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Hudson Valley Hospital Center Ahead of the Curve on Breastfeeding Support

Surgeon General this week urges Hospitals to work to support breastfeeding moms

Cortlandt Manor, NY - (January 24, 2011) – Hudson Valley Hospital Center is the only Hospital and Birthing Center in Westchester and Putnam counties to be recognized for breastfeeding support by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

The accreditation by the IBLC comes at a time when the U.S. Surgeon General has launched a campaign to increase breastfeeding by moms, saying it’s not only healthier for moms and babies, but helps families save on the cost of formula.

''One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect her child and her own self is to breastfeed," U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD,  during a news conference in Washington, D.C. on Jan 20 according to published reports. ''Breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, and breastfeeding for the first six months reduces the risk of later obesity, among other benefits."

Hudson Valley Hospital is one of only seven hospitals and birthing facilities in New York State to be listed by the IBLC in its annual directory. In order to qualify to be listed, hospitals must apply and must meet criteria, which includes hiring currently certified International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and having professional lactation support program available 5-7 days a week. IBLC facilities must also have demonstrated that they provide training for their nursing, medical, and other staff who care for breastfeeding families, and have implemented special projects that promote, protect, and support breastfeeding.

Linda LeMon, a Board Certified lactation consultant at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, said that HVHC is ahead of the curve when it comes to breastfeeding support. "More new mothers are breastfeeding when they leave Hudson Valley Hospital," she said. "In fact, 85% of new moms are breastfeeding when they leave the hospital.  That’s significantly higher than the national average."

Babies who are breast fed have stronger immune systems and fewer ailments such as diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections, and allergic skin disorders. LeMon attributes Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s success to several factors, but pointed to the strong support moms receive in hospital and after they leave, as the main factor.  "The obstetricians, mid-wives, pediatricians and especially the nurses are all big supporters of breastfeeding," she said. "Hudson Valley Hospital Center has a breastfeeding support group that meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. The support group is beneficial for the new moms, many of them are experiencing similar issues. It also offers them a chance to socialize and meet other new moms."

The Hospital also offers prenatal education classes, private consultations, telephone triage and a new class on what to expect for grandmothers. For more information on the programs at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, visit www.hvhc.org.