MSU launched a series called lactation education organized by Natosha Sage-EL Bylsma of the Organization of Expectant Parents. This educational opportunity will serve to provide parents and their partners with information on breastfeeding preparation.
The class schedule will be as follows:
- Week 1 (September 9, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.): Introduction to lactation: benefits, how lactation works
- Week 2 (Sept. 16, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.): Baby is here! Getting Started: Mechanisms of Positioning Lactation, Latch, Feeding Habits, Challenges
- Week 3 (Sept. 23, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.): Maintenance of lactation: lifestyle, expressing and storing milk, return to work
- Week 4 (Sept. 30, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.): Lactation transitions: introduction of solid foods and weaning
“The mission of the MSU WorkLife Office is to create an inclusive and responsive work environment where all faculty and staff are respected and supported for well-being at work and in personal life,” said Rachel Perez, Coordinator of the Lactation Education series, in an email. “When employees feel supported as a whole person, they are more likely to experience overall job satisfaction and achieve a better work-life balance. With this in mind, we seek to provide lactation information, resources and guidance to our MSU faculty and staff.
The four-part program is designed to provide pregnant parents and their partners with information on breastfeeding preparation and strategies for continuing to breastfeed when they return to work.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Expectant Parent Organization to offer this free webinar series to MSU faculty, staff and their families,” Perez said in an email.
Anyone looking for more information on how lactation works, strategies for a good latch, feeding habits, expressing and storing milk, as well as returning to work and transitioning to breastfeeding can register for the online seminar.
“The Expectant Parents Organization has been offering prenatal classes in the Greater Lansing area for many years,” Lactation Education series speaker Natosha Sage-EL Bylsma said in an email.
Natosha graduated from Michigan State University and worked for the Expectant Parents Organization as an instructor, primarily teaching newborn care, breastfeeding, and infant safety. As co-owner of Next Generation Lactation Service, she is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, serving the Central Michigan region. She is Chair of the Michigan Breastfeeding Network Board of Directors. Natosha is CPR certified as well as a Child Passenger Safety Technician.
“Studies show that when families can access prenatal education, they are generally more successful in their parenting journey, whether it’s the labor process, the transition to the birth of a newborn/infant and/or lactation success Studies also show that when families have the support of their work and/or school environment as their family grows, they are generally more successful and are able to excel in their work and/or their studies as well as in the education of their families,” said Blysma.
Iris, a former client of the Expectant Parents Organization, said the four-week course benefited her.
“I hadn’t really thought about what my breastfeeding journey would be like before taking the course,” Iris said in an email. “I knew it was something I wanted to try but had no idea what it entailed. Some of the most useful things I learned were how to get started, maintain your supply and what supports were available locally. if I had difficulty breastfeeding.
Iris also found the sessions on expressing and storing milk when returning to work helpful. Returning to work at MSU four months after giving birth, she had to pump three times a day in the bedroom of a nursing mother.
“I’ve definitely used everything we learned in this course in my real life,” Iris said in an email. “I had some initial breastfeeding issues, and I actually went to Natosha as a lactation consultant for help. It’s also helpful to go through the professional life office, because it’s not It wasn’t something I had to pay extra to attend, and it was during lunchtime, so I didn’t need to miss work.
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