HOISINGTON – Breastfeeding provides remarkable health benefits for infants and mothers and helps protect against certain diseases and conditions. To help mothers with questions about breastfeeding or those who simply need extra support, Clara Barton Medical Center is now offering breastfeeding consultations at the Hoisington Clinic.
Counselors Breanna Helton, RN, and Emily DeLaurentis, RN, say breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. But, due to a variety of factors, 60% of mothers don’t breastfeed as long as they want, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Certified Lactation Consultant designation is the premier national lactation management credential in the United States. CLC certification means that a person has received training and verification of skills in breastfeeding and supporting human lactation, including assessment of the latching and feeding process, provision of corrective interventions, counseling mothers, understanding and applying knowledge about milk production, including in special circumstances and other commonly encountered situations. situations.
Helton grew up in Claflin and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Fort Hays State University. She started her career as an OB nurse in Colby for two years, got married and started her own family. After deciding to return to her hometown, Helton served as a clinical nurse with Clara Barton for two years – working in pediatrics with Dr. Kayla Johnson for a year and a half.
DeLaurentis was born and raised in Great Bend and earned her associate degree in nursing from Barton Community College. After graduating, she began her nursing career working night shifts in the emergency room and as a circulation nurse in the operating room. After having her child, she moved on to Clara Barton and was a clinical nurse at Brandi Lowe, PA-C for three years.
Both Helton and DeLaurentis received their CLC certification through the Healthy Children Project Inc: Center for Breastfeeding, the nation’s largest lactation management provider.
“When I had my own baby, I realized how nice it was to have someone telling me I was doing things right or helping me fix things I was doing wrong” , Helton said. “Working with Dr Johnson, I quickly realized that some of the mothers we saw had come out without the simple information that I routinely provided as an OB nurse. I found this frustrating, so I decided to take action. My goal as CLC is to give mums confidence in their abilities to feed their babies and I hope they know they will always have someone around to help them if they ever need it.
Women who could benefit from these services are those who are planning to become pregnant, are currently pregnant, and those who want more information about breastfeeding. In addition, mothers who have already had their baby and who are facing obstacles in their breastfeeding journey – or who need additional support – are welcome.
“I chose to get the additional certification because I think a lot of women/mothers could benefit from education and help,” DeLaurentis said. “When I had my daughter, I realized that small communities don’t tend to have an abundance of resources, and I certainly wish I had more access to those kinds of services – so maybe I would have be more successful. Breastfeeding is a job in itself and it’s an amazing opportunity to support mothers and babies on their breastfeeding journey, helping them reach their goals, whether it’s a month, a year or more.
For a new patient, the first visit can last from 30 to 45 minutes. Follow-up visits are generally shorter and last 15-20 minutes.
Telephone consultations are available; however, patients may be asked to come into the office to be seen in person, depending on the problem or concern, as most assessments are based on visualization.
No additional items should be brought to a consultation other than mother, baby and any essentials used while breastfeeding. If a mother needs advice about a problem, consultants recommend bringing a slightly hungry baby so they can observe a feeding while she is at the clinic.
Currently, lactation consultations are only offered at the Hoisington clinic. The scheduled visits will take place mainly on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. However, consultants are available Monday through Friday (as long as the clinic is open) for any consultation/question over the phone, if there is a breastfeeding emergency or if the mother is already in the office to see another provider and needs help. .
No referral is necessary for a lactation consultation. If you are not a current patient of Clara Barton, contact one of her three clinics – in Great Bend, Hoisington or Russell. Let them know you would like a lactation consultation and, if available, a CLC will speak to you by phone and schedule an appointment or answer any questions you may have.
Breastfeeding consultations are currently free to the public, so if you are having trouble, need additional support, or have questions, call 620-653-2386. New patients are always welcome.