Avera Medical Minute AQoP: Milk and Cookies breast-feeding suppo - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AQoP: Milk and Cookies breast-feeding support group

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Breast-feeding is the proven method to help give babies the best start at life. While it's encouraged at the hospital, many new moms find it hard to stick with their breast-feeding plan. That's why Avera Queen of Peace has designed a very special support group to help these new moms succeed.  

Little hands, little feet and bright eyes galore but it's not your run-of-the-mill play date.  
This meeting is for the moms.

"I really didn't have this kind of support system. I didn't have anybody to really go to when I had questions." Said Stacey Hohn.

It's called 'Milk and Cookies' a support group for moms who have chosen to breast-feed.

"When I heard about this group I was like yeah! I want to go talk about what you read to do and not to do and hear what really actually works!" Said Amanda Patzer.

Whether it's first-time moms or seasoned veterans, these meetings hold something for everyone.

"My sister prepared me for things but still it was like a whole new world!" Said Rachel Giblin.

This strong little guy is Jack and Rachel's first child. For her, asking the tough or strange questions to other moms, who are nursing their second or third child, was rewarding and reassuring.  

"It makes me feel like things are normal when things hurt or what am I supposed be doing how much is he eating what am I supposed be doing because I have lots of questions so I think the first meeting I came to that was the whole meeting was me asking everybody lots of questions." said Giblin.

Most new moms develop a 9-month relationship with their doctors, but still when problems pop up the white coat can be intimidating to ask for help.  

"While we can help them a little bit in the hospital what we needed to do was to create kind of that family so here they have those sisters that can kind of talk them through early breast-feeding and I think that works out well." Said Barb Pratt the Certified Lactation Consultant at Avera Queen ofPeace Hospital.

"We can sit down over coffee and kids and deal with the toys and the spit up and the diapers and talk about it rather than here make an appointment with me and let's discuss your issue." Said Hohn.

Breast-feeding has become a very polarizing topic among parents. This group frees moms from feeling judged for choosing to maybe do things a little differently.

"They might think that if they ask their friend they will think they are crazy but if they ask this group or come to the meeting they can find out that they aren't the only one and there are plenty of others that have the same problems as well!" Said Penny Overweg. 

There is nothing wrong with formula feeding or supplementing but this group's goal is simply to encourage moms to not give up feeding the natural way.  

" As the studies come out there's more and more evidence that breast-feeding is normal, breast-feeding is what we should be doing and that's what we hope to as a group to be out there presenting that it's normal this is how women feed their babies and it's best for everybody." Said Pratt.

Studies show breast milk boosts the immune system for babies and lowers breast cancer risk in both mother and child. Most new moms are like Rachel and worry they won't produce enough milk. For Rachel, the positive support has made all the difference.  

"When you talk to them and see how often they pump and do certain things you start to feel more comfortable with it and it made me feel like I can do it and now he has gained 6 pounds already so he's doing good!" Said Giblin.

The same can be said for the rest of the 'Milk and Cookie' gang who all have been given a healthy start at life.

The 'Milk and Cookies' support group meets every third Thursday of the month at the Avera Queen of Peace Maternal Care Center. The group also has a Facebook page to help moms stay in touch and get questions answered. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.


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