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Growing together, mother and baby

BOW VALLEY – There is a level of intimacy between mother and baby when it comes to breastfeeding and Grow Lactation Consulting aims to respect that intimacy while providing quality lactation therapy.
Profile shot of Leslie MacDonald
Grow Lactation Consulting founder Leslie MacDonald offers lactation therapy consulting to the mothers of Banff and Canmore in the privacy and comfort of their own homes.

BOW VALLEY – There is a level of intimacy between mother and baby when it comes to breastfeeding and Grow Lactation Consulting aims to respect that intimacy while providing quality lactation therapy.

Started by Leslie MacDonald, a veteran nurse of the Foothills Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery Unit, Grow Lactation Consulting offers private in-home consultations for mothers who are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding throughout the Bow Valley.

“My goal, because I know breastfeeding issues can rapidly worsen, is to see clients within 24-48 hours. I think that’s unique to the private setting, it’s not always available in the public setting,” said MacDonald.

Upon arriving at the home of a client, MacDonald establishes a pediatric history of the baby, talks to the mother about difficulties that the mother may be having, and then observes a feeding session between mother and child.

“Pre and post feed, so before they ever start to feed, I’ll take an initial weight of the baby, and then I’ll weigh the baby again so that’ll tell me about milk consumption. From there we’ll go from there, in developing a plan,” said MacDonald.

Issues mothers may be experiencing that MacDonald is trained to help with include, breast engorgement, and latching difficulties between mother and child. MacDonald is also trained to help mothers with questions they may be having about how to feed, when to feed, and the benefits of breastfeeding.

“I think, even for myself, in that situation you don’t know what you don’t know. In the motherhood community one mom might tell stories and another might tell another story, so you’re not sure what’s the normal so I think having that education and prenatal experience can really help navigate those difficulties,” said MacDonald.

To qualify as a board certified trained lactation consultant, MacDonald attended a course in breastfeeding, as well as participated in over a thousand hours of breastfeeding training. She keeps up to date on her certification by attending conferences and keeping her staying on top of new research.

The benefits of mother and babe feeding are well documented with the World Health Organization.

“Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants," states its website.

To contact MacDonald, visit her website www.growlactationconsulting.com or visit her on the Grow Lactation Consulting Facebook page to set up a consultation. She can also be reached by email at growlactation@gmail.com.