Archive for March, 2009

What helped or hindered your efforts to breastfeed? It surprised many when Centra Health decided to eliminate the lactation consultants from the staff on the OB unit at Virginia Baptist Hospital over a year ago.  The other hospitals close by, Roanoke Memorial, UVA, Martha Jefferson, all have a staff of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.

Many Mothers tell us of wonderful nurses helping them get breastfeeding off to a good start, but other tell us they got little to no help.  They frequently complain to us that every person, family, friend or professional,  told them to do  something different  about breastfeeding. They come home with their new baby totally confused.  The most upsetting is when a mother came home with a  baby that had never breastfed well, feeding the baby formula, still wanting to breastfeed, and had never been given a workable plan on how to improve their breastfeeding, increase their milk supply or help their baby learn to breastfeed.  Most breastfeeding difficulties are solvable within a few days or weeks with the right plan.

We all have a responsibility to our community to make things better.  Hospitals are extremely busy places.  Everyone knows that our medical facilities and systems are stressed and often professionals are overworked and understaffed.  What that means is we all have to do our part and work WITH our medical system for everyone’s benefit.

Please speak up about your experience on our blog.  As a nurse myself who has worked in 5 different hospitals, I will tell you that change comes from outside easier than from within.  As an employee within an institution, it was so hard to  get things to change.  If any employee pressed too hard for some changes, their job could be at risk.  When a patient makes a positive comment or negative complaint about their experience, things often change FAST!!  The employee and department who did well gets the praise and when there are less than satisfactory comments, people are notified and corrective actions taken.  The patient is the person with their insurance company that pays the bills of the hospital.

It is hard sometimes for new parents to understand all their rights, responsibilities, and choices.  Please know you DO have responsibilities and choices in Lynchburg. You, as the parent, the caregiver and protector of your baby have a responsibility to learn about childbirth and breastfeeding thoroughly BEFORE the baby comes.  The baby is counting on you to know what to do and how to find and ask for what you need to care for him/her.  Be as knowledgeable as
parents were over 100 years ago when everyone breastfed.

Realize that in the past, all babies were breastfed, and all the parents grew up seeing ALL babies being breastfed.  That is how they learned.  When they tried to feed a baby animal milk if Mother had a problem, the baby usually died.  It took years to learn how to take an animal’s milk, usually cow milk because cows are readily available, pasteurize the milk, add enough water, vitamins, sugars, fats and minerals so that human babies could live on it from birth.  We did not learn how to do this successfully until the 1920s.  Young Mothers and Fathers knew A LOT more about breastfeeding then than modern parents do now.

Now parents know ALL about their electronic equipment;  their cell phone and their computer, but very little about their biological equipment. They think for some reason, mothers from previous generations “just did it”.  Well they did just do it, but with a lot of experience and knowledge.

Let us hear from you in our comments section below. What was good and helpful when you had your baby, and what do you think should improve and how?

We are responsible for making our community and its resources the best it can be.  That is why Best Start Parenting Center is available to help provide information and support for your parenting choices and as a community resource.


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Check out this link. What do you think is the most objectionable parts of the body that ought to be covered at all times. This writer thinks feet are the ugliest.


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A word about pacifiers: Several mothers have come to Best Start the last few days very worried about their milk supply. They are very intent on how often and long they SHOULD nurse their babies during the day. When asked they all say they were warned “Don’t let that baby use you as a pacifier,” so when the baby lingers at the breast for a feeding, or wants to breastfeed again just a short while after ‘finishing’, they rely on the pacifier to prevent the awful consequences of being “used as a pacifier.”
They are drinking gallons of water, drinking Mother’s Milk Tea, and willing to use a breastpump more to increase their milk supply but afraid of allowing the baby to breastfeed more than the prescribed time.

Please understand that pacifiers are a recent invention. Most mothers throughout history have not had them available nor had ways to keep them clean all the time.
Babies want to suck a lot because they are made that way, and that is what makes a mother have lots of milk. Frequent sucking with Mom stimulates her milk supply to keep growing with baby’s growth.

The most frequent complaint mothers call us with is low milk supply or fear of low milk supply. Don’t be afraid of spoiling your baby by breastfeeding a lot. Your baby is designed to breastfeed a lot and you are designed to respond and make lots of milk.

If you don’t have The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding come get a copy at Best Start or your public library. A good understanding of what we call “supply and demand” will help you respond when people admonish you not to let your baby “use” you. Your baby “uses” you for everything! Your baby can’t do anything by himself for months.

Your baby is “using you as a mother”.
Don’t let your baby “use a pacifier as a mother”. He/she needs you!


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Have you thought about what it means to be a mammal?
Read this mothers comments about her own thoughts over the years.

I believe it’s great to be a mammal.


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