Our littlest patients represent some of our biggest successes

In the past few years, I have been part of a team that has performed several procedures to save the lives of unborn babies. The EXIT (ex-utero intrapartum treatment) procedure is a way to deliver a baby safely when he or she has been diagnosed with a life-threatening lung or airway problem before birth. This might include a head, neck or lung tumor. The procedure helps ensure the baby will be able to breathe after birth.

During an EXIT procedure, a team of specialists—including a perinatologist, neonatologist and pediatric surgeon—put the mother and unborn baby to sleep with anesthesia. An …Continue reading →

NICU at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin wins breastfeeding products in online contest

I am pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of six hospitals to win $5,000 worth of breastfeeding products in an online contest sponsored by Medela, a leading maker of breastfeeding and breast pumping products. During November, people were asked to visit the Medela website and vote for their favorite Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in recognition of national Prematurity Awareness Month. …Continue reading this post

Why vaccinating family members helps protect babies

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week on a study that found having older siblings already vaccinated for chickenpox reduced the likelihood of infants developing chickenpox by 90 percent. Other medical studies have shown similar large decreases in the number of infants who got sick with measles, whooping cough and the flu when their families were up to date on vaccinations. These studies are a reminder that young infants are more vulnerable to many diseases. The younger infants are when they get sick, the more likely …Continue reading this post

These ABCs will help your baby stay safe while sleeping

Recently, there have been a lot of TV programs and newspaper stories discussing infant safe sleep, especially the debate about co-sleeping. Despite much research, we still aren’t sure why some babies die during co-sleeping and others don’t. Every infant death is tragic and involves a unique set of circumstances.

Here’s what we do know: between 2005 and 2008, 88 babies in the Milwaukee area died from accidental overlay, suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome. These cases involved boys and girls of all …Continue reading this post

How the breastfeeding team supported me and helped my baby

Our daughter Ella’s birth was a planned C-section at 34 weeks – 6 weeks early – due to a complicated prenatal diagnosis. The day of Ella’s birth, we held our breaths as Ella took her first. The highs were high and the lows were low, and it often seemed that just when we had a handle on our daughter’s condition, something would change and there was a new concern to address. …Continue reading this post

Why Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is going purple for prematurity awareness

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the March of Dimes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Family Support Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. This program has brought support and information to thousands of families impacted by prematurity and birth defects. …Continue reading this post

Breastfeeding goes digital with flash mobs, videos, blogs and more

As a lactation consultant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I celebrate World Breastfeeding Week every August. This year’s theme, established by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy, is “Talk to Me: Breastfeeding, a 3-D Experience.” It’s the perfect theme to blog about!

This theme focuses on the importance of digital communication and social media. Blogging, texting, email and …Continue reading this post

How and when to advocate for your child with special health care needs

When my daughter was born, 19 years ago, she was whisked off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital due to concerning respiratory and digestive symptoms.  We quickly learned that she had many special health care needs that would require us to learn some new parenting skills.  I was told “You’ll have to speak for your daughter as she will not be able to speak up for herself.”  My response was, “I don’t want to!”

Advocating was not something that I had planned to due when I read the baby books during my pregnancy.  While I learned these skills because of Emily’s special needs, any …Continue reading →

Safe sleep saves lives

There is nothing more innocent than a sleeping baby. There is nothing more tragic than a baby who dies in his or her sleep. Fortunately, research shows that many of these deaths can be prevented.

As a doctor at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I see the good and the bad. I see smiling babies toddling down our hallways and giggling infants squealing with delight. But, I also …Continue reading →

Strong babies are back!

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