Santa Cruz Lactation Center
Lactation Center Helps Nurture Alison’s Baby BoyWhen Alison Richards learned she was pregnant, she and her husband, John Malkin, were elated. The fact that Alison would give birth at age 43 meant she could face some challenges. Still, she and John prepared for what they hoped would be a natural childbirth at Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center, affiliated with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Nine months later, Alison went into labor. After several days of intermittent contractions, her obstetrician discovered that the baby's head was tilted in the birth canal – a condition called asynclitic presentation – so the decision was made to do a Cesarean section. And Bodhi, their healthy baby boy named after the sacred fig tree of ancient India, was welcomed into the world.
Temporary complications from the C-section delayed Alison's ability to produce sufficient breast milk, but she was determined to nurse. Help arrived when Lili Beggs, a registered nurse and founder of the Sutter Lactation Center, entered Alison's hospital room. "Lili showed me how to latch my baby onto my breast and pump extra milk to supplement," said Alison. "It was a rigorous process, but without her help, I never would have been able to breastfeed."
After leaving the hospital, Alison continued to bring Bodhi back to the Sutter Lactation Center each week for nearly four months to nurse him and check his weight before and after nursing. "So many new mothers are misinformed about breastfeeding," she said. "The Lactation Center staff educates you and makes you feel secure that you're doing the right thing for your baby."
Describing her gratitude for the help she received at the Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center, Alison broke into a big smile. "When I see this little baby with his arms reaching towards me, wanting to give me big kisses, it is magical. And when I see how happy he is to nurse, I feel such gratitude for the help that was given to me. We are so lucky to have this resource right here in our community."
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- Alison Richards
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