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Birthing and lactation classes

From pregnancy through the early weeks of your baby’s life, the Women’s Pavilion for Birthing offers a host of resources and training for women and their families. Lactation Consultant Linda LeMon is available in the maternity unit to work with mothers on breastfeeding. After discharge, she continues to provide support through our telephone tri-age phone line and our breastfeeding support groups which meet every first and third Wednesday of the month. Mothers from the region meet with Linda LeMon to talk about breastfeeding and parenting issues, and moms can meet others in the area and exchange information and experiences. Our Face Book club – Moms Love HVHC – provides another way for new mothers to interact. Between 80 to 90 percent of mothers who give birth at HVHC exclusively breastfeed their babies, one of the highest rates in the state and significantly above the national average. Why is this important? Because studies show that breast-fed babies have stronger immune systems, fewer ailment and are less likely to be overweight in later years. The Hospital received an Award of Excellence from the New York State Health Department in April 2011 for its breastfeeding support programs. Hudson Valley Hospital Center is also the only hospital in Westchester and Putnam Counties to be accredited by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.




Here’s what Alice Mann of Montrose, NY had to say about breastfeeding support programs:

The medical and personal care that Stella and I received in this hospital was exactly what we needed after my twins’ birth 3 years ago at another hospital. When I had my first c-section, I only saw one of my twins briefly before they were whisked off to the NICU 2 floors down. I didn't see them again until I could get out of bed 11 hours later.

Although I tried to initiate breastfeeding at every feeding possible during the seven days that my twins were in the NICU, breastfeeding got off to a difficult start and remained very challenging for their first 8 months. But more than that, my confidence as a new mother was deeply shaken by my experience of their birth and our first week together, even though we were being cared for by highly competent professionals at one of the gold standard medical facilities in the United States.

So when we decided to have another baby, I did everything in my power to have a successful VBAC and avoid another c-section, including attending the NE Doula's discussion group for pregnant moms and Linda LeMon's labor class, both offered at this hospital.

Unfortunately, Stella was born by c-section at 9:45 am on March 16th. But this c-section was a very different experience from the first one. The surgery was performed by my own OB, Dr. Charles and midwife, Sue Schmidt. By 10 am, one of the nurses in the operating room, Renee, had expertly latched Stella onto my breast, only 15 minutes after she was born. I experienced uterine contractions right away from breastfeeding, which helped speed my recovery, and I was only shaky for an hour after the surgery. Despite the IV, the blue curtain, and all the strangeness of major surgery, our first moments with Stella went as well as possible and put the distressing memory of my first c-section behind us.

The rest of our stay was a dream. Stella joined my husband and me in the recovery room, where she spent the first few hours of her life nursing contentedly, getting breastfeeding off to a healthy start. She was with us in my room during our entire hospital stay, which gave us time to hold and adore her. We had two visits from Linda LeMon in my hospital room to support breastfeeding. Each of my nurses was very attentive, caring and knowledgeable about my medical care and the care of a newborn. We brought Stella home on the third day. By her sixth day, Stella had gained almost all her weight back. She is a great eater, sleeper, and pooper. And my recovery from surgery is going smoothly and quickly.

Birth, even by c-section, is much more than a medical event. We are extremely grateful to the hospital staff for giving us the best possible medical AND personal care that a mother delivering by c-section could ask for. So I ask that each of us in this room do what is in our power to make this level of care available to the many mothers in the state of New York, who need it, and whose babies would greatly benefit from it.