It is important that each family has an individualized breastfeeding plan of care that works, not just during their hospital stay, but when they go home as well.
As a lactation consultant at Menorah Medical Center, a part of HCA Midwest Health, we offer a family centered birthing wing that focuses on supporting moms in their breastfeeding experience. Not just during their hospital stay, but throughout their entire breastfeeding experience. Here are some tips to help you with breastfeeding from birth and beyond.
- Ask questions and then ask more questions. A mom is seen multiple times daily during her stay so questions can be addressed and she can get the support she needs to feel empowered and independent with her breastfeeding. Each nurse caring for our families is trained to assist with breastfeeding and to help provide support. After discharge, moms receive a follow-up phone call from a lactation nurse within a week of going home to address any questions that have come up and to provide encouragement. Moms are provided with the lactation office number to use any time after their discharge to ensure they know they have support whenever they need it. Menorah Lactation Department can also schedule a private consult if they are struggling with breastfeeding and need one-on-one assistance to have a successful experience.
- Attend a Breastfeeding Support Group. Menorah Medical Center offers two weekly, free Breastfeeding Support Groups. It’s open to all new moms regardless of where you delivered. Our free Breastfeeding Support Group meets on Tuesdays from 12 – 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4:30 – 6 p.m. in Ladies and Babies Room, located on the third floor of the Family Birth Center. The group averages five to 10 new moms and our goal is to empower each other, not only with breastfeeding but with motherhood. A new mom is welcomed excitedly into the group and assisted with getting to know the routine. Everyone is always welcome at Support Group, even if you did not deliver at Menorah. Both lactation & the support moms celebrate when a mom meets her goal and sets a new one, as well as when everything just begins to settle into a routine. This group actively schedules activities outside of the scheduled group time as well, and is currently planning a family outing this Spring when the weather begins to warm up.
- Believe in yourself. One of the biggest issues moms face with breastfeeding is confidence. It can be daunting to know that your baby is counting on you to provide all the nourishment that helps them grow, thrive and continue to develop. As a mom, nurse and lactation consultant, I work hard to empower new moms and provide them with all the knowledge I can to help them have a successful experience. An example is that often a mom doesn’t feel that her supply is adequate enough, even though baby has weight gain, appropriate voids and stools, frequent swallows during a feeding and mom notices breasts are softer after a feeding. When the doubt continues to be there I suggest that mom either comes to support group or schedule a private consult with a lactation consultant. During this time, we can obtain weights before and after a feeding on the baby and provide mom with approximately how much the baby took in during the feeding and determine if this is adequate for current weight and age. Moms are also free to bring their breast pumps with them and complete a pumping during support group. Often I find that they are not using their pumps to the full potential or they are in need of a different flange size. Building confidence, providing a hug and reassurance is almost always the answer a mom needs and allows her to continue on to having a memorable experience with her baby.
One of the greatest rewards in life is watching a child blossom and grow under the guidance of parents and family. Breastfeeding is a stepping stone that not only myself, but also the Menorah Medical Center Family Birthing Center strive to make the most rewarding and memorable experience that we can. It is a great passion of mine to provide long term support to our moms, but the long term reward is seeing these babies years later continue to thrive through the love of their parents.
By Jerri Kasinger, RN, IBCLCi, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with Menorah Medical Center.
HCA Midwest Health delivers more babies than any other hospital system in the Kansas City region. In fact, more than 6,000 moms from across 13 counties choose to deliver their babies with us each year. Our four birthing centers across Kansas City offer spacious maternity and birthing suites to gourmet meals to music playlists, we keep moms comfortable and relaxed while they await baby’s birth.
Learn more at hcamidwest.com/uniquedelivery.