Lactation Consultants

The physicians at PHCA believe that breastfeeding is the optimal way to feed your newborn. However, we recognize that learning to breastfeed can sometimes be a challenge. That's why PHCA provides lactation services several days each week in our Peabody location. Our lactation consultants are certified by the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants. They can help mothers—both first-time and experienced—become more successful and confident with breastfeeding. They can also address common concerns like decreasing breast milk supply, or pumping and storing breast milk. Initial visits with a lactation consultant are arranged by appointment, and last approximately one hour.

Please contact your home office to schedule an appointment, or contact the Peabody office directly at 978-535-1110, option #5.

Until you can speak with one of our lactation consultants, we offer some tips below for getting started:

  • Plan to begin breastfeeding your baby immediately after birth, as this stimulates milk production. However, it may take a few days before milk “comes in.” Don't worry; the colostrum, or watery milk, will be enough for your baby for the first day or so.
  • Before breast feeding, get comfortable. Use pillows to support your arms, back, and the baby's weight. Have something to drink nearby, and have a burp cloth handy. Begin by supporting your breast with your free hand. Place your fingers under your breast, and rest your thumb gently on the top of the breast. All fingers should be away from the areola, or dark circle around the nipple. You can massage the breast to express a little milk—this may help the baby get started. Position your baby lying on its side, level with your breast. Bring the baby's mouth to your nipple, and stroke the baby's lower lip with the nipple. When the baby's mouth is open wide, bring the baby closer to latch onto the breast. Be sure some of the areola is in the baby's mouth; this will allow the baby's tongue to stroke the milk storage sacs in the areola while sucking. Encourage the baby to nurse from both breasts during each feeding, even if the time on each side is brief. Ideally, babies will nurse from 7-10 minutes on each side.
  • Initially, it is best to allow breastfed babies to feed on demand. This means feeding the baby whenever the baby cries from hunger. For some infants, this may be as frequent as every 1 ½ to 2 hours. Until your baby has regained his or her birthweight, though, please feed a minimum of every 3 hours during daytime and every 4 hours at night. As time passes, babies will develop a more regular feeding schedule on their own.

Marie McDermott, RN, LC

Marie McDermott, RN, LC

Lactation Nurse
Joined Practice in 1999

Nursing Education:
Lynn Hospital
School of Nursing

Board Status:
International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants


Holly Jean C. Rakip, RN, LC

Holly Jean C. Rakip, RN, LC

Lactation Nurse
Joined Practice in 2008

Nursing Education:
Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

Board Status:
International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants