Purpose for the Program
Hospitals are encouraged to improve evidence-based practices based on various initiatives, such as the Joint Commission Perinatal Core Measures and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, both of which recognize the value of breast milk. The breastfeeding care management team is a strategy used by lactation consultants to partner with the nursing staff when implementing best breastfeeding care practices in our large health care system. Within the women and children's units, each shift faces different breastfeeding support challenges. What better way to identify these needs than to have nurse champions from each shift, representing each unit serving to educate, advocate, and celebrate on behalf of families and staff?
The breastfeeding care management team, The Crew, uses quality initiatives throughout the women and children's service line to initiate and support breastfeeding related issues. This core group works together with the lactation department in the following ways:
- Gears our facility toward becoming a Baby-Friendly hospital;
- Supports the goals in the Texas 10-Step program;
- Leads the women and children's departments in World Breastfeeding Awareness week;
- Starts mothers pumping for expressed breast milk within 6 hours of infant's birth as indicated;
- Assists mothers in breastfeeding their infants; and
- Identifies solutions related to concerns from parents and/or staff.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
The boot camp training of The Crew team consisted of the learners completing five modules geared toward assisting the mother and infant with breastfeeding support. At the beginning of class, a pre-evaluation and prequestionnaire were completed by attendees. This was repeated a month later to reflect the improvement of skills and knowledge in this core group of nurses.
Implications for Nursing Practice
The breastfeeding care management team is an innovative tactic used to partner the lactation team with the nursing team in supporting breastfeeding within a large hospital. Breast milk and breastfeeding are known to provide many benefits to both the mother and infant. Hospitals can use this plan by implementing a breastfeeding care management team to support families and staff.