Posted: May 4, 2012 10:22 PM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
Updated: May 7, 2012 8:51 AM
KALISPELL- A pair of programs at Kalispell Regional Medical Center have combined forces to better help parents of newborn babies feel confident about caring for their child while in the hospital and then at home.
Lactation and Mother Baby Services used to be totally separate departments at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
"We wouldn't get to follow up with the moms afterwards to see how breastfeeding was going, if it was successful, if they needed something to help them continue breast feeding," KRMC Registered Nurse Jill VanNice-Steiner explained.
But now the two services are combined and that means mothers of newborn babies are counseled on issues like breast feeding, lactation and weight gain.
The new program also offers free newborn checkups seven days a week for all babies and a pair of RNs have paved the way to offer these supportive services.
"It's been a really good thing for our patients as far as that accessibility. Before we weren't here extended hours, we weren't here on the weekends or the holidays and we are now," RN Tracy Wills commented.
"You could come in here anytime and any of the nurses would help you and give you different ideas or refer you to try different things if something wasn't working for you," newborn mother Erin Johnson stated.
Historically most moms would give up breastfeeding in the first two weeks, but now only about 5% of moms have given up breastfeeding, thanks to the new combination of services.
The Mother-Baby Clinic and Lactation Services program is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.