I am the public in Public Health: Jennifer's Story

I am the public - Jennifer

I recently met Jennifer at her home to find out about her experience at Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. I knew that Jennifer had received a home visit from a public health nurse after her first son was born and that she had also attended a drop-in breastfeeding clinic. 

What was Jennifer’s reason for coming to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health?

Jennifer told me that her first son, Grayson was born prematurely at 34 weeks. When he was discharged after spending the first few weeks of his life in the hospital, Jennifer received a home visit from a public health nurse to see how she and her baby were doing.

Jennifer was having challenges with breastfeeding. Grayson was tiny and needed to gain weight so she was concerned. Jennifer found out that Public Health had a drop-in breastfeeding clinic and said she began attending on a weekly basis.

What kind of help and advice did Jennifer get from Public Health?

Jennifer told me that the public health nurses at the drop-in breastfeeding clinic gave her really good advice on how to hold her baby in an appropriate position for breastfeeding.  They also helped the baby to latch properly. A weekly weigh-in for Grayson at the breastfeeding clinic reassured Jennifer that he was gaining weight and getting the nutrition he needed to grow. Jennifer told me it gave her a huge sense of comfort as a mom to know that her baby was latching and feeding properly. 

When her second son was born at full-term, Jennifer said she figured breastfeeding would be a lot easier. “It wasn’t,” she told me candidly. Colton was born with a tongue-tie, a condition when the connecting tissue under the tongue limits its movement. This condition can affect a baby’s ability to breastfeed. However, the connective tissue can be surgically clipped, a simple procedure that was done in Colton’s case the morning after he was born. Although she now lived in another city, Jennifer decided to return to the drop-in breastfeeding clinic that she attended in Guelph with her first son Grayson. 

“It was a struggle for him,” Jennifer told me about Colton learning to breastfeed. Jennifer describes Public Health’s drop-in breastfeeding clinic as a big help and a lifesaver for both her kids.

How did Jennifer describe her experience with the staff at Public Health?

The home visit after Grayson was born helped Jennifer and her husband Grant bridge the gap between coming home from the hospital to being on their own. She said the public health nurse who came to her home was amazing and really wanted to help. 

Jennifer told me that all the public health nurses who helped her at the drop-in breastfeeding clinic were friendly and a huge help. “I had nothing but good experiences there,” Jennifer said. The nurses worked with her to overcome the difficulty she had breastfeeding Grayson and Colton. Both babies had challenges with latching which is vital for successful breastfeeding.  They also helped the baby to latch properly. A weekly weigh-in for Grayson at the breastfeeding clinic reassured Jennifer that he was gaining weight and getting the nutrition he needed to grow. Jennifer told me it gave her a huge sense of comfort as a mom to know that her baby was latching and feeding properly. 

Would Jennifer recommend Public Health to your friends and family?

Jennifer said that some of her friends who had full-term babies were unaware of Public Health services like the drop-in breastfeeding clinic. Jennifer said it was nice to have this resource and has told friends who didn’t know about Public Health about our services. Jennifer has recommended the drop-in breastfeeding clinic to the mom groups she belongs to and also to women she knows who have struggled with breastfeeding.

Jennifer was excited to participate in our I am the public in Public Health campaign to tell the community about the difference Public Health made to her family. You can watch Jennifer tell her story in her own words in the video below. 

 

 

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