Health Possible

Let’s Talk Breastfeeding: Hancock Health Lactation Consultants are Here to Help!

March 19, 2024

For new parents, the world of breastfeeding may seem like a mystery. As a designated Baby Friendly Hospital, we want to ensure that parents who choose to breastfeed have a high chance of success. All our staff, including nurses and providers, are trained and educated in how to help establish breastfeeding. We also offer the services of lactation consultants on staff, who are here to help parents and babies succeed in myriad ways.

Lactation consultants understand the importance of a breastfeeding relationship

Although every breastfeeding relationship is different, we know that getting mother’s milk first thing creates a healthier start for babies. Some parents will choose to only breastfeed for a short time, while others are in it for the long haul. We want to make sure we support your family no matter what decision you make and that we are here to educate parents about the ups and downs of a normal breastfeeding journey.

Breastfeeding education starts before birth here at Hancock Health. Lisa Buksar, the Maternity Care Companion through Andis Maternity, meets with patients regularly to educate them about many things, including breastfeeding. Parents-to-be are also invited to enroll in classes, including Basics of Breastfeeding, which can help mitigate some common issues.

After birth and while staying in the hospital, parents receive one-on-one consultations with our staff lactation consultants. According to Becky Fontaine, RN, BSN, IBCLC, “We are here to help parents learn everything they need to know about feeding, caring for baby, pumping, going back to work and we answer any questions they have. We provide individual bedside care for parents and want them to feel comfortable with breastfeeding before they go home.”

After discharge, parents have access to our breastfeeding support group every Tuesday from 10:30-11:30a.m. in Classroom 2. Lactation consultants also offer in-office consults for those who may need more specific help. These services are available to everyone, whether they have delivered with Hancock Health or not.

What are some key things parents should know?

Fontaine, who has worked with many women over the years, stresses the importance of breastfeeding. “We like to focus on the benefits of breastfeeding, both short and long term and help new mothers know that while the first couple weeks at home can be challenging, this is the most important time to establish breastfeeding for success, no matter how long they choose to breastfeed. Learning to work together with their partner is also important and creating their support group of family and friends who will support their decision to breastfeed.”

Two of the most frequent concerns women have include needing to pump when returning to work and knowing if their baby is getting enough milk. Milk supply, sore nipples, painful latch, and baby weight gain are also common issues that Hancock Health lactation consultants can help with in the hospital setting as well as in their weekly support group or through one-on-one consults. “Knowing they have resources available to them is important,” says Fontaine, “We would rather they call us for assistance than give up.” Whether you are a new parent or expecting your bundle of joy, make sure to take advantage of educational opportunities and resources to help you with your breastfeeding journey!

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Our providers offer compassionate care for parents and their newborns.