Breastmilk is the best milk that can be provided to babies since it contains antibodies that help them fight off viruses and bacteria. However, it has been found that most moms struggle with breastfeeding and want to quit within the first 48-72 hours. In an effort to help moms with breastfeeding, Grace Health has 3 Certified Lactation Counselors – Rickeshia Hubbard, CLS; Cindy Standish, RN; Robin Powell, RN – and 1 Certified Lactation Consultant – Heather Foulke, CNM – available to assist. Grace Health’s Certified Lactation Counselors meet with moms within 2 – 3 days after being discharged from the hospital, sometimes sooner if there is a medical need. At the first visit, the Certified Lactation Counselor provides breastfeeding education and support. She also discusses the birthing experience and birth weight if the mom is having any issues or is uncomfortable. A breast exam and feeding observation are also done. After the first visit if there are weight or feeding concerns, moms meet with the Certified Lactation Counselor as many times as necessary until the baby is back to birth weight or there is no longer a need for support. During this time, moms gain confidence and become comfortable with their choice and style of giving their babies breastmilk. Moms have more options than just putting the baby to breast and upon learning this it usually eases the mom’s frustration and allows them to make the best choice for what works for them. Moms are taught that while putting the baby to breast is ideal, breast milk is the best milk regardless of how it is fed to the baby.
Grace Health’s Certified Lactation Counselors have been helping several moms in our community with breastfeeding. Here is what one mom said about her experience: “It was amazing to get help from Rickeshia in pediatrics from day one. We had some difficulties in the beginning that she was able to troubleshoot before they became bigger issues. Our breastfeeding experience has been a more positive one because of the support we received and now we have a happy and healthy baby. I know the benefits of breastfeeding, but as a first time mom I’ve realized how important the support is not only in getting started but also in sustaining breastfeeding.”
If you have questions about breastfeeding, contact one of Grace Health’s Certified Lactation Counselors at 269-441-3443 (OB/GYN) or 269-441-3454 (Pediatrics).