The Lactation Foundation, a WIC (Women, Infants and Children Program) breastfeeding resource and training center, has been recognized for excellence in care by the International Lactation Consultant Association and the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).
The clinic was established by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) WIC Program and the Texas WIC Program in 2010. Its staff includes registered nurses who are certified by the IBLCE. The program was acknowledged for providing breastfeeding training for medical personnel who care for new families and activities that help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
“This recognition highlights the efforts being made by maternity facilities all across the world to help mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding and to support them in reaching their goals,” said Liz Brooks, president of the International Lactation Consultant Association.
One of the recognized programs is the clinical skills training developed for second-year residents in the Department of Pediatrics, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; and the Department of Family and Community Medicine. The program was so successful it has been replicated at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
“The Lactation Foundation is an excellent opportunity to expose physicians in training to the actual clinical concerns of breastfeeding mothers and to impart a basic understanding of how to manage them and where to refer mothers for assistance,” said Dr. Pamela Berens, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and a licensed lactation consultant. “Traditional medical training has either lacked breastfeeding education altogether, or it’s been limited to mostly scientific information about the benefits but not the practical information that patients need.”
The Lactation Foundation also has begun a teleconsulting program for WIC mothers to increase access to breastfeeding resources. The program, developed for areas in Texas that don’t have access to a licensed lactation consultant, includes consent forms, staff training, and standards.
“As the first WIC Program in Texas to receive the IBCLC Care Award, we hope this is just the beginning of a trend to recognize the huge stride the WIC Program has taken over the years to promote and support breastfeeding,” said Karen Gibson, WIC program director. “The Lactation Foundation is a wonderful place for moms to come get the professional help they need to ensure they have a successful breastfeeding experience. The location provides a rare opportunity for medical, nursing, and dietetic students and interns to get hands-on training in the area of breastfeeding care. We couldn’t be more proud of the hard work that our Lactation Consultant staff has done to develop The Lactation Foundation into a premier breastfeeding center.”
For more information or to contact The Lactation Foundation, see www.lactationfoundation.org or Facebook or call 713.839.0527.