August 4, 2014

World Breastfeeding Week – Supporting Nursing Moms at Lund

Posted in Employees, Residential tagged , , , , , , at 9:02 am by Lund

August 1st to August 7th is World Breastfeeding Week coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action with the goal to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.   Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF says in support of this event, “Giving all children the best start in life begins with breastfeeding – one of the simplest, smartest and cost effective ways we have of supporting healthy children, stronger families and sustainable growth.”

Lund is working hard to support the moms in our programs who choose to breastfeed by making sure that they have access to the resources, education and equipment that they need in order to be successful at breastfeeding. Jessilyn Dolan, nurse at Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment Center, says, “It has been one of my goals to increase breastfeeding here and to change the culture and face of breastfeeding. I have been doing this by talking about it more, putting up posters, having a weekly support groups and trying to make it the norm. We definitely have more people trying breastfeeding now.”

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One of the posters outside Jessilyn’s office at Glen Road.

Information outlining the many physical benefits for baby of breastfeeding

Information outlining the many physical benefits for baby of breastfeeding

The group that Jessilyn refers to is run by a peer counselor from WIC (a state program that helps young families to eat well and stay healthy) who comes to Glen Road on Monday evenings to provide support, answer questions and provide information about breastfeeding. The group is consistently attended by a number of clients who are active participants. This group is not the only way that women who are breastfeeding or interested in breastfeeding have support at Lund.   Through a grant prepared by a pediatric resident of Lund’s visiting pediatrician, Dr. Molly, Lund was able to acquire five high quality multi user breastpumps. Jessilyn also made an arrangement with WIC to get pumps for moms who want them and secured a freezer dedicated solely to breastmilk. Residential counselors attended a series of six trainings last fall about breastfeeding featuring presentations from local lactation consultants and medical professionals. Each new residential counselor is required to watch a video about breast feeding before they begin working with the moms so that they are more familiar and can be supportive.   Jessilyn openly refers to breastfeeding in her parenting classes without trying to influence moms, “When they bottle feed I tell them to feed one way and then switch because that’s what babies do when breastfeeding. You want both arms to have that reach and both eyes to have that gaze, not just one sided all the time. I encourage all the norms of breastfeeding without discouraging bottle feeding.”   She meets with all the moms and makes sure that they feel informed about all the options and watches a video with them about breastfeeding that is aimed specifically at young moms and teenagers. Jessilyn is striving hard to make breastfeeding an accepted and normal part of the parenting culture at Lund.

 

The green ball on this lanyard is the same size as a newborn's stomach on the first day of life.  Lund staff use this as a teaching tool when talking about colostrum and the benefits of breastfeeding.

The green ball on this lanyard is the same size as a newborn’s stomach on the first day of life. Lund staff use this as a teaching tool when talking about colostrum and the benefits of breastfeeding.

Lund’s residential treatment clients often have complex medical needs due to the effects of substance use and mental health disorders. Jessilyn works with Lund’s Medical Director and the client’s outside medical providers to ensure that moms can access medications that are effective and also allow them to continue to breastfeed, “When the psychiatrist wants to prescribe something, I work with the pediatrician as well to weigh the pros and cons because there is some of the medication that gets though the milk but the benefits can be so much more for the mom then it’s worth that little bit getting through breast milk. We talk to the pediatrician and get their OK on it. You just have to connect everyone around it.”

Collaboration and communication, both amongst the clients’ treatment teams and within the community are key in supporting breastfeeding moms in treatment at Lund. Jessilyn feels that there has been a definite change in the culture around breastfeeding at Lund in the last 18months, “We’ve networked with the community to get more support in here and to increase the breastfeeding culture so it’s more comfortable and is becoming normal for people here.”

Happy World Breastfeeding Week to all our friends and supporters!

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