Maternity Staff Earn Breastfeeding Counselor Certification
December 28, 2016
Huron, S.D.-Huron Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce Rebecca Jones and Teri Eichstadt, registered nurses who work in HRMC’s maternity unit, have recently achieved Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) designation from the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice, Inc.
HRMC has long supported delivering mothers’ choices when it comes to breastmilk or formula feeding and has offered certified lactation support since 2014. HRMC nursing staff offer bedside assistance with feeding and positioning and can also answer questions about nutrition and newborn feeding. Jones’ and Eichstadt’s certification allows them to continue to support mom and baby after they leave the hospital and mother’s reach their long-term goals.
“We all know of the numerous benefits for both mom and baby and often read that ‘breast is best,’ accompanied by photos of happy moms and babies who are breastfeeding without issue,” said Jones, OB patient experience coordinator. “So when challenges arise with breastfeeding, moms can often internalize this as failure on their part, when in fact, they are going above and beyond to make breastfeeding match the image that is not completely realistic.”
Jones explains this is where breastfeeding support is crucial; assisting moms and babies through their personal challenges to meet their goals and to help all moms understand each breastfeeding experience is unique and issues do not reflect negatively on the mom.
To achieve the CLC designation, Jones and Eichstadt completed a 45-hour classroom, evidence-based lactation management course which included practical skills, theoretical foundations and competency verification.
CLCs understand that breastfeeding decisions are made by the mother and use a counseling approach to provide appropriate support to the mother and her family. They also work in the community to increase breastfeeding rates, advocate for societal change in attitudes and behavior regarding breast feeding, teach breast feeding classes and assist mothers in successfully breastfeeding exclusively and for longer durations.
“Becoming certified was very important to me as I wanted the additional education and training in order to help families in our community to the best of my ability. I knew there was a need in this area for lactation assistance because even though breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, it does not always come naturally,” said Eichstadt. “I believe each mother should get an equal opportunity to breastfeed her child and have the support system to do that. I am happy to be part of the team to help mothers here in the community reach their breastfeeding goals.”
To maintain the certifications, a minimum of 18 hours of continuing education specific to breastfeeding and support is required every three years.
In addition to support during their hospital stay, expectant moms learn the benefits of breastfeeding, proper positioning, newborn feeding cues and how to tell if baby is receiving enough breast milk during Prenatal Classes offered at HRMC. To learn more or register for Prenatal Classes, www.huronregional.org/online-services.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of breastfeeding or would like a presentation to your group about the topic, contact Jones at 605-353-6514.
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