Celebrating and Supporting our Breastfeeding Moms at the Breastfeeding Resource Center

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Celebrating and Supporting our Breastfeeding Moms at the Breastfeeding Resource Center

 

Janice McPhelin, IBCLC and Director of Development at Breastfeeding Resource Center (BRC) in Abington, PA is excited to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week with the staff and families at their center. They are hosting an event on Friday, August 7th and expecting to see over 100 families! They will be hosting a free raffle – prizes include a breastpump and gift baskets. There will be free education sessions throughout the day as well as a breastfeeding trivia game and other activities for the whole family to enjoy. They will be serving the families yummy food, milkmakers cookies and refreshments.
The BRC believes breastfeeding is the most important step towards lifelong health. Unfortunately when mothers encounter feeding obstacles, access to help can be difficult to find, especially for the underserved. In 2003, the BRC opened its doors as a community based nonprofit corporation committed to providing expert clinical and educational breastfeeding services to breastfeeding families in the greater Philadelphia region.
The BRC Program is unique; they see a large volume of families from across the region and a significant portion cannot afford to pay full cost for their consultations. They provide direct services to approximately 1600 individuals per year from Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties. Over 30% of these clients are unable to pay full cost for services and take advantage of their sliding scale of payment. Regardless of family income level, a visit to the BRC leads to breastfeeding success. Ninety-two percent of clients credit the BRC with helping them to breastfed longer. Breastfeeding duration is so important because it is directly proportional to an increase in health benefits. Seventy-one percent of BRC clients are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months, which more than double the national average.
The BRC feels there are three essential components for helping mothers to breastfeed successfully. Moms need 1.) expert help in the early post-partum period to mediate problems, 2.) access to ongoing professional guidance and peer support, and 3.) to hear consistent breastfeeding information from all healthcare providers. The BRC has incorporated all three components into their service model: providing direct services, facilitating peer support, and educating other healthcare professionals. Services are catered to client’s individual needs from pregnancy through weaning, including: prenatal consults, problem-solving consults, back-to-work planning, and weight checks. These one-on-one services with an IBCLC are offered on a sliding scale of payment to ensure access for all families. Their relationships with the families continues with free mother-to-mother support group meetings and low cost parenting education sessions. To reach their mission of education, they also provide a variety of professional education programs that reach across the healthcare spectrum to resident physicians, nurses, aspiring IBCLCs, doulas, childbirth educators, and lay counselors.
Janice shared a story with me recently about a mother who was attempting to breastfeed her premie, twin baby girls. When she arrived at the Center, the babies were unable to latch and the mother was almost ready to give up. She had been pumping, so they knew she had enough milk. Janice and her staff offered the mother hands on help and by the time she left the Center that day, both babies were able to latch and successfully breastfeed. Janice said you could see the joy and relief come over the mother as she was able to connect with her baby girls. The Center was also able to donate a twin breastfeeding pillow as well as a bag filled with diapers and extra clothes. We at milkmakers thank you, Janice, and your team for your hands on support and love you show your moms!

The BRC participates in all ways possible to assist women in meeting their breastfeeding goals and educating healthcare professionals and the community on the importance of breastfeeding. Here, our director, Colette and director of development, Jani

(Photo courtesy of Breastfeeding Resource Center (BRC). The BRC participates in all ways possible to assist women in meeting their breastfeeding goals and educating healthcare professionals and the community on the importance of breastfeeding.  Here, their director, Colette and director of development, Janice accept their award for participating in the PRO-LC World Breastfeeding Week contest!)