What is Lactation Services?

Our specially trained nurses and dietitians in Lactation Services help new moms whose babies are staying overnight at Seattle Children’s Hospital. We help moms with breastfeeding and with pumping their breasts to provide milk if their baby is too sick to breastfeed. Breastmilk provides the best nutrition for babies, even if they are sick or in the hospital. We are board-certified lactation consultants.

How will Lactation Services meet my needs?

We help deal with problems you may have with breastfeeding or pumping your milk. We share information to help you take care of yourself and your breastmilk.

As often as needed, a member of our team visits you in your baby’s hospital room to help you provide breastmilk. We do whatever helps most — a quick check-in or a 1-hour visit.

We also help pregnant women who know their baby will be brought to Seattle Children’s right after birth because of a prenatal diagnosis. We tell you about our services and help you and your care team make plans for your baby’s arrival.

What services do you offer?

  • If you are nursing your baby, our team can help in these ways: 

    • Answer your questions and offer tips about breastfeeding
    • Troubleshoot any problems with your milk supply
    • Help with infections and other complications of breastfeeding
  • If your baby is too sick to nurse at birth, we help you produce a full milk supply. It is important for you to pump 8 times a day. We provide guidance and equipment to support you. We also check that any medicines you take are safe while providing breastmilk.

    • Our team can explain how a breast pump works and help you use it to provide breastmilk for your baby. Your baby’s bedside nurse is also a great source of support.
    • We will loan you a hospital-grade breast pump to use while you are in the hospital. This is the most efficient way to make a full milk supply, especially if your baby is not nursing at all. You can use your own pump if you prefer.
    • At Seattle Children’s, we use the Medela hospital-grade Symphony pump. You can use our pumps at your baby’s bedside or in a private lactation room, if you prefer that.
    • We can help you with parts or adapters for your pump. Women’s breast sizes vary. We want to make sure your pumping equipment is the right size for you.
    • To help you be as comfortable as possible while pumping, we give you lanolin (a waxy cream), breast pads and comfort gel pads.
    • We make sure you know how to pump while keeping your breastmilk as “clean” as possible. We will give you cleaning supplies.
    • We will also give you a log to record how often you pump and how much milk you are making. This helps us solve any problems you might have with your milk supply.

    See Lactation Consultants Help New Moms When They Need It Most.

  • We make sure your breastmilk is stored safely and is only used for your baby.

    • We have a secure area to store breastmilk that your baby does not take right away.
    • We will give you labels that have a barcode for your breastmilk. We scan the barcode and scan an ankle tag that your baby wears to ensure that your baby receives only your milk.
    • If your baby is premature or is not gaining weight or taking enough breastmilk to grow, we can fortify your milk with formula or additives to add extra nutrition.
  • Our Lactating Mom Meals Program provides meals to mothers of babies up to 6 months old if:

    • Your baby is staying at Seattle Children’s Hospital
    • You are breastfeeding or pumping at least 6 times each day to provide milk for your baby
    • For the smallest and most critically ill babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Cardiac ICU, donor breastmilk may be available if your supply does not meet all your baby’s needs.
    • If your baby is a patient at Seattle Children’s and you have extra breastmilk that you want to donate, we connect you with Northwest Mothers Milk Bank to donate surplus milk.
  • We work closely with the occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) on Seattle Children’s Infant Feeding team. Babies who are too sick to nurse at birth may need more time to learn to latch on, suck and feed well. Our OTs and PTs will assess your baby’s oral feeding abilities. We will work together to help your baby learn how to feed by mouth. 

 Scheduling an Appointment With Lactation Services

  • Our Lactation Services team visits moms in their baby’s room as often as needed. To make an appointment, ask your baby’s nurse to set up a visit, or call 206-987-1420 (or 7-1420 from any phone inside the hospital).
  • Learn about Clinical Nutrition resources — including breastfeeding and lactation resources — such as useful links, videos and recommended reading for you and your family.

Who’s on the team?

Providers on the team include:

  • Jennifer Enich, MS, RDN, CDN, IBCLC, supervisor
  • Allison McCoy, MS, RDN, CDN, IBCLC
  • Joanna Patraw, RDN, CDN, IBCLC
  • Dolly Smith, MS, RN, IBCLC
  • Thea Olsen, BSN, RN, IBCLC
  • Jessica Geiger, BSN, RN, IBCLC
  • Rachael Grothen, MS, RDN, CDN, IBCLC
  • Amy Johnson, BSN, RN, IBCLC
  • Esther Tung, BSN, RN, IBCLC

Contact Us

Contact Lactation Services at 206-987-1420 (or 7-1420 from any phone inside the hospital) for an appointment or more information if 1 of these is true:

  • Your baby is staying overnight at Seattle Children’s.
  • You know your baby will be brought to Seattle Children’s right after birth because of a prenatal diagnosis.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.