Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic
The Value of Breastfeeding
Making the choice to breastfeed is one of the most precious gifts that a mother can give her newborn. Approximately 60 percent of women in our community initiate breastfeeding, but at the three-month point, many have given up. St. John Providence Health offers an Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic to help new moms overcome common problems so they can continue breastfeeding.
"Many times, women quit breastfeeding because of difficulties they encounter, whether it is insufficient milk supply, painful breastfeeding, or poor weight gain in the infant," said Paula Schreck, MD, Medical Director of St. John Providence's Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic. "We can help with all those difficulties, and help women find success in breastfeeding, which greatly benefits their infants."
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that most women initiate breastfeeding because contraindications to breastfeeding are rare, and encourages women to breastfeed exclusively for six months, and then continue until the baby reaches at least one year.
The many benefits of breastfeeding for the infant include:
Better digestion (less colic, gas, spitting up)
Reduction or elimination of food allergies and eczema
Protection from bronchitis, pneumonia, diabetes, and asthma
Fewer diaper rashes
Enhanced brain development
Fewer ear infections
The benefits to the mother include:
protection against anemia
decreased incidence of post-partum depression
enhanced post-delivery weight loss
enhanced birth control
With benefits like these, why do so many women quit breastfeeding? Without support, issues like a poor latch, insufficient milk supply, engorgement, painful breastfeeding, or the infant's poor weight gain can be overwhelming for the mother. In addition, babies with medical conditions such as prematurity, cleft palate, Down's Syndrome and other genetic syndromes may not naturally breastfeed as well as other babies.
The St John Hospital Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic has received recognition for their work, including:
- (2009) - Statewide Health Care Community Award from the Breastfeeding Network of Michigan - Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Coalition.
- (2011) - IBCLC Care Award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.
- (2011) - Recipient of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Grant: St. John - Mother Nurture Project.
St John Macomb, Providence and Providence Park Hospitals are members of the National Institute of Child Health Care Quality “Best-Fed National Collaborative” (2012)
Patients may self-refer, or their pediatrician or OB/GYN may suggest an appointment. In one to three appointments, 90 percent of problems will be solved.
During the appointment, which is 45 minutes to an hour long, specially trained lactation consultants observe and assess a feeding. A physician specially trained in breastfeeding medicine also works directly with the patients to solve their issues and make breastfeeding a beneficial experience for both mother and infant.
"We can help nearly every mother and infant," said Dr. Schreck. "For instance, if the problem is insufficient supply, we can assess latch, augment with a pumping schedule or help with homeopathic preparations or medications."
In addition to teaching the patient how to effectively pump breast milk, the clinics also has a full retail boutique with a wide variety of pumps available for rental or purchase in addition to breastfeeding supplies, and clothing for breastfeeding mothers, all at prices generally lower than at other retail locations.
Patients come to the breastfeeding clinics only to solve issues with breastfeeding. All other medical and developmental issues with the child are referred back to the child's pediatrician.
The average cost of formula feeding is $3000 a year, for basic formula. Costs can greatly increase if the baby needs a specialized formula.
"The cost of breastfeeding is free, but beyond that, mothers should know that breast milk is a dynamic fluid that changes throughout the day and months that a mother breastfeeds," said Dr. Schreck. "Breast milk is different when a baby is six weeks old vs. six months, and it changes perfectly to suit the needs of the child to make them as healthy as possible. There is no exact substitute."
|St. John Hospital & Medical Center
The Nurturing Nook, 5th Floor
22101 Moross Road
Detroit, MI 48236
|Providence Park Hospital
Labor & Delivery, 3rd Floor
47601 Grand River
Novi, MI 48374
Family Care Unit
16001 West Nine Mile Rd
Southfield, MI 48075
248-465-3887 (clinic appointments only)
Please contact sites directly to find hours of operation and to schedule an appointment. Most insurance plans are accepted.