Twice a week, Tina Vettel has a good time with new moms who share advice, friendship and assurances.
The women meet Monday mornings and Thursday evenings at the Grand Island Regional Medical Center, where Vettel serves as a lactation consultant. The support group is called “Watch Me Grow”.
Vettel helps new mothers learn more about their babies and how to care for them. If women have breastfeeding problems, Vettel can help them. But mothers learn a lot by talking to other mothers.
“They learn so much from each other and they encourage each other,” Vettel said.
Women talk about what works for them, like how they hold their baby while breastfeeding.
When a new mom comes along, “the other moms are so welcoming,” Vettel said.
Vettel weighs the babies to show their mothers that they are properly nourished. She likes to see women become confident in their mothering skills.
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She also enjoys watching babies grow. She has become friends with some of the women, who encourage others to come forward.
Vettel also brings snacks for mums.
“Usually the girls like pizza on Thursdays, so I go get some pizza,” she said. “When you are breastfeeding, you are thirsty and hungry all the time.”
You do not need to give birth at Grand Island Regional Medical Center to be part of the Watch Me Grow group.
“I just want to help mums,” Vettel said.
Participation is free. The group meets from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
Vettel also runs a class called Breastfeeding Basics 101, which meets every third Tuesday of the month from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $15. This money is used to buy pillows and breastfeeding supplies.
Vettel is also in charge of car seat safety at GIRMC.
A native of Roseland, Vettel graduated from Silver Lake High School in 1995. She graduated from Creighton University as a registered nurse in 1999. She worked for several years in labor and delivery at CHI Health St. Francis .
Vettel has three children: a 27-year-old daughter, a 25-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter. Her husband, Kenneth, works at the Grand Island Family Practice, adjacent to GIRMC.
To sign up for Watch Me Grow or Breastfeeding Basics, call 308-675-4550.