Being one of the only significant and fully-fledged lactation centres among private hospitals in Sri Lanka, the Ninewells Hospital Lactation Centre reached six months of specialised caregiving to new mothers this February.
With a dedicated medical officer and a team of qualified midwives, the centre offers free lactation-related services to all mothers and babies born at the Hospital as a value added service during their breastfeeding period.
“Postnatal caregiving and specially breastfeeding is a crucial phase for both the mother and the baby. While the mother experiences certain new and unfamiliar changes to her body after birth she also has to familiarise herself with the needs of her baby, the baby’s nutrition, comfort and care during this initial stage,” said Dr. Samitha Chandratilleke, Advisor – Breastfeeding/Lactation Center, Ninewells Hospital.
Breastfeeding has many benefits to both the mother and the baby. Breast milk is easy to digest, provides excellent nutrition, enhances immunity and contains antibodies that protects the baby against infections. Similarly, it promotes the emotional health of the mother while providing her with several physical benefits. “Breastfeeding is something that we highly encourage at the Ninewells Hospital. Because of this, we personally attend to each new mother and baby, and advice and coach them about nursing positions, comfort and relaxation when it comes to breastfeeding. In addition, we also educate them about paediatric nutrition, their own diet and other related topics during their hospital stay and continue to support them throughout the length of the entire breastfeeding stage. Since mothers may sometimes experience symptoms of postnatal depression or stress following delivery we also offer counselling services through the Lactation Centre for both the mother and the father to help cope with such situations,” she said. Following delivery women experience certain complications relate to breastfeeding such as breast engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis and other infections. With the wealth of experience and exposure they have received from their service in both the public and private sector the Ninewells Hospital Lactation team is well equipped to assist and support patients through problems they encounter.
The services of the lactation centre are offered free of charge to mothers who have delivered at the Hospital, while consultation is also available to mothers who have delivered outside.