BSA Recognized with Readers' Choice Awards

April 28, 2014

Amarillo Magazine readers recognized BSA Health System with Readers’ Choice Awards in three categories: Birthing Suites, Lactation Specialists and Ultrasound. “I am incredibly honored and very excited,” shares lactation specialist Tiffany Batemen, IBCLC of the distinction and honor for BSA. “We have become a community resource since the program started 16 years ago.”

Tiffany is one of three international board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs) at BSA helping new mothers and their babies breastfeed. In 2013, BSA had an 88 percent success rate at initiating breastfeeding, well above the national average of 77 percent. In all, 2,031 babies began breastfeeding at BSA with the help of the lactation consultants, who are staffed and available seven days a week. “No matter what day they deliver, someone will be able to help them breastfeed,” says Tiffany.

While lactation services are available to all inpatient mothers, it is a community resource as Tiffany mentioned through the Breastfeeding Hotline (806-212-5548) as well as local pediatric referrals. BSA also offers monthly breastfeeding classes as part of the childbirth education courses. Through the hotline, Tiffany says they receive “numerous calls” with the most common question being “Am I making enough milk?”

Tiffany says the generation of mothers she works with may not have been breastfed by their mothers and there is a lot to learn. “Breastfeeding babies is different from bottle-feeding babies,” she adds. If mothers are concerned their babies are not getting enough milk, Tiffany advises them to count the diapers and make sure their baby is gaining weight. Babies who are breastfed, Tiffany says, need to be fed more frequently than babies who are formula-fed. “We call all the moms on the fourth day after they deliver,” Tiffany explains. “It is a great chance to ask questions and track the baby.”

Another common question received through the Breastfeeding Hotline and at support group meeting concerns which medications are safe to take when breastfeeding.  Author of “Medications and Mother’s Milk”, Dr. Thomas Hale is a professor at nearby Texas Tech University and expert on the use of medications during pregnancy. Tiffany has worked together with Dr. Hale conducting extensive research on the topic, which offers mothers in Amarillo access to the most up-to-date information on medications and breastfeeding.

For ongoing support, BSA offers breastfeeding support groups, which research has shown statistically help mother have better success rates at meeting their breastfeeding goals when they attend meetings. Tiffany says it is also an opportunity for mothers to connect with each other. “I’ve seen mothers become best friends meeting at our support groups,” she says.

“It doesn’t feel like a job to me,” adds Tiffany. “I love what I do!”

For information about lactation services at BSA, call the Breastfeeding Hotline at 806-212-5548.