Hello to all of you preemie moms out there! Welcome to the journey. Not everyone is invited to travel this rewarding and demanding path — you are the chosen few.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is truly a gift from God. They helped my baby and me navigate our journey. They extended their skillful hands and compassionate hearts to strengthen us and meet our needs. Providing breast milk for my baby amid the pressures of hospital life was at the top of our list of needs.
Grace and glory
My daughter, Grace, has spina bifida and was born 6 weeks premature. She had two major surgeries the day after she was born. For many weeks, she had 9 or 10 tubes, wires, probes or IVs attached to her tiny body. When I got the chance to hold her at 14 days, I was tremendously grateful but intimidated by all of those cords, not to mention her tender incisions and innumerable stitches. How on earth was this fragile little girl going to breastfeed? Enter the lactation team at Children’s Hospital.
Linda and Barbara, two of Children’s Hospital’s lactation consultants, offered so much support and encouragement during a very stressful and chaotic time in my life. They handled my baby with such confidence, which gave me confidence. The time they spent with us was unrushed while they shared their wealth of knowledge. Later on, Lisa and Kris joined their two teammates to help provide practical and emotional support when Grace and I encountered different challenges related to breastfeeding. Even after Grace was discharged, Barbara and the ladies continued to reach out to us as I endured 7 bouts of recurrent mastitis (breast infection). They had no obligation to me or Grace at that point, but they wouldn’t relent! They love what they do and the people they serve.
The lactation specialists at Children’s Hospital were and are invested in my journey. These ladies consistently do whatever is in their means to help both Grace and me succeed. Truly, they have become friends.
Help Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin win $5,000 in breastfeeding products
I’m sure there are a number of moms out there that share my gratitude for the guidance and support of the lactation team. For those of you who came face-to-face with the reality that breastfeeding doesn’t “just happen,” I want to encourage you to show your appreciation by helping Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin win $5,000 in breastfeeding products.
During November, which is Prematurity Awareness Month, go to medelapreemieawareness.com. Register on the site and please vote for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin!
- Jill Quinlan, guest blogger
The Children’s Hospital lactation team helps meet the needs of breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Staff also assists mothers that express their milk (remove milk from their breasts) and their babies to promote successful breast milk feeding. The service provides education and support to families and staff.