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Collaborative lactation experts help new mom on breastfeeding journey

Written By: Simone Sonnier, UT Physicians | Updated: January 19, 2022
Nikita Jackson-Higgs and daughter, A'dor

Nikita Jackson-Higgs poses with her daughter, A'dor. (Photo by Alyssa Duty, UT Physicians)

Nikita Jackson-Higgs always knew she wanted to breastfeed once she became a mother. After the birth of her daughter, A’dor, and a sudden life-altering change, it not only became important, but necessary.

“I knew I wanted to breastfeed because it was natural and good for the baby,” she said. “However, after I lost my job, I knew it was important because formula is expensive.”

To help begin her breastfeeding journey, experts at UT Physicians recommended she utilize the Nest Collaborative, an online collective of lactation consultants who provide virtual guidance.

Patricia C. Lenihan, MD
Patricia C. Lenihan, MD

Patricia C. Lenihan, MD, OB-GYN specialist and Nikita’s doctor, believes it’s a wonderful tool for her patients.

“Nest is a great addition to the resources our patients can access, particularly because the support is on demand,” she explained.

Nikita attended three Nest virtual classes, which she found helpful and safe given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I found the classes very helpful, particularly when I was trying to understand why my milk supply in my left breast was not producing the same as my right,” she shared. “It was also nice to not have to venture out with my baby so soon considering COVID-19.”

Following her classes with Nest, Nikita felt more comfortable venturing out and became interested in in-person assistance.

“Once I knew Nikita was interested in furthering her breastfeeding education and could benefit from more assistance, I referred her to our in-house lactation consultant, Donna,” said Lenihan, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.

Donna Markos, IBCLC
Donna Markos, IBCLC

Donna Markos, board-certified lactation consultant and registered nurse with UT Physicians, recalls her first meeting with Nikita and the different things they worked on to improve A’dor’s feeding experience.

“Nikita was having a few issues with latching and was concerned A’dor wasn’t getting enough milk,” she explained.

During their time together, Markos and Nikita worked on alternate positions for nursing and how to get a deeper latch.

Today, little A’dor is four months old and trouble-free when it comes to feeding, thanks to guidance from the Nest Collaborative and Markos. After having such a positive journey and great support system throughout this process, Nikita plans on breastfeeding any future children she may have. To other mothers considering nursing their children, she says patience is key.

“It’s a challenge, but it gets better,” she shared. “I would highly recommend the Nest program and speaking with a lactation consultant for support and to stay consistent.”

Patients of UT Physicians have the option of consulting with Markos before and after they give birth, either in person or virtually — whatever is most convenient.

“In every journey, there will be bumps in the road, which is why we are here to help you through them,” said Markos.

To schedule an appointment with one of our women’s health experts or a lactation consultant, please call 832-325-7131 or visit their page.

As the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians has locations across the Greater Houston area to serve the community. To schedule an appointment, call 888-4UT-DOCS.