CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System Recognized for Lactation Care Services

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) have recognized CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System for excellence in lactation care. CHRISTUS St. Michael has received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition for staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® certification (IBCLC®) and providing a lactation program that is available 5-7 days a week for breastfeeding families. In addition, the facility demonstrated that is has provided recent breastfeeding training for medical staff who care for new families, and have recently completed activities that help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. “As a Texas Ten Step facility and now an IBCLC Care Award recipient, CHRISTUS St. Michael strives to improve the health of mothers and babies by encouraging breastfeeding as a preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants,” said Klorisa Withers, RN, BSN, IBCLC, Certified Lactation Consultant with CHRISTUS St. Michael. “Our recognitions validate the efforts being made by our facility to help mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding and to support them in reaching their goals.” According to Decalie Brown, President of ILCA, “IBCLC is the leading internationally recognized lactation certification in the world, and IBCLC certificants are highly skilled in helping mothers with the questions and concerns that can arise. They are also an important part of the overall maternal and child health team by assuring that evidence-based policies and practices are in place that help mothers succeed with breastfeeding.” Tomoko Seo, Chair of IBLCE, echoes those sentiments. “Facilities that receive the IBCLC Care Award are to be commended for improving maternal and child health by making breastfeeding a priority and for taking steps to improve breastfeeding support. An important part of providing excellent breastfeeding care is having expert assistance available when the breastfeeding couple needs it. IBCLC professionals are the health care professionals best suited to provide this clinical help and to help mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals.” IBLCE certificate recipients 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 babies grow. 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. According to womenshealth.gov, breastfeeding protects the baby from illness and lowers the risk of asthma, childhood leukemia, obesity, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and more. Breastfeeding also benefits the mother’s health by lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. For more information on breastfeeding contact one of our Lactation Consultants at 903-614-6202 or go to www.christusstmichael.org.