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Breastfeeding tips and how a special donated breast pump is making a difference

New Mums at Frankston Hospital are befitting from the addition of a new, hospital grade breast pump, thanks to local families who donated to the Frankston Peninsula Rotary 2.0 Birth Tree in 2016.

“We have some Mums who are separated from their babies for various reasons – so babies might go to the Special Care Nursery or be transferred to another facility,” explains Peninsula Health Lactation Consultant Amy Cameron.

“Breast pumps are really important for these Mums to stimulate the production, or initiate the production of breast milk.”

Breast pumps are also commonly used by Mums who may be having difficulty breastfeeding.

“We use the breast pump for Mums who are trying to bring on more milk,” says Amy.

“This might happen if the baby is not latching well within the first couple of days. It’s really essential those Mums start to do some extra stimulation to try and facilitate the initiative of breastfeeding.”

“The hospital grade pump has really good pressure – we know breast pumps aren’t babies and they don’t work as well as babies – but they are the next best thing.”

It’s World Breastfeeding Week, which seeks to inform and engage the community about the benefits of breastfeeding.

“As a primary health provider, we encourage Mums to breastfeed,” says Amy.

“It has long term positive health benefits for both Mum and baby.”

“In terms of the greater community, it means we’re providing immunisation and antibodies to babes who are better protected,” she adds. “In terms of long term health outcomes it can reduce the rate of diabetes and obesity, also childhood cancers.”

Breastfeeding also has benefits for bonding and attachment, as well as nutrition.

“By using the tools that we have, like breast pumps, lactation consultants and facilities and services we can enhance the ability for Mums to be able to breastfeed,” says Amy, who also works as a midwife. 

Amy’s tips for women having difficulty breastfeeding

  • Seek help. While you’re in hospital, use your midwives and lactation consultants.
  • Talk to other Mums about how their experiences are going. We know Mums benefit a lot from talking to other Mums.
  • Lots of skin to skin – we encourage Mums to spend lots of time with their babies.
  • Do some hand expressing or use a breast pump if the baby is not latching to the breast.
  • Lots of frequent breast contact and breast feeding with babes.

As well as providing supporting to Mums while they are in hospital, Peninsula Health also runs an outpatient breastfeeding support service. Mums can also make appointments at Frankston Hospital and Hastings Community Health Centre for breastfeeding support.

The Frankston Peninsula Rotary Club 2.0 run the Birth Tree program, where parents can celebrate their child’s birth by planting a tree in their honour. This year, proceeds will benefit the babies at Peninsula Health. Register your child here: http://www.rotarypeninsula.org/birth-tree