The need for lactation services and support in the ENC


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) This week Vidant Medical Center announced nearly 200 layoffs due to budget shortfalls. Lactation services and support were among those affected.

Mothers from all over the east choose to give birth at Vidant Medical Center due to its high reputation of care and to take advantage of its well-known lactation services.

For one Beaufort County mom, these services made all the difference in her journey as a new mother.

Brittany Carlyle worked with a lactation consultant during the early years of her child’s life. She traveled from Washington to Greenville weekly to work with her consultant.

This relationship helped her through the early stages of being a new mother.

“Breastfeeding has been proven to be something that is so great for your health not only for babies but for moms and so without these women and their knowledge to help educate the population we wouldn’t do it. It would not be as easy and a lot of moms would quit after the first couple of weeks and as a nurse, I was pretty close to quitting myself,” said Brittany Carlyle who used Vidant’s lactation services

Hundreds of studies internationally find that breastfeeding support is beneficial to not only the baby but the mother as well.

Worldwide there are only 35,000 certified lactation specialists. According to one Pitt County breastfeeding specialist says that’s a low number.

She says that new mothers need a lot of assistance and support when starting to breastfeed.

Here in the east, our area reflects the same.

There’s a high demand for these services, yet a low number of people who can help.

The World Health Organization wants women to breastfeed their babies.

“I think we’re at a point where we need more lactation consultants in the area. Moms have expressed they benefit so much form having lactation right after birth,” said Ivy M. Bagley MSN, FNP-C, IBCLC, Provider, Children’s Health Services

When it comes to the layoffs Carlyle is disappointed to know that some new mothers won’t get the assistance and services that she did when she needed them most.

Carlyle hopes that this doesn’t discourage mothers from breastfeeding and she encourages them to keep reaching out to the consultants the hospital has left.

9 On Your Side reached out to Vidant about IBCLC cuts. Here is their statement:

“Making decisions that impact team members are difficult. Our focus is to ensure we are providing support to those affected and all team members throughout Vidant Health. Rural health care is in crisis due to the high burdens of disease, underserved populations, a growing number of patients relying on Medicare and Medicaid and a lack of focus on rural health care policy. Additionally, there are more than one million people in North Carolina living without health insurance, highlighting the need for Medicaid expansion and better access to care. Despite these challenges, we remain true to our mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina by providing excellent patient care.”

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