The term ‘whirlwind’ doesn’t really do the experience of giving birth justice. Then right after a baby is born and placed on mom’s chest, cleaned up, swaddled with that adorable little knit hat on its head – it can be time to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is an incredibly emotional, difficult, frustrating, rewarding, terrifying (the list is endless) experience for mom. That’s where our teams of breastfeeding experts come in.
Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital has a team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants – Natalie Orange, Lori Moore, in addition to Certified Lactation Counselor Lauren Thompson – who help new and expecting moms to better understand the breastfeeding process. B.J. Culver, a nurse professional development coordinator, supports this team of nurses and believes strongly in their work.
“As a mom myself, I breastfed my girls,” B.J. shares. “I think experiencing that journey has truly helped me to understand how best we can care for new mommas and their babies.”
B.J. understands the importance – and struggles – everyone encounters surrounding breastfeeding.
“Having a team to provide breastfeeding education is so important because we want every patient that walks through the door to know the benefits that their baby will receive from breastmilk,” she says. “It’s amazing to see what our bodies can do, from creating antibodies to ward off sickness to decreasing the risk of the baby having asthma or allergies later in life.”
B.J. continues, “our educators make sure patients know the benefits and also serve as advocate for them. Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone; they may only feed their baby once from the breast and that’s OK!”
This work starts before baby is even born. Lourdes Hospital’s team of lactation consultants offer patients a consultation prior to delivery. This service is offered to decrease the anxiety that many new mothers may have, or even mothers that haven’t breastfed before.
“We hope that this encourages the patients to ask questions and feel more prepared so that once their new baby is here, they can enjoy breastfeeding as a great bonding experience,” B.J. shares.
And what keeps B.J. inspired to keep going?
“The thing I enjoy most about my role is when I hear patients telling others about their success and attributing their success to our team. There’s no greater joy than helping your patients fulfill their dream!”
Thank you B.J. for continuing to advocate for new mothers as they continue on their journey of motherhood.
Learn more about the maternity care and lactation services we provide at Mercy Health.