Meet Melanie. Melanie was born at Little Company of Mary Hospital in March 2010. She is a pretty laid back toddler, and a very happy, loving child. “She’s the light of my life,” said Sheryl, her mother. Since the week Melanie was born, Sheryl and Melanie have attended the Breastfeeding Support Group offered at Little Company. They also attended almost every prenatal class offered before Melanie was born.
“I knew nothing! If there was a class available, I went to it,” said Sheryl. We sat down and talked to Sheryl about Melanie, her experiences at Little Company, the Prenatal Breastfeeding Class, and the Group.
Prenatal Breastfeeding Class
This program provides expectant mothers with the practical information necessary for a successful and rewarding breastfeeding experience. Call 708.423.3070 or register on-line for class schedule and reservations, Fee:$15.
Breastfeeding Support Group
This support group offers new mothers the opportunity to meet and share experiences with other breast feeding women, and also provides guidance from an expert LCM Lactation Consultant. The group meets every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., except for holidays, at Little Company of Mary in the 7th floor solarium. All mothers and babies are welcome. No registration is necessary. Our goal is to give every mom and baby the best start possible. For lactation information, please call 708.229.5418.
What did you learn in the Prenatal Breastfeeding Class?
I wanted more information on breastfeeding. I wasn’t sure—I knew of people who had positive and negative experiences with it. Initially I thought breastfeeding wasn’t for me. The more the nurses talked to me and the more I read, I thought I could at least give it a shot and see if it worked for me.
I learned to have patience—it’s a process. The child is still learning, and you’re learning with her. We had the class a few weeks before she was born. We watched a helpful video, where we observed women nurse and learned what to look for when the baby was nursing properly. The facilitators demonstrated how to hold the baby when nursing, which was very helpful. We were even given time to practice with positioning a doll, which you don’t get via reading books and internet search. They also gave us hints on how to produce more milk, as well as nursing tips and suggestions.
Tell us about Melanie as a newborn. What was it like bringing her home?
She started out very colicky where motherhood was very difficult. She outgrew that at about 3.5-4 months of age. Because of the colic, we went back and forth with the breastfeeding—we weren’t sure if it was something in my diet or if she wasn’t getting enough breast milk. The great thing about Little Company nurses is they told me to keep trying. They said if I kept at it, it would all work out. Now she sleeps very well, and has been since the colic ended, which is wonderful.
Why did you decide to attend the group?
I felt I needed support. As a new mom, the hospital releases you into the world and you’re not sure what to do when you get home. And when the baby is crying, you’re not sure if the latch is appropriate, if she’s getting enough, if its cluster feedings, how often she should eat, or for how long on each side. They tell you all of that in the hospital, but with all that said, you go home and it’s a completely different ball game. In Support Group, if you have questions or concerns, you sit down and the nurse works on making sure the baby has a good latch. They make sure you are nursing properly. Further, the nurses weigh the baby every week to ensure proper weight gain from nursing.
What do you do there?
It has become a mommy group, which is really nice. Speakers come in to talk about various topics—not only breastfeeding, but cloth diapers, baby massage, postpartum fitness and depression.
Part of the reason the group is so great is that it includes such a range of baby ages—with brand new moms and moms of 15+ month old little ones. When Melanie was newborn, the veteran nursing moms were able to help me. It’s not just about the support Eileen and Chris, the Lactation Consultants, provide, it’s also about giving & receiving support from the other moms who are there. It’s a relief to know you are not alone, and that others have had similar experiences when encountering various motherhood issues! This group has been very beneficial to me as a new mom.
It’s great as a social group also. Several of us moms have formed a great friendship that we take outside of Little Company of Mary. And, continuing to go to the group has helped Melanie interact socially with her age, older and younger.
Why did you choose Little Company of Mary?
I absolutely loved every service—the family center, the doctors and nurses were all fabulous.
I think Eileen and Chris (the Lactation Consultants) should be highly commended for the job they do in terms of new moms and support. If we could continue to get more new moms in the group, it would be fantastic. Even if a new mom’s time frame only allows her to come for 3 weeks, it’s more beneficial than not coming at all.
Read more about the services at the Little Company of Mary Family Birth Center.