Lactation Support Center
On-Site Lactation Support
The Pediatric Center is proud to offer an on-site Lactation Support Center, led by our own Director of Lactation Support, Clare Cardo McKegney, DNP, APN, CPNP.
Dr. McKegney is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner and certified breastfeeding counselor with over 18 years of advanced practice in pediatrics. Her clinical experience has spanned over a variety of sub-specialty areas.
Dr. McKegney’s background as an advanced pediatric nurse offers infants, children and adolescents well and acute care. In addition to her role as a primary care provider, her certification as a breastfeeding counselor allows her to see mother and baby as patients for any breastfeeding concerns. Her approach to the breastfeeding dyad therefore is comprehensive and all-inclusive and plays a significant role in the overall success of the breastfeeding experience.
Our Private Breastfeeding & Lactation Suite
Once you and your newborn infant leave the hospital, The Pediatric Center continues to support the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). This initiative is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
Our modern and private on-site lactation suite provides a warm and relaxed environment for the mother and infant to enjoy a positive breastfeeding experience.
Breastfeeding Your Infant
While breastfeeding is a natural process and has many health & nutrition benefits in the first year of life, it is new for both mother and baby and many need help learning the process and understanding all of the advantages.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy on breastfeeding states that “breastfeeding insures the best possible health as well as the best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant”.
As lactation specialists, Clare & our staff of trained doctors will assist you in helping the baby latch on correctly, build a custom feeding schedule and help you become an expert in no time.
The Dynamics of Breastfeeding
The breastfeeding process works on the principal of positive feedback. As an infant suckles at a mother’s breast, a message is sent to the mother’s brain that results in the production of a chemical that stimulates the production of milk. The ability for a mother to continuously produce milk depends upon this feedback cycle not being interrupted. Interruptions in the cycle can occur when the message to the mother’s brain is disrupted by:
- An infant sleeping longer than 4 hours
- Poor suckling by the infant
- Bottle feeding
Advantages of Breast Milk & Breastfeeding
The important aspect of breastfeeding is that a mother’s breast milk is intended exclusively for infants. Breast milk provides all the protein, sugar, fat and vitamins an infant requires, in addition to special and unique benefits that artificial formulas cannot match.
Breast milk is:
- Easily digestible
- Requires no preparation
- Continuously available and costs nothing
- Environmentally safe since it produces no waste
Breastfeeding is beneficial for:
- Stimulating the uterus return to its regular size more quickly
- A faster return to pre-pregnancy weight
- Creating a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer
- Stimulating the building of bone strength in mothers
- Enhanced infant and mother bonding and development
- Infant eye and jaw muscle development
Additionally, substances in human breast milk provide an infant with protective antibodies so that they are less likely to experience:
- Ear infections
- Respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis
- SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)