By Gina DiPietro, Novant Health Healthy Headlines
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Breast milk is full of nutrients, easily digested and provides a natural antibody to protect babies against infections. Despite its many benefits, learning to nurse your baby can take time, practice and patience.
To help mothers, Novant Health has added a new layer of support to its already-strong lactation program. As of Monday of this week (March 7) patients can request a private, one-on-one video consultation with an expert – from the comfort of home – between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.
Having emotional support or a friendly face to help can be a big help for people who are frustrated or at a loss for what to do next, said Laura Corsig, an international board-certified lactation consultant, also known as an IBCLC, and manager of lactation services in Charlotte.
“We’re there to help when a mother calls and says, ‘My baby is crying, and I can’t get him to attach to my breast.’ Or ‘I’ve tried pumping and I didn’t get any breast milk. What do I do now?’ There are so many nuances to breastfeeding,” Corsig said.
On-demand, virtual lactation consultations
The on-demand, virtual lactation consultations will connect families with an expert. People can share concerns, ask questions and get advice – even during a 3 a.m. feeding. – with little to no wait.
Since babies are often born with their days and nights reversed, nighttime can be especially challenging. Other common concerns a lactation consultant can help with:
– Low milk supply.
– Sore nipples.
– Engorged breasts.
– Difficulty with positioning or latching.
– Sleepy baby who is difficult to wake up.
– Pumping questions.
Breastfeeding services, classes and more
There are many other ways to get help with breastfeeding at Novant Health, accredited as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.
The Nursing Mother’s Place, with locations across North Carolina, offers daytime visits. Staffed by IBCLC’s, they help promote confidence in breastfeeding and teach techniques for a successful nursing experience.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can also connect with lactation experts – and other new parents – at a Baby Café. With locations in Winston-Salem and Charlotte and virtually, Baby Cafés meet once a week and are always free.
Other services include:
– Prenatal breast assessments.
– Prenatal breastfeeding classes.
– Back-to-work appointments.
– Breast pumps rentals, as well as baby scales, feeding supplies and other breastfeeding aids.
Find a complete list of services, classes and groups here.
Why breast (milk) is best
Breast milk is nutritionally complete, more affordable than formula feeding and helps promote optimal health, growth and development, said Dr. Annie Condon, a longtime pediatrician at Novant Health Pediatrics Denver.
“It’s the best gift anyone can give their baby,” Condon said.
Evidence shows breastfed babies have a decreased incidence of asthma, leukemia, diabetes, ear and upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, atopic dermatitis (eczema), celiac disease, childhood obesity, and other conditions.
“Breastfed babies also have improved dental health, increased neurodevelopmental outcomes, and a lot of studies have actually shown that breastfed babies have a higher IQ than those who are fed formula. So, it really is important that moms understand that breast is best,” Condon said.
Breastfeeding is also a gift for mom, she added. Research confirms women who breastfeed are at a decreased risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as cancers such as breast, endometrial and thyroid.