Hartford Hospital, the first “baby friendly” hospital in Connecticut, continues to be a leader in the state on breastfeeding.
Here’s Mary Marshall-Crim, family nurse practitioner and manager of the lactation program at Hartford Hospital:
Q. World Breastfeeding Week is Aug. 1-7 and Hartford Hospital is celebrating with a special event to showcase the importance of a support system for new mother’s choosing to breastfeed. Can you tell us about the event planned?
A. Yes, the event celebrates World Breastfeeding Week and recognize mothers, hospitals and the community organizations that promote, protect and support breastfeeding and a mothers informed decision to formula feed her baby. Currently, 14 hospitals will be represented with other community resources such as private pediatric offices, La Leche League, Breastfeeding USA and private LC’s in addition to the state Department of Public Health, WIC, Hispanic Health counsel and Nurturing Families and Hartford Hospital’s Breastfeeding Support Group and Woman’s Ambulatory Health Services.
Q. What are some of the options Hartford Hospital offers women to help them through the breastfeeding process?
A. We offer education before and after a baby is born. We offer hands-on support and teaching from maternity nursing staff. We also provide certified lactation consultants through our lactation center for additional support. Our nursing staff is trained in helping you initiate breastfeeding with your baby. In addition to this excellent care and support, there is a lactation center right on the Maternity Unit with certified lactation consultants available seven days a week. For expectant mothers receiving care at Women’s Ambulatory Health Services, there is a program, free of cost, to provide support prenatally, and during and after your hospitalization.
Q. What if a new mom needs support, but isn’t sure how to get it? Do you offer community support?
A. First and foremost, Hartford Hospital offers a free breastfeeding support group to any breastfeeding mother and baby in our community. They do not have to deliver at Hartford Hospital. We partner with Hispanic Health Counsel, La Leche League, Breastfeeding USA and private lactation consultants for families who need more options and support.
Q. What are some of the misconceptions people have when it comes to breastfeeding?
A. A lack of understanding about breastfeeding can lead to confused parents and a frustrated baby. One is that many women do not produce enough milk. In fact, the vast majority of women do produce enough milk. Another is that breastfeeding hurts. There may be some tenderness for the first few days. If it continues it could mean the baby is not latching on properly. If it is constant pain that will not go away than you should see your doctor.