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Avera Medical Minute: Breastfeeding resources now more accessible for moms in Sioux Falls

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 7:41 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Research shows that breastfeeding is the best way to feed babies until they are around six months old. So Avera Health offers resources to ensure that mothers are successful at this.

Services are now more accessible to moms in Sioux Falls. This year, a new outpatient lactation clinic has opened at the Avera clinic off of 69th and Cliff. Here’s one new mom’s story visiting the clinic.

It’s an exciting time in Morgan Heumiller’s life as she navigates being a new mom. Her son Hudson is ten weeks old.

“He’s starting to be interactive. So he’ll start to smile now and giggle and that’s probably my favorite thing,” said Heumiller.

“And just to see, I guess the milk that your body produces and see that that’s growing them. It’s just kind of a miraculous thing. And just the bond I guess that you can create while doing that is second to none,” she added.

A couple of weeks after giving birth, Heumiller had some questions about breastfeeding. So she visited Avera’s new outpatient lactation clinic. Lactation Consultant Kathy English helped answer all of Heumiller’s questions.

“You know, I was having issues with maybe more milk production than some and I was worried that I was like choking him and she said, ‘No, no, that’s a good problem to have.’ And would just kind of give me tips and tricks,” said Heumiller.

“Breastfeeding is a learned art. They are no different than any other new mom. Everyone thinks they have to be a supermom, but this little person doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. You need to know you’re not alone,” said English.

Pediatricians like Courtney Backer can now easily refer mothers like Heumiller to English and this resource. The outpatient lactation clinic is now located within the family health center, which also houses OB, pediatrics, and family practice.

“So if there’s ever a concern in that one of those first new baby visits, we can just send them over here and get them set up,” said Backer.

“I think it’s a lot less intimidating. They get to just come to an outpatient clinic. They don’t have to go to the hospital anymore,” she added.

Backer says It’s recommended that all moms visit a lactation consultant after a few days of being home After giving birth.

“I think a lot of people think that breastfeeding is going to be easy, it’s a natural thing, but like I said it is a learned skill and it takes practice and it takes patience. And a new mom doesn’t have a lot of either of those things or a lot of sleep. And so a lot of reassurance, a lot of teaching technique,” said Backer.

Heumiller says she’s glad she made an appointment.

“As a new mom, I think you think you can do it all and you want to be the one to raise the baby. But it takes a village to raise a child and Kathy’s part of our village now,” said Heumiller.

She urges other new moms who may be hesitant to sign up for a lactation consultation.

“She’s kind of got all the tools in her pocket. So she’s definitely a good resource to go to and just do what’s best for you and baby because every situation is different. You know, don’t compare yourself to anybody else. You and baby are completely different than anybody else,” said Heumiller.

“Without exception, they are just empowered when they leave here. I mean, you’re a new mom or like I said, might be your third baby and you come here very anxious. You want to know if things are going well, what’s happened, etc. And just this visit sort of, it’s empowering them, they are more relaxed when they leave, they are so grateful to hear they’ve got a plan,” said English.

For more information head to Avera.org.

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