Lactation education

Lactation Specialists Help New Moms Reach Their Breastfeeding Goals

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital helps mothers breastfeed their babies because of the many benefits for both mother and baby. For infants, breastfeeding can reduce their risk of infections, sudden infant death syndrome, diabetes, obesity, asthma and allergies, and certain cancers. For mothers, breastfeeding helps with weight loss and lowers the risk of certain cancers, metabolic diseases and postpartum depression.

However, breastfeeding can be overwhelming and may not come naturally to all new mothers. This is where lactation specialists come in to provide education, encouragement and support.

Kathryn Tucker, RN, is part of the lactation specialist team that provides services at Children’s Hospital. Experts like her help teach new moms a lot, from holding a baby for optimal nutrition to dealing with challenges like a baby refusing to feed.

Lactation Specialists at Children’s Hospital are internationally certified registered nurses and lactation consultants who have received extensive training in breastfeeding management. They can also assess and treat many breastfeeding issues, Tucker says.

“We’re a great team of women who love supporting our breastfeeding families,” says Tucker. “We are passionate about the health benefits of breastfeeding and want to help new mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals.”

The team supports mums by offering prenatal breastfeeding classes and working with new mums in postpartum units and NICU. It also offers outpatient support through a breastfeeding group and trains staff in appropriate breastfeeding education.

As a baby-friendly facility, Children’s Hospital aims to ensure that their new mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies. But it can be both a beautiful and empowering experience. Tucker says lactation specialists help improve breastfeeding outcomes and support new families with personalized education and hands-on care.

Tucker says the most rewarding part of her job is helping new families through a special time after their babies are born. “Lactation consultants are there to support you through the tough and the happiest times,” she says. “You’re not alone.”

Tucker and the lactation specialist team hope to encourage and support you after your baby is born, but strongly encourage mothers to educate themselves about breastfeeding before going to the hospital.

“There’s so much to learn as new parents, and it’s hard to absorb it all when you wake up to feed a baby a few hours old,” she says. “Seek help early. Get support from your family. Join a breastfeeding group. Preparing yourself with breastfeeding knowledge will give you a head start. But we will also be there to support you.

Visit our website to learn more about breastfeeding or to sign up for our monthly breastfeeding basics course given by a certified lactation specialist.