ROCKPORT— Pen Bay Birth Center has been recognized with an international award for excellence in lactation care.
The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) honored the PBMC Birth Center with the IBCLC Care Award, which recognizes hospitals, birthing facilities, birthing services, and community-based health agencies that hire staff certified as lactation consultants and have a dedicated lactation support program.
The award comes as PBMC and Waldo County General Hospital prepare to mark National Breastfeeding Month in August. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfed babies have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The PBMC Birth Center has four lactation consultants, including the department’s director and manager. With a focus on preventative care, lactation consultants are available during a woman’s pregnancy to assess the mother and provide information on how to successfully initiate breastfeeding. After the baby is born, they help mothers overcome breastfeeding challenges and continue to support them as their baby grows.
Lactation consultants also help mothers returning to work or school and those in unusual situations such as breastfeeding more than one baby and nursing a sick or premature infants. They also train other nurses to manage basic breastfeeding care.
In support of breastfeeding mothers, PBMC and Waldo County General Hospital both offer a donor milk program of the Mother’s Milk Banking Association of North America. Donor milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants, and it is often used as a bridge to help mother’s reach their breastfeeding goals. Modeled after blood donor programs, the donor milk program collects milk from mothers who choose to donate their milk. The milk is screened, pasteurized and tested before it is then dispensed to families who choose to use donor milk.
For more information about the PBMC lactation program, the donor milk program and other women’s health care provided by PBMC, please call 301-8900 or go to pbmc.org. For information about these programs at WCGH, please call 505-4140 or go to wcgh.org.
Pen Bay Medical Center
Pen Bay Medical Center is part of MaineHealth, a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,600 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With more than 19,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. For more information, please visit pbmc.org.