Breastfeeding clinic finds a home in town

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Attie Sandink aims to change the way the world views breastfeeding, one baby at a time.

The Carlisle RN has opened Flamborough's first breastfeeding clinic, a place where new moms can turn for help when the natural act of breastfeeding doesn't come so naturally.

The clinic was a logical extension of Sandink's career: she began as a pre-natal class teacher and a labour and delivery nurse. Stumbling through a rocky breastfeeding experience herself - and watching the struggles of many patients - prompted her to get additional training in lactation and become a certified Lactation Consultant.

Although breastfeeding is natural, it's no longer the norm, she feels. Women in North America don't grow up seeing relatives or other women breastfeeding, so when it comes time to breastfeed their own babies, they have little knowledge to fall back on.

"It hasn't been normalized in our culture," she said. "It's no longer an instinct."

That leads to frequent problems in early breastfeeding, from pain and bleeding from a poor latch to slow growth from a low supply.

She feels formula ads, paired with pictures of bottle-feeding babies have pushed breastfeeding to the fringes.

"You see very few breastfeeding pictures," she said. Those that do appear in the general public often cause controversy, due to the perceived sexuality of a bare breast on film.

"It's not a sexual thing, but some people just can't get over that hurdle," she said.

Research proves that breastfeeding is best, she noted. It's a living food, which is capable of giving immunity to many diseases. Its composition even alters to meet the unique needs of each baby. But it's not just about nutrition.

"Breastfeeding is nurturing as well as nourishing," she said. The closeness, cuddling and skin-to-skin contact is soothing to a fussy baby, and even releases hormones in the mother which promote relaxation - something in short supply for most new moms.

Although she's passionate about breastfeeding, Sandink quick to stand up for moms who choose the bottle, as long as that choice is an educated one. She sees it as her role to provide information and assistance. But if a mother feels bottle-feeding is the right choice for her, she'll support it.

"It's whatever works," she said. "I'm not here to make people feel guilty. I'm here to help women go as far as they can go as far as breastfeeding is concerned. It's up to them to define success."

Although many women come to her with simple problems, such as an improper latch, many experience more daunting hurdles. Mentally challenged babies, those with physical disabilities such as cleft lips and preemies often have immense trouble learning how to breastfeed, she said. But with perseverance, it's possible. Even mothers who started on formula but have a change of heart can breastfeed. Sandink has even helped several adoptive mothers to breastfeed, even though they've never given birth.

Breastfeeding is just one challenge faced by new moms. Many women come to her with post-partem depression. She helps them by directing them to resources in the area, and lends an ear to women struggling through the baby blues.

"New motherhood is so overwhelming," she said. "There are so many things flying at you from all directions, all while trying to get over the sleep deprivation and the pain."

That's why Sandink performs house calls. It's often hard for new moms to get out - especially those who've had a C-section, she said. This service isn't new; Sandink has been making house calls for nearly 20 years. But she felt it was time to complement the service with the clinic. It allows her to keep her fees to a minimum, and gives a place for new moms to meet and share their experiences.

The clinic is a drop-in facility, open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But if a mom prefers to meet there after hours, as opposed to her home, Sandink is willing to accommodate.

Although many hospitals offer lactation clinics, funding cuts often leave moms on their own just weeks after birth, she noted. Her clinic offers a consistent face for moms to turn to, for as long as they need the service.

She also rents electric pumps, and has a wide variety of baby gear for sale, from safety devices to baby seats.The clinic will also be the permanent home for her pre-natal classes, which she has run for 30 years.

"I've always wanted a permanent place," she said. It has also allowed her to expand her classes to healthcare professionals looking for more information on breastfeeding. Sandink is committed to the Baby Friendly initiative - a committee that aims to alter the perceptions of breastfeeding in the medical community. They teach nurses and doctors to be supportive of new mothers who wish to breastfeed. Right now, many patients who run into trouble are offered formula.

Any mom hoping to use the breastfeeding clinic or any expectant mom looking to sign up for pre-natal classes can drop by the clinic at 11 Mill Street South, or call 905-689-3632, or 905-515-2664.

