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NEWS | June 30, 2016

Lactation support group available for new moms

Department of Newborn Medicine

Brooke Army Medical Center will hold the first lactation support group from noon to 3 p.m. July 8.

Robyn Roche-Paull, the author of “Breast Feeding in Combat Boots” will speak. The BAMC Pediatric Clinic lactation room on the first floor will be rededicated with a cake-cutting ceremony.

Following this event a series of recurrent monthly meetings, hosted by lactation consultant Carolyn Lowe, will be held the second and fourth Friday of each month.

“Transition to parenthood can be scary and lonely for anyone, especially for our active duty service members who are separated from their families,” said Army Capt. Arielle J. Dietz, assistant head nurse for labor and delivery.

“The creation of the lactation support group is in line with the new Department of Defense policy and demonstrates that BAMC is a community of caring. The inception of the lactation support group proves that command knows its value.”

The intention of the lactation support group is to increase the confidence of women whose aim is to breastfed. The group approach will promote relationships and empower mothers to achieve their breastfeeding goals.

“Sharing experiences among women undergoing similar life events can assist women in coming to terms with their own experiences and enable them to support each other,” Dietz said. 

Group members will be able to identify their needs and set their own agenda within the group. This will promote empowerment, which will enhance self-esteem and encourage them to set and reach their ultimate breastfeeding goals.

“Breastfeeding has numerous health benefits for both mom and baby. It provides a degree of protection against illness and disease for infants which is directly correlated to the duration of time spent breastfeeding,” said Army Capt. Bridget Owens, BAMC dietitian. 

“Both the World and Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life,” Lowe said.

Each meeting will include the presentation of a short educational topic followed by mom-to-mom discussion and group support. 

Topics will include the importance and instruction of proper latch, pumping, returning to work, sleep and physical activity for new moms. 

“In addition, successful breastfeeding may help mothers return to pre-pregnancy weight more quickly which is in conjunction with the performance triad will promote readiness in our active duty population,” Dietz said.