St. James Healthcare offers guidance to mothers struggling to breastfeed their babies
Whether it's breastfeeding, formula feeding or a mix of both, mothers can find the information and help they need at the lactation clinic inside St James Healthcare, now part of Intermountain Healthcare.
“It was a struggle to start, but it got easier as we went and kind of fixed the problems,” said Kaycee Hould. “But I guess I'm lucky because I didn't know any different.”
Kaycee gave birth to her first son, Kyden, in August of last year and had trouble breastfeeding him and his weight was not improving no matter what Hould did to get him to latch.
“So I reached out to Jessica and she was amazing to be able to help me and give me the tools and everything that I needed to be able to breastfeed,” said Kaycee.
Jessica Walsh, BSN, RNC, an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), has been working at St James for 17 years and is the only IBCLC in the Butte-Silver Bow area. In an effort to bring her expertise to new mothers the outpatient clinic was started Summer of 2021.
“I feel like we do a really great job of helping moms and educating them and giving them lots of help while they’re in the hospital, but here in Butte, there were not a whole lot of resources for them to reach out to when they were having struggles at home. So that motivated me to go for something more in-depth,” said Walsh.
In addition to the lactation clinic, Walsh offers a free breastfeeding class for expecting mothers. The breastfeeding class is two hours long and Walsh teaches about the basics of breastfeeding, the important things to know in the first hour of life, and the first couple days of life. One of the most crucial parts of the class is connecting expectant parents to the available resources so they know who to ask for help after the baby is delivered.
Now that Kyden is weaned off breast milk, Kaycee could not be any happier after achieving her goal of breastfeeding him for one year. Having Jessica along for the breastfeeding journey has been essential to their success.
“Somebody as kind and sweet as Jessica cheering you on saying, no, that's normal and actually giving you a perception of what is normal was amazing,” said Kaycee. “Not only for my mental health but to continue in feeding with him.”
Jessica worked in collaboration with the St. James Healthcare Foundation for the initial funding for the Lactation Clinic. She is now happy to announce the Lactation Clinic has received a $17,6580 grant from The Montana Obstetrics & Maternal Support program (MOMS), The Rural Institute of the University of Montana, and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
St. James Healthcare offers several classes on childbirth preparation and breastfeeding. Visit sjh-mt.org/baby for more information.
I feel like we do a really great job of helping moms and educating them and giving them lots of help while they’re in the hospital, but here in Butte, there were not a whole lot of resources for them to reach out to when they were having struggles at home. So that motivated me to go for something more in-depth.
About St. James Healthcare and Intermountain Healthcare
St. James Healthcare has served the people of Southwestern Montana for more than 135 years and is the largest and only acute care health care facility in the region. St. James Healthcare is a 67-bed hospital located in Butte, Montana, with more than 450 caregivers, alongside 100 physicians and advanced care professionals, offering 24-hour care and dozens of progressive specialty services. St. James Healthcare is part of the Intermountain Healthcare system. Based in Utah with locations in seven states (Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming) and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare system comprised of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers. To help people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. To learn more about St. James Healthcare, visit sjh-mt.org.