Breast milk or formula? It’s a personal choice only you can make. At Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), we promise to give you personal attention and respect as you make decisions to support your growing baby.

Your health care team will give you the information you need to make a fully informed choice. They also will share recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and others who recommend breastfeeding during an infant’s first six months. After that, experts recommend breast milk along with solid foods for the first year or more.

Breastfeeding offers many benefits. Breast milk is perfectly balanced nutrition that doesn’t require heating bottles or expensive formula. It also promotes a special bond between you and your baby. No matter what feeding option you choose, our experienced nursing staff is here to help. They will teach you how to recognize your baby’s hunger cues and help with positioning and latching during your first feedings.

Some women adapt to breastfeeding quickly. Others may need more options and support as they become comfortable with their baby’s feeding routine.

We're Baby Friendly

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest was named a Baby-Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The distinction recognizes our commitment to helping mothers who choose to breastfeed attain the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to initiate and sustain breastfeeding for the optimal health and nutrition of their infant.

Preparing for birth and beyond

LVHN offers many resources to help you prepare for the birth of your baby. We offer prenatal and baby-care classes led by certified instructors, and breastfeeding support groups that offer professional guidance, peer support and friendship. In addition, the LVHN Baby Bundle book and app (available in English and Spanish) provides information to support you on the parenthood journey.

Meet our lactation team

LVHN’s specially educated lactation consultants are internationally board certified lactation consultants (IBCLC), a designation that signifies the highest level of knowledge and skill for routine and high-risk lactation care. An IBCLC consultant or lactation counselor will provide education, support and guidance in the hospital and once you go home.

With proper education and support, most moms will be able to successfully breastfeed their babies. Whether you choose to breast or bottle-feed your baby, our lactation team will support your decision and help you and your newborn get off to a safe and successful start.

Inpatient consultants

Our inpatient consultants will educate you about the benefits of breastfeeding while you are in the hospital. No matter how you choose to feed your baby, they will provide the support and education you need to get the very best start for breast or bottle feeding your infant.

 

Vivian Foulke, RN
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest

Philosophy of care: The use of breast milk has essential nutrients that help critically ill newborns achieve optimal health. I strive to provide mothers of critically ill newborns with the education, support and encouragement they need to be able to provide breast milk to their infants.

 

 

 

Beth Kushner-Giovenco, RN
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest

Philosophy of care: My goal is to help moms who choose to breastfeed reach their goals. I love educating, empowering and supporting moms during their breastfeeding journey whether it lasts days, months or years.

 

 

 

Cathy Hochgertel, RN, IBCLC
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill

Philosophy of care: Every mother's breastfeeding journey is a gift she gives and receives. I serve our mothers, babies and families through education and support to have the best hospital experience possible, develop their confidence, and transition to home ready to meet their breastfeeding goals. Guidance and support helps every mother find the joy in breastfeeding.

 

 

 

Jolie Maehrer, RN
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest

Philosophy of care: Every mother and baby deserves the very best start on their breastfeeding journey. By providing education, gentle guidance and reassurance, I strive to empower moms so they can succeed in meeting their individual breastfeeding goals.

 

 

 

 

Holly Michelson, IBCLC, RLC
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill

Philosophy of care: My philosophy and goals about breastfeeding are to help those who want my help, and to provide evidence-based education and support to all mothers whether they have already decided to breastfeed or are still unsure so that they may all make informed choices regarding what and how they choose to feed their children. Breastfeeding may be natural but it is not always easy in the beginning. I feel fortunate that I am able to assist mothers in achieving their breastfeeding goals from the time their children are born in the hospital, continuing on once they are home via contact at our weekly breastfeeding Moms' group, through the weaning process, and often again with the next child.

 

 

 

Jeanne Schevets, RN
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg

Philosophy of care: I’m part of an amazing team that works collaboratively to educate families on the “10 Steps to Effective Breastfeeding” as a blueprint for families to reach their breastfeeding goals. I am committed to supporting families with evidenced-based education so parents can make informed choices about infant nutrition and optimal health.

 

Outpatient consultants

Our outpatient consultants and counselors provide support to patients of LVPG Pediatrics and LVPG Family Medicine practices. Mothers who indicate a preference for breastfeeding will receive a phone call from a consultant once they are discharged home. Lactation consultants and counselors work with families to give them breastfeeding support in the office or over the phone.

 
heidi kober

 

Heidi Kober
LVH–17th Street

Philosophy of care: I am honored to support women on their breastfeeding journey! By listening to their goals, providing education and empowering them to be successful, we build a relationship that lasts through the years at our practice. Breastfeeding is natural, but not always instinctive or easy. I am fortunate to help all moms, those who choose to exclusively breast feed, or haven’t made up their minds yet. We meet mothers at the newborn appointment, just a day or two of being home from the hospital. This is a time things may start to get rough and moms begin to doubt themselves; It is a perfect time to bolster confidence and empower their ability to feed their babies.

 

 

 

Leila Nassar
LVPG Pediatrics–Pond Road

Philosophy of care: I help parents create a lifelong bond with their baby by sharing breastfeeding knowledge and supporting families who wish to provide human milk for their child. Breastfeeding not only nourishes the baby, but lays the best foundation for the health of both the child and mother.

 

 

 

Sarah Van Zandt
LVPG Pediatrics–Trexlertown

Philosophy of care: I am honored to be part of a new baby's life so they can have the best start possible. I share knowledge that helps new parents feel confident about their feeding choices and achieve their goals. How a family chooses to feed their baby early in life lasts a lifetime.

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