Leading Lactation Insights - July 2022

Breast anatomy research image

The Leading Lactation Insights newsletter presents the latest breastfeeding topics and clinical practice solutions, addresses coding issues challenging the lactation community, features a lactation service, and announces upcoming webinars and conferences.


Get Ready for 2022’s National Breastfeeding Month

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC


It’s almost that time again . . . to celebrate breastfeeding and to send a message to our health systems, our communities, our country and our world! August is designated as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, a time to examine and promote the importance and benefits of breastfeeding as well as to support and empower all women to achieve their breastfeeding goals. 

Sponsored by the United States Breastfeeding Committee, this year the National Breastfeeding Month Theme is, “Together We Do Great Things”

For more information:
http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/NBM 

Week 1: World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanize action on themes related to breastfeeding, August 1-7 each year. The theme for 2022 is “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”.

The objectives of this year’s Breastfeeding Week are:

  • To Inform people about their role in strengthening the warm chain of support for breastfeeding.
  • To Anchor breastfeeding as part of good nutrition, food security and reduction of inequalities.
  • To Engage with individuals and organizations along the warm chain of support for breastfeeding.
  • To Galvanize action on strengthening capacity of actors and systems for transformational change.

For more information:
https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
https://waba.org.my/wbw/ 
https://www.facebook.com/WABA.WBW/ 
https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/action-folder/?fbclid=IwAR2d9EnvIsfo6O0iNWnXcak4xmaUcim_AvFzQ4cAAW9ZDm6271OlopttbN8 


Week 2: Indigenous Milk Medicine Week August 8-14 is sponsored by the Indigenous Milk Medicine Collective. Formerly known as Native Breastfeeding Week, this celebration has evolved into Indigenous Milk Medicine Week and highlights the Native Breastfeeding experience in all forms through the visibility of personal testimonies, partner experiences, research, articles, barriers, and/or success.

Theme for 2022: TBA

For more information:
https://www.facebook.com/IndigenousMilkMedicineWeek/


Week 3: Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Week 2022 (AANHPI) August 15-22 
The third week of August is designated National Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Breastfeeding Week. The theme for 2022 has not yet been announced, but their page on the US Breastfeeding Committee’s website lists a number of resources, tools and materials which families may find helpful.

For more information:
Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Week (silkstart.com)


Week 4: Black Breastfeeding Week - August 25-31, 2022 Black Breastfeeding Week, founded in 2013, aims to raise awareness of particular challenges facing Black breastfeeding parents. Having a separate week is important to address the disproportionately high Black infant mortality rate, high rates of diet-related disease, the lack of diversity in the lactation field, the unique cultural barriers among Black women, and the lack of breastfeeding support in some Black communities. This will be the tenth year that Black Breastfeeding is being celebrated! The theme for Black Breastfeeding Week 2022 has not yet been announced.

For more information:
https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBreastfeedingWeek 

Reference:
https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/nis_data/results.html



The Importance and Benefits of Human Milk Banking

Presented by Jonathan Bautista
Wednesday, July 20

Deciding When & How Often to Express Human Milk in the Immediate Postpartum Period

Presented by Darlene Silver, MSN, RN, IBCLC
Wednesday, August 17

Human Connection Within Perinatal Palliative Care

Presented by: Billie Winegard, MD & Amanda Butner, BSN, RN
Wednesday, September 14

Last Chance to Access 2021 Global Symposium On-Demand

Advancing Lactation Science to Improve Care ~ More than 1,400 registered attendees from all over the world.

Watch Recording

Recently Recorded Webinars:

Medela Cares – Pump-A-Thon

Medela wants to empower families to support each other. We are kicking off a month-long pump-a-thon and educational campaign to support moms and families who are uniting to help address this national crisis. There are a few ways you can get involved. Click here for more information and to get involved. #MOMSUNITE4MILK

How to Safely Donate and Receive Donated Breast Milk

For those interested in contributing their breast milk or for those who need to access donor human milk, we have written a detailed blog that provides an overview of the process and includes some resources on how to contribute. 

AskTheLC.com

Ask the LC is a consultation with our Board-Certified Lactation Consultant one-on-one via email. Moms can get assistance with breastfeeding questions and concerns, including questions about relactation. This is a free service.

