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The one where I visit our Breastfeeding Clinic!

Despite what many may believe, breastfeeding is not something that just comes naturally to every new mother. Imagine what happens if a baby doesn’t latch correctly, if a baby doesn’t take to their mother at all, if the mother has trouble producing breast milk. Not only can this be physically painful but emotionally as well.  As a Baby Friendly designated facility, Ascension Via Christi promotes breastfeeding as the most optimal way for infant nourishment, protects the first few days of life for bonding and support, and respects each mother’s option to choose if breastfeeding is right for her family.

February 23rd, 2021 I had the privilege to meet with Debra Swift, RN and IBCLC (International Board of Lactation Consultant). Swift, alongside other RN’s, runs the Breastfeeding Clinic at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital which was relocated to the Main Level. Thanks to the CMN program at Ascension Via Christi, this clinic was opened last August and has since helped mothers and their newborns connect better when it comes to breastfeeding. This unit can hold up to 8 mothers and their children, however due to COVID they are only doing one mother at a time to practice social distancing. They have also incorporated Google Meeting which they call “Tele’s”. Initial meetings with patients happen via tele so Swift can best evaluate the situation. It may be a simple adjustment needed to help the child latch better. If they feel that more evaluation is needed they then request an in person meeting. Swift explained that it’s often two patients at once that she is dealing with. One being the mother, whether it is a lack of milk production, an emotional disconnect or even not having the knowledge of correct breastfeeding tools. The second patient being the child which could be a number of issues. Sometimes a child may have an issue with their tongue and needs to see a speech pathologist, other times it may be an Ear/Nose/Throat issue where it is painful when they begin to suck. She explained it as a puzzle piece, where you must find the most direct plan of action to quickly fix the problem with an understanding that there are many little pieces that can affect the situation.

Another component of the clinic that she hopes to bring back is various support groups and classes. Currently,CMN has fully funded childbirth education classes which include childbirth preparation, breastfeeding, infant massage, baby care, sibling and grandparent classes, car seat safety and more are available to all expecting parents for free! The expansion of additional breastfeeding themed classes could be a tremendous benefit to the clinic itself.  At these clinics, new moms have a chance to meet one another, talk about their struggles and share their successes! Swift teared up as she realized she has babies who are now 13 years old that she helped when they were newborns and struggling with breastfeeding. She is thankful for the work Children’s Miracle Network has done to provide a clinic for her as well as new mothers to explore breastfeeding and master the act. Swift loves seeing our corporate partners such as Walmart, Ace Hardware and Dairy Queen also supporting CMN as she knows this will only allow her to continue to help babies get the best nutrition available, straight from their mothers! It was wonderful to meet with Swift and get a tour of the clinic. She cares deeply for her patients and is willing to do whatever it takes to help baby and mom connect better. I am proud to refer friends and family to Ascension Via Christi for all things baby knowing they will interact with nurses just like Debra Swift. Loving, caring, detail-oriented who always finds the perfect solution for a puzzle piece! 


The hours of operation are from 10 AM to 2 PM Monday through Friday but are requesting you call first for an initial appointment. Please call 316-689-5426 for more information.