Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers believed that health care was a basic human right. His vision to ensure quality, accessible care regardless of ability to pay led to him founding the health center fifty years ago.
We're here because we love what we do. Hear from three Sam Rodgers Health Center providers about how they help create a safe space for families.
To schedule an appointment, please call (816) 474-4920. A member of our scheduling team will work with you to identify the best match for your clinic location, provider, and more!
Our patient resources provide a variety of support for our community. Sam Rodgers is dedicated to having accessible care for patients of every background. To schedule an appointment, please call (816) 474-4920!
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COVID-19 SPECIFIC INFORMATION
We do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk, but the current data available suggest breastfeeding is not likely to be a source of transmission. Since breastfed infants are less likely to develop other viral infections, the CDC recommends that moms with COVID-19 continue to breastfeed their babies. A mother with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant. She should wash her hands using soap and water, especially if her hands are visibly soiled, before touching her infant. If soap and water are not available, she should use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Additionally, mothers should wear a cloth face covering while feeding at the breast. If expressing breast milk either by hand expression or with a breast pump, the mother should clean her hands, as instructed above, before touching any pump or bottle parts and wear a cloth face covering.
Breastfeeding is often in the spotlight, as everyone from celebrity moms to the mom-next-door continue to take to social media to champion the benefits of this important mother-child experience. But that doesn’t mean breastfeeding is all that simple.
Many new moms face breastfeeding challenges, which is why Sam Rodgers sees breastfeeding counseling as a vital part of its WIC program to help both moms and babies grow healthy and strong from day one.
Says Gina Lile, Sam Rodgers Breastfeeding Program Coordinator, even second-time moms often struggle with successful nursing. She recalls one mother who visited Sam Rodgers because she was having a lot of discomfort and was concerned her baby was not getting enough milk. Gina helped her latch the baby, and mom felt better right away.
According to Eve Wells, the WIC Coordinator at Sam Rodgers, “That mom had the same struggle with her first baby, which caused her to stop breastfeeding altogether. She was so grateful we could help with her second child.”
For moms facing breastfeeding challenges, Sam Rodgers offers valuable counseling and support along the journey and that starts with prenatal education. “We address barriers and develop a relationship, so moms are comfortable coming back if they have problems after the baby is born. As a lactation consultant, I encourage moms to come in anytime, so we can help as soon as possible,” Gina says.
A baby’s first weeks and months have a lasting impact on their health for the rest of their lives. “Breast milk is full of antibodies and immunities, and it protects babies from respiratory diseases. It’s important to help the infant brain develop,” Eve says. Also as a dietician, she has more than 25 years’ experience in health and nutrition and explains that breast milk is unique in how it changes to serve the baby’s needs.
“Whatever the baby needs that day, the mother’s body will produce in breast milk,” Gina echoes. For example, if someone in the family is sick and the baby is exposed to bacteria, the mother’s milk will start to include immunities to protect the baby. Breastfeeding has long-term health effects, too. “Kids who are breastfed grow up to have higher IQs, they’re less likely to have Type 2 diabetes and less likely to be overweight.”
Moms reap real benefits as well. Women who breastfeed have a lower risk for ovarian and breast cancers. And of course, breastfeeding goes a long way in building strong maternal connections. “Breastfeeding raises levels of oxytocin, which we nicknamed ‘the love hormone,’” Gina explains. “That helps you form a tight bond with your baby.”
“I tell moms that all breastfeeding problems have solutions,” Gina says. “Don’t give up. Look for the right kind of help and surround yourself with supportive people. We’re here to help.”
Sam Rodgers also offers the breast pump loan program. “When moms are separated from their babies due to work, they sometimes feel they can’t breastfeed. But with a little education about pumping and the pump itself, they’re able to continue breastfeeding after they go back to work,” says Gina.
New moms need a variety of support caring for newborns and as they grow. That’s why WIC (which stands for Women, Infants and Children) serves pregnant women and new moms, babies and children up to age five.
“We help ensure women and families receive all of the healthcare and resources they need,” Eve says. In addition to breastfeeding education and support, the WIC program offers supplemental nutrition for families. WIC foods are high in calcium, low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in fiber. Foods include milk, eggs, some types of yogurt, some kinds of breakfast cereal, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread and pasta, beans and peanuts.
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