Breastfeeding seminars

With the continued shortage of infant formula, many parents are turning to breastfeeding. But it’s not as easy as it seems

New parents face many challenges, but those struggling to produce milk to breastfeed their child may feel an added sense of pressure – and many may be too ashamed to ask for help. This is where a lactation consultant comes in.

“The support, education and continued availability of what the [lactation] the team can make all the difference,” said Alyssa Zommick, who credits lactation consultants at Advocate Condell Medical Center for helping her overcome her challenges breastfeeding her two babies. “If I didn’t have them, I felt so comfortable and giving myself those resources, especially the second time around, I wouldn’t have been as successful as I am.”

When she was about to have her first baby, Zommick felt nervous, but prepared. Like many, she thought breastfeeding would be easy. But when she and her newborn baby settled in, her daughter wasn’t eating and gaining weight like she should have.

Worried, she called Courtney Sensenig, lactation consultant at Advocate Condell, for advice.

Sensenig was always there to answer his questions, Zommick said. And when she felt overwhelmed and discouraged, Sensenig was the one to reassure her, telling Zommick that she gave her daughter everything she needed, and celebrated every drop she was able to produce.

“Moms go through one of the most intense physical things they’ve ever done [childbirth] and now they have to care for a newborn 24/7,” said Sensenig, who noted the goal is for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months and then continue for two years. . “We do a lot of education: we meet the moms, walk her through the breastfeeding process and explain to her what it will look and feel like in the first few days, how the volume of milk changes in the first week and when ask for help.”

Lactation consultants are a guide and resource for all the changes that occur after childbirth and can even help parents develop feeding plans for returning to work.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

“Having a lactation consultant who can listen, treat and help educate has a lasting impact on not only the health of the baby, but also that of the mother,” Sensenig said. “We provide some continuity of care and we work closely with our doctors to support them.”

The key to a successful breastfeeding journey is education before, during and after baby, Sensenig continued. To ease anxiety and confusion, she encourages parents to take breastfeeding classes and join new parent support groups, like attorney Condell’s “Look What We Can Do,” which Zommick calls “my tribe of moms and best friends”.

“Postpartum is tough and babies are tough,” Zommick said. “I went through a lot of hardship to produce enough milk and their support was like nothing else. (Sensenig) went from being just a lactation consultant to being a support person in general. They are all there to guide me and hold my hand through anything and everything.”