As a lactation consultant Young sees new mothers at Prairie Ridge Health after their delivery. “In the first visit, I ask the patient what their goals are, what they know about breastfeeding, inform them of the benefits to them and their baby, and assist them in feeding their baby for the first time.”

After their inpatient stay, mothers who are breastfeeding meet with Young at an outpatient appointment. From that point, additional appointments are scheduled as necessary and Young is also available by phone. “I have seen patients who have been breastfeeding their baby for 5 weeks to 5 months,” she explained.

Young believes in empowering women with the knowledge and resources necessary to breastfeed their baby. “Breast milk is a living liquid,” explains Young “It is species specific. The components in the breast milk positively affect the baby’s growth, development and immune system.”

From cancer prevention to the reduction of allergies to relaxation benefits, Young says the benefits of breastfeeding are endless.

“For the mother, research has shown less incidents of pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. For the baby, research has shown less incidents of respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, juvenile diabetes, and certain types of childhood cancer,” said Young.

From a community standpoint, Young explains that breastfeeding is green, saving families money and decreasing healthcare costs due to the decrease in health complications in both the mother and baby.

In order to encourage breastfeeding, Young believes in developing a support network that starts at the hospital. “As healthcare providers, it is important for us to support women prenatally, postnatally, and through their lactation experience,” said Young. “It takes a team.”

Parents seeking information regarding breastfeeding may contact Joan Young by calling 920-626-2347. Joan offers breastfeeding classes, as well as telephone and online support. Additional information regarding breastfeeding may be found by visiting,, or

In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, Prairie Ridge Health distributed special newborn t-shirts to babies born at the hospital during the month of August. The week promotes breastfeeding infants to improve the health, development, and wellbeing of infants and children, as well as mothers. According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), under nutrition underlies 45% of all deaths of children under 5 annually.*