Recently, leadership at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center eliminated their lactation consultant position. This means that moms who deliver at that hospital and others who have a prescription to see the IBCLC no longer have a resource to help them learn to properly feed their child. Independent IBCLCs usually charge $125-150 per hour. Many families cannot afford to pay for this vital service on their own. If the position is not reinstated, moms and babies who need help with latch and other issues simply will not be able to continue breastfeeding.
I am one of those moms: if I had not been able to have one-on-one sessions with the lactation consultant at Heart of Florida, I know for certain I would not have been able to continue breastfeeding. Her knowledge, encouragement, and patience gave me the confidence and skills to persist. It is widely known the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies breastfeed until they're at least one year old. I would have had to stop at two weeks because my baby was considered failure to thrive, and we were having significant issues with breastfeeding. With the resources I received from the lactation consultant at Heart of Florida, I am proud to say I am still breastfeeding my six-month-old.
We need your support to communicate to the leadership, specifically CEO, Ann Barnhart, that moms and babies in the area desperately need access to an IBCLC at the hospital.