EVERETT — Washington State has one of the highest percentages of parents who choose breastfeeding at the time an infant is born, but starting or maintaining lactation can prove problematic for some parents, and that is when the Providence Lactation and Post-Partum Clinic Everett steps in to help.
According to a 2020 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card surveying parents with babies born in 2017, 92.5 percent of Washington State parents made the choice to breastfeed at some point in the infant’s first year. However, the number of parents breastfeeding decreases to 74.6 percent at the 6-month mark. There are various circumstances that can cause reductions in parental milk supplies during breastfeeding, or sometimes an infant is born before milk has begun to produce in the parent.
The Providence Lactation and Post-Partum Clinic helps families work through issues with low milk supply by providing lactation support, donated breast milk though the Providence milk bank, and frenotomy procedures to correct “tongue-tie” which impairs an infant’s ability to breastfeed.
Frenotomy procedures, a newer service offered by the clinic which fixes abnormal frenulum impairing a newborn’s ability to latch, are performed by a pediatrician brought into the clinic. The clinic works with the Providence Family Maternity Center and offers additional post-partum support services like newborn jaundice checks, weight checks, lactation consultations for parents, prenatal lactation consultations, and latch assistance.
The clinic sees around 400 parents and babies a month and is open seven days a week. These extended weekend hours are an added benefit to the community and new parents.
“We had a parent bring their baby in for a newborn visit on the weekend, where sometimes other clinics don’t have offerings. Our nurses were able to detect high albumin/globulin levels – which are able to diagnose jaundice – and get them hospital care early on. The baby had a really good outcome since we were able to detect and manage the jaundice right away,” says Shanna Van Horn, Manager of Obstetrical Services at Providence Everett and the Maternal Fetal Medical Clinic.
The high-level of care offered by the clinic is due to the care and special licensing of all the lactation consultants, who are all International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant Registered Nurses, which is the highest certification and only internationally recognized lactation credential.
The Providence Post-Partum and Lactation Clinic was the first milk depot in the state and opened in 2012. In January 2021, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett also became a Northwest Mothers Milk Bank Milk Drop site.
The clinic offers phone consultations as well, which is a service that proved timely and useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. The clinic also offers feeding support for various feeding options outside of breastfeeding.
“Having a new baby is such an exciting time, and we want parents to know that we are here to help and support them through their journey,” says Van Horn. Learn more about the Providence Post-Partum and Lactation Clinic here, or call (425) 303-6545.