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Lactation Support


Children’s National East of the River Lactation Support Center

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding after infant foods are started until at least 12 months of age because of its many medical, psychological, and economic benefits. The East of the River Lactation Support Center is a collaborative program between Children's National Medical Center, the Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program, and the DC Breastfeeding Coalition. The program aims to help mothers in the Washington, DC metro area who choose to breastfeed reach their breastfeeding goals through prenatal breastfeeding education and post-partum breastfeeding support. It is fully funded by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture/WIC.

Services offered include:

  • A four-week prenatal breastfeeding education class that will be offered on a rolling basis two days per week. This class is free and is facilitated by a lactation consultant, breastfeeding peer counselor, and a WIC nutritionist. Class topics include: “Getting Started”, “Breastfeeding in the First Few Weeks”, “Keeping Things Going When Life Returns”, and “Breastfeeding After 6 Months”.
  • Community lactation support services offered to breastfeeding families from the entire Washington, DC metro area. Services are offered free of charge on a daily basis during regular business hours. Breastfeeding support equipment (e.g., breast pumps) is also available for those who are enrolled in DC WIC.
  • Mom-to-Mom Breastfeeding Support Groups.
  • Back-to-Work Breastfeeding Consults to help breastfeeding mothers prepare to return to the workforce or school while meeting their breastfeeding goals.
Meet Our Team
Sahira Long, MD, IBCLC (Medical Director)
Samuel McAleese (Program Assistant)
Jamilah Muhayman (Breastfeeding Peer Counselor)
Lynnette Hafken, IBCLC (Lactation Consultant)
Katie Dowling (Nutritionist)
Jamila Gibson (Technician) - Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center