Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Mother’s Corner at Broward General Medical Center Helps New Moms and Their Babies
Ft. Lauderdale - New mothers are told that breast milk is the best source of nourishment and protection against infection for their babies, but for working moms who want to continue to provide breast milk for their babies, pumping can sometimes be a challenge. Thanks to the “Mother’s Corner" at Broward General Medical Center, working moms have a private, quiet place to pump that is equipped with everything they need.
The "Mother’s Corner" was opened in 1995. Broward General was the first hospital in Broward County to establish an area for their employees to pump breast milk for their babies. Since then, it has been used by countless employees, and other area hospitals and businesses have followed suit.
“As a health care organization we felt it was really important to provide an area that enabled our employees to practice what we encourage in our patients,” said Carole Glatter, RN, IBCLC, with the Lactation Center at Broward General Medical Center. “For moms to keep their milk supply up we suggest they pump as often as the baby would normally nurse – so that means every 3-4 hours, depending on the age of the baby.”
The Mother’s Corner is equipped with electric breastpumps, comfortable chairs, tables and a sink and countertop area. There is also a refrigerator where they can store their milk if needed.
“Statistics show that more than 70 percent of mothers start breastfeeding, but only 40 percent of those babies are still breast feeding six months later,” said Glatter. “One of the reasons for that is once moms go back to work, producing enough milk is an issue so they either supplement or start using formula exclusively.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life and continuing for at least the first year.
Broward HealthLine Operator, Aura Encarnacion has a 7 month old daughter, Madisson. She credits having the Mother’s Corner available to her for allowing her to continue breastfeeding and keep Madisson on breast milk.
“I look at a picture of Madisson to help me relax while I pump,” said Aura. “It made going to back work easier since I know that by pumping I am doing something for her.”
Unless they have a private office, moms employed by companies without a Mother’s Corner or similar space resort to pumping in their car, bathroom stalls or closet.
All that is about to change. While twenty-four states (not including Florida) already have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace on the books, the recently passed national health care law states that employers must now provide "reasonable" unpaid breaks to nursing mothers. This allows mothers/employees to express milk in a private location, other than a bathroom.
Mother/employees will be able to express milk for up to one year after their child's birth. Employers of fewer than 50 employees are exempt if the breastfeeding requirements would "impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense."
“We hope that our Mother’s Corner can serve as an example to other companies who don’t currently have an area set aside for new moms to pump,” says Glatter. “Studies have shown that mothers who have access to a space where they can pump comfortably return to work sooner after maternity leave. And, since breastfed babies are statistically healthier than formula-fed infants, their parents spend less time out of work taking care of sick children. Mother's Corners are a win-win for parents, babies and employers.”
Attention Nursing Moms! The Mother’s Corner at BGMC is available to you for a private, quiet place to pump. The Mother’s Corner is located on the 3rd floor maternity center in the south tower opposite the lactation center.
Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world-class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit www.BrowardHealth.org.
Aura Encarnacion and daughter Madisson.