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Providing much-needed support to nursing mothers

MILLERTON — Some mothers have trouble breast feeding their infants — a very real problem that can be addressed by the proper experts. A group of those professionals will gather Monday, May 23, at No. 9 Restaurant at Simmons’ Way Village Inn in Millerton for a mini-conference.“Twenty professionals in the field are coming for the latest updates on the topic,” said local lactation consultant Kristen Panzer, adding one will be traveling in from Chicago, one from the Washington, D.C., area and even one from Paris. “It’s a very specific curriculum and will be interesting because this speaker [is an expert] on how maternal health and nutrition affects lactation. It will be about how to address babies’ health through addressing maternal health, and not just with diet, but [by teaching] that other ways of restoring mom to health can have impact.”The keynote speaker is International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Jennifer Tow, who is originally from Connecticut but has since relocated to Paris. Panzer said she’ll be able to address issues like why some parents have “fussy babies” who don’t like to breast feed.“The symptoms may link back to something we can address at the maternal health profile,” she said. “I’m not an expert on this, which is why we invited Jennifer.”Lactation consultants work with mothers on infant feeding and can help address problems that arise, as well as help identify problems that need to be treated medically.“We can partner with mom,” Panzer said. “Sometimes if the baby can’t latch on, a lactation consultant can identify something like the baby might be tongue-tied, which is a real problem with the restricted tongue function that will require a doctor’s help. A lactation consultant can assist mom through the whole thing. We can provide suggestions and strategies that optimize normal infant feeding.”The conference costs $140, and runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; it includes six hours of curriculum. While it is geared toward professionals, nonprofessionals (including “average moms”) are welcome to attend. There will be ample time for questions and answers. The goal for those who attend this seminar is simple, Panzer said: “Heal the mother, heal the baby.”

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