HMBANA Milk Banks

Human Milk Banking Association of North America - HMBANA was founded in 1985. HMBANA mobilizes the healing power of donor milk by accrediting nonprofit milk banks in the US and Canada, and setting international guidelines for pasteurized donor human milk. Click here to find a milk HMBANA member milk bank.

Medela Family App

The award-winning Medela Family app is designed for expecting and breastfeeding families. This free app and email program includes customized support based on a parent’s breastfeeding goals, as well as a feeding/pumping tracker, virtual milk storage, and more! Mom can also get exclusive perks for joining! Click here for more information and to join.

Medela Breastfeeding University™ – All About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding education plays an important role in the duration a mom breastfeeds or provides her breast milk. Breastfeeding University is a collection of online courses and videos designed to help prepare for the experience of breastfeeding. For a limited time, use promo code MCWA2CNS to get complimentary access.

The Expectful App is Scientifically Proven to Increase Milk Volume

In a recent study, it was found that mothers practicing meditation with the Expectful app increased milk production by 223ml (7.5oz) per day - adding 2-3 more feedings daily!

Here at Expectful, one of our goals from the start was to make mindfulness and meditation as normal as taking prenatal vitamins.

Not only because we’ve tried it, but because we have seen first-hand the impact that taking care of a mother’s mental health can have on her well-being — and babies, too. With a mountain of evidence that continues to grow, meditation is proven to come with a multitude of benefits. Regular meditation has been shown to lower cortisol, increase melatonin, and boost dopamine, ultimately leading to less stress, less anxiety, better sleep, and more.

In a study published in the American Journal of Perinatology, researchers confirmed that a meditation and mindfulness practice with the Expectful app may be an effective tool for reducing symptoms of postpartum depression and increasing milk volume.

This is incredibly meaningful to us as advocates of high-quality, accessible maternal care beyond pregnancy and birth.


The Expectful App Can Increase Milk Volume: A Little Background

While breastfeeding and pumping are a primarily physical experience, you’re probably aware that there is also an emotional element behind it. When you are stressed, scared, or anxious, rising levels of certain hormones may dramatically reduce your milk supply.

Considering that you are adjusting to a hundred new things (sleep schedules, feedings, diaper changes, etc.)  and trying to take care of your own healing body, it’s no wonder moms and moms-to-be report feelings of stress. In fact, estimates show that 15% to 21% of pregnant and postpartum women experience PMADs.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders—PMADs—are common, but treatable through various approaches, yet most women will not seek treatment for fear of stigma or negative perception.

Expectful wants to end the stigma. We’re firm believers that no mother should have to sit back in silence and that suffering isn’t a right of passage. That’s why our mission remains the same as when we started: to end the burden of stress mothers have faced alone for decades, help them cope and manage, and to empower them with tools to feel better, healthier, and happier.

And now, we have research that directly points to Expectful as a proven resource to help alleviate postpartum depression symptoms and help reach breastfeeding goals.


The Study on Meditation for Mothers Pumping Breast Milk

It Begins With the Why?

Whether breastfeeding, pumping, or a combination of both, establishing a supply can be difficult for many — even mothers who have breastfed with a previous child may struggle on the next go around. But one set of mothers who face an even more unique challenge when it comes to breastfeeding and pumping, are mothers of preterm babies.

As many NICU moms are sometimes unable to immediately breastfeed, we wondered, can mothers of preterm babies build up a supply while baby is in the NICU? The short answer: yes.

The study reads,

This was a randomized control trial examining the effect of meditation on the breast milk supply of women delivering preterm infants. The primary outcome was mean breast milk volume on the infant's ninth day of life. Secondary outcomes included use of lactation-promoting behaviors, continuation of breastfeeding, and measures of mental health and breastfeeding self-efficacy by validated questionnaires. In addition to the intention to treat analysis, a per protocol analysis examined the association of frequent meditation with these breastfeeding and mental health outcomes.


The Methods

The study followed sixty women over the course of nine days. One group engaged in daily use of a mindfulness-focused meditation app in addition to routine lactation support. The researchers chose the Expectful app as their pillar of support, representing mindfulness apps and what they are positioned to offer users.


The Results

Breast milk production was similar in mothers practicing meditation compared to those receiving routine lactation support. For women engaging in frequent mediation, there may be an effect in establishing breast milk supply and reduction of depression symptoms.

