By Jeanine Mezei, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Fort Carson Public Affairs OfficeAugust 15, 2017
Becoming a new parent can be an overwhelming experience, especially when it comes to feeding your baby.
How do you know you are doing it right? Is the baby properly latching or even receiving enough milk? So many questions present themselves and some parents have no idea where to turn for help.
Luckily, Evans Army Community Hospital's Lactation Department in the Mountain Post Birthing Center is providing guidance and education to parents looking for support when it comes to feeding their infant.
"We've recently increased our services to seven days a week for inpatient and outpatient care," said Capt. Christie Lang, chief of the lactation department. "Our patients are in the most qualified hands to deal with breastfeeding issues."
With a skilled staff of lactation-trained nurses and two with International Board Certified Lactation Consultant credentials, the staff is prepared to deal with outpatient care Monday through Friday and help inpatient moms who deliver on weekends.
For many families, the services offered here provide relief and a guiding hand when it comes to feeding their baby.
"Since we've moved here, Kinsley has had an adjustment period and it has affected her feeding," said Jessica Limbocker, a first-time mom to 3-month-old daughter Kinsley, who recently moved to Fort Carson with her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Limbocker, an infantryman assigned to 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
After enduring a difficult birth and not being able to feed Kinsley for the first three weeks after delivery, Jessica relied on pumping and bottle feeding for her daughter.
During their first visit to the lactation team, Jessica met with Brenda Willey-Yamamoto, a lactation consultant who addressed Jessica's concerns when it came to proper latching and choking due to a fast milk flow.
"The majority of the visits are concerned with feeding issues," said Willey-Yamamoto. "Sometimes it's only once and some moms come every week for lactation support so we can get them to where they want to be with feeding."
Brenda introduced Jessica to an alternate feeding position to slow down milk flow, reducing Kinsley's chances of choking during feeding.
"She latched without choking and that was my goal," said Jessica, content with a successful feeding during her visit. "Breastfeeding is a very hard thing to do and it can be uncomfortable to feed in front of people but it's a very relaxed environment and I felt very comfortable."
Willey-Yamamoto, a 14-year veteran in the lactation field, is an integral part of the team and helps with the clinic's average of four to seven patients a day while providing an hour-long appointment to accommodate beneficiaries.
In addition to providing one-on-one guidance for parents, she also provides community outreach in partnership with Army Community Service to the local military community alongside her team to help beneficiaries learn the importance of breastfeeding while providing a safe, interactive atmosphere.
"We look at weight gain problems, latching issues and sore nipples," said Willey-Yamamoto. "We can also assist with showing how to pump."
While wrapping up her appointment, Jessica expressed her satisfaction and willingness to return in the event of any additional feeding issues.
"I feel really great; I was so nervous," said Jessica. "I'm so glad to see there is a strong breastfeeding community here."