Theresa’s Passion for Breastfeeding Education: In Her Own Words

Aug 9 2023

Theresa A. McLeod, BSN, IBCLC, RN-C, has been with our ministry since July of 2016 and transition into the role of a lactation consultant at Bon Secours – The Birthplace at Mary Immaculate Hospital in 2019.

Theresa actually decided to become an international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) because of her personal experience with breastfeeding. Read on to hear her share her personal and professional journey here, in her own words.  

“When I was a new mom, my husband and I were stationed overseas. I didn’t have a lot of support to encourage me to continue breastfeeding when things became challenging. My sweet husband tried, but he said, ‘let’s just feed him.’ At the hospital, I was encouraged to ‘feed your baby, he’s a big baby and he needs to eat.’ The nurses quickly gave us formula instead of spending time educating us.

So, once I became a postpartum registered nurse, I knew I wanted to help moms get off to a great start with breastfeeding.

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping a mom who is struggling and ready to give up. I can then help her so she continues exclusively breastfeeding her newborn. I’ve had many moms contact me a few weeks later and share with me how grateful they are that I was able to help them. That is the best reward!

When I think about what I am most proud of in my role, it really comes down to seeing the look on a mom’s face when I’ve helped her with getting her newborn correctly, comfortably latched.

At The Birthplace, I work with an amazing team! They are inquisitive and eager to learn what they can do to support new breastfeeding moms. I am frequently approached with questions on how they can help, if there was something different that I would have done, or they will share a story of how they have helped a new mom. I especially love those stories.

But my favorite part of my job is helping new moms. For the most part, I can spend the needed time at the bedside to help her get off to a great start. I teach her about breastfeeding positions, how she will know her newborn is feeding well, what she can do to establish a great milk supply for her newborn.

I feel that giving each breastfeeding mom my attention and support is directly connected to serving our ministry’s Mission.

In November of 2022, I began offering a prenatal breastfeeding class. The focus of this class is to help get breastfeeding off to a great start. I teach moms, and their support person if they attend, what the first few days and weeks of breastfeeding will be like. I want them to leave the class feeling supported and having a better understanding of how their decision to breastfeed is best for them and their newborn. Those first few weeks with a newborn are exhausting and amazing at the same time.

Overall, I want each breastfeeding mom to have the education to know that she and her newborn are breastfeeding well.”

Learn more about the maternity education classes we offer at Bon Secours.

Also, learn more about the maternity care services we provide.

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