Healthwatch 16: Breastfeeding Clinic

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The time right after a baby is born is a precious time in a mother's life. If she chooses to breastfeed, it can also be a difficult and sometimes confusing time, too.

One mom shared her story about the people who have worked to be sure nursing is a happy time for her and her son.

Little Lucas was born last month to Trisha Perrin and her husband from Swoyersville. Trisha is breastfeeding Lucas like she did her 5-year-old daughter Sophia when she was born.

"I didn't have as many problems with her. But with him it's like, a lot is coming up! He's more hungry I think," Trisha said. "I'm pumping because I'm not producing enough, so I have to pump, then give him a little formula. That's one of the struggles I'm having now."

Trisha says she gave up nursing her daughter at two months of age because it was so hard but doesn't plan to do that this time and she credits Geisinger Wyoming Valley's lactation consultants for her confidence.

Registered Nurse Jill Martin is one.

Jill let us watch as she weighed little Lucas to be sure he was gaining enough weight.

Nicole Williams is another board-certified lactation consultant and registered nurse.

"We see moms after they deliver, postpartum moms, usually a week after they deliver. We do a weight check, check a feeding," Williams said.

It used to be that these lactation consultants at Geisinger were available only in the hospital right after childbirth.

Since March, they've been working in a new outpatient clinic as well in Plains Township, so new moms have a place to go for help no matter when they need it.

Trisha knows now not to give up too quickly, that if she has questions, someone here has an answer.

"For my daughter, it was a struggle. I couldn't call Jill and say, 'hey, what can I do to help me get more milk?'" Trisha said.

"Where they weren't sure if it was the latch, was it the way they were holding their baby? Now they have a place to go where we can actually physically see what they're doing as opposed to talk them through their problem over the phone," Williams added.