USA Health Nurses Earn International Recognition for Breastfeeding Care
MOBILE, ALABAMA (Aug. 15, 2023) Because of its demonstrated ability to help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital has been recognized by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) for excellence in lactation care.
That means mothers who deliver at the hospital and choose to breastfeed have access to the highest level of lactation support throughout their stay and after returning home.
For the fourth time, Children’s & Women’s Hospital received an IBCLC care award in recognition of staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certification and for providing a lactation program for breastfeeding families, among other achievements.
The hospital’s lactation consultants include registered nurses who work in the mother/baby department and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“We remain incredibly proud of our staff and their dedication to ensuring moms have the resources they need to breastfeed as quickly as possible after a baby is born,” said Vicki Curtis, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, director of women’s services at the hospital.
Those who have been recognized with this designation and staff who support them include Alex Miller, RN, BSN; Bree May, RN, BSN, CLC; Laurel Geere, LPN; Latoya Bumpers, RN, BSN; Stevi Barton, RN, BSN; Tammy Doherty, RNC-MNN, IBCLC; Jamie Williams, RNC-MNN, BSN, IBCLC; Amy Campbell, RN, BSN, IBCLC; Laura Brown, RN, BSN, IBCLC; Melanie Edwards, RN, IBCLC; Alexis Smiley, LPN; and Catherine Owler, RN, CLC.
Team members at Children’s & Women’s Hospital are dedicated to increasing the bond between a mother and her baby through research-backed practices, including breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact. These lactation practices have many health benefits for mothers and infants, including lower risks of cancers, diabetes, and other diseases.
One initiative that helps support the bond between new moms and their babies is monthly in-person breastfeeding classes for expectant mothers and those who have newly delivered.
“In-person classes are vital and allow parents the opportunity to learn basic breastfeeding information,” said Doherty, a nurse and certified lactation consultant at Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “It allows time for interactive learning and the opportunity to ask questions from trained clinicians.”
The classes, which run from 6 to 8 p.m., are held once a month at the hospital’s midtown Mobile campus at 1700 Center Street. The next class is planned for Aug. 17. Call 251-415-1285 for details. “Our hospital strives to promote and support breastfeeding as it provides lifelong health benefits for both mothers and babies,” Doherty said.
The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. This includes expressed breast milk. Exclusive breastfeeding allows infants to grow and develop with a healthier immune system while mothers benefit as it lowers their risk for certain illnesses including breast and ovarian cancer, she said. Research shows that other benefits for babies include fewer ear infections, asthma, eczema, and gastrointestinal issues.
About USA Health Children's & Women's Hospital
As part of the only academic health system on the upper Gulf Coast, USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital -- also part of the University of South Alabama -- is the only stand-alone inpatient facility in Alabama dedicated to providing the most advanced and comprehensive healthcare to the region’s children and women. Services range from the region’s only pediatric emergency center open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staffed with specially trained emergency medicine physicians and other providers to the region’s only level III neonatal intensive care unit, small baby unit and pediatric intensive care unit, where the area’s sickest children receive the most advanced care. The highly trained staff delivers more babies annually than any other hospital in the Mobile area and includes the region’s only high-risk obstetrics program.