Part of Megan Wiyninger’s job is to help launch new moms on their breastfeeding journey. She’s a lactation consultant and registered nurse in Ridgeview’s Birthing Center. Becoming a certified lactation consultant is rigorous and time intensive. New moms at Ridgeview benefit not only from Megan’s formal training, but from her personal experience.
Megan lives in Delano with her husband and two young children ages 5 and 7. She’s expecting her third child in December. Megan helps new moms with additional empathy and understanding because she’s experienced the challenges of breastfeeding herself—twice.
“Breastfeeding was not an easy journey for me, especially with my first child,” Megan said. “I had painful latching for nearly two months—which is way too long—and also developed mastitis. At that time, I reached out to my sister for extra support because she had a similar experience with her own children.”
Megan encourages new moms to push through any initial challenges, “The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh any obstacles. Even with the setbacks I encountered, I was able to breastfeed both of my children for nearly 16 months.”
Breastfeeding benefits for baby:
- Regulates body processes after delivery; stabilizes blood sugar
- May prevent SIDS, allergies, asthma and eczema
- Protects against ear infections and viral infections
- Helps prevent obesity and cancer
Breastfeeding benefits for mom:
- Protects against excessive postpartum bleeding
- Helps prevent postpartum depression
- Enhances postpartum weight loss
- Helps prevent cancer
- Easier, more cost effective and better for the environment
Education and support before you leave the hospital
Ridgeview provides free support for new moms who want to breastfeed by offering private one-on-one visits each day with a lactation consultant. New moms learn:
- Positioning and latch help: Use pillows to keep infant at breast level, encourage infant to open mouth wide, swiftly direct infant’s mouth onto the nipple in an up-and-over motion.
- Breastfeeding frequency: In the first few weeks infants should nurse every two to three hours, or at least eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period. Infants should be woken up to eat if three hours is reached between feedings.
- Adequate intake/watching wet and dirty diapers: The first few days, expect one wet and one dirty diaper per day of life (e.g., 2-day-old infant should have about two wet and two dirty diapers; 3-day-old should have three wet and three dirty diapers, etc.) until one week of age. At seven days, expect at least six wet and four dirty diapers minimally every day.
- Engorgement management: Keep the milk flowing and soften breast tissue with frequent nursing and breast massage/hand expression. Occasional pumping may be needed. Ice is also helpful to combat swelling.
“More than 90 percent of moms who choose to breastfeed leave Ridgeview doing so successfully,” Megan added.
Finding your tribe for breastfeeding support
Support is all around you. Seek advice from family and friends and turn to all the breastfeeding resources offered by your health care provider.
Ridgeview offers breastfeeding classes before delivery, an outpatient lactation clinic by appointment and a new Mom and Baby Connection support service.
Mom and Baby Connection is a partnership with Carver County Public Health, providing free drop-in support for new moms and their babies. It’s open to ALL moms—not only those who delivered at Ridgeview. In a casual environment, attendees meet other moms and gain helpful information from a Ridgeview lactation consultant.
The group meets every Wednesday at the Ridgeview Professional Building, 560 S. Maple Street, Suite 34 in Waconia from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
If you’re unsure which service is right for you, contact Ridgeview’s lactation department at 952-777-4658 for direction on support that’s right for you.