Doctor On Call: Questions For Dr. Asbury, A Breastfeeding Pediatrician

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Dr. Laura Asbury
Dr. Laura Asbury

How does your dual role as a pediatrician and lactation counselor help moms with breastfeeding?
One of the biggest stresses for new moms is breastfeeding. Even though it’s completely natural, it’s not always easy. I’ve seen many tearful moms in my office who were experiencing a painful latch, concerned about their milk supply or worried about a host of other breastfeeding problems. As a pediatrician who is certified in lactation counseling, I can provide some much-needed support for these moms, and it’s a great way to help my little patients get off to a healthy start.

What are some advantages for babies who breastfeed? 
The advantages of breastfeeding for babies go far beyond filling up a hungry belly. Breast milk is the best food for babies during the first year of life (with the addition of baby foods after six months). In addition to the perfect balance of nutrients to help a baby grow, breast milk helps reduce illnesses like ear infections, pneumonia and diarrhea, as well as lowering the impact of respiratory illnesses.

Breastfeeding helps decrease the incidence of asthma and eczema. The rates of obesity and type 1 diabetes are much lower in breastfed infants as compared to formula fed infants, and breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and childhood leukemia.  

How can mothers benefit from breastfeeding? 
There are several maternal benefits of breastfeeding, and lactation plays an important role in a woman’s long-term health. Breastfeeding can help lower the lifetime risks of metabolic disease often associated with insulin resistance and high cholesterol brought on during pregnancy.

It can also reduce maternal obesity, lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease (including heart attacks). Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes after developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. 

Breastfeeding also reduces a mother’s risk for endometrial, ovarian and breast cancers. Long-term studies have shown that the longer a woman breastfeeds the more she can reduce her breast cancer risk, particularly the most aggressive forms of the disease such as triple negative breast cancer.

What kind of support do you give breastfeeding moms?
I encourage my patients often, because they need to hear the effort they’re making for their own health and the long-term health of their baby is the first step for them to be successful in this endeavor. 

I tell my patients that breastfeeding is a labor of love because it’s not always an easy, painless journey. Infants often need to be fed every 1-3 hours for the first few weeks of life. This can create mental and physical exhaustion for the mom on top of the fluctuating hormones that occur after delivery. 

As a pediatrician and a lactation counselor, I can offer successful strategies for breastfeeding, address factors that have a negative impact on the mother-baby bond, and support them through difficult seasons which make lifelong impacts for both mom and baby.  

* * * 
Laura Asbury MD CLC is a pediatrician with Beacon’s Children’s Diagnostic Center who has more than 15 years experience caring for children, and has recently become a certified lactation counselor to give new moms and babies added support in their breastfeeding journey.  She earned her medical degree from the University of Tennessee School of Medicine in Memphis and completed her residency and chief residency at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga.   

Dr. Laura Asbury is accepting new patients.  Call and make an appointment with her at 894-3252.



AIM Center, Inc. Celebrates 2020 Thanksgiving With A Week Of Giving Thanks

Erlanger East Announces Addition To Surgery Program

Hamilton County Coalition Using Tennessee Community CARES Grant To Offer Free Overdose Prevention, COVID-19 Resources To The Public


Beginning today, the AIM Center will have special programming and events for their clubhouse members to celebrate Thanksgiving. Events are as follows: Tuesday • Moccasin Bend employees ... (click for more)

Erlanger East Hospital surgical services announced an addition – the da Vinci Xi Surgical System. "With such technologies, Erlanger is positioned to offer patients additional advanced surgery ... (click for more)

The Hamilton County Coalition was recently awarded the Tennessee Community CARES grant to offer free overdose prevention, and COVID-19 resources to the public. These resources include virtual ... (click for more)



Living Well

AIM Center, Inc. Celebrates 2020 Thanksgiving With A Week Of Giving Thanks

Beginning today, the AIM Center will have special programming and events for their clubhouse members to celebrate Thanksgiving. Events are as follows: Tuesday • Moccasin Bend employees will be visited and gifted framed art pieces by AIM Center members showing them appreciation of their care and hard work. • 2:30 p.m. - Motivational speaker and entrepreneur Paul Cummings ... (click for more)

Erlanger East Announces Addition To Surgery Program

Erlanger East Hospital surgical services announced an addition – the da Vinci Xi Surgical System. "With such technologies, Erlanger is positioned to offer patients additional advanced surgery access points," officials said. "Erlanger Surgical Services at East expands robotic capabilities for minimally-invasive urologic, gynecologic, colorectal and general surgery in the East ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tennessee Has 4,404 New COVID Cases, 53 More Deaths

The number of coronavirus cases in Tennessee is 352,376 on Thursday with 4,404 new cases. There have been 53 more deaths from the virus, for a total of 4,519, said state Health Department officials. The state currently has 2,178 people hospitalized from the virus, 5 less than on Wednesday. There have been 312,885 people who have recovered from the virus in Tennessee (89 ... (click for more)

Georgia Has 26 New Coronavirus Deaths, 2,946 New Cases

Georgia state health officials reported on Thursday there have been 26 additional deaths due to the coronavirus. The current total is 8,716. There were 2,946 new cases as that total reached 413,909 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Hospitalizations are at 34,587, up 174 from Wednesday. Here are the numbers by county: Catoosa County: 1,997 cases, up 25; 29 deaths; ... (click for more)

Opinion

County Employees Need A Bonus Too

A few weeks ago we learned that Sheriff Jim Hammond was asking for a second raise. Earlier this year Hamilton County employees were notified that "due to COVID-19" there would be no raises for employees of any kind this year. I guess Mr. Hammond didnt get that memo about no raises. Why is it that some employees will be getting a raise and others are not? That doesn't really ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful

For the life of me, I can’t remember when it started but back in the ‘70s, I began devoting my sports column on Thanksgiving Day to off-the-wall stuff of which I was truly and genuinely thankful. Back then I would go to from “76 reasons”, then “77 Reasons”, and then “78 reasons” with every new year. We climbed through 80’s, and the 90’s and it became a tradition. By then it had ... (click for more)