I am the mother of two strong sons who got their healthy start when I committed to breastfeeding them when they were born.

I’m also a nurse and I’ve worked for many years with new mothers and their premature babies. One of the things research has shown – and we’ve seen through our experiences – is that newborns have a better chance of survival – and actually thriving – when they receive their nutrition through their mother’s milk. In fact, we feel so strongly about it at Children’s Hospital that we’ve invested in a Lactation program staffed by specially trained nurses.

I work for an organization that is committed to healthy employees. Children’s Hospital and Health System, of which Children’s Hospital is a part, has more than 5,000 employees in more than 100 locations across the state and in northern Illinois. We support women who return to work after giving birth by providing them resources – including lactation rooms to accommodate breast pumping. Clover Barnes, a manager with our clinics, said breastfeeding was the best gift she could give her son. When he was born in November of 2008, Clover talked to her manager about the resources to allow her to continue breastfeeding when she returned to work. Clover says, “I was given a private space, a place to store my milk and the time I needed to ensure my milk supply remained sufficient to nourish my son. I even spoke with one of the lactation consultants at Children’s Hospital when I was having a problem pumping. I was able to successfully breastfeed my son until he was 10 months. I am now 34 weeks pregnant and plan to breastfeed this child as well.”

The City of Milwaukee Health Department in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin actively supports breastfeeding as the preferred method of providing nutrition to infants. Breast milk contains everything that a baby needs for proper growth and development.

In February 2011, both agencies partnered with Serve Marketing to launch a campaign aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates among Milwaukee mothers, particularly those in the African American community.

Thank you for the opportunity to share the important and positive messages about breastfeeding.

~ Lisa Jentsch, director of Newborn and Fetal Care Services at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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