Breastfeeding education and support

Breastfeeding for a first-time mom has a learning curve and can sometimes be stressful, so it’s good news that Lamoille Valley has a new board-certified lactation consultant. Gloria Tuthill, RN, BSN, a member of CHSLV’s Community Health Team, became an international board-certified lactation consultant this past summer. Lactation consultants are professional breastfeeding specialists trained to teach mothers how to feed their babies. They help women experiencing breastfeeding problems, such as latching difficulties, painful nursing, and low milk production.

Tuthill, a maternal child health nurse and mother of a toddler, was inspired to pursue the certification after having problems breastfeeding her own newborn. “I had latch issues,” she says. “The first two weeks were really difficult, so I met with a lactation consultant. She was wonderful, and I was able to continue breastfeeding.”

When Tuthill meets with a new mom, the first thing she does is find out what the mother’s goals are. Does she want to breastfeed for two weeks, two months, two years, not at all? Then she devises a plan to help mom be a successful breast feeder. She checks in with her every two weeks to provide education, support, and the tools to be successful.

“I help with latch issues or other concerns. It can be a simple fix, or more complicated. A shallow latch is most common. In the early days, it can cause abrasions on the nipple, which in turn can cause inability to get enough milk. I’ll help mom adjust the infant’s latch so the baby gets a full feeding and is satisfied,” Tuthill explains. “A woman’s body can produce a milk that is specifically formulated for her baby.”

For more information about breast feeding or to schedule an appointment with Gloria Tuthill, RN, BSN, call Morrisville Family Health Care, 802-888-6008.

Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley (CHSLV) is funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration and generous community support. CHSLV is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233