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United Memorial Medical Center promotes breastfeeding adoption

Providing breastfeeding education and consultation to new parents after hospital discharge empowers patients to make the best, appropriate feeding choice for themselves and their child. In 2020, United Memorial Medical Center (a member of Rochester Regional Health) initiated its Lactation Education After Discharge program to support new moms’ breastfeeding efforts.

The LEAD program offers free, one-on-one lactation counseling and education regardless of age, race or socioeconomic status, a 24-hour lactation messaging line and a Babycafe moms can use to access lactation consultant expertise. Additionally, LEAD provides an “Adjustment to Motherhood” peer support group that includes resources for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Starting a new program during the pandemic presented challenges. With the office closed, the program had to meet mothers where they were — at home. LEAD quickly transitioned to virtual care to accommodate that need.

Locally, the hospital partnered with Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; Genesee County Mental Health; Three Little Birds Pediatrics; MOMS Program; and other local pediatricians and mental health professionals. Postpartum Support International supplied resources and a directory for providers that specialize in PMADs.

LEAD reached out to more than 600 new mothers; more than 200 used at least one service offered and about 25% of those moms used a repeated service.

For more information, contact Jadriene Balduf, community health educator, at jbalduf@ummc.org or 585.344.5383.