Nursing Know-how

For new moms who decide to breastfeed, Cindy Stade is a coach, a cheerleader and an advice nurse, all rolled into one. In the six months since she’s arrived at NorthBay Healthcare, the lactation support specialist and registered nurse has established two thriving support groups for breastfeeding moms, created a call line for patients, staff and providers and happily takes and returns e-mail messages from those who seek her advice.

And that’s just the beginning. When the surgeon general came out in January with a “call to action” to make breastfeeding an easier choice for American mothers, Cindy was quick to point out that NorthBay had already implemented three of five recommendations.

“Sometimes new moms
need instruction; other
times, they just need a little encouragement or someone to listen to them. That’s why I’m here.”

Cindy Stade
Lactation Support Specialist

In her report, Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin noted that while 75 percent of U.S. babies start out breastfeeding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed at the end of six months.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics estimated that the nation would save $13 billion a year in health care and other costs if 90 percent of U.S. babies were exclusively breastfed for six months. Cindy wants to give new moms the support and confidence they need to be able to continue if they choose.

Cindy has worked in both inpatient and outpatient maternal child nursing for 26-plus years. In 1990, she began teaching all aspects of prenatal classes, and became a Certified Lactation Educator through UCLA in 1998.

A decade ago, she obtained her status as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, most recently working at a large East Bay hospital. “I’m glad to be here closer to home, where I was born and raised (Napa),” she said. “I really appreciate NorthBay’s family-like structure.”

One of her support groups is for mothers of healthy full-term babies, while the other caters to moms whose children got their start in NorthBay’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “They have special challenges, but the decision to breastfeed is the best thing all these mothers can do for their newborns. It’s a special time of bonding and while there are some hurdles, it’s worth the effort,” says Cindy. “Sometimes new moms need instruction, other times, they just need a little encouragement or someone to listen to them. That’s why I’m here.”

For more information about Cindy’s support groups, call (707) 646-5024 or e-mail cstade@northbay.org.

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