Owatonna Hospital Baby Café
For more information, call 507-977-2455 or visit the Owatonna Hospital Baby Café page.


Breastfeeding support for new moms

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for both mother and baby, and many new mothers look forward to bonding with their newborns through it.

In addition to the emotional benefits of this experience, research shows breastfeeding can lower a baby’s risk for:

  • ear and upper respiratory infections
  • allergies
  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • chronic conditions in adulthood, including diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.

“While breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s not for everyone,” said Laurie Ridgley, RN, nurse manager of the Owatonna Hospital Birth Center.

The decision to breastfeed or bottlefeed is personal, Ridgley said. “Our staff is happy to support whatever feeding method you choose.”

The Birth Center now has three certified lactation counselors (CLC) who can help mothers who choose breastfeeding.

“We show you how to get started and how to best position your baby,” said Trisha Wencl, RN, CLC, at Owatonna Hospital.

CLCs can help with any problems you may have, such as difficulties latching on, painful nursing, low milk production or if your baby is not gaining enough weight. Three nurses are CLCs, but everyone on staff at the Birth Center has been trained in assisting new moms with feeding.

“We’ve standardized the education for all our nurses so that any one of them can help you with whatever feeding method you choose,” Ridgley said.

Birth Center nurses can also help moms who choose to bottle-feed with proper mixing and handling. Nurses are available to provide education and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“New moms take comfort in having someone who can help them immediately after birth,” Ridgley said.