TWO OF THE greatest joys of my life are having my two children, my daughter, Lenia, and my son, Brady. Accompanying those joys was the blessing that I was able to successfully breastfeed them for the first year of their lives.
I know I could not have done this on my own and I am grateful to Gina Slayden, lactation consultant at Newman Regional Health, for her expertise she used to teach me how to nurse my children. Her help was essential to my success in breastfeeding and that is why I was deeply saddened to learn of the hospital’s decision to dramatically reduce her availability hours and to possibly eliminate this program altogether.
Breast-feeding is full of many wonderful moments between mother and child, but it is hard and takes an amazing amount of commitment. Having a free expert to learn proper technique from as well as to go to for emotional support is essential for new moms.
The research is overwhelming concerning the benefits of breast-feeding for both the child and the mother and Gina allowed me to give this priceless gift to my children. I know I have given them the best start possible for their lives and have given them health benefits they can receive only from breast milk as well as given me long term health benefits too.
I know countless numbers of women in Emporia who have benefited from Gina’s expertise and support and I ask the hospital to reconsider removing a lactation consultant and breastfeeding support group from the budget. I understand that times are tough and difficult decisions must be made, but please make it a last resort to cut a service that gives mothers and babies the best possible start, thereby ensuring a healthier world for us all in the future.