LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Baby Luke is Brittany Jenkins' second child. After she takes him home from the NICU she is looking forward to breastfeeding him even after having a hard time breastfeeding her first child.
"I felt defeated,” Jenkins said. “And I felt like I let him down. I really, really wanted to breastfeed."
But this time around she had help she believes would have made all the difference with Luke’s older brother.
"This one I was going to take a vitamin and that was my plan,” said Jenkins. ”A vitamin to help produce milk. And then I talked to my lactation specialist here at Southern Hills. And she really, really helped me."
Renette Dasher is the Women Services Nurse Manager at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center.
"Our job is pretty much to empower moms and to spread a message throughout the community,” Dasher said. "Whether it be in Southern Hills or in Las Vegas in general about the importance of breastfeeding and the struggles surrounding breastfeeding."
Especially this week. It is World Breastfeeding Week.
"A lot of times the babies are great in the hospital and then you get home and it's like, is this the same baby I took home?" said Dasher.
Something Jenkins recalled all too well with her first child.
"He wasn't getting enough food. And I wasn't getting any sleep because he wasn't getting enough food. So, it was kind of like a vicious cycle. Eventually I just gave up and gave him the bottle," she said.
"You need a lot of support,” Dasher said. “You need the support of family. You need support from the nurses in the hospital. You need support of a great lactation consultant. You need all of these things to make it successful."
Southern Hills provides a weekly support group for breastfeeding moms from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They also have a phone line.
And there’s so many reasons to breastfeed. It supports the baby's gut health in ways formula cannot. It helps the baby maintain a healthy weight. And it contains antibodies that keep the baby healthy.
"Just keep trying and even if the first time you weren't able to do it. The second time is another chance,” Jenkins said. “Don’t give up and keep trying.”