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Breastfeeding Support

Tenet Health Central Coast is proud that both Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center are internationally recognized as Baby-Friendly birth facilities by Baby-Friendly USA. This achievement means we are using some of the most effective methods known to help mothers succeed at breastfeeding, such as skin-to-skin contact between mother and newborn. The staff also encourages new families to room-in, meaning that parents and baby remain together in the same room throughout their hospital stay. Both of these practices encourage bonding and improve a baby’s ability to breastfeed. Studies also show that immediate skin-to-skin contact help newborns’ maintain their temperatures better, normalize heart and breathing rates and reduce their likeliness of crying.

Breast milk is the optimal nutrition for newborns, and has many health benefits for both babies and mothers. As a Baby-Friendly hospital, Tenet Health Central Coast is committed to the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as outlined by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and provides lactation consultants to offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Lactation Services

Certified lactation consultants visit each mother-baby couplet daily during their stay at the hospital. These one-on-one visits provide individualized support and encouragement to help establish breastfeeding early-on and continue a successful breastfeeding experience at home.

If additional breastfeeding support is needed once a family has gone home, outpatient lactation services are available at the Twin Cities Lactation Clinic (whether you delivered at Twin Cities or elsewhere). Together, you and a lactation consultant will address any nursing problems or concerns in a private and nurturing environment. The lactation consultant will be able to tell you how much milk your baby is getting, evaluate your breastfeeding technique, help alleviate pain and provide guidance. Fathers, grandparents and other family members and/or support persons are welcome to attend with you. Please do not feed your baby for 90-minutes prior to your appointment in order to allow for a complete evaluation.

The Twin Cities Outpatient Lactation Clinic is located on the 3rd floor in the Birth & Baby Center, but you must register in the Outpatient Diagnostic Center located on the 1st floor of the main hospital through Driveway A. Please arrive 15-minutes before your scheduled appointment to complete paperwork. Breastfeeding Support Line

If you have questions about breastfeeding or would like to talk to a lactation consultant about our lactation clinic, feel free to call the Twin Cities Breastfeeding Support Line at (805) 434-4644 or the Sierra Vista Breastfeeding Support Line at (805) 546-7939. Messages will be returned in a timely manner.

Building Villages: A Newborn & Parent Support Group

Building Villages meets weekly to provide social interaction, support, practical information, along with breastfeeding support for mothers. Bring your baby and meet other families as you learn from their experiences, share your adventures and gather helpful information to assist you in parenting. A scale will be available for weight checks.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center
Every Thursday 11am – 12pm
2nd Floor, Mother Baby Waiting Room
1010 Murray Ave • San Luis Obispo
No registration required, drop-ins welcome.
Facebook.com/Groups/SierraVistaBreastfeedingSupportGroup

Newborn & Parent Support Groups (NAPS)

Join us for a casual, weekly support group for babies and parents – all are welcome! We’ll check weights, talk about your baby’s health and milestones and facilitate discussion among parents. A certified lactation consultant will also be available to answer questions.

Twin Cities Community Hospital
Every Monday 9:30am-11am
3rd Floor Waiting Room
1100 Las Tablas Road ◦ Templeton
No registration required, drop-ins welcome.

More Information

Newborn Reflexes

Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions. Some movements are spontaneous, occurring as part of the baby's usual activity. Others are responses to certain actions. Health care providers check reflexes to determine if the brain and nervous system are working well. Some reflexes occur only in specific periods of development. If your baby was born prematurely, don’t compare his or her development to that of full-term newborns. Premature babies are often developmentally behind full-term babies. The following are some of the normal reflexes seen in newborn babies.

Root Reflex

This reflex begins when the corner of the baby's mouth is stroked or touched.
  • The baby will turn his or her head and open his or her mouth to follow and "root" in the direction of the stroking.
  • This helps the baby find the breast or bottle to begin feeding.
  • This reflex lasts about four months.

Suck Reflex

Rooting helps the baby become ready to suck. When the roof of the baby's mouth is touched, the baby will begin to suck.
  • This reflex does not begin until about the 32nd week of pregnancy and is not fully developed until about 36 weeks.
  • Premature babies may have a weak or immature sucking ability because of this.
  • Babies also have a hand-to-mouth reflex that goes with rooting and sucking and may suck on fingers or hands.

Tonic Neck Reflex

When a baby's head is turned to one side, the arm on that side stretches out and the opposite arm bends up at the elbow. This is often called the "fencing" position. This reflex lasts until the baby is about 5 to 6 months old.

Moro Reflex

The Moro reflex is often called a startle reflex because it usually occurs when a baby is startled by a loud sound or movement.
  • In response to the sound, the baby throws back his or her head, extends out the arms and legs, cries, then pulls the arms and legs back in.
  • A baby's own cry can startle him or her and trigger this reflex.
  • This reflex lasts until the baby is about 5 to 6 months old.

Grasp Reflex

Stroking the palm of a baby's hand causes the baby to close his or her fingers in a grasp. The grasp reflex lasts until the baby is about 5 to 6 months old.

Babinski Reflex

When the sole of the foot is firmly stroked, the big toe bends back toward the top of the foot and the other toes fan out. This normal reflex lasts until the child is about 2 years of age.

Step Reflex

This reflex is also called the walking or dance reflex because a baby appears to take steps or dance when held upright with his or her feet touching a solid surface. This reflex lasts about two months.