Pen Bay Medical Center’s Birth Center has been honored with the IBCLC Care Award by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners and International Lactation Consultant Association. Pen Bay is the only healthcare facility in Maine to receive this distinguished award this year and one of three in northern New England (the other two facilities are located in New Hampshire).
The IBCLC Care Award is a special recognition given to Hospital-based facilities and community based agencies that staff an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) as part of the care team serving new families. To be eligible, the facility must have a currently certified IBCLC on staff, a professional lactation support program available five-to-seven days a week, evidence of having completed a breastfeeding or lactation consultant promotion/support project and breastfeeding training for staff within the last two years. Pen Bay has seven lactation consultants (six have received international board certification by the IBCLE).
“I am so proud of our lactation team,” commented Kathleen Hastings, RN, IBCLC, Nurse manager of Women’s Health & Birth Center, who went on to say, “This is not an easy award to achieve and requires that the lactation team put evidence-based initiatives in place to help new moms achieve their desire to breastfeed.” Hastings also shared that the award is a reflection of how well the nursing team works together. “Each of the Birth Center nurses are knowledgeable about breastfeeding and can provide education and support for mothers desiring to breastfeed.”
According to International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Lynn Tauss, RN, IBCLC, who leads the lactation team, “I am honored that Pen Bay was given the IBCLC Care Award. We’ve put several new practices in place.” One of these initiatives, Skin to Skin, encourages mothers to have skin-to-skin contact with their baby in the first hour after delivery. The delivery team is now helping this happen, even if a mother has to have a cesarean birth in the operating room. Research has shown this facilitates the establishment of breastfeeding. This year, our unit has also teamed up with Pen Bay Women’s Health to provide Nurture Me, a wellness course that is free of charge to all women who will be delivering at Pen Bay. The goal of this collaboration is to provide information to maximize both the mother and baby’s health and adjustment to becoming a family.
For register for a Nurture Me class, contact the Picker Family Resource Center at 596-8950.
To find a certified International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at a recognized hospital, birthing facility, birthing service, or community-based health agency in your area, visit www.ibclccare.org/directory.html.