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Certified Lactation Counselors: What They Do, and How They Can Help

Breastfeeding Challenges

When you are expecting a baby, there are many things  you are trying to prepare for. One of those things is making the decision to breastfeed your baby; however, oftentimes new moms aren’t prepared for the challenges that may come with breastfeeding. Or, it could be your second or third baby, and while breastfeeding your first was a breeze, maybe this baby isn’t latching quite as easily. No two pregnancies or breastfeeding journeys are the same. 

Certified Lactation Counselors: Here To Help

That’s where we – certified lactation counselors – come in, and we are here to help! A certified lactation counselor is a health care professional who has completed training and passed an exam, demonstrating the skills required to provide safe, evidence-based counseling for pregnant, lactating, and breastfeeding women. 

What Do Counselors Do, And Who Can Benefit?

By assessing the needs of mother and baby, lactation counselors work with families and their health care team to solve breastfeeding problems and provide education, recommendations, and skills for successful breastfeeding. 

At Prevea Health, women can make an appointment with Annie Bailey, CNM, CLC, and Karen Johnson, CNM, CLC, at any time during their breastfeeding journey. Patients do not need a referral from their health care provider and appointments are normally scheduled for an hour.

“We’re here to help, guide, listen, and support breastfeeding mothers in achieving a successful breastfeeding experience,” Bailey says.

The goal of the appointment is to provide counseling, education, and assistance, which support the mother’s desires and goals for successful breastfeeding. Patients can expect to discuss the following at their appointment:

  • What are their goals for breastfeeding?
  • What issues or difficulties are they having with breastfeeding?
  • Brief health history intake and discussion of birth experience for both mother and child.

Along with discussion of breastfeeding goals and current issues, the lactation counselor may also assess a breastfeeding session. 

“As certified lactation counselors, we want to make sure that breastfeeding is successful and meets the mother’s goals for successful breastfeeding,” Johnson says.

Annie Bailey and Karen Johnson are certified nurse-midwives and certified lactation counselors with Prevea Health, a community partner of Chippewa Valley Family magazine. For more information or to make an appointment with one of Prevea’s Certified Lactation Counselors, call (715) 717-3870. To learn more about Prevea Health or Prevea Women’s Care services, visit

Improve Health With Less Screen Time

Screens have become a big part of life. Growing evidence shows less screen time positively affects health through: Improved physical health, decreased obesity, increased time to try new activities, improved mood, enhanced relationships. Try these tips to slim your screen time:

Be accountable. Make an agreement with a group of friends or family to intentionally reduce screen time.

Be realistic. Start by setting small, attainable goals. Instead of jumping right to the recommended one to two hours or less a day, start by cutting your current screen time in half.

Go outside. Put the phone down and take a walk outdoors. Doing so increases your endorphins and provides that feeling of happiness in your brain, boosting mood and improving physical health.

Create a phone-free zone. Make family meals a phone-free zone. 

Use devices with your children. It’s important to interact with your children when screens are involved. Take the time to use screens with your children.

More than anything, adults should model appropriate screen time behavior for their children and disconnect to connect. Quality time with people in your life is important, and there’s no app for that.

Get more tips at

How to Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen

Research shows when kids are allowed to help prepare the food they eat, they’re more likely to try the foods they create. Getting kids in the kitchen and experimenting with new foods increases the chance they’ll also actually eat it.

Try these techniques to get them involved:

  • Don’t be nervous. Yes, there are knives and sanitation issues, but kids need to learn somehow, and you’re there to help.
  • Make it fun with a fun attitude – and expect a little mess. Give the food fun names, turn on some music, put on an apron, and make them feel like a chef.
  • Invite them to help with some of the prep work, including rinsing fruits and vegetables or using kitchen shears or a vegetable peeler. Some of these tools are good for brain development, too.
  • Once your child has safely mastered those steps, move on to using knives and large kitchen gadgets, such as a blender.

The best part is having your helpers try the fruits of their labor and watching them try new foods. Use the prep time to explain the health benefits of the new foods. You just never know what kids might end up liking. Even the pickiest of eaters may surprise you. So go ahead – try something new and get your kids cooking in the kitchen.

Can Stress Lead to a Heart Attack for Women?

Many people underestimate the impact that stress can have on the body, especially the heart. Risk factors for coronary artery disease, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, affect both women and men. However, other factors have been identified as playing a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women, including:

• Mental stress and depression

• Smoking

• Alcohol consumption

• Menopause

• Pregnancy complications

• Diabetes or inflammatory diseases

Women are also more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain. Mental stress may often trigger these symptoms, which could include:

• Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort

• Shortness of breath

• Pain in one or both arms

• Nausea or vomiting

• Sweating

• Lightheadedness or dizziness

• Unusual fatigue

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Aim to find active ways to manage your stress. Inactive ways you may use to manage stress – such as watching television, surfing the Internet, or playing video games – may seem relaxing, but they may increase your stress over the long term. Curb stress and-heart related issues by making lifestyle changes now and incorporating more over time. Go to for more information about maintaining a healthier lifestyle.


Learn the Signs of Stroke to Save a Life

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or severely reduced. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial, as early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications. The acronym F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke:

1. Face drooping 

Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the smile uneven?

2. Arm weakness

Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

3. Speech difficulty

Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

4. Time to call 911

If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get to the hospital immediately. Check the time, so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Remember: Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential of brain damage and disability. Call 911 right away at the first signs of a stroke.

Brought to you in part by:

Mayo Clinic Health System »