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USA Health nurses earn international recognition for fourth time for breastfeeding care

The staff at Children’s & Women’s Hospital are dedicated to increasing the bond between a mother and baby through research-backed practices, including breastfeeding, which offers health benefits for moms and infants including lower risks of cancers, diabetes, and other diseases.

Published Aug 15th, 2023

By Casandra Andrews

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.

The recognition 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 International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) care award in recognition of staffing professionals who hold the prestigious 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). Some members of the staff are known as delivery care nurses.

“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
  • 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, and mothers also benefit, as it lowers their risk for certain illnesses including breast and ovarian cancer, Doherty said. Research shows that other benefits for babies include fewer cases of ear infections, asthma, eczema, and gastrointestinal issues.

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