NEW YORK – World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually during the first seven days of August. And, since St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center is on the pathway to becoming a baby-friendly hospital, the Maternity Department proudly supports breastfeeding during the global awareness week, and every day throughout the year.
The Maternity Department hosted an educational breastfeeding awareness lunch on Wednesday, August, 3rd, at the medical center, which was open to all staff, visitors and community members.
What is “baby-friendly”? The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to both encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. St. Catherine of Siena’s Maternity Department is slated to complete the baby-friendly steps for designation in the spring of 2017.
Thanks to the Innocenti Declaration signed in 1990 during the commemorative month of August, by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other supporting organizations—breastfeeding is not only protected and supported globally, but educationally promoted as well. The WHO sustains that “Breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need.”
St. Catherine’s Director of Maternity Services Neila Hernandez, NP, RN, along with Lactation/Perinatal Education Clinical Nurse Specialist Kristin Thayer, MSN, RN, CBC, were both in attendance and welcomed guests offering one-to-one education to all. Also in attendance was International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Jennifer L. Giordano, RN, BSN, IBCLC, who spoke about the importance of breastfeeding and the 2016 World Breast Feeding Week theme, which is about how breastfeeding is a key element to sustainable development—from the start of life and how to respect each other and care for the world we share.
New mother Alison Marie Boniface attended the educational event with her seven month old son, Thomas, who was born at St. Catherine of Siena. She shared, “I read a lot in advance about breastfeeding because I really wanted to do it, and thankfully, I did not have any problems. However, I attended the lactation support groups at St. Catherine because I wanted to be surrounded by other similar mothers, and it ended up helping me stick with it even more.” Alison was happy to share her experience and offered advice for new mothers aspiring to breastfeed their babies. She encourage soon-to-be mothers to educate themselves about breastfeeding, “education is so important and connect with a lactation specialist right away for a smooth transition.”
St. Catherine of Siena’s Maternity Department offers several prenatal and postnatal lactation support groups, for more information on offerings, please call (631) 870-3444.
Pictured Above (L-R): Alison Marie Boniface holding seven month old son, Thomas, Lactation/Perinatal Education Clinical Nurse Specialist Kristin Thayer, MSN, RN, CBC, and St. Catherine’s Director of Maternity Services Neila Hernandez, NP, RN. Press Release by Karla E. Mason. Press Release Made Available by St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center.
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