The International Doula Institute is a US based globally recognized training and certification organization. At the end of 2023, IDI was able to partner with New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical (NYPH) to provide dozens of staff members with lactation education.
IDI’s Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC) certification provides 45-hours of lactation specific education. IDI is also approved by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE) for lactation specific education required for those interested in becoming an IBCLC in the future.
With dozens of nurses, midwives, and physician assistants currently training to become CBCs, NYPH is working towards improving lactation support for their maternity patients.
What is a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor?
A Certified Breastfeeding Counselor has 45 hours of lactation related education. CBCs provide families with lactation education and support. For the nurses, midwives, and physician assistants at NYPH, completing their CBC will aid in helping families with breastfeeding initiation.
CBCs educate and support families in:
- Immediate breastfeeding initiation
- Understanding the golden hour and early breastfeeding
- Using a breast pump
- Expected latching in healthy infants.
- Navigating common breastfeeding initiation and duration questions and concerns
- Evidenced based feeding practices.
- Red flags for needing referral to an IBCLC or physician.
Many hospitals, government bodies, and even the World Health Organization recognize breastfeeding initiation rates as an important measurement. In the US, hospital breastfeeding initiation rates vary greatly.
Breastfeeding Rates – A Public Health Concern
When assessing a hospital, city, state, or even a country, maternal child health statistics are one measurement used to assess the overall wellbeing of an area. Higher rates of morbidity and mortality show concerns. While lower rates of morbidity and mortality show an area has better overall health.
Unfortunately, the US has poor overall maternal infant mortality and morbidity rates for a developed nation. The US even has poor rates when compared to developing nations too. One way to improve maternal and infant morbidity and mortality is to increase breastfeeding rates. Research shows breastfeeding rates are an important part of overall population level health.
According to News Medical:
“Breastfeeding is recognized by the World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, and other authorities as the preferred normative nutrition for infants, both recommending that families breastfeed their infants exclusively for 6 months, continuing with the addition of complementary foods for at least the first 2 years of life.
“These organizations consider breastfeeding a public health imperative with many short- and long-term improved health outcomes for both mother and child, including significant reductions in all-cause infant mortality and specific protection against sudden infant death syndrome and necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.
“Despite these recommendations, the rates for breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, and continuation in the US do not meet breastfeeding goals, especially in certain racial and ethnic populations, and in some geographic regions.”
By partnering with IDI, New York Presbyterian Hospitals’ Regional Perinatal Center is working towards improving breastfeeding rates within their patient population. Research supports evidenced-based lactation support as an important part of overall breastfeeding rates.
New York Presbyterian Hospital Regional Perinatal Center
According to NYPH website, “A Regional Perinatal Center is designated by the New York State Department of Health as a Level 4 hospital that serves a specific geographic region and provides all aspects of obstetrics and neonatal services, including those for high-risk mothers and babies.”
One of their major goals is to promote access to appropriate levels of quality health care to pregnant women, newborns, and postpartum women.
With a few NYPH staff already Certified Breastfeeding Counselors, and with dozens more enrolled in the course, they are meeting part of that goal through adequate lactation education and support.
The International Doula Institute is excited to continue to work with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. By aiding in quality, evidenced-based, and recognized lactation education, IDI is a committed partner in supporting hospitals in meeting their goals for improved patient outcomes.