Story and photo by Heather Kline
A new lactation clinic has recently opened its doors in Fort Leonard Wood’s General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. The clinic, open from 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and by appointment, aims to provide personal care for new families.
Located on the third floor in Room 3105, the clinic can be found next to the Maternal Child Unit and is a place where moms are able to come in with any breast feeding concerns and receive free assistance with integrating a breast-feeding plan when returning home and to the workplace.
Studies show benefits for breast feeding are for both baby and mom. According to Morgan Scarborough, certified lactation counselor, breast milk provides the ideal amount of protein, vitamins and fats designed specifically for babies.
Scarborough said breast milk is packed full of antibodies that are ever-changing. She explained, when babies are sick, antibodies are created almost immediately when they begin to breast feed.
For mothers, benefits can include helping their uterus to contract and reduction in postpartum bleeding. It has also been linked to lowering the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Scarborough said the common issues mothers deal with the first couple of days after coming home can range from concern of milk not coming in, if the baby is getting enough milk and soreness or engorgement.
She said mothers feel they are in a safe haven to start breast feeding while in the hospital, but often when they arrive home, things can change or don’t seem as easy. It can be difficult when you no longer have direct support to ask the questions that come to mind when you’re trying to breast feed alone.
“It can be daunting when deciding to breast feed, but you will learn several methods that will enable you to feel more comfortable,” Scarborough said. “You will receive information in your OB welcome packet.”
She added, “Breast feeding is natural but doesn’t always feel natural to a new mom. It varies with each child and can be frustrating, but you’re not alone.”
Scarborough admits she was faced with her own fears and trials while breast feeding.
“I was afraid that my baby wouldn’t latch on or that I couldn’t do it,” she said.
Scarborough said she learned about breast feeding with the help of midwives and wished there was a clinic like this available to her at the time.
“I want moms to know they should not get discouraged or give up,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough said she hopes to teach a portion of the New Mother Pregnancy classes soon.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Scarborough at 573.596.1770.