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Carlotta Endsley is a Breastfeeding Mom’s Best Birth Day Gift

Carlotta Endsley is a Breastfeeding Mom’s Best Birth Day Gift

In the United States, breastfeeding’s popularity is on the rise. According to the CDC, only 74% of 2007 mothers breastfed at all, and only 11% breastfed exclusively for the first six months (as per the CDC’s recommendation). In stark contrast, the latest data reveals that, as of 2016, 81% of mothers breastfeed their babies at least once, and 22% breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. 

With more and more mothers choosing the natural route, the demand for quality support has also increased. Thankfully for Texarkana mothers, Carlotta Endsley is here.

Carlotta is a board-certified lactation consultant at Wadley Regional Medical Center. A registered nurse in the Maternal-Child Department at Wadley for more than 34 years, Carlotta remembers the wonderful nurses and friends who encouraged her to breastfeed after the birth of her sons in 1984 and 1986. “It was a wonderful experience, and I wanted to pass that encouragement and support on to other moms,” explains Carlotta. So, in April 1992, she attended a breastfeeding educator program in Oklahoma City, and in June of that year, she began teaching Wadley’s breastfeeding class, which she still teaches today—25 years later.

Over the past two-and-a-half decades, Carlotta has helped consecutive generations breastfeed. “When a new mom says to me that I helped her mom breastfeed, it is such a gratifying feeling,” Carlotta said.

Not all of her clients have support, though, familial or otherwise. For these women and others, Carlotta founded Wadley Hospital’s breastfeeding support group in August of 2016. The group, which meets once a month (Tuesdays from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.), normally consists of about 12 moms and their babies. 

“We have mamas of every age and background, so we truly have a voice and forum for everyone,” said group member Lalanya Sorensen. She loves the group because it is a place “ . . . where you can go to have an adult conversation—albeit [discussion of] soreness, bottle confusion, or adequate supply,” she said. “We, as women, can come together and help each other out.”

The women who attend the meetings are also invited to a private Facebook group, “for support between meetings, late-night scares, early-morning disasters, and funny stories.”

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In addition to her full-time job as lactation consultant and support-group leader, Carlotta also teaches the childbirth education classes at Wadley. She was instrumental in pushing Wadley to become a Texas Ten-Step Hospital in 2004 and a Mother-Friendly Worksite in 2010.

Carlotta’s passion for breastfeeding stems from the scientifically proven benefits of breast milk, which extend well beyond basic nutrition: breast milk contains all the vitamins and minerals an infant needs in the first six months of life, as well as disease-fighting substances that protect against illness. Breastfeeding is also recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

If you’re a breastfeeding mother who needs a little (or a lot of) help, Carlotta is the resource you need. For more information on the support group, visit the Wadley Regional Medical Center’s Facebook page or visit wadleyhealth.com.

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