Online care is available 24/7 for nonurgent concerns
Becoming a new mom is wonderful — and a bit terrifying — according to 34-year-old Sarah Ramage. The questions began for her almost as soon as she and her husband, Derrick, welcomed their son, Connor, to the world last spring.
One of her chief concerns was breastfeeding. How would she know Connor was getting enough milk? Could she pump successfully when she returned to work? What is the best way to store and use pumped milk?
Luckily, Ramage could turn to a convenient resource for answers. Norton eCare provides 24/7 online care for nonurgent health issues, including video visits for breastfeeding support.
“It was so easy and really fast,” she said. “I made the appointment on my phone through MyNortonChart, picked the time I wanted, and had my consultation that afternoon right from my iPad.”
Meeting the needs of mom and baby
Ramage appreciated having family members and friends she could turn to for advice. Yet, because everyone’s experience is different and her concerns focused around returning to work, she felt she should talk with a professional.
Her pediatrician’s ofﬁce offered lactation services, however the ease and ﬂexibility of a video consultation from any location appealed to Ramage. Moreover, it was a big plus to know the information she got was tailored speciﬁcally for her and her baby’s needs.
“When your life is in such a state of change, the fewer hoops you have to jump through the better,” she said.
Ramage added with a laugh that she’s sung the praises of this service so much that everyone she knows is probably tired of hearing about it.
Beneﬁts of breastfeeding
- It provides an ideal mix of vitamins, protein and fat for baby.
- It is easily digested.
- It contains antibodies that help ﬁght infections.
- It lowers the risk of asthma, allergies and ear infections.
- It can help mom lose weight quicker.
- It lowers mom’s risks for breast and ovarian cancers.
Getting the word out
Despite these beneﬁts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 Report Card on Breastfeeding shows mixed results for Kentucky. Although more mothers statewide are giving breastfeeding a try (about 67 percent of them), by six months after birth, only 35 percent are sticking with it. This falls short of American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for six months, then continue to at least one year with the introduction of certain foods.
This disconnect suggests that most mothers want to breastfeed, yet they may not be getting the support they need to be successful.
“Numerous factors affect breastfeeding success, but a common denominator is access to care and counseling,” said Rachel Alexander, nurse practitioner with Norton eCare.
Alexander, who worked with Ramage, knows from professional experience that lactation support can help mothers start and continue breastfeeding. She said making that support easy to get from a mobile device or computer is a game-changer.
Ramage said peace of mind during such a life-changing time is priceless.
“You have so many worries and doubts as a new mom. When someone says, ‘We can make this easy,’ that’s exactly what you want to hear,” she said.