After more than 30 years in nursing and 10 years as a lactation consultant, Celeste Wilkas, RN, IBCLC, understands the importance of a comfortable rocking chair to a new mother and her baby. Therefore, Wilkas decided to help the new mothers in the Special Care Nursery at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital by donating a new glider chair and six new step stools.
“It is essential that there is a comfortable chair for new mothers to sit in as they breast feed or hold their babies,” said this Orland Park resident. “A new mother can spend more than eight hours a day sitting at her baby’s bedside, so her comfort and the comfort of the infant is extremely important.”
According to Wilkas, there are many specifications a chair must meet in order to be used in the Special Care Nursery. A mother whose premature baby is less than 30 weeks old would not be able to handle a lot of movement. Therefore, an appropriate chair must be able to lock in place, as well as rock and glide back and forth. The chair also needs to be made of a sturdy and washable material in order to withstand the greatest amount of patient use.
“These chairs offer emotional support to the new mothers seeking comfort as they cradle and care for their babies,” said Wilkas. “The Special Care Nursery needs to provide them with this support as they sit at their child’s vigil.”
After 10 years at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Wilkas decided to give back to the nursery that has given her so many rewarding experiences. She donated the chair and stools in memory of her mother and mother-in-law. Wilkas says they both volunteered at local hospitals and were incredibly dedicated to children. Her mother-in-law Mary Ann would deliver flowers, but she also enjoyed visiting the OB units.
“Both my mother and my mother-in-law showed me the power of kindness and compassion for others,” Wilkas said. “Making this donation was the least I could do to help the new mothers and their babies.”
As a lactation consultant, Wilkas aids new mothers by teaching them how to breast feed and care for their babies. She helps mothers donate to milk banks and weigh their babies. Wilkas also provides a support group every Tuesday to mothers who have questions or need help caring for their babies.
“We want to provide a comfortable experience to every new mother. Celeste’s donation helps us do that,” said BettySue Netzel, director of women and children’s services at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. “We are so thankful for her generosity.”