UVA Children’s Hospital honored for supporting breastfeeding
University of Virginia Children’s Hospital has earned an international award for its support of breastfeeding mothers. UVA received the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC) Care Award for its work to promote breastfeeding.
According to the IBCLC, healthcare centers earn the award by:
- Providing breastfeeding training for medical staff that cares for new families.
- Offering a lactation program at least five days a week.
- Employing staff members who have earned IBCLC certification.
- Completing activities that protect and support breastfeeding, such as placing newborns skin to skin with their mothers immediately after birth. This promotes early breastfeeding and establishment of milk supply.
“We aim to provide a high level of breastfeeding support and education both to our families and to our care team,” said Joyce A. Thompson, patient care service manager for inpatient women’s services at UVA. “More than three-quarters of new mothers in the U.S. are deciding to breastfeed, and we want to help mothers who choose to breastfeed be successful.”
UVA Children’s Hospital’s Breastfeeding Medicine program includes lactation consultants, pediatricians and nutritionists. Support is available seven days a week, and the program provides both inpatient and outpatient assistance for new mothers. A lactation consultant is available to visit with each new mother after delivery as well as provide support to all mothers and newborns facing breastfeeding challenges.
After families leave the hospital, lactation consultants provide follow-up phone calls for additional support. A breastfeeding medicine outpatient clinic is open weekdays at the Battle Building to help mother and babies with breastfeeding issues – such as help with pumping and breastfeeding when returning to work – along with education on the benefits of breastfeeding.