More specifically, moms who meditated while pumping:

  • Increased milk production by 223ml (7.5oz) per day - that adds up to 2-3 more bottles/feedings of pumped breast milk for a newborn!
  • Had more frequent + consistent pumping.
  • Increased skin-to-skin bonding 100%.
  • Saw a reduction in symptoms of postpartum depression.


Expectful is a Proven Way to Increase Milk Volume

At Expectful, mindfulness is at the core of what we do. That’s why everything we do is developed in partnership with perinatal experts and backed by research — proven to reduce stress and risk of depression, while supporting better outcomes for your baby.

We want to thank the researchers for trusting our app to be the standard in this study and for bringing this tool to light for so many women who could benefit.

For the full study, click here.


Author: Haley Tardy

Experience: Haley Tardy is an award-winning social media and content marketer with a passion for telehealth. Currently, she serves as the Content Marketing Manager at Expectful: the mental health app for pregnancy, birth, and beyond. With nearly 7-years of experience in the wellness space, plus one busy toddler, Haley hopes to help make high-quality mental health care accessible for all.


Get Ready for 2022’s National Breastfeeding Month

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC


It’s almost that time again . . . to celebrate breastfeeding and to send a message to our health systems, our communities, our country and our world! August is designated as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, a time to examine and promote the importance and benefits of breastfeeding as well as to support and empower all women to achieve their breastfeeding goals. 

Sponsored by the United States Breastfeeding Committee, this year the National Breastfeeding Month Theme is, “Together We Do Great Things”

For more information:
http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/NBM 

Week 1: World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanize action on themes related to breastfeeding, August 1-7 each year. The theme for 2022 is “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”.

The objectives of this year’s Breastfeeding Week are:

  • To Inform people about their role in strengthening the warm chain of support for breastfeeding.
  • To Anchor breastfeeding as part of good nutrition, food security and reduction of inequalities.
  • To Engage with individuals and organizations along the warm chain of support for breastfeeding.
  • To Galvanize action on strengthening capacity of actors and systems for transformational change.

For more information:
https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
https://waba.org.my/wbw/ 
https://www.facebook.com/WABA.WBW/ 
https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/action-folder/?fbclid=IwAR2d9EnvIsfo6O0iNWnXcak4xmaUcim_AvFzQ4cAAW9ZDm6271OlopttbN8 


Week 2: Indigenous Milk Medicine Week August 8-14 is sponsored by the Indigenous Milk Medicine Collective. Formerly known as Native Breastfeeding Week, this celebration has evolved into Indigenous Milk Medicine Week and highlights the Native Breastfeeding experience in all forms through the visibility of personal testimonies, partner experiences, research, articles, barriers, and/or success.

Theme for 2022: TBA

For more information:
https://www.facebook.com/IndigenousMilkMedicineWeek/


Week 3: Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Week 2022 (AANHPI) August 15-22 
The third week of August is designated National Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Breastfeeding Week. The theme for 2022 has not yet been announced, but their page on the US Breastfeeding Committee’s website lists a number of resources, tools and materials which families may find helpful.

For more information:
Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Week (silkstart.com)


Week 4: Black Breastfeeding Week - August 25-31, 2022 Black Breastfeeding Week, founded in 2013, aims to raise awareness of particular challenges facing Black breastfeeding parents. Having a separate week is important to address the disproportionately high Black infant mortality rate, high rates of diet-related disease, the lack of diversity in the lactation field, the unique cultural barriers among Black women, and the lack of breastfeeding support in some Black communities. This will be the tenth year that Black Breastfeeding is being celebrated! The theme for Black Breastfeeding Week 2022 has not yet been announced.

For more information:
https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBreastfeedingWeek 

Reference:
https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/nis_data/results.html



The Importance and Benefits of Human Milk Banking

Presented by Jonathan Bautista
Wednesday, July 20

Deciding When & How Often to Express Human Milk in the Immediate Postpartum Period

Presented by Darlene Silver, MSN, RN, IBCLC
Wednesday, August 17

Human Connection Within Perinatal Palliative Care

Presented by: Billie Winegard, MD & Amanda Butner, BSN, RN
Wednesday, September 14

Last Chance to Access 2021 Global Symposium On-Demand

Advancing Lactation Science to Improve Care ~ More than 1,400 registered attendees from all over the world.

