Women's Services » Breastfeeding Resources

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Providing personal support for mothers to meet their breastfeeding goals, from birth to beyond.

The benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all of the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that help protect babies from illness.

While breastfeeding is natural, it does not always come easy to new moms, or their babies. Hendricks Regional Health is here to help. Our lactation experts are available to answer any questions you may have about feeding your infant. To contact our lactation department, call (317) 745-8448 or email lactation@hendricks.org.

Meet Our Lactation Experts

Monica Bird, BSN, RN, CLC, IBCLC

Monica Bird, BSN, RN, CLC, IBCLC
I am the coordinator of the lactation department at Hendricks Regional Health. I have been a postpartum nurse for 15 years and a lactation consultant for six years. I love working with new moms and babies as they fall in love and learn how to function as a new family. I consider it a privilege to provide care, instruction and guidance through the breastfeeding journey and believe that the first few days are foundational. I am a mom of seven children and understand that each child is unique, so each breastfeeding experience comes with its own set of distinct joys and challenges.

Debbie Beck, RN, CPN, CLC, IBCLC

Debbie Beck, RN, CPN, CLC, IBCLC
I have been working with breastfeeding mothers since 2006 and am a nurse on the Pediatric Unit here. I have three grown children who were breastfed about two years each. My breastfeeding experience meant so much to me that it moved me to want to help others successfully breastfeed their little ones. I love the pleasure of seeing babies in their favorite place: at the breast. I enjoy working with all breastfeeding families, but especially the mothers and babies who have gone home from the hospital, yet find they have hurdles to overcome to make breastfeeding work for them. I facilitate our breastfeeding support group, Breastfeeding Friends (BFFs).

Lorra Bryant, RN, RNC-OB, IBCLC

Lorra Bryant, RN, RNC-OB, IBCLC
I have been helping breastfeeding families my entire career, first as a labor and delivery nurse and special care nursery nurse, and more recently as lactation nurse. I've been at Hendricks in the Childbirth Center since 1993, and am married with four daughters. Three of my daughters are triplets, and because of them, I enjoy helping mothers with multiples learn to breastfeed, and also mothers who are separated from their babies due to admission to special care nursery. Those mothers and babies often require specialized feeding plans to help them meet their breastfeeding goals until they can be reunited with their baby. I feel very privileged to be a part of the lactation team at Hendricks Regional Health.

Before You Begin: Breastfeeding Basics

What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

The benefits of breastfeeding are astounding and being uncovered every day by medical science. Here are just a few of the benefits:

Is there really a difference between breast milk and formula?

Absolutely! Your breast milk is tailor-made to meet your specific baby's needs and cannot be duplicated. Breast milk provides more than just calories and protein; it provides the building blocks for your baby's health from day one. Your milk changes from feeding to feeding and from month to month to support your baby's ongoing development.

Deciding your own goals is important in your decision to breastfeed. Taking into consideration the benefits of breastfeeding and your own personal situation, you can develop a plan to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: "...exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby's life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby." The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends: "... mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the child's first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, they should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond."

At Hendricks Regional Health, we understand the importance of a good start and will support and encourage you through your hospital stay in order that your goals may be met. Evidence shows those moms who exclusively breastfeed for the first few days produce more milk and have increased confidence. After birth, the introduction of supplemental formula may be indicated in a rare cases as a medical intervention; however, with lactation support your baby can receive only your breast milk.

Prenatal breastfeeding classes are offered every month at Hendricks Regional Health. Taught by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), this two-hour class will provide you with the basics of breastfeeding and include a video presentation, question-and-answer time, and even some practice with positioning and holds. Moms and partners are encouraged to attend together.

When you arrive for delivery, we will provide you with a few items that may come in handy while breastfeeding. You will receive a comfortable breastfeeding sleep bra, breast pads, and nipple cream. Please bring with you any creams that you have purchased so that they can be reviewed for safety, as well as your pump, if you have one. The lactation staff will provide a one-on-one pump orientation session ensuring that your pump is working properly and the right fit for your needs. If you choose, you may bring your breastfeeding pillow, but no worries if you forget; we have plenty of pillows to keep you comfortable.

Find stories on our blog from breastfeeding moms who have been in your shoes. They talk about how they prepared for their breastfeeding journey and give helpful tips for success:

Getting Started: What to Expect in the Hospital

Here at Hendricks Regional Health, we take pride in offering best practices in infant feeding care. While we strive to meet better breastfeeding outcomes, we are also mindful of the family's breastfeeding intentions and decisions. The following are some expectations you can expect to our approach while you are in the hospital to deliver your baby.