Breastfeeding clinic finds a home in town

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Attie Sandink aims to change the way the world views breastfeeding, one baby at a time.

The Carlisle RN has opened Flamborough's first breastfeeding clinic, a place where new moms can turn for help when the natural act of breastfeeding doesn't come so naturally.

The clinic was a logical extension of Sandink's career: she began as a pre-natal class teacher and a labour and delivery nurse. Stumbling through a rocky breastfeeding experience herself - and watching the struggles of many patients - prompted her to get additional training in lactation and become a certified Lactation Consultant.

Although breastfeeding is natural, it's no longer the norm, she feels. Women in North America don't grow up seeing relatives or other women breastfeeding, so when it comes time to breastfeed their own babies, they have little knowledge to fall back on.

"It hasn't been normalized in our culture," she said. "It's no longer an instinct."

That leads to frequent problems in early breastfeeding, from pain and bleeding from a poor latch to slow growth from a low supply.

She feels formula ads, paired with pictures of bottle-feeding babies have pushed breastfeeding to the fringes.

"You see very few breastfeeding pictures," she said. Those that do appear in the general public often cause controversy, due to the perceived sexuality of a bare breast on film.

"It's not a sexual thing, but some people just can't get over that hurdle," she said.

Research proves that breastfeeding is best, she noted. It's a living food, which is capable of giving immunity to many diseases. Its composition even alters to meet the unique needs of each baby. But it's not just about nutrition.

"Breastfeeding is nurturing as well as nourishing," she said. The closeness, cuddling and skin-to-skin contact is soothing to a fussy baby, and even releases hormones in the mother which promote relaxation - something in short supply for most new moms.

Although she's passionate about breastfeeding, Sandink quick to stand up for moms who choose the bottle, as long as that choice is an educated one. She sees it as her role to provide information and assistance. But if a mother feels bottle-feeding is the right choice for her, she'll support it.

"It's whatever works," she said. "I'm not here to make people feel guilty. I'm here to help women go as far as they can go as far as breastfeeding is concerned. It's up to them to define success."

Although many women come to her with simple problems, such as an improper latch, many experience more daunting hurdles. Mentally challenged babies, those with physical disabilities such as cleft lips and preemies often have immense trouble learning how to breastfeed, she said. But with perseverance, it's possible. Even mothers who started on formula but have a change of heart can breastfeed. Sandink has even helped several adoptive mothers to breastfeed, even though they've never given birth.

Breastfeeding is just one challenge faced by new moms. Many women come to her with post-partem depression. She helps them by directing them to resources in the area, and lends an ear to women struggling through the baby blues.

"New motherhood is so overwhelming," she said. "There are so many things flying at you from all directions, all while trying to get over the sleep deprivation and the pain."

That's why Sandink performs house calls. It's often hard for new moms to get out - especially those who've had a C-section, she said. This service isn't new; Sandink has been making house calls for nearly 20 years. But she felt it was time to complement the service with the clinic. It allows her to keep her fees to a minimum, and gives a place for new moms to meet and share their experiences.

The clinic is a drop-in facility, open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But if a mom prefers to meet there after hours, as opposed to her home, Sandink is willing to accommodate.

Although many hospitals offer lactation clinics, funding cuts often leave moms on their own just weeks after birth, she noted. Her clinic offers a consistent face for moms to turn to, for as long as they need the service.

She also rents electric pumps, and has a wide variety of baby gear for sale, from safety devices to baby seats.The clinic will also be the permanent home for her pre-natal classes, which she has run for 30 years.

"I've always wanted a permanent place," she said. It has also allowed her to expand her classes to healthcare professionals looking for more information on breastfeeding. Sandink is committed to the Baby Friendly initiative - a committee that aims to alter the perceptions of breastfeeding in the medical community. They teach nurses and doctors to be supportive of new mothers who wish to breastfeed. Right now, many patients who run into trouble are offered formula.

Any mom hoping to use the breastfeeding clinic or any expectant mom looking to sign up for pre-natal classes can drop by the clinic at 11 Mill Street South, or call 905-689-3632, or 905-515-2664.

