Celebrating Breastfeeding Week 2017
Latch. Tie. Supply.
These are simple words that can have big meanings for new mothers. If you’re a mom, you may have struggled with these words as well. For many women, breastfeeding is not a simple, straightforward task. It takes lots of patience, trial and error, and sometimes, medical help. Some of the new moms in our breastfeeding clinic have real experience with those struggles.
Stephanie has three children and did not have much breastfeeding success with the first two. When she had her third, she knew she wanted to make breastfeeding work. “I was so determined to do this,’’ she said. “I was going to do this and do this right.”
After struggling a little bit in the beginning, she heard about the breastfeeding clinic at UF Health. Mary Ryngaert, ARNP and certified lactation consultant, observed and realized the issue: The baby was tongue-tied. After fixing the issue, Mary helped Stephanie learn how to feed her baby correctly. Stephanie calls it a “life-changing experience.” She is now an advocate for the breastfeeding services UF Health offers and refers all of her friends and family here. She reached her goal of breastfeeding for one year.
“It was such an important support system for me,’’ she said.
Amanda was frustrated right from the start. Her new baby wouldn’t latch and she felt like she tried everything. When she got home from the hospital she tried to feed, but she knew something was not right. After trying to get help from her local hospital, Amanda’s La Leche League referred her to the UF breastfeeding clinic. After an evaluation, it was determined that the baby’s tongue and cheek muscles were not strong enough to latch and Amanda was not able to provide a steady supply of milk. The baby was able to work with Kimberly Fuller, OT, to strengthen her muscles. Meanwhile, Amanda worked with Mary to increase her milk supply. After a few months of treatment, she and her little girl are healthy and happy.
“I never assumed I would ever have any difficulties at all, but we both did and we needed someone to help bring it together,’’ Amanda said. “It’s the hardest, best thing I ever did.”
In addition to the breastfeeding clinic, UF Health offers a weekly breastfeeding support group. These women come together every Tuesday, along with their babies and share their triumphs and their challenges. The group is led by Julie Taylor, R.N. and certified lactation consultant, who offers medical advice to the new moms as needed.
World Breastfeeding Week is Tuesday through Aug. 7, and UF Health will be celebrating the moms and families who use the breastfeeding services. UF Health Shands Hospital is a certified Baby-Friendly Hospital, which emphasizes the importance of mother/baby bonding, including healthy breastfeeding.
For more information about the services offered, please click on the link below. Keep calm and breastfeed on!