New moms connect through Delnor Hospital's virtual breastfeeding support group
In pre-COVID-19 times, dozens of new moms sought out help and advice through Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital's breastfeeding support group.
Although they can no longer meet in person, lactation consultant Katie Reel has taken the group online to provide moms with another way to connect.
"I think it's a lot to be at home with a newborn," Reel said. "We wanted another way to support the patients, and it's easy for them to jump on a Zoom call and connect with other moms."
Reel is one of four board-certified lactation consultants at Delnor and facilitates the group via Zoom every Monday at 10 a.m.
Although the online groups have half the attendance as in-person meetings, moms who attend still find it helpful.
"The online group is more about helping to connect the moms to one another," Reel said. "I love to hear the new moms lifting each other up and reminding each other that they are not alone."
Reel says sleep is always a hot topic with the group, whether it's the baby not sleeping or mom not sleeping.
Sarah Sartori, a first-time mom and resident of Oswego, joined two of the virtual sessions so far and plans to continue attending them.
"It's really the only way to connect with other moms right now," Sartori said. "With COVID, it's a helpful way to chat with other moms who are going through what I am."
Sartori takes comfort in bonding with other moms and learning that her questions and concerns are rather common. Swapping advice and experiences is reassuring for her.
"We talk about a little bit of everything," she said. "How much the babies should be eating, how often. It seems like basic questions but when you're isolated at home, you don't have as many people around to discuss it with."
The group also offers moms a chance to sympathize with some of the challenges of having a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's certainly not how you envisioned going through pregnancy and having a child," Sartori said. "My husband and I are both teachers, so we're lucky we can be home with him right now. It's different and somewhat isolating, but you have to be safe."
The lactation consultants call moms who have delivered at Delnor to follow up with breastfeeding a few days after leaving the hospital, and also do telephone visits for prenatal breastfeeding support. To learn more about joining the virtual breastfeeding support group, call (630) 933-4234.