The Birth Place at St. Anthony has a history of providing a host of educational services and classes to help new families navigate parenthood. From breastfeeding classes and weekly support groups to home visits and one-on-one counseling sessions, The Birth Place staff are a valuable resource. St. Anthony Registered Nurse Alicia Dentlinger of Coon Rapids, expanded her knowledge to better assist new mothers at The Birth Place by earning her lactation consultant certification through the Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition. As a result, The Birth Place extended its service offerings to include lactation support and consultation.
“This is an exciting time for St. Anthony,” Dentlinger said. “The licensure has changed our approach to breastfeeding. Our focus has transitioned to a more individualized approach to feeding infants, whether that be straight breastfeeding, a combination of breastfeeding and
supplemental feeding, bottle feeding – or anything in-between. It is our goal to help new mothers choose the feeding method that best fits their needs.”
Dentlinger completed 90 hours of online, lactation-based education and completed 1,500 clinical hours for licensure through the International Board Certification of Lactation Consultants. She earned her designation on January 1, 2018.
“We believe the number one reason new mothers give up on breastfeeding is a lack of support,” Dentlinger said. “That’s why we make it a priority to tailor feeding options to each
mother-child pair. At St. Anthony, we recognize that no two babies are the same. The same mother may have a completely different experience from her first baby to her second. Sometimes the answer isn’t black and white – we’re here to provide support and feeding options to make feeding easier.”
New and expecting mothers, whether seeing a St. Anthony physician or another health care provider, are welcome to attend all St. Anthony support services and classes free of charge. The St. Anthony Infant Feeding support group meets weekly in Carroll from 10:00 a.m. until noon every Tuesday in meeting room #2 near the cafeteria entrance, located at 311 South Clark Street in Carroll.
During the sessions, nurses weigh the babies; answer questions on breastfeeding, concerns about going back to work, and more; and mothers build comradery amongst other new mothers. No registration is required and mothers and newborns may come and go as their schedules allow.
For questions regarding infant feeding or a St. Anthony support group, please contact The Birth Place at St. Anthony Regional Hospital at (712) 794-5260.
This article has been updated from it's original publication in Spring, 2018.
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