"We have created a private room, called 'The Pouch,' and we're accepting 90-minute appointments," said Sierra Cortazzo, owner of Kangaroo Kids and a certified lactation counselor. These one-on-one appointments with a credentialed lactation specialist are designed for new moms with breastfeeding challenges or concerns. Kangaroo Kids also offers shorter one-on-one prenatal education sessions and general educational sessions for less involved questions.
"We have offered free lactation counseling for 17 years on a walk-in basis," Cortazzo said. "People come in whenever they need to, and we stop what we're doing retail-wise to help them. Historically, all employees have been counselors. We've dropped down to two counselors, and it's hard to maintain the free service. We wanted to increase the level of service we offer."
Kangaroo Kids will continue to offer its free nursing moms groups on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. They also plan to start a Saturday nursing moms group. A formal breastfeeding telephone hotline is in the works, Cortazzo said.
"We're just so excited that we'll be able to offer people private and uninterrupted help," she said. "We can offer such a higher level of service to these moms and babies with private service."
Private consultation costs between $25 for an education session to $90 for a postnatal appointment.
Kangaroo Kids is located at 10030 Manchester Road, St. Louis, Mo., 63122. Call 314-835-9200 for information and appointments.