If we had to choose just one Breastfeeding Booby Trap® that trips moms up more than any other, it would be the lack of consistent education and training among medical professionals about breastfeeding. We know this may come as a huge surprise to some who count on the fact that a nurse or physician can provide an expecting or new mom with the evidence-based advice and care she needs to breastfeed, but to the 60% of moms who don’t reach their personal goals – whether that’s 2 days, 2 months or 2 years – it’s an unfortunate truth. Which is why we have to ring the gong loudly when we come across pediatricians like Dr. Jennifer Shaer of Peconic Pediatrics in Riverhead, Long Island, who is a breastfeeding medicine specialist and established a breastfeeding resource center at her practice. And as if that wasn’t enough, Jen signed up herself, lactation consultants Deb Bouchard, Jeanne Rosser and Susan Silberger, and several of her staff and patients’ families, to participate in Best for Babes’ and Breastfeeding USA’s Team We’ve Got Your Back, Babe – the first nationwide fitness challenge to urge America to back breastfeeding! Jen is among the growing number of physicians who are experts at breastfeeding and who are racing to Beat the Booby Traps® and Put Prevention First! Click here and here to view the pages of our other MD banner-waving heroes, pediatricians Bobbi Philipp and Amy Kotler!
The Peconic Team WGYBB is racing for the breastfeeding cause at a 5k on Sunday, September 29th and sending an epic signal to their peers, patients and the nation, that the foundation of human health deserves the same funding and attention as the epidemic diseases it helps to protect against! Please donate to the individuals on their team who have yet to meet their fundraising goals and let them know how much we appreciate their being outstanding examples of what it means to lead the way to moms and babies having the best shot at thriving! Click here to donate to them!
BFB: Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience. Did you experience any Booby Traps?
I certainly did. As a mom and a pediatrician, I couldn’t believe how much trouble I had breastfeeding my first child. I was discharged from the hospital on a Friday and spent all weekend crying, staring at the formula samples I was sent home with. I couldn’t find a doctor or lactation consultant who could help me at the time. I felt like a failure as a mother and a pediatrician.
BFB: What motivated you to want to add a breastfeeding medicine credential to your pediatric specialty?
My personal struggles made me acutely aware of a gaping hole in the healthcare system. There was nobody available to help me and my newborn get off to the right start. Even as a pediatrician, I didn’t have the knowledge I needed because I didn’t learn that much about it in medical school or residency. It became my mission to help other women in my situation. I took it upon myself to join the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, read everything I could, worked with lactation consultants in the community, went to conferences and eventually became a breastfeeding medicine specialist who cares for both mothers and babies. [BFB note: The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine provides supplemental education and accreditation for MD’s to become certified Breastfeeding Medicine specialists – -tell your doctor about it!]
BFB: How has your supplemental education and accreditation in breastfeeding medicine helped you as a pediatrician?
Because once you are educated, you can help your patients to avoid and overcome Booby Traps. It is incredibly rewarding to help women and newborns in those first few weeks.
BFB: You are the driving force behind your practice’s breastfeeding “curriculum” and resource center — how has that made a difference in terms of overall breastfeeding success for your patients?
Our patients at Peconic are armed with the knowledge and support to reach their own personal breastfeeding goals. They decide when to give up breastfeeding on their own terms and not because they have failed for one reason or another. We work hard for every mother-baby dyad to succeed by providing in office consultations with lactation consultants, telephone and email support and home visits when requested. As part of a larger practice, Allied Pediatrics, we are integrating lactation support to pediatric practices across Long Island. For more information, see our press release http://www.prweb.com/releases/
BFB: Why did you start a Team We’ve Got Your Back, Babe?
I fully support the mission of Best for Babes and wanted to support it in some capacity.
BFB: What have you set as fitness goals for your team?
Our team is walking/running a 5k race near our office in support of the North Fork Breast Health Coalition.
BFB: If Team WGYBB could raise enough money to eliminate one Booby Trap, what would it be?
How could I possibly choose one? We can’t rest until they are all eliminated!
Will YOU double-down on saving boobs and lives by attending a breast cancer event next month and doing it in the name of breastfeeding — the protection (literally) under our noses?