While celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Month as a way to educate about the healthy lifestyle choice, The Mercy Health Birth Center at the Saint Mary’s Campus provides support for breastfeeding mothers and babies year round.
The efforts have proven effective. Since December 2011, the number of exclusively breastfed babies has increased from 50% at time of discharge to 64% in June 2013.
Many mothers face obstacles to breastfeeding: cultural and social constraints, or they may lack confidence or information about breastfeeding. The birth center recognizes each mother’s challenges and works to educate and inform her about the health benefits and the mechanics of breastfeeding in a variety of ways. New mothers can receive an inpatient consult from a certified lactation consultant, whose demand has increased in the past year by 63%, from 1,141 consultations to new mothers to 1,824 consultations.