CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Since 1995, breastfeeding mothers in the Chambersburg area have looked to Suzy Wilkinson for support on their journeys.
New mothers encounter Suzy, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®), after giving birth at Chambersburg Hospital. An IBCLC is a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding comes with many known benefits to the mother and child, it also can come with many challenges. Kristin Sites, a mother of two, knows those challenges very well.
After giving birth to her first child, Sites said she nearly gave up on breastfeeding.
“If it wasn’t for the support of Suzy, I know I wouldn’t have been able to continue breastfeeding my son,” she explained. “But Suzy worked with me, and I was able to make it work.”
Recently, Sites nominated Suzy for her numerous contributions to women in the community to Pumpspotting, an app that connects breastfeeding women to one another by sharing breastfeeding-friendly locations and offering support.
This summer, Pumpspotting is on tour across the country to advocate breastfeeding and to support women in different communities. This week the tour stops were planned for Philadelphia and Baltimore, and founder Amy VanHaren said after reading Sites’ words, she decided to make an additional stop in Chambersburg to honor Suzy’s contributions to the community.
“Suzy has helped so, so many women,” VanHaren explained. “We are trekking 10,000 miles to bring awareness to breastfeeding, and I feel like we need to celebrate these powerful advocates along the way.”
Part of the national movement that is encouraging and supporting women on their breastfeeding journeys includes bright teal colored bus that offers women a place to nurse their babies.
The bus stopped at Chambersburg Hospital where a group of nurses from the family birthing unit and women in the community who were supported by Suzy gathered to greet it, and to celebrate Suzy’s recognition.
Suzy said it’s been an honor caring for women in our community for the past few decades, and recently has enjoyed helping a second generation of women; who’s own mother’s Suzy supported when they were first born.
“It just warms my heart,” Suzy explained. “I really feel like this is my purpose.”
Breastfeeding families are also encouraged to attend a Breastfeeding Picnic, happening July 29 at noon, at Norlo Park, Chambersburg.
Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.
As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.