Wilson Health one part of a breastfeeding mom’s team

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a series promoting Breastfeeding Awareness Month which is observed during the month of August.

SIDNEY — For Doris Knapke, RN, IBCLC, and Jennifer Steinke, RN, IBCLC, are members of a team: a breastfeeding mom support team which assists moms who give birth at Wilson Health have a positive experience with breastfeeding their infants.

Steinke, of Botkins, and Knapke, of New Bremen, provide support for the moms through classes and groups at the hospital.

“Breastfeeding is so important that I can’t put it into words,” said Steinke. “It’s a time for bonding between mom and baby. The nutritional value of breastfeeding is important.

“It’s also a quick and easy way to soothe a baby,” she said.

Steinke and Knapke said they have seen mothers who have breastfed all their babies and others who are trying it for the first time. One mom was pregnant with her fifth child and decided to breastfeed the baby. This was the first child she had breastfed and she did so after receiving encouragement from the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department’s WIC program. She received additional support at the hospital.

Both women said the attitude toward breastfeeding moms is changing.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Knapke. “There’s been a change in the physician’s attitude toward breastfeeding.”

For breastfeeding moms Treasure Hughes, of Anna, and Amanda Lichtenberg, of Sidney, the support they received at Wilson Health after giving birth to their children, has helped their breastfeeding journey be successful.

“There’s nothing more heartwarming than to see my future before me,” said Knapke of the story Hughes and Lichtenberg share about breastfeeding their babies.

“My experience at Wilson was fabulous,” said Hughes. “I never saw formula at the hospital.”

“They weren’t there just as lactation consultants,” said Lichtenberg, who had a Cesarean section with her baby. “You guys made sure my baby got fed like he should. If I got engorged, you brought me a (breast) pump.”

“The majority of our job is listening to you,” said Knapke.

“I was glad they didn’t run to get me formula when I was having problems feeding my baby,” said Lichtenberg.

Wilson Health has numerous services available for new moms and their babies.

Breastfeeding Success Class

The breastfeeding class provides information and skills to enhance and gain confidence with a mom’s breastfeeding journey. Mothers are encouraged to attend with a support person prior to delivery so they can learn together what steps will help them reach their feeding goals. Moms-to-be and new moms will discover the natural ability and instincts of a newborn has at birth to breastfeed.

Care Providers

It takes a team of health care providers to provide care of newborns and moms from the time of birth to discharge home.

“We all know that the first few days of that transition are critically important for both. Like every pregnancy and every newborn baby, every breastfeeding experience is also unique and has its own challenges,” said Dr. Rabia Akbar and Dr. Julie Ressler.

Collaboration exists between staff, physicians, and the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to offer new moms the support needed to achieve their breastfeeding goals.

Wilson Hospital

Wilson Health is working with the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Hospital Association on the First Steps for Healthy Babies. First Steps is an evidence based driven recognition giving babies a successful start to breastfeeding. After birth all babies are placed directly skin to skin with their mother to help them adjust to their new environment and use their natural instincts to successfully breastfed. Staff members have had numerous hours of breastfeeding education and of guiding mothers with latching their baby. An IBCLC will visit most mothers and babies during the hospital stay.


After discharge mothers are not alone. An IBCLC will call within 48 hours after discharge to see how mom and baby are doing. Lactation Visits are offered through the Sweet Beginning’s Boutique. These visits allow a mother (and support person) plenty of time to ask questions, breastfeed the infant for further evaluation of latch, provide information on supporting milk supply, and checking the baby’s weights before and after feedings. The hospital’s support doesn’t stop there. Mothers are welcome and encouraged to call with any questions or concerns regardless of the age of their breastfeeding infant.

The Baby Bunch at Wilson Health

Mothers meet the second and fourth Friday of every month at 10:30 a.m. to noon. This group brings mothers together that are in the same season of life to discuss their parenting experience, ask questions, share ideas and express concerns. It is a very casual atmosphere giving mothers the needed support network to continue in their family’s journey.

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;

The lactation room at Wilson Health.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/08/web1_Lactation-Room.jpgThe lactation room at Wilson Health. Courtesy photo

https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/08/web1_Lactation-Room-2.jpgCourtesy photo

By Melanie Speicher


Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.