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Hospital Consultant Teaches Mothers to Breast-Feed

If you are a new mother unsure about whether you want to breast-feed your baby, Judy McArdle has a piece of advice for you: just try it once.

“I’d rather mothers do it one time than not at all,” said the Ardsley resident. “The baby is getting liquid gold the first time they go to the breast.”

McArdle has been a Lactation Consultant at Lawrence Hospital Center for the past six years. As part of her job, she teaches expectant mothers in a prenatal breast-feeding class. Along the way, she gets to know the families, which she said is one of her greatest rewards.

“I love to meet a family when they are expecting and then see them after delivery. I find the growth in the two days while they are staying in the hospital amazing," she said. "It’s what keeps me in the game.”

McArdle also helps troubleshoot any difficulties a mother might have as she is starting to breast-feed. For one, some women complain of discomfort, which could mean the baby is not latched on correctly. The baby might also have issues that McArdle can address, for instance, not enough weight gain while on the breast milk or acting sleepier than usual, which could be cause for concern.

To solve these kinds of problems, she leads a breast-feeding class and support group once a month. Her next breast-feeding class will be Monday, April 16 at 7 p.m.

McArdle said her job is important because all mothers need guidance while learning how to breast-feed, especially if it’s their first child.

When she had her three children, McArdle said there was no such thing as a Lactation Consultant, which meant she was left to figure out how to do it on her own.

“You need somebody to help you,” she said. “I didn’t get support, I hope I give to others.”

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