I just got home from the AWHONN conference in Orlando. We heard speakers talk about their plans to have an all IBCLC staff on their maternity units. Now that is an exciting idea and what a great benefit for all of the breastfeeding mothers. Expert help, at hand, whenever needed!
Other speakers talked about a mix of skills. Some Breastfeeding Resources Nurses, some IBCLC’s. But these managers recognized that everyone needs to have beyond the basics of lactation management training.
Recommendations from USLCA (and endorsed by AWHONN) have calculated the following recommendations for IBCLC staff:
Tertiary Care Facility (Based on 20% preterm delivery rate) - 1.9 FTEs/1000 deliveries
Hospital with Level II Neonatal Service - 1.6 FTEs/1000 deliveries
Hospital with Level I Neonatal Service - 1.3 FTEs/1000 deliveries
The Joint Commission Accreditation Surveys now include Perinatal Core Measures that every hospital over 1,100 deliveries per year must monitor. Through experience with high preforming hospitals, the Joint Commission believes that hospitals can achieve a 90% exclusive breastfeeding rate. As more and more hospitals adopt the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, they also are challenged to improve exclusive breastfeeding.
The role of the hospital IBCLC is not only to provide care to breastfeeding mothers wherever they are in the hospital (maternity, pediatrics, emergency suite, surgical or medical units), but to train, coach and motivate the rest of the nursing and medical staff. The other key role for the IBCLC is to influence unit policy and procedures. The best way to improve breastfeeding exclusivity is to have an abundance of staff well trained in lactation support.
In order to meet the mandates to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, it is imperative that expert lactation support be readily available during the hospital stay. The best way to achieve this is with an all IBCLC staff!
AWHONN Guidelines for Professional Registered Nurse Staffing for Perinatal Units.2010. p.31
https://manual.jointcommission.org/releases/TJC2013A/PerinatalCare.html. Accessed July 2014.