ChristianaCare has been recognized as an international leader in supporting mothers who breastfeed, receiving the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Care Award. ChristianaCare is the only health system in Delaware to receive the honor, awarded to facilities for excellence in staff training in caring for breastfeeding families and innovative projects that promote breastfeeding.
The award reflects ChristianaCare’s commitment to healthy mothers and babies. The health system is one of the highest-volume maternity centers in the nation, delivering more than 6,000 babies a year and ranked one of nation’s Best Maternity Hospitals by Newsweek and Leapfrog.
In 2016, Christiana Hospital earned a Baby-Friendly™ designation from Baby-Friendly, USA, Inc., part of a global program of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
“There is an abundance of evidence that points to improved health outcomes for mothers and babies who breastfeed,” said David Paul, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Paul noted that breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, cancer and diabetes for children, and decreases the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis for mothers.
Mona Liza Hamlin, MSN, RN, IBCLC, nurse manager of Perinatal Resources and Community Programs, said ChristianaCare’s 20 international board-certified lactation consultants and support staff begin working with moms in the prenatal stage, before their babies are born. In addition, breastfeeding peer counselors meet with moms prenatally. All clinicians including providers and bedside nurses throughout the Center for Women’s and Children’s Health have also been trained in breastfeeding.
“It’s a robust program that provides support and education,” Hamlin said. “We teach moms that what we produce as women is all the baby needs for the first six months of life. If there’s a reason why the mom can’t breastfeed, we talk about that, too. The goal is healthy babies and healthy moms.”
Lactation consultants also help moms after they return home, through follow-up phone calls or a new texting program that helps families know what to expect as their babies grow. This program allows moms to text back about any issues they are experiencing to get help in real time. The lactation consultants follow up with a telehealth consultation or schedule or in-person visit for more complex issues.
Learn more about breastfeeding support at ChristianaCare or schedule a consultation at 302-301-3360.