Support Families with Baby Feeding and Improve Maternal Mental Health
SimpliFed’s mission is to democratize access to baby feeding support. We’re obsessed with improving access to care and will do everything in our power to make sure that families have evidence-based, judgment-free resources throughout their baby feeding journey. These resources come in many forms, including health plan care managers, WIC, inpatient lactation counselors, OB/GYNs, midwives, doulas, pediatricians, and more. SimpliFed works alongside these community-based providers to ensure that parents get the best care possible, when and where they most need it.
We recently sat down with Felicity, a hospital-based International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), to talk about why she refers her patients to SimpliFed. Several themes emerged including managing transitions, improving provider capacity, supporting parents with pumping and formula feeding and addressing maternal mental health.
In Part 1 of this post we discussed how SimpliFed helps in-person providers support their patients as they manage baby feeding transitions while improving provider capacity. Today we’ll share a little more about how SimpliFed can be a resource for parents that choose to pump or use formula and how SimpliFed supports maternal mental health.
More Than Breastfeeding
SimpliFed is able to help patients with more than just breastfeeding. There are a multitude of ways families choose to feed their babies and we can help with them all, including pumping, formula feeding, combo feeding and using donor milk.
Felicity noted, “Every mom that’s pumping should be fitted by a professional or have eyes on her to see if the flange size is correct.” This can be done via telemedicine. She refers patients as soon as they're pumping to make sure that they’re using the correct flange. “Recently more research came out that all the flange sizes that are being placed in these pump kits are the wrong size for most mothers. So we're having issues with milk supply, damage to nipples and subsequent issues with mastitis.” In addition to helping moms find the right pump fit, SimpliFed assists parents who need to make a plan for pumping—for example, if they are returning to work.
Felicity is especially grateful to refer parents who are formula feeding to SimpliFed. Parents may have questions around proper preparation of formula, bottle feeding, and how to safely suppress milk supply. “It’s nice to have another resource to offer these families so these mothers feel supported, even if their feeding choice is not breastfeeding. When I send patients to SimpliFed, I know that I’m referring to a service that is going to support a mother’s feeding goals. Because SimpliFed supports combo feeding, formula feeding, and breastfeeding, I know these patients are going into a non-judgemental space where they can get the support that they need, and I feel confident that they will report back to me as appropriate.”
Maternal Mental Health
Working with SimpliFed provides another much-needed layer of emotional support. “What we know about women who are discharged from the hospital, mental health is not something that you’re necessarily going to catch when they’re in the inpatient environment or during the follow-up visit,” she explains. “It’s something that they need to have a support person in place that they’re following up with on a regular basis that they can really cue into any sign that there’s something bigger at play.” Postpartum depression—already a major concern—can be compounded by the isolation of early parenthood and the isolation caused by the lingering effects of the pandemic, so connection is crucial to maternal mental health.
For IBCLCs like Felicity, as well as OB-GYNs, pediatricians, midwives, and family medicine practitioners, partnering with SimpliFed means giving their patients specialized care when they need it the most. “[Healthcare professionals] really do need a space to send patients where they know they are going to be held,” says Felicity. “And a lot of this is listening. Just hearing a mom so she feels heard and supported.”
Referring Patients to SimpliFed
If you would like to refer a patient to SimpliFed for comprehensive baby feeding support, visit www.SimpliFed.com. Appointments are available seven days a week in English and Spanish. Still have questions? Check out our online resource guide.