Labor and Delivery Care

Upon delivery, the newborn is placed skin-to-skin with the mother, allowing time for breastfeeding. Your feeding plan will be discussed early in the admission process in order for us to properly support your breastfeeding needs. Most mothers' milk will come in within 2-3 days (hopefully sooner!). Until then, the very small volume (2-10 ml/feed) you produce will meet your baby's nutritional and hydration demands.

Postpartum Care

Lactation assistance is offered from certified lactation consultants to the breastfeeding mother and infant; they offer supportive patient education and assessment throughout the hospital stay. We strive to keep the infant with the mother as much as possible throughout the day and night, without unnecessary separation or restrictions. The breastfed infant is only offered supplements (infant formula, water, and glucose water) when medically indicated.

Discharge Care

The breastfeeding mother and infant have access to lactation support while at home, and patient discharge gifts contain no infant formula marketing samples. We also provide a fun and informative breastfeeding support group at our Danville campus, and our lactation consultants are available via phone or email to assist with any questions or concerns.

Ongoing Support: Breastfeeding Friends Group

Breastfeeding Friends (BFFs) is a mother-to-mother support group that meets Mondays, except for the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at Hendricks Regional Health, 1000 East Main Street. Use West Entrance, turn left, take elevator A to third floor. 

Meetings are open to all nursing moms and babies, and offer:

  • Friendships with other nursing moms in a relaxed atmosphere
  • Facilitation by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

This group is absolutely free and no registration is required! For more information, please call (317) 745-8448 or dsbeck@hendricks.org.

Milk Collection at Hendricks Regional Health

To further support mothers in meeting their breastfeeding goals, Hendricks Regional Health is a proud partner with The Milk Bank as the host of Hendricks County's first milk depot site. According to the Hendricks County Breastfeeding Coalition, the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. These donations to The Milk Bank will go a long way toward keeping our community's children healthy.

The new milk collection site is located at the Hendricks Regional Health Pediatric Unit at 1000 East Main Street, Danville, Indiana 46122. It provides a convenient drop-off for women to donate their extra breast milk. After donations are received at our hospital, they are sent to The Milk Bank for processing and then delivered to fragile infants in hospital neonatal intensive care units.

For more information about our milk collection process, call (317) 745-8448 or email dsbeck@hendricks.org.

Milk Suppression

An unusual, but effective way to suppress milk production and relieve soreness from full breasts is to use cabbage leaves. Cabbage leaves have been used in some cultures for hundreds of years in the treatment of sprains, infections, and some breast problems. There appears to be an unknown substance that is absorbed from the cabbage leaf through the skin, resulting in decreased breast swelling and milk production. Most women find it to be very soothing to their breasts.


  1. Wash green cabbage leaves well and dry.
  2. Store in refrigerator.
  3. Cut stalks and apply the leaves to the breast, avoiding the nipple area.
  4. Remove when wilted, toss, and apply fresh leaves.
  5. Cabbage leaves may stain your bra.
  6. Stop using leaves when swelling settles, or breasts feel more comfortable and the breast milk is suppressed.
  7. Do not use is there is a history of allergy to cabbage.
  8. Recommended use is for two to five days.

Lactation After Loss

Having milk come in after the loss of an infant can be quite upsetting. After delivery, your body releases a hormone to begin milk production. You may notice leaking of milk, swelling, and tenderness in your breasts within two to five days after delivery, and it may last up to six weeks.

Breast normalcy and comfort may take up to one week and complete suppression of milk up to six weeks depending on activity and care of breasts. We recommend that you rest, drink to thirst, eat a regular diet, take prescribed pain medications to reduce swelling and discomfort, and begin some treatment methods to assist in the suppression process. Contact our lactation consultants at (317) 745-8448 for further advice and assistance.

For some mothers, it can be very healing to pump their breast milk and donate it to another baby in need. Breast milk donated to The Milk Bank through our milk collection depot is provided to premature babies and very ill infants. While the idea of pumping can be too difficult for many mothers, those who feel drawn to the idea usually take great comfort in their ability to put their baby's milk to use. To begin the donation process, contact our team at (317) 745-8448.

Information on breast milk suppression and breast care provided by Mother Care by Sherokee Ilse; Breastfeeding Review and Lactation After Loss...A guide for bereaved mothers, Empty Arms Bereavement Support.

To speak with a lactation consultant, or to schedule an appointment, call or email us today.

Call (317) 745-8448 lactation@hendricks.org