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The Medical Center, Navicent Health Honored for Lactation Care Services

Hospital Awarded by International Lactation Consultant Association for Promoting Breastfeeding

MACON, GA (Wednesday, June 1, 2016) – The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) have recognized The Medical Center, Navicent Health (MCNH) for excellence in lactation care.

MCNH has received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition for staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® certification (IBCLC®) and providing a lactation program for breastfeeding families. In addition, MCNH demonstrated that is has recently completed activities that help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, human breast milk is preferred for all infants, including those who are sick or premature. Recent studies have shown that babies who are breastfed exclusively for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, stomach viruses, respiratory illnesses and meningitis. Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop illnesses later in life, including childhood obesity, high cholesterol, allergies, diabetes, and childhood cancers. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers for the mother, and creates a strong bond between the mother and child.

“When we look at the multiple benefits of breastfeeding for both the infant and the mother, it is easy to see why we should encourage breastfeeding and create environments conducive for breastfeeding. Recognition from the ILCA demonstrates that we are taking the correct steps to promote the health of infants and mothers at The Medical Center, Navicent Health,” said Lee McWilliams, BSN, RN, and board certified Lactation Consultant with MCNH.

MCNH recently implemented the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as defined by Baby-Friendly USA. The program is helpful in establishing good breastfeeding habits, In addition to the tools offered after a child’s birth, MCNH hosts monthly classes for parents-to-be, including free breastfeeding classes. This class is taught by an internationally board certified lactation consultant who discusses the benefits of breastfeeding and reviews techniques to assist new parents.

According to Decalie Brown, President of ILCA, “This recognition highlights the efforts being made by maternity facilities all across the world to help mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding, and to support them in reaching their goals. IBCLC is the leading internationally recognized lactation certification in the world, and IBCLC certificants are highly skilled in helping mothers with the questions and concerns that can arise. They are also an important part of the overall maternal and child health team by assuring that evidence-based policies and practices are in place that help mothers succeed with breastfeeding.”

Andreja Tekauc Golob, Chair of IBLCE states, “IBCLC Care Award recipients should be applauded for their efforts to improve maternal and child health by promoting and providing expert lactation care within their community. By hiring IBLCE certificants, they ensure that their patients are receiving lactation care from healthcare professionals that are educated and trained to deal with the most challenging situations.”

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants focus on preventive care, so they are available during pregnancy to assess the mother and provide information on how to successfully initiate breastfeeding. They continue that assistance after the baby is born by helping mothers overcome breastfeeding challenges, providing accurate information, and continuing to support them as their baby grows. They assist mothers returning to work or school, help mothers in more unusual situations such as breastfeeding more than one baby or nursing a sick or premature infant, and help train nursing staff to manage basic breastfeeding care.
As allied health care professionals with the leading internationally recognized certification for professional lactation services, IBCLC professionals work in hospitals and birthing centers, clinics, public health agencies, private practice, community settings, government agencies, and in research. There are currently more than 28,100 IBCLCs in 102 countries worldwide that are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (www.iblce.org), a program independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  NCCA accreditation represents a mark of quality for certification programs.

Brown says, “Breastfeeding rates are on the rise today and with that dramatic increase, the need for trained professionals who can help also increases. Breastfeeding is natural and often works quite well without intervention. But there can be complications or risk factors and mothers need extra support. An IBCLC is the trained expert with clinical skill who works with the entire health care team so that a mother’s breastfeeding goals can be met.”

For more information about the IBCLC Care Award program, contact IBLCE at award@iblce.org.


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