Breastfeeding clinic finds a home in town

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Attie Sandink aims to change the way the world views breastfeeding, one baby at a time.

The Carlisle RN has opened Flamborough's first breastfeeding clinic, a place where new moms can turn for help when the natural act of breastfeeding doesn't come so naturally.

The clinic was a logical extension of Sandink's career: she began as a pre-natal class teacher and a labour and delivery nurse. Stumbling through a rocky breastfeeding experience herself - and watching the struggles of many patients - prompted her to get additional training in lactation and become a certified Lactation Consultant.

Although breastfeeding is natural, it's no longer the norm, she feels. Women in North America don't grow up seeing relatives or other women breastfeeding, so when it comes time to breastfeed their own babies, they have little knowledge to fall back on.

"It hasn't been normalized in our culture," she said. "It's no longer an instinct."

That leads to frequent problems in early breastfeeding, from pain and bleeding from a poor latch to slow growth from a low supply.

She feels formula ads, paired with pictures of bottle-feeding babies have pushed breastfeeding to the fringes.

"You see very few breastfeeding pictures," she said. Those that do appear in the general public often cause controversy, due to the perceived sexuality of a bare breast on film.

"It's not a sexual thing, but some people just can't get over that hurdle," she said.

Research proves that breastfeeding is best, she noted. It's a living food, which is capable of giving immunity to many diseases. Its composition even alters to meet the unique needs of each baby. But it's not just about nutrition.

"Breastfeeding is nurturing as well as nourishing," she said. The closeness, cuddling and skin-to-skin contact is soothing to a fussy baby, and even releases hormones in the mother which promote relaxation - something in short supply for most new moms.

Although she's passionate about breastfeeding, Sandink quick to stand up for moms who choose the bottle, as long as that choice is an educated one. She sees it as her role to provide information and assistance. But if a mother feels bottle-feeding is the right choice for her, she'll support it.

"It's whatever works," she said. "I'm not here to make people feel guilty. I'm here to help women go as far as they can go as far as breastfeeding is concerned. It's up to them to define success."

Although many women come to her with simple problems, such as an improper latch, many experience more daunting hurdles. Mentally challenged babies, those with physical disabilities such as cleft lips and preemies often have immense trouble learning how to breastfeed, she said. But with perseverance, it's possible. Even mothers who started on formula but have a change of heart can breastfeed. Sandink has even helped several adoptive mothers to breastfeed, even though they've never given birth.

Breastfeeding is just one challenge faced by new moms. Many women come to her with post-partem depression. She helps them by directing them to resources in the area, and lends an ear to women struggling through the baby blues.

"New motherhood is so overwhelming," she said. "There are so many things flying at you from all directions, all while trying to get over the sleep deprivation and the pain."

That's why Sandink performs house calls. It's often hard for new moms to get out - especially those who've had a C-section, she said. This service isn't new; Sandink has been making house calls for nearly 20 years. But she felt it was time to complement the service with the clinic. It allows her to keep her fees to a minimum, and gives a place for new moms to meet and share their experiences.

The clinic is a drop-in facility, open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But if a mom prefers to meet there after hours, as opposed to her home, Sandink is willing to accommodate.

Although many hospitals offer lactation clinics, funding cuts often leave moms on their own just weeks after birth, she noted. Her clinic offers a consistent face for moms to turn to, for as long as they need the service.

She also rents electric pumps, and has a wide variety of baby gear for sale, from safety devices to baby seats.The clinic will also be the permanent home for her pre-natal classes, which she has run for 30 years.

"I've always wanted a permanent place," she said. It has also allowed her to expand her classes to healthcare professionals looking for more information on breastfeeding. Sandink is committed to the Baby Friendly initiative - a committee that aims to alter the perceptions of breastfeeding in the medical community. They teach nurses and doctors to be supportive of new mothers who wish to breastfeed. Right now, many patients who run into trouble are offered formula.

Any mom hoping to use the breastfeeding clinic or any expectant mom looking to sign up for pre-natal classes can drop by the clinic at 11 Mill Street South, or call 905-689-3632, or 905-515-2664.