Watch Recording

Recently Recorded Webinars:

Medela Cares – Pump-A-Thon

Medela wants to empower families to support each other. We are kicking off a month-long pump-a-thon and educational campaign to support moms and families who are uniting to help address this national crisis. There are a few ways you can get involved. Click here for more information and to get involved. #MOMSUNITE4MILK

How to Safely Donate and Receive Donated Breast Milk

For those interested in contributing their breast milk or for those who need to access donor human milk, we have written a detailed blog that provides an overview of the process and includes some resources on how to contribute. 

AskTheLC.com

Ask the LC is a consultation with our Board-Certified Lactation Consultant one-on-one via email. Moms can get assistance with breastfeeding questions and concerns, including questions about relactation. This is a free service.

HMBANA Milk Banks

Human Milk Banking Association of North America - HMBANA was founded in 1985. HMBANA mobilizes the healing power of donor milk by accrediting nonprofit milk banks in the US and Canada, and setting international guidelines for pasteurized donor human milk. Click here to find a milk HMBANA member milk bank.

Medela Family App

The award-winning Medela Family app is designed for expecting and breastfeeding families. This free app and email program includes customized support based on a parent’s breastfeeding goals, as well as a feeding/pumping tracker, virtual milk storage, and more! Mom can also get exclusive perks for joining! Click here for more information and to join.

Medela Breastfeeding University™ – All About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding education plays an important role in the duration a mom breastfeeds or provides her breast milk. Breastfeeding University is a collection of online courses and videos designed to help prepare for the experience of breastfeeding. For a limited time, use promo code MCWA2CNS to get complimentary access.

The Expectful App is Scientifically Proven to Increase Milk Volume

In a recent study, it was found that mothers practicing meditation with the Expectful app increased milk production by 223ml (7.5oz) per day - adding 2-3 more feedings daily!

Here at Expectful, one of our goals from the start was to make mindfulness and meditation as normal as taking prenatal vitamins.

Not only because we’ve tried it, but because we have seen first-hand the impact that taking care of a mother’s mental health can have on her well-being — and babies, too. With a mountain of evidence that continues to grow, meditation is proven to come with a multitude of benefits. Regular meditation has been shown to lower cortisol, increase melatonin, and boost dopamine, ultimately leading to less stress, less anxiety, better sleep, and more.

In a study published in the American Journal of Perinatology, researchers confirmed that a meditation and mindfulness practice with the Expectful app may be an effective tool for reducing symptoms of postpartum depression and increasing milk volume.

This is incredibly meaningful to us as advocates of high-quality, accessible maternal care beyond pregnancy and birth.


The Expectful App Can Increase Milk Volume: A Little Background

While breastfeeding and pumping are a primarily physical experience, you’re probably aware that there is also an emotional element behind it. When you are stressed, scared, or anxious, rising levels of certain hormones may dramatically reduce your milk supply.

Considering that you are adjusting to a hundred new things (sleep schedules, feedings, diaper changes, etc.)  and trying to take care of your own healing body, it’s no wonder moms and moms-to-be report feelings of stress. In fact, estimates show that 15% to 21% of pregnant and postpartum women experience PMADs.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders—PMADs—are common, but treatable through various approaches, yet most women will not seek treatment for fear of stigma or negative perception.

Expectful wants to end the stigma. We’re firm believers that no mother should have to sit back in silence and that suffering isn’t a right of passage. That’s why our mission remains the same as when we started: to end the burden of stress mothers have faced alone for decades, help them cope and manage, and to empower them with tools to feel better, healthier, and happier.

And now, we have research that directly points to Expectful as a proven resource to help alleviate postpartum depression symptoms and help reach breastfeeding goals.


The Study on Meditation for Mothers Pumping Breast Milk

It Begins With the Why?

Whether breastfeeding, pumping, or a combination of both, establishing a supply can be difficult for many — even mothers who have breastfed with a previous child may struggle on the next go around. But one set of mothers who face an even more unique challenge when it comes to breastfeeding and pumping, are mothers of preterm babies.

As many NICU moms are sometimes unable to immediately breastfeed, we wondered, can mothers of preterm babies build up a supply while baby is in the NICU? The short answer: yes.

