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MUSC secures public place to nurse babies
It’s hard to deny the
benefits associated with breastfeeding a child during the first year of
life. Public, clean and comfortable places to breastfeed a child
had been denied to many South Carolina women until recent
legislation was enacted on behalf of the MUSC Women & Infant
Services and community partners.
New mom Lee Bruner
cuts the ribbon outside the MUSC Women & Infant Services Nursing
Lounge at Citadel Mall Sept. 4. John Sanders, Children’s Hospital
administrator, reminded attendees just before the ribbon was cut that
MUSC provides excellent care not only for high-risk pregnancies but for
uncomplicated pregnancies as well. Debbie Browning, Perinatal Services
interim director also offered comments about the service and helped to
keep Bruner’s son, Freddie, occupied while she cut the ribbon.
Nursing mothers, who have struggled to find convenient and sanitary
places to breastfeed their children, will now be able to nourish their
children while out and about thanks to the MUSC Women & Infant
Services-sponsored nursing lounge in Citadel Mall, located in West
“This nursing lounge demonstrates MUSC Women & Infant Services
commitment to the women in our community, and to the importance of
continuing to breastfeed during the first year of life,” said Debbie
Browning, R.N., interim director for the department. “It provides a
comfortable and restful area for moms to breastfeed; as well, it
provides educational information and support for the nursing mother.”
Bruner sits in one
of the chairs in the new lounge as MUSC
lactation consultant Jeanne Barreira entertains Freddie. Nursing
mothers, who have struggled to find convenient and sanitary places to
breastfeed their children while in public, now have a location thanks
to the MUSC Women & Infant Services sponsored nursing lounge.
The nursing lounge also provides information about accessing MUSC
lactation consultants should nursing mothers have questions, or simply
need someone to talk to and support their experiences. Well-versed in
many of the problems that nursing mothers may encounter, these
consultants can provide invaluable support.
In addition to partnering with the South Carolina Breast Feeding
Coalition and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental
Control to provide additional information through the lounge, MUSC
Women & Infant Services continues to offer a level of care for
mother and baby unparalleled in the area.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have very specialized services at MUSC.
At our hospital, with the help of maternal-fetal medicine specialists
to care for patients during their pregnancies and neonatologists to
care for the babies needing extra medical attention, we are able to
care for the most complex cases along with the routine,” said Jill
Maudlin, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology. “I believe we’re also unique
because of our approach to the mother-baby unit across our service—as
mothers and their babies will room together unless there is a medical
reason not to do so. We provide the community’s only access to this
specialized care, where all of the mother’s and child’s medical issues
can be addressed in full.”
Indeed, the nursing lounge and the community care it provides are but
one facet to MUSC Women & Infant Services’ mission to provide
excellent care for mothers and children.
“What is special about us is that we offer services for every kind of
patient. We all expect pregnancies to go well and in most cases they
do,” said John Sanders, MUSC Children’s Hospital admin-istrator.
“Sometimes there are challenges, and we have the expertise to take care
of the mother, baby and family no matter what the issue might be.
We provide that secure feeling for comprehensive care. The
Nursing Mother’s Lounge illustrates our focus on providing excellent
care and education to the families of our community.”
In recent years, research and policies set forth by the American
Academy of Pediatrics illuminate the many benefits associated with
breastfeeding children until their first birthday. These include:
- better outcomes for breastfed preemies versus formula-fed
- decreased risk of infectious disease;
- decreased infant mortality rates;
- decreased rates of sudden infant death syndrome during the
first year of life (some studies);
- decreased rates of diabetes;
- decreased risk of various cancers;
And its not just children who benefit from breastfeeding. Mothers who
breastfeed see decreased postpartum bleeding, earlier return to
pre-pregnancy weight, decreased risk of breast cancer and ovarian
cancer, and possibly a decreased risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis
later in life.
- decreased risk of being obese or overweight.
Friday, Sept. 12, 2008
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