Hello, it's Nice to Meet You – Daisy Eickhoff

Breastfeeding your infant is a beautiful, nutritionally valuable, and important step for a new mother. Breastfeeding can also be frustrating, overwhelming, confusing and while natural, not instinctual. Lactation consultants make all the difference. At Tucson Medical Center, lactation consultants advise mothers on effective techniques for successful and continuous breastfeeding of their babies. All our lactation consultants are Registered Nurses who are certified by the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants.

Meet Daisy Eickhoff, one of our amazing lactation consultants and an instructor of the Breastfeeding Basics course.
 
What was your route to becoming a lactation consultant? I began my nursing career in 1963 in Omaha, NE. My first position was caring for newborn infant’s in a 50 bed newborn nursery and I continued in this role until my first child was born. I returned to nursing in a Pediatric Acute Care hospital in 1966 and continued working with sick infants and children for the next 9 years. Then I accepted a position in a newly built community hospital in my home town and during my 30 years in this facility I worked with newborns and their mothers, earned my BSN (1986) and my Masters degree (1993) and advanced from bedside nurse to nurse manager of the Mother/Baby unit.

In 1994 I left Nebraska for Tyler TX and started an LDRP (Labor Delivery Recovery Postpartum Unit) this was a new construction and was a very exciting 5 years developing this program.

In 1999 I came to TMC and achieved my certification as an International Breastfeeding Consultant. I have been working in this capacity for 11 years. During my tenure in Texas and again in Tucson, I served as Adjunct Clinical Faculty for the University of Texas at Tyler BSN Nursing Program and the Pima Community College AD program educating our next generation of nurses.

What do you like to do for fun? My leisure activities include hiking the beautiful mountain trails in the Tucson area, reading and quilting. In 2010 I hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim and in 2011 I hiked Grand Canyon rim to the river and back in a day. Love hiking!

What is your favorite part of  being a lactation consultant? I really like working with new Mother’s and infants and helping them establish and maintain a positive breastfeeding experience for as long as the mother wants – each baby is so different, it is fun to point out the special and unique qualities in their baby to new parents,

What did you not know before becoming a lactation consultant? Breast milk is a dynamic fluid meaning the composition of the milk changes with the maturity of the baby – the newborn’s milk will be different from the milk available to the 6 month old and that is beacause the needs of the two ages differ – quite facscinating and I think all new mother’s should be aware of that – formula is a static food – – can’t duplicate human milk.

Tucson Medical Center  was awarded the International Board of Lactation Constultant Examiners and the International Lactation Consultant Association  Care Award, for the excellence demonstrated in staffing International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) as part of your maternal-child health care team, and for breastfeeding activities  that demonstrate promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding. Including dedicated care by IBCLCs provides premier breastfeeding support by highly skilled health professions for the families at TMC.  The project that assisted in our achieving this award was the Neonatal Intensive Care Breastfeeding Follow-Up Program.
This CARE Award was one of only three awards given in Arizona in 2011, we were the only hospital with this award in Southern Arizona.

Banners acknowledging this award have recently been placed in the corridors at the South East Entrance and the corridor near the Newborn Nursery on the Unit.