Mountainside Hosts “Nurse-In” for New Mothers

July 29, 2011 04:18 AM

All nursing mothers, expectant mothers interested in nursing their infants and their families are invited to Mountainside Hospital for a “Nurse-In” celebrating the benefits of breastfeeding and World Breastfeeding Week.

The event, to be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, August 6 at the Mountainside Hospital Nursing School Living Room, 1 Bay Avenue, Montclair, will feature speakers of interest to new parents, prizes and refreshments. Admission and parking are free.  Advance registration before August 3 is required by calling (973) 429-6964 or e-mailing megan.voytus@mountainsidehosp.com.


With more than 82% of infants born at Mountainside Hospital being exclusively or partially breastfed upon discharge and an exclusive breastfeeding rate of 52%, the Montclair-based hospital ranks as the leader among those that provide maternity services in suburban Essex and Passaic Counties, according to a report compiled by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services and the NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“There is significant evidence that breastfeeding provides both immediate and long-term benefits such as a reduced incidence of gastrointestinal disturbances, strengthening of the immune system and a decreased risk of childhood obesity,” observed Diana Durham, Director of Maternity Services at Mountainside. The hospital’s maternity staff includes two nurses, Laurie Barbalinardo and Tish Buggeln, who have completed a comprehensive training program and certifying examination for lactation consultants and been awarded certification by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), she said.


“The decision whether to breastfeed is a personal one that each new mother must make for herself. However, many look to their doctors and hospitals for advice and information, so it’s important for us to clearly explain its benefits and support those who choose to do so by facilitating breastfeeding within one hour after birth whenever possible,” Durham  said.


The hospital’s nursery staff is trained in a breastfeeding protocol that includes showing mothers how to maintain lactation and pump breast milk when separated from their infants. In addition to bringing newborns to their mothers promptly for breastfeeding, mother and child are allowed to remain together or “room in” the same hospital room around the clock whenever possible.


For infants who require special care in Mountainside’s Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to premature birth, low birth weight and other complications, the hospital’s IBLCE-certified nurses work with their mothers to facilitate breastfeeding. Upon discharge, the certified lactation consultants follow-up with all first-time mothers by phone to smooth the transition from hospital to home. Pump rentals and referrals to local breastfeeding support groups are also provided.


Breastfeeding and infant care resources open to all families
Breastfeeding classes for expectant mothers, as well as other helpful courses designed to prepare parents, grandparents and siblings to care for infants and adjust to changing family dynamics, are held at Mountainside Hospital throughout the year. The classes are open to all area residents.


Specialized neonatal care, convenient community access
About 10% of all newborns require specialized neonatal care. Mountainside Hospital has experienced board-certified neonatologists with impressive credentials available around the clock, seven days a week to attend to infants with special needs. A neonatologist is present at every cesarean birth as a precaution. The hospital’s Level II Neonatal ICU, which is also staffed by specially trained nurses, treats infants for an array of respiratory complications, infections and other conditions that are present at birth or arise in the first month of life. The Mountainside Neonatal ICU is a convenient resource for local families with newborns who require hospitalization.

 

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