PCH/FMC Announces New “Healthy Start” Breastfeeding Clinic

PCH/FMC Announces New “Healthy Start” Breastfeeding Clinic


Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center will offer a new breastfeeding clinic called Healthy Start beginning Dec. 5. The clinic will be available by appointment Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Visiting Specialty Clinic.

Healthy Start will be staffed by Leighsa Cornwell, RN, BS, community health and disease management coordinator. Cornwell is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who has specialized knowledge and clinical expertise in breastfeeding and human lactation. In her role at Healthy Start, Cornwell will advise mothers about the benefits and proper techniques of breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding has become very popular in recent years because of its health benefits and cost savings,” Cornwell explained. “However, many new moms experience challenges while breastfeeding. They may feel helpless at times and need someone to turn to. Our new clinic can help them overcome the challenges of breastfeeding and meet their goals.”

In 2010, three out of four American mothers, or 75 percent, began breastfeeding their babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.

Although producing milk is a natural process, breastfeeding is a learned process. Complications of breastfeeding can include latch problems, supply issues, infant weight loss, painful feedings, position problems, maintenance of milk supply while working, pumpage and storage of breast milk, and weaning.

Breastfeeding is beneficial to mothers and babies in many ways. For mothers, breastfeeding creates a strong bond with the infant, helps the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size more quickly, burns more calories, produces relaxing hormones, reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial Cancers, and reduces the risk of Type II diabetes.

Babies benefit because breast milk helps to greatly reduce the risk of health problems and chronic diseases, including allergies, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and diabetes.

Cornwell is a registered nurse who also has a bachelor’s degree in community health. She is experienced in labor and delivery, postpartum and newborn nursery care, and chronic disease management. She has also taught prepared childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, and provided the community with education on various healthcare-related topics.

The Healthy Start breastfeeding clinic serves women who are currently breastfeeding, as well as women who are pregnant. A healthcare provider’s referral is accepted, but not necessary.

To make an appointment, call 465-2606, Ext. 228.

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