The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) have recognized Queen of the Valley Medical Center (QVMC) for excellence in lactation care with the prestigious IBCLC Care Award 2021.
The award comes just in time for World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, which commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed by World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
The IBCLE bestows its award to facilities that create and administer robust lactation programs where International Board of Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) certified nurses’ work. To receive the award, the facility must demonstrate that it has recently completed activities that help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
Sarah Juillerat, MSN, RN C-OB, Director of Obstetric and Neonatal Care, submitted the winning application after expanding the availability of lactation support consultants to patients two-fold and increasing the hospital’s exclusive breastfeeding rates to 81.3%, ranking in the top 25% of California hospitals during the pandemic.
“When many of our patients expressed they needed additional breastfeeding support, we listened and took action. We have doubled the number of hours our lactation consultants are available in the past year,” said Juillerat. “Our lactation experts provide new mothers and families with one-on-one support during those precious first moments together and throughout the breastfeeding journey. We are proud of these highly qualified women and honored to receive this recognition.”
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mothers and babies. From reducing mother’s risk for depression and disease to increasing the baby’s antibodies to fight infection and helping the digestive track develop, breast milk is often referred to as “liquid gold” for its nutritional qualities.
According to Sabeen Adil, MD, IBCLC, and President of ILCA, “IBCLCs work tirelessly in all corners of the globe to help parents provide optimal nutrition to their children. We are proud to recognize some of these IBCLCs through the IBCLC Care Award, which highlights the significant contributions of IBCLCs to improving global health outcomes at the local level.”
The Queen of the Valley nursing team helps mothers to initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth. From showing them how to help their baby latch on to teaching mothers about feeding cues and pumping and storage tips, lactation consultants help mother and baby learn these important skills together.
By collaborating with OB/GYN outpatient clinics to educate families about lactation before the baby is born to providing support at the hospital and easing the transition home through outpatient follow-up, the Queen of the Valley lactation team provides consistent care throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
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