As an international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) for almost 20 years, I have educated many mothers on the importance of breastfeeding for both baby and mother. For some, breastfeeding can be a complex road that takes many turns.
Many hospitals around the country, including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, use pasteurized donor milk for infants whose mothers cannot provide breast milk. Like mother’s own milk, pasteurized donor milk provides nutrients, enzymes, growth factors …Continue reading →
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
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
A number of children in the Milwaukee metro area recently have been diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough. Whooping cough is particularly worrisome for parents of infants, because children have to be 2 months old to receive the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Although it first seems like a regular cold, whooping cough can turn more serious. It causes coughing so bad that it’s …Continue reading this post
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
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
It’s a warm summer day and you’re at the pool with your kids. Your cell phone rings and you answer it, shifting focus from your kids to the phone conversation. Good idea? Not at all. It could even be deadly. Most kids were under an adult’s supervision just before they drowned.
Active supervision is the most important precaution for drowning. A supervised child is in sight at all times …Continue reading this post
Learn the ABCs of safe sleep
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 see families whose lives changed forever because of the death of an infant.
While I am a doctor, my most important title in life is “dad” to a 7-year-old son. I simply cannot imagine life without him. When he was a baby, my wife and I took extra precautions to put him in a safe sleep environment. It wasn’t always easy. We were tired. Sometimes, we were downright exhausted. But, it was our job to protect him.
Taking our cue from the American Academy of Pediatrics, we used three easy-to-remember steps to help maintain a safe sleep environment for my son when he was an infant:
- A: Babies always should sleep alone. Sleeping with your baby in your bed, on a couch or in a chair is not safe.
- C: Babies should sleep in a crib. Make sure there are no bumper pads, toys or other items in the crib.
Download Children’s Hospital’s safe sleep flier, post it in your child’s nursery and share it with a friend.
~ Jason Jarzembowski, MD, PhD, is the program director of perinatal pathology at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the medical advisor for the Infant Death Center of Wisconsin.
I was a single mom with two babies under age 1. This is a struggle in itself, and I had a past that was pulling me in the wrong direction.
I am a survivor of child sexual, physical and emotional abuse. My mom spent several years in prison for selling cocaine and for having firearms. Despite this, I loved my mom and was devastated when she left one day and didn’t come back for three years. I was 12 at the time, so I had to help my grandmother raise my sisters and brother.
It wasn’t uncommon that I looked for love in the wrong places, finding myself with two kids and no parenting skills or family support. I was overjoyed to hear of a program that would help me become a better parent. I became involved in the Healthy Families program, a home-visitation program supported by the Child Abuse Prevention Fund at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. These programs work.
Healthy Families taught me how to set goals. The program taught me how to discipline my children in a positive way. I learned what behaviors to expect from my kids at different ages. My support worker, Shirley Wehmeier, was my mentor and coach. She taught me I could do anything.
I got my High School Equivalency Diploma and went to college for a year. I got my driver’s license, a car and a job in an office.
My family is a product of the Healthy Families program. My kids excel at school and are involved in sports and activities. I provide free credit and budget counseling services to people through La Casa de Esperanza and United Way of Waukesha County. I am a bilingual certified tax preparer, a certified notary and a certified housing specialist, doing pre- and post-purchase counseling for first-time home buyers and foreclosure prevention counseling. I also volunteer my time to help build a stronger community. Most importantly, I was able to break the cycle of abuse and my children are happy and healthy.
The Safe at Home campaign raises money to support home visitation programs like Healthy Families. Help families like mine. Visit safe-at-home.org.
~ Gina M. Sanchez
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