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CCMH lactation consultants help mothers be successful at breastfeeding

CCMH lactation consultants help mothers be successful at breastfeeding

Twelve weeks into her pregnancy, Alexis Blizzard was shocked to learn she was having twins. Already the mom of two young boys, she wondered how she would keep up with four children. Part of her worries stemmed around breastfeeding twins. She had breast fed her other children, but the thought of breastfeeding two was overwhelming.

"It was a big shock," Alexis said. "I didn't know if it would be possible to breastfeed twins."

She tried doing some research and looked through a couple of books, but she didn't find anything that went into any kind of depth about breastfeeding twins. So, when she went to the hospital to give birth, she was still trying to figure out how she was going to manage breastfeeding newborns Iris and Nathaniel.

Certified Lactation Counselor Dianna Moore met with Alexis while she was in the hospital and immediately shared that she too had breastfed twins. Dianna also shared with Alexis not only some tips she learned having breastfed her children, but also things she's learned through the years working through her lactation counselor education.

"It was great because she's an example," Alexis said. "The first thing she said was 'you can do it.' It was nice to have somebody who breastfed twins to talk to."

Dianna helped Alexis learn about different positions that she could tandem breastfeed the twins, as well as some information on latches.

"I breast fed twins," Dianna said. "My girls were pre-term, and we experienced all the challenges with that. I understand and can help moms."

As a licensed practical nurse, Dianna began working at Campbell County Health's Maternal Child department eight years ago. As she began working with new moms, she found that she really enjoyed visiting with them about breastfeeding and providing information about how to be successful at breastfeeding.

"It was something I found I was good at," Dianna said. "I had a lot of success with breast feeding moms when I worked with them."

That success and calling led Dianna to get specialized lactation certifications. A certified lactation counselor and instructor, Dianna is also currently in the process of getting certified as an international breastfeeding certified lactation consultant. Dianna works with almost every new mom at CCMH, providing them information regardless if they're breastfeeding or bottle feeding.

"I do have some moms who aren't comfortable breastfeeding," Dianna said. "The biggest challenge is getting a good latch and the confidence to breastfeed."

For Alexis, Dianna helped her not only learn the techniques for mastering breastfeeding twins, but also let her know that she could be successful at it.

"When they were little, it was easier to let them tandem breastfeed," Alexis said. "With nursing twins, you spend a lot of time sitting and nursing."

Available to anyone in the community who has questions about breastfeeding, Dianna also follows up with the new moms after they leave the hospital just as she did with Alexis and her twins.

"She called me at home a few times to make sure everything was going OK," Alexis said. "It's just nice to talk to somebody who's gone through it. Having someone to talk to is important to achieving your breastfeeding goals."

Now 7-months-old, the twins are still breastfeeding and Alexis isn't sure yet when she'll stop breastfeeding. She said she always tries to breastfeed her children through their first year and then from there it just depends on when both she and the child are ready to stop.

And for every mom, Dianna said that's the beauty, "It's their choice what to do with their baby, I'm just here to help."

Photo: Alexis Blizzard, left, holds Iris while her husband Roderick footballs the three boys (L to R) Samuel, twins Nathanial and Roddy.

You’re invited to the Early Years Family Expo
It’s time to celebrate family at Campbell County Health! The Early Year's Family Expo takes place on Saturday, May 14 from noon-5 pm at the Campbell County Health Lobby and Fifth Floor Classrooms 1 and 2, 501 S. Burma Avenue. The event features a tradeshow with products and services for everyone in the family such as CPR, rehab services information, chiropractic providers, dental offices, massage therapists, and much more! Attendees can also take in sessions on breastfeeding, creating a safe sleep environment, what you need to know about postpartum depression, tips for new dads, among others. No registration necessary or charge to attend; classrooms will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information available at www.cchwyo.org/familyexpo. Note: There are sessions on Friday, May 13 for health care providers.

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer