Breastfeeding is beneficial for mom and baby.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2022 Breastfeeding Report Card revealed that approximately 83% of babies in the U.S. start on breast milk.1 But, by 6 months, only 56% of babies are breastfed and only a quarter of them drink breastmilk exclusively.1 This decline is due to many factors. Breastfeeding can be time-consuming and painful, and succeeding requires medical, workplace, and societal support.

Having a strong support system and access to resources can be key to a mom achieving their breastfeeding goals. Kaiser Permanente, one of Colorado’s leading health care providers and nonprofit2 health plans, is dedicated to empowering and supporting new moms interested in breastfeeding with resources, including:

  • Access to lactation consultants through a breastfeeding phone line.
  • In-person appointments with Certified Lactation Consultants.
  • Tips for how to best feed a baby.

Moms can also participate in lactation support groups led by Certified Lactation Consultants at some Kaiser Permanente medical offices along Colorado’s Front Range. In addition to bonding with other moms and getting their babies weighed during each class, participants learn about:

  • Finding the best breastfeeding position.
  • Overcoming common lactation challenges such as low milk supply, breastfeeding pain, or latching struggles.
  • How to use a pump.
  • Designing a workday pumping schedule.

These services are available to members free of charge, and no referral is needed to access them.

Empowering a Colorado mom through her breastfeeding journey.

Breastfeeding didn’t initially come easy for Denver Fire Lieutenant Jackie Fehr. Registered nurse and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant Mojgan Golgoon worked closely with Fehr through the lactation support group at Kaiser Permanente’s Englewood Medical Offices, where Golgoon still teaches.

Watch the video to learn about the valuable breastfeeding skills Fehr learned from Golgoon and the connections she gained through the support group. That confidence helped Fehr breastfeed both of her children, even after she returned to 48-hour shifts at the fire station.

While breastfeeding can be a bonding experience, it can also be isolating and challenging. Kaiser Permanente embeds mental health care in primary care and specialty departments, meaning expectant and new moms benefit from ongoing mental health support.

  • Behavioral medicine specialists attend lactation support groups to check in with members, observe how they are adjusting to motherhood, and coordinate more extensive mental health support, if needed.
  • Routine mental health care can be accessed without a referral.

“Having a place where they can be vulnerable makes a huge difference,” says Illena Klassen, a Kaiser Permanente Colorado Licensed Mental Health Professional. “We try to surround the moms with professionals who can identify mental health concerns sooner and provide them with techniques to help get them through a really difficult time of life.”

Support means success for breastfeeding moms

Through the delivery of patient-centered, evidence-based lactation support, Kaiser Permanente’s first-year breastfeeding rates are 71%, compared to the national average of 49%.3

As a newcomer to Denver, if you’re planning for a family, pregnant, or raising children, Kaiser Permanente has a health plan that fits your life. Explore our plans and learn how our connected care teams coordinate every aspect of members’ pregnancy and postpartum care.

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/reportcard.htm  
  2. Kaiser Permanente Colorado is composed of the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado and the for-profit Colorado Permanente Medical Group, P.C.
  3. The Joint Commission, 2021.