Lactation Consultant Insider: Teri Wheat
Lactation consultants are a significant source of support and education for breastfeeding moms. Our staff work with many lactation consultants, helping them spread the word about milk banking and providing resources for those interested in donating as well as those in need of donor milk. Teri Newman-Wheat, BSN, RN-MNN, IBCLC is one of them.
Teri works at Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth, one of our local hospitals that also serves as a milk depot. After working as a nurse in the mother-baby area for 26 years, she decided to pursue a certification in lactation consultation.
“Due to a lack of education and support, I did not reach my personal goals with breastfeeding,” Teri said. “I wanted to support others in reaching their breastfeeding goals.”
Five years ago, Teri received her IBCLC certification and has educated and supported breastfeeding mothers ever since.
A typical day at Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth is a busy one, with staff balancing many roles. Teri works with a variety of inpatients, including those who recently delivered in the hospital as well as lactating mothers in the emergency room, intensive care unit, medical surgical units and outpatient surgery.
She also provides care in the hospital’s outpatient clinic for follow up appointments and lactation support after a mother and newborn are discharged from the hospital, as well as provides breastfeeding information and counseling over the phone. The hospital offers pump rentals and some retail sale items, so the lactation staff manages those.
Another aspect of Teri’s job is her work with Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. She assists milk donors who come to drop off their milk donations at the hospital’s depot, as well as shares information about the milk bank with potential donors and potential recipients.
“We strive to educate patients, staff and physicians about all the services,” she said of discussing MMBNT at her job.
Overall, Teri loves working with the milk bank and with mothers to help them reach their personal breastfeeding goals. Her role of educating and supporting patients’ journeys truly makes a difference in the lives of mothers and babies.