August is World Breastfeeding Month, a time when the world celebrates how breastfeeding contributes to the health of mothers and babies in every country, including well-resourced countries.
The theme of this year’s celebration is SUSTAINABILITY and how breastfeeding links to Sustainability Development Goals, like reduction of poverty, reducing inequalities, zero hunger and sustainable cities and communities.
A Commitment to Supporting Breastfeeding
At The UVM Medical Center, we have committed to sustaining strong lactation support to the many families we serve here, whether it is the 90 percent of women who have already chosen to breastfeed, or breastfeeding women and children who are sometimes admitted for other reasons.
Access to Lactation Consultants
Our Mother-Baby Unit offers families access to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants during their stay. All new nursing staff in Maternity have 16 hours of clinical and classroom training in breastfeeding so that every nurse may provide great breastfeeding support.
Partnership With WIC
We have partnered with the Vermont Department of Public Health to have WIC breastfeeding peer counselors available at times on the Mother Baby unit to see their clients in hospital. The last statistics for WIC show that our Chittenden County has the highest breastfeeding rate in the state!
Donor Human Milk
In order to help our families meet their own goals of exclusive breastfeeding, “the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development,” The UVM Medical Center is working toward having donor human milk available for the uncommon event in which there is a medical reason to supplement an infant temporarily until the mother’s own milk supply increases.
Insurance plans for staff at The UVM Medical Center provide coverage for families to have access to IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) in their home as well as a high-quality double electric breast pump and a policy that supports our staff to have the time and a safe place to pump when they return to work.
In short, The UVM Medical Center is happy to partner with our community in celebrating World Breastfeeding Month EVERY DAY !
Be sure to visit the “Breastfeeding Standee” and information on breastfeeding support in the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at our main campus.
Patrice DeMarco, RN, IBCLC, is a lactation consultant in Obstetrics and Midwifery at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont.