Chester County Hospital Lactation Team
The Chester County Hospital Lactation Team
Back Left to Right: Colleen Hurley, RN IBCLC; Michele Quigley, RN, BSN, IBCLC; Tricia Snyder, BSN, RN, IBCLC.
Front Left to Right: Robin Frees, BA IBCLC; Erica Diehl, BS, MS, IBCLC; Jaimee Stoltfus, IBCLC Intern.

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) have recognized Chester County Hospital for excellence in lactation care -- in both 2016 and 2018.

Chester County Hospital received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition for staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® certification (IBCLC®) and for providing a lactation program for breastfeeding families. In addition, the hospital demonstrated that it has recently completed activities that help protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

According to Decalie Brown, President of ILCA, "This recognition highlights the efforts being made by maternity facilities all across the world to help mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding, and to support them in reaching their goals. IBCLC is the leading internationally recognized lactation certification in the world."

Andreja Tekauc Golob, Chair of IBLCE, states, "IBCLC Care Award recipients should be applauded for their efforts to improve maternal and child health by promoting and providing expert lactation care within their community."

Robin B. Frees, BA, BHt, IBCLC, Lactation Consultant and Baby Friendly Co-Coordinator at Chester County Hospital says, "At the hospital, continued efforts to implement evidence-based maternal/infant care also contribute to our goal to become a Baby Friendly Hospital. Our staff is dedicated to providing child-bearing women in our community with exceptional care."

The Baby Friendly Hospital initiative is a global effort to improve the care of pregnant women, mothers and infants by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. The hospital is currently educating staff about Baby Friendly practice changes, as well as adding more prenatal education for parents. "Our goal is that parents have the most current information about optimal infant feeding and can make the best choice for themselves, their babies and their families," Frees says.

IBCLC consultants focus on preventive care, so they are available during pregnancy to assess the mother and provide information on how to successfully initiate breastfeeding. They continue that assistance after the baby is born by helping mothers overcome breastfeeding challenges, providing accurate information and continuing to support them as their baby grows. They assist mothers returning to work or school, help mothers in more unusual situations such as breastfeeding more than one baby or nursing a sick or premature infant, and help train nursing staff to manage basic breastfeeding care.

Brown says that "Breastfeeding rates are on the rise today and with that dramatic increase, the need for trained professionals who can help also increases. Breastfeeding is natural and often works quite well without intervention but there can be complications, risk factors and mothers who need extra support. An IBCLC is the trained expert with clinical skill who works with the entire health care team so that a mother's breastfeeding goals can be met."

For more information about the IBCLC Care Award program, contact IBLCE at award@iblce.org.

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