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“It takes a village”

Sue West receiving her Honored Caregiver Award from Sarah and Ellie

If you find yourself at BID-Plymouth’s Medical Office Building on a Monday afternoon, you may notice a steady parade of tired but happy moms trooping into the conference room, arms loaded with babies, car seats, and diaper bags. This is the Mother-to-Mother Breastfeeding Support Group, a free program provided by BID-Plymouth for new moms to gather and ask questions, share experiences, or just take a breather.

As a Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility, BID-Plymouth is recognized by Baby-Friendly USA for offering an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding are well-known, but the journey for many nursing moms can be fraught with difficulties. Amy was in a panic when her 3-day-old son, George, went on a nursing strike and would not eat. The next day, she joined the Mother-to-Mother Breastfeeding Support Group at BID-Plymouth and quickly regained the confidence and tools she needed to keep going. George is now 7 months old and doing great. Says Amy, “I would not be nursing if I wasn’t in this group.”

Others in the group share similar sentiments, including Rachel, mom of Anna. “You feel connected with people who have common goals, and make awesome mom-friends along the way. This group makes you feel like you can do anything,” she said.

Many of the moms credit the group’s coordinator, Sue West, for its overwhelming success. Sue is a registered nurse and lactation specialist at BID-Plymouth’s BirthPlace, and has been teaching childbirth, parenting, and family education classes for almost 40 years. She has been a source of information and empathy for hundreds of South Shore mothers over the years, and was recently presented with the Honored Caregiver Award by one of those very women. New mom, Sarah, made a gift to the Hospital in Sue’s honor to thank her for her expertise and compassion. “They say it takes a village to raise a child,” said Sarah, “and Sue has helped me build mine. For that, I’ll always treasure her as a trusted village elder, like so many Plymouth moms before me.”

Moms and babies celebrated National Breastfeeding Month in August

The Mother-to-Mother Breastfeeding Support Group meets every Monday from 12-2 in the Medical Office Building at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth (47 Obery Street). All mothers with infants under 12 months old are welcomed, whether they delivered at BID-Plymouth or not.

For more information about honoring a caregiver at BID-Plymouth who has impacted your life, visit www.bidplymouth-giving.org/honoredcaregiver.