The study reads,

This was a randomized control trial examining the effect of meditation on the breast milk supply of women delivering preterm infants. The primary outcome was mean breast milk volume on the infant's ninth day of life. Secondary outcomes included use of lactation-promoting behaviors, continuation of breastfeeding, and measures of mental health and breastfeeding self-efficacy by validated questionnaires. In addition to the intention to treat analysis, a per protocol analysis examined the association of frequent meditation with these breastfeeding and mental health outcomes.


The Methods

The study followed sixty women over the course of nine days. One group engaged in daily use of a mindfulness-focused meditation app in addition to routine lactation support. The researchers chose the Expectful app as their pillar of support, representing mindfulness apps and what they are positioned to offer users.


The Results

Breast milk production was similar in mothers practicing meditation compared to those receiving routine lactation support. For women engaging in frequent mediation, there may be an effect in establishing breast milk supply and reduction of depression symptoms.

More specifically, moms who meditated while pumping:

  • Increased milk production by 223ml (7.5oz) per day - that adds up to 2-3 more bottles/feedings of pumped breast milk for a newborn!
  • Had more frequent + consistent pumping.
  • Increased skin-to-skin bonding 100%.
  • Saw a reduction in symptoms of postpartum depression.


Expectful is a Proven Way to Increase Milk Volume

At Expectful, mindfulness is at the core of what we do. That’s why everything we do is developed in partnership with perinatal experts and backed by research — proven to reduce stress and risk of depression, while supporting better outcomes for your baby.

We want to thank the researchers for trusting our app to be the standard in this study and for bringing this tool to light for so many women who could benefit.

For the full study, click here.


Author: Haley Tardy

Experience: Haley Tardy is an award-winning social media and content marketer with a passion for telehealth. Currently, she serves as the Content Marketing Manager at Expectful: the mental health app for pregnancy, birth, and beyond. With nearly 7-years of experience in the wellness space, plus one busy toddler, Haley hopes to help make high-quality mental health care accessible for all.



Women’s Preventive Services Initiative – Breastfeeding Services

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC

In 2016, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) launched the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI). This five-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), ACOG brought together a coalition of national health professional organizations and consumer and patient advocates with expertise in women’s health to develop, review, and update recommendations for women’s preventive healthcare services, including the HRSA-sponsored Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines  The guidelines now serve as the basis for insurance coverage with no cost-sharing to patients, and these recommendations help ensure that women receive a comprehensive set of preventive services without having to pay a co-payment, co-insurance or deductible.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends reviewing and updating the guidelines at least every five years. 

In the Recommendations for Well-Woman Care there is a Well-Woman Chart which provides a framework for incorporating preventive health services for women into clinical practice. Recommendations for preventive services for pregnant and postpartum women are also provided in the Well-Woman Chart, which is updated annually.

The section on Breastfeeding Services and Supplies was updated in January of 2022. 


Clinical Recommendations 

ALL pregnant and postpartum women should have access to comprehensive lactation support services during the antenatal, perinatal and postpartum periods. and access to breastfeeding equipment and supplies. The recommendations include, “comprehensive lactation support services (including consultation; counseling; education by clinicians and peer support services; and breastfeeding equipment and supplies) during the antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum periods to optimize the successful initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding equipment and supplies include, but are not limited to, double electric breast pumps (including pump parts and maintenance) and breast milk storage supplies. Access to double electric pumps should be a priority to optimize breastfeeding and should not be predicated on prior failure of a manual pump. Breastfeeding equipment may also include equipment and supplies as clinically indicated to support dyads with breastfeeding difficulties and those who need additional services.”


Implementation Recommendations

“Lactation support services include consultation, counseling and psychosocial support, education, breastfeeding equipment and supplies. Lactation support services should be delivered and provided across the antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum periods to ensure successful preparation, initiation, and continuation of breastfeeding. Lactation support services should be respectful, appropriately patient centered, culturally and linguistically competent, and sensitive to those who are having difficulty with breastfeeding, regardless of the cause. Clinical lactation professionals providing clinical care include, but are not limited to, licensed lactation consultants, the IBCLC®, certified midwives, certified nurse-midwives, certified professional midwives, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physicians. Lactation personnel providing counseling, education or peer support include lactation counselors/breastfeeding educators and peer supporters. Clinical trials of interventions including at least five in-person visits across antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum periods to promote and support breastfeeding showed benefit, but more visits may be required, including psychosocial counseling for breastfeeding.”

