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Community Living

May 1, 2012

Grady Memorial provides new moms increased emphasis on breast feeding

Grady Memorial Hospital OB nurses and medical staff recently started a new educational course, Breastfeeding: a Continuing Education Program (BCEP).  The program is designed to train those who care for mothers and their babies from conception through the first year of life in the importance of breast feeding.

According to numerous national and international studies, when it comes to feeding babies there is nothing as good as breast milk.  For most full-term healthy babies breast milk is the only food needed for the first six months of life.

Breast milk provides protection from infections by sharing the mother's immunities with the baby, until the baby has a chance to build up an immune system.  According to the U.S. department of Health & Human Services' Office on Women's Health, breast milk contains more than 200 infection-fighting agents that cannot be replicated.

While many Americans know that the best form of nutrition for babies is breast milk, our nation has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the developed world - only 29% of mothers breastfeed their babies at six months postpartum.  Most expectant mothers in our country start out with the intention to breastfeed, however more than half change their minds in the early postpartum period.

Fears and doubts about breastfeeding, the perceived inconvenience, and practical barriers such as returning to work are certainly contributing factors.  Learning more about the added benefits of breastfeeding and the negative consequences associated with not breastfeeding will help mothers and their partners make informed decisions.

“This program of study that Grady staff is undergoing provides current, concise, accurate, evidence-based information on breastfeeding,”said Nancy Boothe, RN, supervisor.  Each of the 11 nurses, physician and physician's assistants who work in the Obstetrics Department are participating in the program and received a instructional book.  The books were provided by Christine Cooper MD with Five Oaks Medical Group, the Grady Memorial Hospital Foundation, OSDH and CDC.”

The study is guided by trainers Marcella Hill, LPN, IBCLC and Jessica Ryans, RN.  The trainers recently attended a seminar to provide them with the information and skills necessary to facilitate the program.

 

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