MOFMC offers services for breastfeeding moms

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Often times, active duty moms can find themselves struggling to provide nourishment for their child due to time constraints, lack of support, stress, or just the constant tug and pull of military life.

With the month of August designated as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center on Nellis Air Force Base is offering many services and events for breastfeeding parents.

"We are working towards making our hospital baby friendly, so moms have better support," said Dolly Crespo, 99th Medical Group lactation consultant. "We had an event called the Big Latch On where all these babies from around the world breastfed at the same time. This was the second year that we did this and its part of the activities that we have for National Breastfeeding Awareness Month."

Throughout the month of August, La Leche League Meetings are being held for expectant couples, dads, babies, and others to meet and share breastfeeding experiences and learn from others.

There was also a breastfeeding exhibit and weight scale station where families enjoyed the hospital's "I love breastfeeding" wall and hands for breastfeeding stories exhibit.

"At the end of the month we have the promotion ceremony and Col. Guillermo Tellez, 99th Medical Group commander, is going to be giving out certificates to babies that have breastfed for more than six months, one year and two years," said Crespo.

Crespo also stated that the hospital offers services throughout the year, not just during National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

"You know when a hospital is supportive of breastfeeding by the exclusive breastfeeding rate, meaning women who exclusively breastfeed in the hospital," said Crespo. "Often, 90 to 95 percent of women that want to breastfeed are doing it exclusively in the hospital and ours is over 90 percent.

"In all the hospitals in the nation, for example, the rate is 60 to 70 percent, so we are way over average. Here in the state of Nevada the average is 60 to 70 percent as well, so were even better than the hospitals in the area."

Crespo added that breastfeeding is not only a feeding method, it is a relationship builder between mom and baby.

"When I first met Dolly, my most important thing was that I just wanted my child to have breast milk whether it was pump milk or latching," said Maj. Jennifer Laack, 99th Aerospace Medicine Squadron audiologist. "As long as I could pump enough that was fine, but I did want to latch and Dolly told me that I had to get latching down because I wasn't going to have enough milk to provide by pumping so early, and so it really clicked and resonated with me that I had to establish this relationship with my baby."

For parents with breastfeeding concerns, Crespo often sees outpatients.

"Any pediatrician can call me and let me know," said Crespo. "We schedule appointments between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Every day I see patients that have problems and I'll follow up on them until it's resolved."

For more information about the lactation services offered, contact Dolly Crespo at 707-917-5043 or the Mike O' Callaghan Federal Medical Center information line at 702-653-2273.