arenthood is an exciting time. The elation over the birth of a child is felt throughout the family. It is also a time of anxiety for new parents,
especially new mothers who decide to breastfeed their infants. To help new moms achieve the most success with breastfeeding, Winthrop's breastfeeding committee was created to help educate and encourage new mothers when beginning their journey into parenthood.
New moms are given a breastfeeding education packet and are seen by one of Winthrop's four lactation consultants, who provide the information and the hands-on help women need when first trying to breastfeed. Lactation consultants also involve the family in the breastfeeding
experience, especially new dads who can help support the women when they leave the hospital.
"We usually initiate breastfeeding in the delivery room," said Peggy Murphy, RN-C, MS, Nurse Manager on the
maternity unit. "About 97 percent of
our babies are fed right after delivery. That is the time when the baby is most alert and ready to feed. It also helps mom relax after the stress of labor."
Winthrop takes a "family-centered" approach to the breastfeeding experience. Shelley Bolnick, RN, MS, IBCLC,
a lactation consultant at Winthrop, teaches families that successful breastfeeding is not just about the mother
and the baby. "It's the education of the entire family," she said. "We give information to anyone who is going to be with the new mother, whether it be the father, the baby's grandmother, a sister or friend. The more support a mother has, the better off she will be once she gets home."
After the mother and newborn are discharged from the Hospital, a lactation consultant follows-up with a phone call to make sure they are on the right track. Mothers can also get in touch with a consultant if any problems or
So, what about dad? Donna Sheridan, RN, IBCLC, another lactation consultant at Winthrop explained, "The
support of the father makes breastfeeding all the more
successful for the mother and child. The bonding
experience always includes the father."
Denise Reilly, RN, lactation
consultant, helps a new mom get adjusted to breastfeeding her
newborn on the maternity unit.|
The committee recommends that women be armed with information on feeding choices during pregnancy so that they are not overwhelmed with making such decisions after the birth of their child. The group also recommends asking obstetricians questions about breastfeeding during prenatal visits.
Support for New Parents
Winthrop's breastfeeding committee holds prenatal and post-partum support groups and classes, offering great opportunities to learn about feeding options.
Prenatal breastfeeding classes offer parents-to-be valuable education geared toward the first two weeks after birth. The class addresses such issues as
mother-infant bonding, positioning for breastfeeding, feeding problems and
pumping. The class meets the third Wednesday of every month from
7:00-9:00 p.m. at Winthrop.
The post-partum breastfeeding support group is a forum for new
mothers to talk about the transition
from pregnancy to motherhood, as well as discuss any problems or questions they have on breastfeeding.
"This class gives women the chance to learn about 'trade secrets' from other mothers and gives women
a network of other new moms who
are going through similar situations," explained Lisa Kennedy, RN, BSN, IBCLC, and an outside lactation consultant who works closely with Winthrop's breastfeeding committee. The
post-partum class meets the first Wednesday of every month from 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon at Winthrop.
While the breastfeeding committee was created to encourage and increase the number of new mothers
who breastfeed, Ms. Murphy continued, "Whether or not
to breastfeed is an individual decision and we support
anything the new parents want to do." She added, "Our group gives anyone who wants to breastfeed the right
tools to be successful."
For more information on breastfeeding or any of Winthrop's breastfeeding classes and support groups,