Weekly sessions offer breastfeeding mothers support in English and Spanish
Breastfeeding mothers living downvalley have a new weekly option for both group and clinical support in El Jebel.
Aspen Valley Hospital has long offered the Bosom Buddies program, a social group that provides professional and peer counseling for breastfeeding mothers, every week at the Aspen Birth Center. Now the program has expanded to include weekly sessions in El Jebel at the Eagle County Community Center, in both English and Spanish.
“We thought this would be a great way to serve Spanish-speaking families, which are typically underserved for these kinds of services,” says Heather Knott, RN, BSN, Childbirth Educator and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant who runs the maternity programs at the Hospital.
The new midvalley location is set up to serve mothers in the lower Roaring Fork Valley and Western Garfield County, as well as those living upvalley who may find the Tuesday time more convenient.
Mothers have two choices each week to attend a Bosom Buddies group:
- Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Baby Café on the second level of the Eagle County Community Center in El Jebel
- Thursdays, 2 – 3:30 p.m. at the Aspen Birth Center at Aspen Valley Hospital
Knott teamed up in starting the El Jebel program with Hazzell Chevez, a certified lactation counselor who works for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a nutrition program that provides nutritious groceries, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and other services free of charge to Colorado families who qualify.
Chevez says the need was obvious: other than private sessions with breastfeeding specialists, there were no real options for mothers living downvalley. And there were even fewer options for mothers whose primary language is Spanish.
“Having a counselor who can give advice and do their assessment in Spanish is great, and makes people more comfortable,” Chevez says. “Also, the Baby Café is a drop-in site, so people don’t need to schedule an appointment with a breastfeeding consultant.”
Both Knott and Chevez are on hand at the Bosom Buddies Baby Café on Tuesdays to provide one-on-one counseling in English and Spanish, and to help and encourage peer support between mothers. Knott brings the clinical expertise to provide professional medical advice, while Chevez is a certified lactation consultant and is fluent in Spanish and English.
Bosom Buddies sessions are a great place for moms to meet, share their experiences, and make friends. Sometimes one mother’s experience can empower others to continue with breastfeeding when they are thinking of giving up. Meeting someone who has had similar challenges helps mothers learn strategies they need to be successful.
The program also includes “chest feeding” education to help mothers who cannot produce milk because of medical conditions or because they are transgender. The coaching helps those moms employ strategies such as the use of a tube that give them and their babies a similar bonding experience, which is important for both mother and child.
“A lot of people think that breastfeeding is something that comes very natural, but many times that is not the case,” she continues. “Sometimes just a small thing needs to be changed to become successful.”
Learn more about Lactation Services at Aspen Valley Hospital by calling 970.544.1130 or visit our Lactation Services webpage.