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Featured Story Written by Breann Lujan-Halcon

Breastfeeding Support for Moms and Babies

Breastfeeding can be hard. Thankfully, you don't have to do it alone.

Ask any par­ent and they will tell you that every child is dif­fer­ent. The same is true of breast­feed­ing. Breast­feed­ing is a per­son­al jour­ney that dif­fers from mom to mom and baby to baby, no two instances are the same.

At Ivin­son, we have a diverse team of high­ly trained Cer­ti­fied Lac­ta­tion Coun­selors (CLC’s) that are here to assist you in mak­ing your jour­ney as com­fort­able and as suc­cess­ful as possible. 

The role of the lac­ta­tion coun­selor is a pro­fes­sion­al breast­feed­ing spe­cial­ist that can help pro­vide guid­ance through­out your breast­feed­ing jour­ney,” said Mid­wife and CLC Liz Rowe. The ben­e­fits of a lac­ta­tion coun­selor are numer­ous. They can help nav­i­gate the ups and downs of breast­feed­ing and lac­ta­tion, espe­cial­ly for first time moth­ers. They can help women meet their goals in this time of tran­si­tion, what­ev­er those goals may be.”

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Dur­ing your stay

Breast­feed­ing edu­ca­tion at Ivin­son has been cre­at­ed to meet you where you are in your breast­feed­ing jour­ney. Our breast­feed­ing and pre­na­tal edu­ca­tion class­es will intro­duce you to the basics and help pre­pare you for what comes next. When you are in the hos­pi­tal, our Fam­i­ly Care Unit is full of expe­ri­enced nurs­es, CLC’s and an Inter­na­tion­al Board Cer­ti­fied Lac­ta­tion Con­sul­tant (IBCLC) that are all here to help ensure that new fam­i­lies feel supported. 

Hav­ing a CLC at birth and right after can help pro­tect the phys­i­o­log­ic birth stages, so baby and Mom can get off to the best start,” said Liz. Babies are born know­ing how to suck, but need gen­tle guid­ance on how to breast­feed and help­ing mom and baby from the very start is most effective.”

The first hour after birth, also referred to as the Gold­en Hour, is one of sev­er­al tac­tics Ivin­son imple­ments to sup­port your breast­feed­ing rela­tion­ship. In the Gold­en Hour we use evi­dence based prac­tices to sta­bi­lize mom and baby after birth. Prac­tices include, delayed cord clamp­ing, skin-to-skin con­tact, delay­ing non-urgent tasks such as weigh­ing and bathing and the ear­ly ini­ti­a­tion of breastfeeding. 

We like that first hour for just skin-to-skin with mom. The skin-to-skin real­ly helps to get the baby accli­mat­ed and we are able to do all the pro­ce­dures that we need to do right there on mom’s chest,” said Fam­i­ly Care nurse Beth Bennett. 

Stud­ies show that these prac­tices decrease stress lev­els, improve bond­ing and increase suc­cess and dura­tion of breast­feed­ing. Through­out this hour and lead­ing up to your dis­charge, nurs­es and CLC’s are avail­able to assist in the breast­feed­ing process and answer any ques­tions fam­i­lies may have. 

First of all, breast­feed­ing doesn’t just hap­pen,” explains Beth who is cur­rent­ly work­ing to com­plete her CLC cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and has been sup­port­ing labor­ing and post­par­tum moms for 20 years. The biggest thing is that it is a learn­ing expe­ri­ence for both mom and baby and we are here to help.”

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Sup­port­ing you at home

Lac­ta­tion ser­vices do not stop when you take your bun­dle of joy home. After you leave the hos­pi­tal, our out­pa­tient lac­ta­tion ser­vices are pro­vid­ed by reg­is­tered nurs­es and our Mid­wife at Ivin­son Med­ical Group. 

Kacie, a reg­is­tered nurse in the Pedi­atric and Fam­i­ly Care Clin­ic will often­times speak with moms about lac­ta­tion con­sults while fam­i­lies are see­ing their pedi­a­tri­cian for the first time. 

Cer­ti­fied Lac­ta­tion Coun­selors are a great ser­vice to our com­mu­ni­ty,” Kacie said. It helps new moth­ers and their babies in the most spe­cial moments after birth, and through the first few years of life. As a lac­ta­tion coun­selor we want to help in mak­ing the breast­feed­ing process stress free and mem­o­rable both for moth­er and baby.

A lac­ta­tion con­sult is a one-on-one vis­it with a CLC. Every lac­ta­tion con­sult dif­fers based on the needs of a mom and her new­born. Com­mon con­cerns addressed at a lac­ta­tion con­sult include feed­ing eval­u­a­tions, help with nurs­ing posi­tions, latch assis­tance, mon­i­tor­ing weight mile­stones, back to work and pump­ing sup­port, wean­ing and any oth­er breast­feed­ing relat­ed concerns. 

We are here to sup­port you and help you reach your breast­feed­ing and lac­ta­tion goals,” said Jes­si­ca, a Fam­i­ly Care Clin­ic nurse. Weath­er that is exclu­sive­ly breast­feed­ing, breast­feed­ing and bot­tle feed­ing, breast­feed­ing and for­mu­la feed­ing, it doesn’t mat­ter. We aren’t here to judge we are just here to help you meet those goals.”

Between the Fam­i­ly Care Clin­ic and the Women’s Health Clin­ic, Ivin­son Med­ical Group cur­rent­ly has five cer­ti­fied lac­ta­tion coun­selors and three ded­i­cat­ed lac­ta­tion rooms for patients and staff. 

Man­di, a reg­is­tered nurse in the Women’s Health Clin­ic has been a CLC since 2005. The num­ber one thing I am always telling my patients is to relax and know that things don’t always go accord­ing to plan, but we will work togeth­er to devel­op a sys­tem that works for them as a fam­i­ly,” said Man­di. That sys­tem may look dif­fer­ent for every family.” 

Whether you are expect­ing your very first bun­dle of joy and try­ing to pre­pare or you are a sea­soned mom that could use the extra sup­port, our CLC’s at Ivin­son are ready to help no mat­ter where you are in your journey. 

I am beyond hon­ored to be a mem­ber of the CLC providers and more so to be able to help all moth­ers and their babies suc­ceed in the breast­feed­ing process.” Kacie said. 

IMG’s cer­ti­fied lac­ta­tion coun­selors are avail­able by phone or by appoint­ment Mon­day through Fri­day from 8 am to 5 pm. If you would like to sched­ule a lac­ta­tion con­sult, con­tact our out­pa­tient clin­ic at (307) 7554540. If you are inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about breast­feed­ing sup­port, vis­it our page here.

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