What is the Lactation Services team?

Our Lactation Services team is a specially trained staff of nurses and dietitians. We help you give your baby breastmilk even if they can’t breastfeed. Breastmilk provides the best nutrition for babies, even if they are sick or in the hospital. We are board-certified lactation consultants.

Services We Provide

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 evaluation.

We also help pregnant women who know their baby will be brought to Seattle Children’s right after birth because of a prenatal diagnosis.

  • 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 to take 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. This is the most efficient way to make a full milk supply, especially if you are exclusively pumping. 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 and in a private lactation room, if you prefer that.
    • We can help you with parts or adapters as needed 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 understand 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 to better solve any problems you may 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, central area to store breastmilk that your baby does not take right away.
    • We have a 2-person double-check policy to ensure that your baby receives only your milk.
    • If your baby is not gaining weight or taking enough breastmilk to grow, we fortify your milk with formula or additives to give it more calories. Premature babies almost always need fortified breastmilk.
  • Our Lactating Mom Meals program provides meals to mothers of babies up to 6 months old if you are either: 

    • Providing or planning to provide a full milk supply for your baby, by pumping or by breastfeeding
    • Breastfeeding or pumping at least 6 times each day
    • If your baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Cardiac ICU, donor breast milk may be available if your supply does not meet all your baby’s needs.
    • If you have extra breast milk, we welcome donations of surplus milk.
  • We work closely with the occupational therapists and physical therapists on Seattle Children’s Infant Feeding Team. Babies who are too sick to nurse at birth often lose their instinct to latch on and suck by the time they are physically able to do so.

    Our physical and occupational therapists help your baby coordinate the complex tasks of sucking and swallowing.

Who’s on the team?

The nurses and dietitians on our team are all board-certified lactation consultants. We are specially trained to help new moms with breastfeeding and with pumping their breasts to provide milk if their baby is too sick to breastfeed.

Meet our team: 

  • Jennifer Enich, MS, RDN, CDN, IBCLC
  • 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 

Contact Us

Our Lactation Services team visits moms in their baby’s room as often as needed.

You can book an appointment by: 

  • Asking your baby’s nurse to set up a visit
  • Calling 206-987-1420 (or 7-1420 from any phone inside the hospital)