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First-Timer’s Take on Breastfeeding: April 22, 2014

One of the first ‘mom’ decisions Elyse Pickett made came long before baby Mckenna’s birth.

“Absolutely. I knew I wanted to breastfeed the moment I found out I was pregnant,” says Pickett.

Going all-natural is sometimes a bumpy road. It was for Elyse.

“We actually had a bit of a struggle right off the bat, some moms do. We had a medical condition that she had to get corrected in order for us to get going.”

The notion of new moms easily and comfortably breast-feeding is challenged by research that indicates nursing problems are a near-universal experience among first-timers.

“Sometimes breastfeeding comes very easily to the new mom and baby. But sometimes it’s a learned process,” says Carol Lawrence. She is a clinical coordinator for the breastfeeding program at Lee Memorial Health System.

Beginning right in the hospital room, moms are given the support they need to breastfeed. Should any issues arise, help is just steps away.

“The first line of support is our certified breastfeeding counselor. Which are mom-baby nurses that have received a certification in breastfeeding,” Lawrence says. “They’re at the bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Intervening early and often is key at this critical stage. Studies show moms who report problems are nearly 10 times more likely to abandon breastfeeding within two months.

“After we overcame our initial issues it’s become a routine. Whenever she needs to eat, she lets me know,” says Pickett.

Lee Memorial Health System delivers with breastfeeding counselors, board certified lactation consultants, classes and support groups. Covering everything from latching issues to breast pain and milk productivity.

Lawrence finds, “The more the breastfeeding woman can learn about breastfeeding the better.”

Choosing breast over bottle - one decision Elyse will never regret.

“The bond that we have together is something that I don’t think you can replace.”