Talking with a lactation specialist for Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2022 at 9:38 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - August is Breast Feeding Awareness Month. Start out dispelling some myths, there are definitely some negative auras inappropriately placed on breastfeeding, maybe we can dispel some of those to start.

“Absolutely. The biggest thing is I wouldn’t Google things, I don’t recommend Google. Definitely reach out to someone who is well-versed in breastfeeding for some evidence-based education. You’re going to find a lot of personal opinions when you do Google things out there.” said Avera McKennan lactation specialist Kelli Fagerness.

“Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. It may be difficult for the first couple of weeks. But if you reach out and get some assistance, we certainly can help you reach your breastfeeding goals,” said Fagerness.

What are some resources, how can we connect women to resources to search for help?

“We offer free outpatient visits if you do deliver here at Avera McKinnenen, you will be seen by lactation at some point during your stay,” said Fagerness.

There is a negative stigma on mothers that have trouble or cannot feed their babies by breast, what do you say to those mothers and how can they feed their child?

Certainly, our goal is to help you with whatever your feeding plan is. If you are struggling with breastfeeding reach out, let’s have you come in, any little bit of breast milk is great. If your choice is not to breastfeed, we support that too, we can walk you through how to be comfortable and work with your doctor on what formula would be best for your baby,” said Fagerness.

Generally, what are the benefits for the baby and for the mom of breastfeeding?

“There are a lot of benefits for the mom and baby. For babies you’re looking at reducing childhood cancer, childhood obesity, and decreasing the risk of being diabetic, they’re going to have a higher IQ in life, so, we’re really starting them off with the best thing possible. For moms, it’s going to reduce the risk for breast cancer, and ovarian cancer and helps to decrease postpartum depression so that’s a really big thing for moms that this simple act of breastfeeding can help in so many ways,” said Fagerness.

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