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Breast Feeding Center Helps Moms, Kids and Caregivers

A Lactation Center, offering such special services as helping critically ill infants receive mother's milk or adoptive mothers breast feed their babies, has been established at Stanford University Hospital.

"We're interested in helping mothers and their babies with special problems, but we're also hoping to be an educational resource for any new mother -- and we'll help physicians and nurses who are often asked to provide advice on breast feeding," said Melanie Ashworth, the program coordinator.

Ashworth, a Stanford registered nurse and certified lactation specialist, said intensive care babies can receive the unique benefits of mothers' milk through the aid of a breast pump, if they cannot nurse directly at the breast.

Special aids have also been made available in recent years to give adopted mothers and newborns the psychological benefits of feeding at the breast. Some adoptive mothers, Ashworth explained, are able to begin producing at least a partial milk supply which is supplemented at the breast.

"Breast milk is obviously the food babies were intended to receive, and in recent years maternity caregivers have been making a more organized, more knowledgeable effort to help mothers and babies nurse more effectively," said Ashworth.

The center will provide consultation to mothers on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, offer prenatal breast feeding classes, provide prenatal breast exams, and will also provide breast pumps for rental or purchase, said Joyce Miller, assistant director of nursing, who announced the establishment of the center in June.

For further information, call (415) 725-8767. -mg-


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