The Baby Central RV is making its final stop for the season at the Gibson City Harvest Fest on October 10th. The RV has made the rounds at events throughout the summer to provide families with a clean, private place to change and nourish their little ones. For breastfeeding moms, the RV was a supportive sanctuary, with the universal symbol of breastfeeding posted at the RV entrance as an encouraging invitation from the staff of Certified Lactation Counselors on board the RV.
Those Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) are increasing in number at Gibson Area Hospital now that OB technicians Katie Cornish and Tanya Windle recently passed their certification exams after an intensive training period. They join four currentr CLCs and an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) who are available to assist moms during their hospital stay and beyond. Both Cornish and Windle share the desire to help families have a positive experience from the start in order to reach their breastfeeding goals. Through their education program with The Center for Breastfeeding, they learned about implementation of these supportive strategies as well as more in-depth information about the benefits of breastfeeding. Not only are there numerous health benefits for the infant and mother, but families also gain from the financial benefits and convenience of breastfeeding.
Katie (L) and Tayna (R) Visiting with Expecting Parent at the Baby Central RV
According to Windle, educating new moms and dads about breastfeeding is crucial to success. She considers her one-on-one time counseling with mom as an “investment in an opportunity” for the mom and baby to bond and build their relationship. This time is also when she assists with effective and proper latching and teaches about signs of adequate nutrition, which can help relieve common fears of insufficient milk supply. Windle likes to include the partner in the conversation on the benefits of breastfeeding and the value of support throughout this part of the family’s life.
While initiatives worldwide are actively promoting the benefits of breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding moms, local moms can benefit by being around other breastfeeding moms and discussing issues and solutions in an understanding community. Cornish, who recognizes the rise in breastfeeding in popular culture as a boost to “normalizing” breastfeeding, also understands there is strength in numbers. “Knowing that others are sharing similar experiences can help a mom feel less alone and give her the encouragement she needs to continue breastfeeding.” For more information about joining the Baby Central breastfeeding support group, contact the Gibson Area Hospital OB Department at (217) 784-2510 or visit the Baby Central RV at the Gibson City Harvest Fest on October 10th between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.