Mommy Minute: Tackling breastfeeding challenges before baby arrives

Local

Michelle Williams says she felt a sense of loss when she wasn’t able to successfully breastfeed her son.

“It can really take a toll on every aspect when you have a baby that’s really hungry,” Williams said.

That’s why when she became pregnant with baby number two, Williams wasted no time booking an appointment at WellSpan Breastfeeding Services. When she went to the hospital to deliver, she had a physical plan in hand that she could share with her medical team.

“It made me a lot calmer and more confident going into delivery knowing that I had a plan for baby when she was hungry and what certain things to look for and try,” she said.

Those types of prenatal visits are becoming more and more common, says nurse practitioner Michele Chronister.

“Maybe they had a previous experience that didn’t turn out the way they wanted and they identified something was wrong, but they couldn’t figure out what happened,” Chronister said.

Chronister can examine women and help them identify problems before the baby arrives. Those potential problems include breast size and shape, surgical histories such as augmentations or reductions, underlying medical conditions, medications, piercings or even a mother’s history of sexual abuse.

“It’s not a one size fits,” Chronister said. “Some women have no challenges, but those that do, we want to help them identify that.”

Chronister helped to coach Sarah Kurowski through the seemingly endless problems she encountered breastfeeding both of her sons.

“I’ve been a frequent flyer, but they’ve helped me to problem solve a number of things and I’ve been able to successfully breastfeed throughout both of them so far,” Kurowski said. “As a new mom, I don’t think you know exactly what to expect and so it’s nice to have someone to guide you.”

As part of the program, patients can email Chronister if they have a simple question or need advice; there’s no need to pick up the phone or book an appointment.

If you’d like more information about WellSpan’s breastfeeding services, click here.

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