Healthwatch 16: Help for Breastfeeding Moms

PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, a campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Its research indicates that babies who are breastfed for six months are less likely to develop certain illnesses or childhood obesity.

But new moms sometimes need a lot of support to be successful at breastfeeding.

Mom Theresa Hails, from Monroe Township in Wyoming County, has 4-month-old Oaklyn, and another daughter at home, 2-year-old Raegan.

She breastfed her older daughter for 14 months and is now nursing Oaklyn.

"It definitely was a process," said Hails. "My first daughter took really well. This time was a little more work."

August is National Breastfeeding Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, babies breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory illnesses, among other issues.

Geisinger lactation consultant Nicole Williams echoes the importance of breastfeeding.

"Between the antibodies, and the colostrum, which is the first milk baby receives, it's so important for growth and development. It's their first immunization, and it's great for bonding after delivering between mom and baby," Williams said.

Williams says she and Geisinger's lactation consulting team are available to talk with new moms about nursing anytime, even after mom and baby have been discharged.

"There is always help available if you need help," said Williams.

If you've been to certain Geisinger locations, you may have noticed pod-like rooms -- specially designed areas to be a comfortable, private place for moms to breastfeed.

And in a few months, Williams says they'll be starting a clinic at Geisinger Wyoming Valley so breastfeeding moms can stop in and get help.

Theresa Hails says she called on the lactation consulting team for help after she had Oaklyn.

And she has this advice to other new moms.

"It is a natural process but it definitely takes some work," said Hails. "A lot of my friends have breastfed, I kind of had encouragement from them and I fought through issues and have stuck with it."

That clinic meant for breastfeeding moms should be starting in a few months at Geisinger Wyoming Valley.

Nicole Williams says it'll be a few days a week.

Geisinger Medical Center near Danville already offers that service.

3 comments

  • Jodie

    This is a great post ..I think breastfeeding is best for you and your baby it helps with babys over all health helps loose the baby weight n precious bonding at the most. If I can do it and have 4 surgeries on my left breast ended up with a hole the size of a fifty cent piece n 3 feet of packing in my breast changed twice a day and continue to breast feed and ended up only feeding off right breast after 6 months an continued for 2 years after surgery to breastfeed .There is no reason as to why these moms can’t breast feed. Congratulations to all breastfeeding moms.

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