A Fair Outreach to New Moms
A NorthBay Healthcare contingent focused on new moms and healthy babies joined forces with Solano First 5 at the Solano County Fair to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.
Lactation Support Specialist Cindy Stade, R.N., was joined by Diane Harris, director of the ABC (A Baby’s Coming) Clinic and staff members Maria Escalera and Sylvia Rosell, to reach out to new moms who have an interest in breastfeeding.
During the fair’s run, Aug. 1-5, the BFF Express, an Airstream trailer owned by First 5 Fresno, offered a cool, comfortable location to breastfeed or express milk for new moms.
“The timing is perfect for NorthBay to participate, because it coincides with the opening of our new outpatient lactation clinic,” says Cindy.
The service is based on the NorthBay Medical Center Campus. New moms are scheduled for a lactation consultation within a week after they’re discharged and beyond when needed.
“It’s a chance for us to follow up and answer any questions they might have. A lot of new moms are concerned about milk transfer, sore nipples, engorgement and lactation difficulties,” says Cindy. “We can alleviate their fears and keep them on track.”
The outreach gives Cindy a chance to tell new moms about NorthBay’s weekly breastfeeding support group, which meets at the Women’s Resource Center.
The new service comes on the heels of NorthBay Medical Center selection as one of 90 hospitals across the country to participate in a Best Fed Beginnings program, a first-of-its-kind national effort to significantly improve breastfeeding rates.
“It’s all part of our effort to make our county a more baby-friendly place,” says NorthBay Healthcare Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Richerson. “Budget cuts for local organizations have reduced the number of lactation consultants available. We’re stepping up to fill in the gaps.”
She noted this opportunity at the fair perfectly showcases NorthBay’s commitment.
First 5 Solano is underwriting the rental cost of the BFF Express. Co-hosts Solano County Health and Social Services and Solano Breastfeeding Coalition are helping to coordinate volunteers to staff the site.
The Solano County Board of Supervisors praised the BFF Express at the Fair project, approving a resolution to recognize World Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1-7. The resolution noted that breastfeeding provides the maximum amount of nutrition to babies, results in reduced risk of obesity later in life, improves the baby’s developing immune system, increases babies’ cognitive functioning, promotes mother/child attachment and bonding, improves mothers’ health and reduces days of absence from work for employed parents.
“Breastfeeding has many positive impacts on a child’s development,” said Dana Dean, First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission Chair. “First 5 Solano works to support all parents of young children, but breastfeeding moms could use a little extra help sometimes, particularly on these warm summer days, and the BFF Express offers just that.”
Solano county Fair General Manager Mike Paluszak agrees.
“The Solano County Fair is a family event, and we want to find ways to make the Fair experience a fun, positive one for our families,” he said. “The Express is one way of bringing an additional service to families. It’s a win for everyone.”