News and Information

December 9, 2013

Breastfeeding Support Comes to St. Elizabeth Hospital

New mothers can seek help from South Sound’s largest lactation program

Franciscan Health System has been supporting new mothers with breastfeeding challenges for nearly two decades and now has expanded the services of their lactation program to St. Elizabeth Hospital.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures mothers can take to protect their health and the health of their children. Under the Affordable Care Act, breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling are now part of women’s preventative services that must be covered by commercial insurance plans at no cost to the policy holder.

“We know that breast milk is the ‘best first food’ for babies and helps them avoid various illnesses and medical problems,” says Sonja Dahl, RN, Lactation Coordinator, Franciscan Women’s Care. “Many mothers don’t realize that breastfeeding is a learned skill and doesn’t come naturally. That’s where we can help.”

Franciscan Lactation Services includes:

  • Support from International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants
  • Breast pump rental or purchase
  • Information on breastfeeding supplies and accessories

Inpatient consultations are available Wednesday afternoon at St. Elizabeth Hospital, to make an appointment call at 253-382-8580. Breastfeeding classes are also available by calling 1-888-825-3227.

Franciscan Health System includes St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; Highline Medical Center, Burien; Harrison Medical Center and Harrison HealthPartners, Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas; Franciscan Hospice House, University Place; Franciscan Medical Group clinics and providers, Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; and the Franciscan Foundation. Franciscan is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health system with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. Currently, CHI ranks as the nation’s third-largest faith-based health system, with annual operating revenues of $10.7 billion and approximately 78,500 employees. In fiscal year 2012, CHI provided more than $715 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research.

News Media Contact:

P: 253-382-3858