MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is a strong proponent of breastfeeding and ensures that both convenience and privacy are benefits that are offered here at the hospital. Included among the benefits available to our associates are a discount on items sold in the breastfeeding resource center, such as pumps and nursing bras; access to a lactation consultant during pregnancy, after birth, during maternity leave and upon return to work; and the ability to use a hospital grade breast pump that is available for use within the hospital, if needed. Associates have use of a room to pump located outside the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center and the consultation room in Health Connections as well as associate locker rooms. The environment is very supportive to ensure that our new moms have the support they need upon returning to work, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. One example of this is that our Operating Room nurses have decided to use their locker room for lactation sessions for more convenience during busy surgery days. To accommodate them, the hospital provided a separate refrigerator in which to store their milk.
MedStar St. Mary’s has done many things to support my breastfeeding journey – and it has been a journey! It started with Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center nurses who knew that I was a first time mom trying to breastfeed my son. They helped me to get him to latch properly and gave me several ideas for different ways to hold Noah that would be more comfortable and make feeding easier. During my stay in the hospital, our lactation consultant came to visit me and was very supportive and encouraging. She told me about the breastfeeding moms group every Wednesday. I visited the lactation specialist for one-on-one appointments and came to the mom’s group during my maternity leave. Both were very helpful. Being a new mom and trying to figure out what to do, you need encouragement from everywhere!
After I returned to work, I was lucky enough to be able to pump three times a day. My coworkers were always willing to pitch in when I needed to take time to pump and I am happy to say that 10 months into this journey I am still pumping at work and providing breast milk for my baby, which I believe is so important. I have consulted multiple times with one of our lactation consultants, both of whom are always there to answer questions and I am so grateful for that. I feel like working at MSMH has enabled me to breastfeed longer than I expected.
We are health professionals, moms, educators, policy-makers, organizations, businesses and others who promote, protect, and support breastfeeding. We have been assisting breastfeeding families and professionals since 2002. The Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition is a member coalition of the United States Breastfeeding Committee.