeding Education, and a Continuous Rooming-In Policy to promote bonding and ensure a happy birth experience.


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Why Breastfeeding?

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend 6 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding, and continued breastfeeding while adding in foods until 1-2 years of age or longer as mother and baby desire. Here are some benefits of breastfeeding your baby:

Breast milk protects from the start

The first milk you produce, called colostrum, is often referred to as “liquid gold” due to its deep yellow color and abundance of nutrients. Your breasts begin producing colostrum during pregnancy so you can be ready to feed as soon as your baby is delivered. Colostrum provides all of the essential nutrients, along with antibodies, that your baby's body and digestive system needs to grow and function.

Breast milk changes as your baby grows

Between the third and fifth day after birth, colostrum transitions into mature milk. This mature milk is just the right combination of water, fat, protein, and carbohydrates that your baby needs to continue growing. This milk may look thinner than colostrum, but it is still packed with vital nutrients and antibodies your baby needs for healthy growth.

Breast milk is easier to digest

Breast milk is uniquely made for your baby's growing tummy. A benefit of breast milk is that it is easier to digest than formula and therefore lowers the risk of constipation and colic.

Breast milk fights illness

Breast milk is made up of important antibodies, hormones, cells, and nutrients that can protect your baby from illness. This protection is unique and can change to meet your baby's unique needs. Scientific research suggests that breastfeeding.

Your baby can lower their risk for:

Benefits of breastfeeding for you:

Breastfeeding is good for mother's health too: Scientific research finks breastfeeding to a lower risk of developing certain types of breast uterine, and ovarian cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and Type 2 diabetes.

Breastfeeding can encourage bonding:

The skin-to-skin contact experienced during breastfeeding boosts the bonding hormone oxytocin, which is also responsible for expressing milk from the breast. Thus, the physical contact between you and your baby during breastfeeding helps you feel calm and connected, and your baby feels warm, secure, and comforted.

Breastfeeding costs less money:

Breast milk is always available, the perfect temperature, and FREE! Breastfed babies may also get sick less often, which can prevent missed workdays and lower healthcare costs.

Benefits of breastfeeding to society:

Breastfeeding is better for the environment: Formula production creates a large environmental footprint due to production costs, transportation, and landfill use.

Breastfeeding can decrease healthcare costs:

Breastfed infants require fewer doctor visits, prescription, and hospitalization. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (2011) if 90% of mothers in the US exclusively breastfeed for the recommended first six months of life, the US would save approximately $13 billion a year in health care costs.

Skin-to-Skin Care

When you deliver at Carson Tahoe, we practice Skin-to-Skin Care between you and your baby.

What is Skin-to-Skin Care?

Skin-to-Skin Care is the practice of placing your infant directly on your bare skin, tummy to tummy, right after delivery, and throughout the postpartum period.

Why is Skin-to-Skin Care is so important?

Evidence indicates that initiation of Skin-to-Skin Care immediately after delivery can decrease maternal stress levels and provide a calm environment for the infant to make a safe, easy transition to life outside the womb. Skin-to-Skin Care after delivery can also encourage early initiation of breastfeeding, which can lead to a more organized suckling pattern and more success overall with breastfeeding, even after cesarean deliveries!

Skin-to-Skin Care immediately after birth is also shown to:

When does Skin-to-Skin Care start?

Skin-to-Skin Care is initiated immediately after birth and continues for at least 1 hour, or until after the first feeding. In the case of a cesarean delivery, skin-to-skin care may be initiated in the operating room if mother is stable and awake. If mother is unable to experience skin-to-skin care immediately following a cesarean delivery, it may begin as soon as she is stable in the recovery room.

Who should practice Skin-to-Skin Care?

Skin-to-Skin Care is recommended for all mothers newborns, regardless of the feeding or delivery method. Skin-to-Skin Care is also highly recommended for other caregivers, such as fathers, to practice as it can encourage bonding. and help populate your baby's microbiome. Unless there is a medical reason for separation, Skin-to-Skin Care can be provided for all newborns.

Where should you practice Skin-to-Skin Care?

Skin-to-Skin Care can take place in the birthing room, the OR, recovery room, and nursery. It is also encouraged that you continue to practice Skin-to-Skin Care during your stay, and when you go home with your baby.

How to practice Skin-to-Skin Care

Skin-to-Skin Care is safely practiced when the chest of the infant is touching the chest of the mother or caregiver, with the face easily exposed. The infant should be naked or wearing only a diaper to maximize the surface-to-surface contact.

Safe Skin-to-Skin Care checklist:

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When you deliver at Carson Tahoe, we practice 24 hour rooming-in after delivery, unless a medical condition prevents it.

Benefits of rooming-in 24 hours a day:

Research shows that having your baby in the room with you 24 hours a day, from delivery, is the best way for you and your baby to rest and establish a routine. Our goal is to provide you with the best opportunity to learn about your baby so you feel better prepared to care for him/her when you go home. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing (not bed sharing) even after you are discharged from the hospital, for the first year of life. Room sharing makes it easier to feed on demand and provide comfort to your baby. It can also help decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by as much as 50%.

Benefits for you:

  • Better quality sleep when you know that your baby is close by and you can provide comfort when needed.
  • Improved breastfeeding experience because you are able to better identity early hunger cues (rooting, sucking on tongue, hand, or fingers) and establish feeding patterns before discharge home, which can lead to better milk supply.
  • Increased opportunity for skin-to-skin, bonding and attachment.
  • Increased confidence in caring for you baby because you have more opportunity to ask healthcare providers about normal newborn behaviors and proper care techniques.

Benefits for baby:

  • Better quality of sleep because baby will develop a more regular sleep-wake cycle when near you.
  • Improved breastfeeding experience because baby can feed sooner, more frequently, and more efficiently.
  • Decreased levels of stress hormones and more stable blood
  • sugars when baby is close to you.
  • As you learn your baby's comfort cues, your baby will cry less and calm more quickly.
  • Decreases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by as much as 50%

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Baby's First Bath

When you deliver at Carson Tahoe, we practice waiting to give your baby its first bath.


Vernix caseosa is the white, creamy coating that covers your baby's skin during the last trimester of pregnancy. Vernix protects your baby's skin in the first few days of life if not washed off after birth.

Decreased risk of infection

Delaying your baby's first bath for at least 24 hours can decrease the risk of infection because vernix contains important antimicrobial properties, like an anti-germ barrier, which can protect your baby's skin from harmful bacteria.

Better breastfeeding outcomes

Many studies have found that holding your baby skin to skin from birth, when amniotic fluid and vernix are still on your baby's skin, can lead to the successful establishment of breastfeeding.

Improved temperature control

During the first few hours after birth your baby has to use energy to regulate his/her body temperature

Giving a bath soon after birth may make your baby too cold and lead to unnecessary interventions.

Stable blood sugars

Bathing your baby too soon after birth can be stressful for him/her. When stress levels increase, so do stress hormones, which can decrease your baby's blood sugar or make them too sleepy to breastfeed efficiently.

No need for baby lotion

Vernix is a natural skin moisturizer and helps keep your baby's skin well hydrated.

Parents get to give the first bath

Our mission is to support you and your family. By delaying the first bath until you have arrived home with your baby, we encourage you to make the first bath a special family-centered event.

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Pacifiers and Breastfeeding

Can I use a pacifier if I choose to breastfeed?

The answer is yes (but needs to be done carefully) We here at Carson Tahoe, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are not recommending the absolute avoidance of pacifier use if you have chosen to breastfeed your baby! Part of our mission is to protect breastfeeding and ensure that you and your baby get off to a great start. In order to do that we want to educate you on the importance of delaying the introduction of a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established. Research tells us that the way a baby sucks on a pacifier is different than the way they suckle at the breast, often leading to an incorrect and painful latch. Therefore, to successfully establish breastfeeding during the first few days of life, a baby must be given frequent opportunities to breastfeed and learn to latch and suckle properly.

The Dos and Don'ts of Pacifier Use

Do wait 3-4 weeks
Or until breastfeeding is well established, to introduce one! That means waiting until your baby is latching correctly and consistently, feeding 8-12 times in a 24-hour period, gaining weight appropriately and your milk supply is well established.

Don't introduce a pacifier if baby is not feeding well
Or less than 8 times in a 24-hour period, having trouble gaining weight, or you are suffering from cracked, blistered, painful nipples, and milk supply issues.

Do offer a pacifier only after feedings or before sleep

Don't substitute a pacifier for a feeding
After approximately 10 minutes of non-nutritive sucking, a hormone is released into the gut and causes the feeling of fullness and sleepiness. This can lead to missed feedings and a decrease in milk supply.

Do keep it clean!
Pacifier use is linked to higher incidence of ear infections. Frequently place it in boiling water or the dishwasher to sanitize.

Don't force it!
If your baby isn't interested or if the pacifier falls out during sleep don't force it back in.

Do be safe
Replace pacifiers often and inspect for any broken pieces. Never attach a pacifier to a strap long enough to get caught around your baby's neck.

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Hand Expressing Breastmilk

To maximize your milk production:

Feed often and hand express after feeding for 5 minutes for the first 5 days. You can spoon feed or finger feed your expressed milk to baby.

What are the benefits of hand expression vs. using a breast pump?

One of the biggest pros of hand expression is the sheer convenience. Unlike a pump, you don't need any special equipment or to be near an electrical outlet - so you can hand express your milk anytime and anywhere you might need to. For instance, if you're away from your baby for longer than expected and are starting to feel uncomfortably full, you can hand express for a few minutes just to take the edge off. Or if you're trying to build your pumped milk stash, vou can hand express briefly after feedings to get a little extra milk without having to set up your pump. But convenience is far from the only benefit.

Other Benefits of Hand Expression

It allows you to get more colostrum in the days after giving birth.

If your baby is struggling to latch early on, hand expression is the best way to collect colostrum for her. Since this early milk is thick and sticky and there's not much of it, the small amount you might be able to pump will likely end up sticking to the sides of the pump bottle. But you can use your hands to express milk right onto a spoon or syringe and feed it to your newborn.

It can help boost your supply.

If you're pumping in an attempt to make more milk, hand expressing for a few minutes at the end of a pumping session can usually yield another half ounce to an ounce.

It can also keep oversupply issues in check.

Pumping can be a good way to relieve fullness, but doing it too much or for too long can end up encouraging your body to make more milk - leading to an even greater supply and potentially increasing the risk for clogged ducts or mastitis (inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection). Hand expression is a good alternative: since it tends to remove less milk, it places less demand on vour body to produce even more.

How to hand express:

Breastmilk Production Pt II: Hand Expression from First Droplets on Vimeo.