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Lactation Support at Alton Memorial Helps New Mom Overcome Breastfeeding Pain

Lactation Support at Alton Memorial Helps New Mom Overcome Breastfeeding Pain

Like many expectant moms, Samantha Hausman, 27, of Grafton, IL, had certain ideals for her first labor and delivery experience, including how she planned to feed her baby.

“I was hopeful for a healthy, smooth pregnancy and delivery,” said Hausman. “I also knew early on that I wanted to breastfeed my son.”

Hausman received her prenatal care from Christine M. Taylor, MD, a BJC Medical Group ob/gyn on staff at Alton Memorial Hospital. Dr. Taylor offered helpful resources to help her prepare, including virtual breastfeeding classes. But Hausman went into labor before she could attend. Hausman delivered her son, Connor, at Alton Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Health & Childbirth Center in March 2023. Connor was immediately placed on Hausman’s chest to begin skin-to-skin bonding. One of Hausman’s nurses suggested she try breastfeeding him as well.

“Connor latched very quickly,” said Hausman. “We were off to such as good start, especially since I’d heard many warnings about the challenges of breastfeeding. One of my nurses also evaluated how he was nursing and provided me with some great tips.”

Connor was gaining weight — which indicated a successful nursing relationship. But over the next few weeks, Hausman noticed Connor’s nursing sessions were becoming much more painful.

“I literally yelled out in pain whenever he latched,” said Hausman. “I figured this was normal, and I’d get used to it. Although Connor continued to thrive with his sleep and weight gain, I was suffering, both physically and mentally.”

Weeks later at Connor’s check-up, Hausman mentioned her breastfeeding pain. Connor’s pediatrician referred her to Renee Strowmatt, MSN, RN, IBCLC, one of the lactation consultants at Alton Memorial Hospital. After the check-up, Hausman walked over to the clinic for a consultation.

Strowmatt evaluated Connor’s nursing and quickly pinpointed the issue, which was how he latched. “She showed me how to adjust things, and I immediately felt better,” said Hausman.

There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding for both mom and baby, says Strowmatt. “For moms, it decreases bleeding, encourages the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy state (uterine involution) and reduces the risk for postpartum depression and certain cancers like breast cancer,” she said. “For babies, it reduces their risk of upper respiratory infections, ear infections, childhood obesity and diabetes.” Nearly six months later, Hausman is still nursing Connor (now at a healthy 23 pounds), thanks to her perseverance and some much-needed help from her lactation consultant. Hausaman said “I’m thankful I stuck with breastfeeding even when it got hard. The pain was worth the bonding experience with Connor, but now I know better. I’ll speak up sooner and ask for help if I have any issues next time.”

Top Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

  1. Get your information on the best feeding practices from a reputable resource.
  2. Take a breastfeeding class, and bring your partner, friend or family member.
  3. Prioritize self-care and pay attention to your body and how you’re feeling.
  4. Contact your doctor or a lactation consultant if you experience any problems or pain.
Find a doctor or make an appointment: 618.463.7220 or 800.392.0936
General Information: 618.463.7311
Alton Memorial Hospital
One Memorial Drive
Alton, Illinois 62002

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