The WPSI examines the evidence relative to breastfeeding practices and equipment, and also makes recommendations for further research in this area. Several other WPSI resources are available for download: Well-Woman Chart, Clinical Summary Tables, a Coding Guide and Patient Education Materials. Check out the links below for more information.

Breastfeeding services and supplies women’s preventive services initiative evidence update:

https://www.womenspreventivehealth.org/wp-content/uploads/Evidence-Update-Breastfeeding-2021.pdf

https://www.womenspreventivehealth.org/wp-content/uploads/WPSI-ClinicianSummary-Breastfeeding-051322.pdf 

Institute of Medicine. 2011. Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 




This month we are spotlighting Sandra Gonzales, BSN, RNC, IBCLC


Sandra Gonzales, BSN, RNC, IBCLC is an experienced newborn nurse and lactation consultant residing in the San Antonio, Texas area. Sandra notes that she knew she wanted to be in newborn services since she was a young girl, after seeing a baby family member be hospitalized and feeling inspired after witnessing the attention and care being given to help them return to health. She says, “I instantly knew that was my calling and my clinical rotations in school confirmed my dream.”

Sandra says that, after eleven years of newborn services, she felt pulled to continue expanding her knowledge and professional expertise beyond the norm to see how she could better assist those families needing higher intensity care. She decided to study lactation to stay within the realm of newborn services, while also having the ability to most optimally assist those with longer inpatient lengths of stay. Sandra also draws from her own experience of becoming a mother in 2004 and delivering at 35 weeks after developing HELLP Syndrome – In fact, she says, “it gives you a different outlook at the struggles for those who have difficult, compromised deliveries and breastfeeding complications.”

Currently, Sandra is the dedicated lactation consultant for the NICU at her hospital. In this role, she provides every mom with a one-on-one consultation to discuss their feeding plan for their baby. She sees that lactation support – breastfeeding and pumping – is continued throughout the baby’s hospital stay, assists in discharge preparation, and also ensures appropriate follow-up if and when needed. Among her other responsibilities, Sandra provides staff education and training (both in-house and outreach) and collaborates with other NICU disciplines to achieve their goal of increased breast milk usage in the NICU. She is the Chair of the NICU Breastfeeding Committee, and is also heavily involved in other newborn/women’s services committees and task force groups. Sandra also helps manage her hospital’s “Breast Pump Depot” program, where she helps mothers select and obtain a personal-use double-electric breast pump on the same day. This helps bypass delays in receiving their breast pump due to shipping and handling times while getting a breast pump in their hands right away.

Sandra notes that her hospital receives transports from many areas in South Texas, where there is a significant lack of breastfeeding education and resources. “Many have no prenatal care, so they arrive with no breastfeeding knowledge,” Sandra explains. “Most mothers express that the travel times, lack of support outside of the hospital setting, and the stress of having a baby in the NICU prevent them from being able to keep up the routine needed to be successful.” Luckily, Sandra’s hospital offers lactation services in the newborn and women’s units, as well as Sandra’s dedication to the NICU. As a Baby-Friendly hospital, all staff is trained and educated in lactation and reviews their training annually.

Sandra is proud to share that she has begun to see small improvements in breast milk usage through their program, but believes an even bigger impact could be made with the development of more prenatal programs and classes. 

Outside of her professional commitments, Sandra is a proud basketball mom to her 17-year old son, who plays on a national team. They travel occasionally with his basketball league, which works out well because she loves exploring and experiencing new places with her son and showing him all they have to offer, particularly when it comes to food, history, music, architecture, culture, and land. 

Thank you, Sandra, for all that you do and for your dedication to helping South Texas families ensure their babies get the very best start in life!


Thank you to this issue's contributors!

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC

Nurse-Midwife, Perinatal Education Consultant - Sedona, AZ

Katie McGee, RN, BSN, IBCLC

Education Consultant - Westchester, IL

Kim Colburn, BPC

Medela U.S. Medical Education Specialist

Megan Quinn

Medela U.S. Corporate Communication Specialist

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