NYM Offers Comprehensive Breastfeeding Support

Jul 3, 2006

  July 3, 2006

NYM Offers Comprehensive Breastfeeding Support


The American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are among many organizations that have lined up in support of breastfeeding. Studies have shown that breastfeeding has many health benefits to both mothers and their newborn children.

To promote breastfeeding, New York Methodist Hospital offers a comprehensive breastfeeding promotion program to help educate and instruct new mothers. The program includes prenatal breastfeeding classes that cover topics such as how to start out breastfeeding correctly, how to avoid problems, how to help the baby latch on, how to tell if the baby is getting enough milk and how to make enough milk. Led by a certified lactation consultant, the class also covers the numerous benefits of breastfeeding. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to suffer from ear infections, allergies, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, certain respiratory ailments and meningitis, said Susan Storey, R.N., a certified, full time lactation consultant at NYM. Infants also receive more protection if they are breastfed longer, and are generally less obese, have a lower rate of type II diabetes and a lower rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

After delivering in one of New York Methodist Hospital's beautiful and spacious birthing rooms, mothers of newborns receive assistance with the first feed once the baby is born, daily postnatal breastfeeding classes on the Hospital floor and one-on-one consults with a lactation consultant if needed. Through offering continual information and support, we are able to address the mother''s concerns and customize their breastfeeding routine to best fit the mother and baby''s needs, said Ms. Storey.

Aside from Ms. Storey, two other full time lactation consultants are part of the expanding breastfeeding program at NYM to ensure new mothers are receiving the attention they need throughout the Hospital. For parents of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a specially trained lactation consultant is available to provide ongoing assistance and compassionate support with breast pumping and breastfeeding. Breast milk is especially vital for the health of premature babies, said Elaine Mitchell, R.N., a lactation consultant at NYM. Studies have shown that premature babies that were breastfed had a dramatically decreased risk of long term health problems and have improved brain development, she said.

NYM continues to provide assistance to mothers even after their babies have settled in at home. For mothers of newborn to three-month-old babies, NYM offers a support group providing nursing mothers the opportunity to discuss questions or concerns with a certified lactation consultant, within a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The free group takes place on Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Hospital. Registration for the group is required.

Although the Hospital strongly promotes breastfeeding, nurses and doctors at NYM will assist in providing accurate formula feeding information and support for mothers who choose not to breastfeed their newborns, for whatever reason. For mothers who do not want or are unable to breastfeed, the Hospital offers the necessary resources to ensure the mother is able to make an informed decision, said Ms. Storey. The best interest of the mother and baby are always in mind and heart, she said.

For more information on the breastfeeding program at NYM or to register for a breastfeeding class, please call 718-780-5081. Information on the Hospital's childbirth services can also be found by visiting www.nym.org.

New York Methodist Hospital offers a comprehensive breastfeeding support program designed to educate and assist new mothers. Certified lactation consultants, Susan Storey, R.N., left, and Elaine Mitchell, R.N., right, speak with a new mother during one of the Hospital's postnatal breastfeeding classes.