When the COVID-19 pandemic began, UC Davis Health moved its in-person weekly breastfeeding support group online. The lactation team now hosts Zoom meetings, providing the same resource that new mothers can access from the comfort of home.
“We do introductions and then allow each mom to ask questions related to her circumstances. When there is a general concern about their babies’ growth spurts or a specific topic, I provide more information in lecture format,” said UC Davis lactation consultant Debbie Albert. “Last week it was a discussion about a good latch and we used a knitted breast to demonstrate.”
Carissa Fleischmann was an in-person member of the breastfeeding support group and now calls into Zoom. She said she appreciates hearing other moms’ stories and struggles with breastfeeding. She is reminded that she is not alone.
“Whether in person or via Zoom, I’ve found the group to be incredibly encouraging during my time on leave,” Fleischmann said. “I return to work in just over a week and will definitely miss attending and seeing everyone.”
For any mom who has breastfeeding concerns they wish to discuss in private, Albert calls them afterwards. New moms also have access to Alicia Cukjati, a UC Davis lactation consultant who does private consultations with new moms. It’s all part of UC Davis Health’s commitment to providing the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. It is this level of commitment that earned the institution its Baby-Friendly designation this spring.
UC Davis patient Amber Gomez first met the UC Davis lactation team a few days after the birth of her daughter. Her daughter had lost some weight and Gomez learned that she wasn’t producing enough milk. The lactation team sprang to the rescue, sourcing her with a pump to use at home and recommending feeds every two hours.
“I had a very hungry baby. The first time she ate, she had a peaceful look on her face and looked completely relaxed. It was a beautiful thing. Those people were angels for helping me,” Gomez said.
Gomez continues to seek support now from the Zoom breastfeeding support group.
“Because of COVID-19, I haven’t been able to see my mother or my mother-in-law. I was thinking they would be around to support me. But the Zoom meetings have been helpful. It takes a village and it’s really great to have this supportive outlet,” Gomez said.