Lactation services moving forward

Bonnie Learning
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Nurses being trained, meeting with new mothers, says CEO

news update

The CEO of Labrador-Grenfell Health (LGH) says the plans put in place for lactation consultant services are moving forward.

“We currently have two public health nurses completing a specialized lactation consultant course, and our one permanent lactation consultant — based in Labrador City — is due back to work in September, from maternity leave,” explained Wakeham.

“Our last resignation (of the lactation consultant at the Labrador Health Centre), really brought to light the inconsistency in this service, whereby we were depending on one individual to provide it.”

Wakeham said they have since made contact with an individual in the community to provide lactation consultant services on a contract basis in order to ‘fill the gap’, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.

Wakeham says with Public Health nurses now being trained in specialized lactation services, it will be a huge benefit to new mothers.

“Since July 14, our Public Health nurses have been to the (maternity) ward every day, and to date, have seen 30 clients,” he said.

“Of those 30, there have been indication that three of them would benefit from a more enhanced service, which our public health nurses are currently training for.”

Wakeham notes because the public health nurses deliver both pre-natal and post-natal care, it was the right fit to train them for more specialized lactation consultant skills.

Wakeham said the ultimate goal of the LGH is to have all obstetrical staff fully trained in basic lactation consultant skills.

“But we’re not there, yet,” he said.

He added as with any service LGH delivers, there will be continual evaluation and monitoring to gauge the level of service and see if the new model delivery is working.

“Everything we do is evidence-based,” he said.

“I have made a commitment to managers and others that we will look at the workload (of public health nurses) and other factors, and if the stats and data indicate to us we need to add additional resources, we will add them.

“We compare ourselves to other facilities, look at the standards and guidelines. We know the number of deliveries, the number of complex breastfeeding cases — we can very easily determine how our service is working.”

He also notes there is no policy within LGH to refer clients to outside services.

“What we would do, is advise clients of other services that are available within the community,” said Wakeham.

“It would be the same, for example, if someone needed to see a physiotherapist, and there was a long wait list, we would advise them of the private physiotherapist practice in town. But it wouldn’t be a direct referral.”

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Recent comments

  • DeeDee Voisey
    August 07, 2014 - 18:57

    I resigned from Labrador Grenfell Health in April 2014, from a split role as a Diabetes Educator and Lactation Consultant (working in 2 communities, 2.5 days in each position every week) for a variety of reasons, including to take a new position with another employer. In order to ensure Lactation Consultant services continued to be available in some form, I left business cards with inpatients services and public health, to be given to women in need of my service. I have since become aware that women are not receiving this information when they encounter more complex challenges. I am happy to learn that PHNs and acute care nurses are learning additional skills in breastfeeding support and management. It will help fill a gap that has existed for some time and hopefully help provide women with consistent messaging regarding breastfeeding. What I am not happy about is learning women have not been advised of the private Lactation Consultant service in town when the need cannot be filled by LGH at this time. Women seeking Lactation Consultant service in the Upper Lake Melville area may contact me at, or at 896-7665. I am available for home visits, and can see clients prenatally as well as postnatally, for a reasonable fee.