Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lessons from Sadie. Or, My thoughts on 'Other Peoples Children'

Sadie and I stood in the coffee line at the grocery store today. As I tried to convince her she (nor I) didn't need a Double Glazed Doughnut, I heard the joyful screech of a toddler. But I didn't recognize it. Definitely not Sadie's brand. I looked around in time to she an adorable ginger-haired little girl closing in on me, and fast. My gut reaction was to catch her and pick her up.

So I did.

As I held her, I looked around for a Momma, and she was behind us in line. We chatted about how loving and (obviously) overly-friendly her children were. The little girl pointed at Sadie's fish crackers. Momma said it was okay so I fed her a few. Sadie was so excited to see this little person. 'Bebe! Bebe!' she exclaimed. I transferred Bebe back to her Momma. Coffees were distributed and we exchanged pleasantries and went on our ways.

Did all of that register?

I picked up and held a stranger's child.

It wasn't until about half way home I realized that might freak some people out. Including Bebe's parent. Three years ago, in the Before Sadie Era, I might have pushed her away or even tried to ignore her. But it's funny how a little one of your own can soften your heart. Restore your trust in humanity even. Okay, that may sound a little dramatic. But shouldn't we be able to trust our communities? Our neighbors? I think so. And it's because of Sadie I feel the trust in humanity again. So thanks, Sadie. And thank you, Bebe's Momma , for not freaking out on me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good bye, Breastfeeding Support at local hospitals!

I logged into Facebook this afternoon. Expecting to see the usual pointless banter the first post I came across fas from Lori Daley, the Delco Doula. I was shocked. Read this:

"I wanted to share some information with you regarding lactation services at area hospitals. As you know, we are in difficult economic times, and health care has been hit along with everyone else. Two weeks ago, on October 6, Main Line Health System announced 105 layoffs throughout the four hospitals in the health system (Lankenau, Bryn Mawr, Paoli, and Riddle). Apparently the decision was made at the corporate level to lay off lactation consultants at all four hospitals; however, the president at Paoli identified that the lactation consultants were important to patient satisfaction and chose not to lay off those positions at Paoli, and the lactation consultant at Bryn Mawr effectively presented the need to keep a lactation consultant at Bryn Mawr. Unfortunately, the lactation consultants were laid off at both Riddle (Kay Hoover, IBCLC) and Lankenau (Michaela Kent, RN, IBCLC and Geraldine Wismer, RN). This means there are no lactation consultants on staff at either Riddle or Lankenau to help mothers and babies at the hospital; it also means that the mother's group that met at Lankenau every Monday and was run by Mickey Kent has been discontinued.

I'm sharing this news with you for two reasons: to be aware if you (or anyone you know) is expecting a baby and delivering at one of the affected hospitals that there will be no lactation consultant there to help you; and to encourage you to share your concern about this decision with the top decision-makers at the health system and the hospitals.

If you delivered at either Lankenau or Riddle, and received help from the lactation consultants there, write about your personal experiences. If you delivered at Bryn Mawr or Paoli, and received help from the lactation consultants at those hospitals, you might also wish to write. You might address your letters to the appropriate hospital president, and copy the president and CEO of Main Line Health. The contact information is below.

We appreciate your support of lactation professionals! Please, as always, don't hesitate to share La Leche League information with anyone who may be having problems with breastfeeding."

If you're as outraged as I am at what a ridiculous 'budget cut' this is, please write!!!

John J. Lynch III
President and CEO, Main Line Health
Bryn Mawr Hospital
130 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Phillip D. Robinson
Interim President
Lankenau Hospital
100 Lancaster Avenue
Wynnewood, PA 19096

Gary L. Perecko
Riddle Hospital
1068 West Baltimore Pike
Media, PA 19063

If you also want to contact Paoli and Bryn Mawr to thank them for keeping lactation consultants on staff and emphasize the importance of doing so, here are those contacts:

Barbara Tachovsky
Paoli Hospital
255 W. Lancaster Avenue
Paoli, PA 19301

Andrea Gilbert
Bryn Mawr Hospital
130 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

All information Courtesy Lori Daley.