Recognizing the health benefits of breast-feeding, Beaufort Memorial Hospital has hired a new, highly experienced lactation consultant for its Birthing Center to help new moms successfully nurse their babies. Pamela Ehret, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, will visit patients following delivery to coach them along through their first feedings, answer questions and help with any issues that may arise during their hospital stay. Once they’re home, nursing mothers can call her 24/7 on a “warm line” at (843) 441-4586.
“We don’t call it a ‘hot line’ because it doesn’t need to be an emergency to call,” Ehret said. “No question is too small.”
Prior to joining BMH, Ehret had been a physician trainer with the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2008, responsible for providing breast-feeding education to pediatricians and pediatric residents in Georgia.
From 1998 to 2011 she served as District Lactation Program coordinator for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), managing all breast-feeding activities for the Chatham County Health Department. During her tenure, she implemented a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. As part of a grant awarded by the USDA, she hired, trained and supervised 10 breast-feeding peer counselors.
A licensed practical nurse (LPN), Ehret started her career as a staff nurse in the mother/baby unit of an Ohio hospital. In 1992, she was hired as a staff lactation consultant at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. She has been a frequent presenter at Georgia State Breastfeeding Committee biannual meetings and guest speaker at breast-feeding conferences throughout Georgia.
In addition to helping new moms at the BMH Birthing Center, Ehret will be teaching two prenatal breast-feeding classes for patients of Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists, the hospital’s OB-GYN practice. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of solid foods until at least 12 months of age.
For more information on Beaufort Memorial’s Birthing Center services, visit www.bmhsc.org or call (843) 522-5112.