Breastfeeding Promotion Awards Announced

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 7:11am

Four Honored at Second Annual Awards Presentation

Four local individuals and organizations will be honored for their efforts to promote breastfeeding in our community. The ceremony is the second annual awards event sponsored by the Madison Breastfeeding Promotion Network.

The event will take place on Wednesday, October 7 at 5:45 p.m. at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa Street in Madison.
"These awards recognize those in our community who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the promotion, protection, and support of the practice of breastfeeding", said Alice Meyer, Public Health Nurse and Co-Chair of the Madison Areas Breastfeeding Promotion Network. "Breastfeeding is widely recognized for improving health outcomes for mothers and babies."

The following Award Recipients will be recognized at the October 7th event:

Jan Raymond
(Breastfeeding Advocate Award)

Jan advocated on behalf of her preterm grand nephew to receive donor human milk, as his mother was and still is critically ill. Jan worked with the baby's medical providers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Ohio Milk Bank and local human milk donors to coordinate and assure that this child receive the banked milk while hospitalized. She worked with the NICU staff about appropriate handling, storage and use of donor milk. She also made a strong but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get the insurance company to cover the costs associated with donor human milk for this baby.

Jan's dedication to this child went further: she provided funding for lab test screenings, storage containers for the donors' use and, she either arranged for the milk delivery or picked up and delivered the donated human milk herself. It is through Jan's actions that her grand nephew, born prematurely at 28 weeks gestation, was given the right food from the start to get him where he is today - a healthy baby! With an extraordinary ability to network and bring people together for a common goal, Jan's efforts with her family and other breastfeeding advocates helped many others to understand the importance of human milk; helped the baby's parents & relatives see the benefits of donor human milk every day, and raised the consciousness of the baby's health care providers, hospital staff and insurance company to better understand the process and importance of providing donor human milk for premature infants.

Rose Marie Bertrand/Small Miracles
(Healthcare Award)

Doulas are trained volunteers, knowledgeable about family centered labor, delivery and postpartum care including breastfeeding initiation. While doulas in Madison had been attending births sporadically as volunteers for years, Rose Marie Bertrand created the Small Miracles organization in 1996 (now a 501(c)3 non-profit since 1998) to assist women unable to pay for a doula, providing a coordinated service delivery system for the community. Rose Marie and other Small Miracles' staff did community outreach to notify them that this volunteer doula service was available. These efforts resulted in Small Miracles serving on average one to three women a month, and twice that since 2007.

As a childbirth educator, birth activist and doula since 1978, Rose Marie spearheaded Small Miracles to systematically recruit and train doulas, and facilitate doula/pregnant family matches. While continuing to provide doula services to individual families, Rose Marie has consistently demonstrated a tremendous commitment to mothers and families requesting a volunteer doula. She is almost always able to find someone within their volunteer group of trained doulas able to meet and offer assistance to pregnant women for their upcoming labor. When necessary, Small Miracles has always been able to locate a doula able to get to the hospital within an hour and a half to provide emergency labor support.

Proven medical research and anecdotal reports from public health nurses have shown positive outcomes as a result of the dedication of doulas. Increased family satisfaction with the birth experience; greater ease, confidence and therefore enjoyment of the process of learning breastfeeding with their newborn has been demonstrated with doula involvement. The support of a doula allows parents to concentrate on caring for and nurturing their infant which is critical to establishing breastfeeding in the first few weeks of life.

Wingra Family Medical Center
(Breastfeeding Friendly Business)

Wingra Clinic is seen as a model of a comfortable work environment for breastfeeding mothers. Many employees have used the comfortable, welcoming and fully equipped lactation spaces (there are three) provided by Wingra Clinic. The work climate at Wingra is such that mothers are given time in their daily schedules for pumping and/or breastfeeding where all staff totally support the breastfeeding co-worker to establish breastfeeding as the norm. It is expected and understood that women will have pumping breaks and that they will take them.

The breastfeeding support and promotion standards from Wingra extend into their patient population. They provide breastfeeding information and referrals to community resources, in several languages, and are currently in the process of creating a bulletin board depicting women of color, centrally located in the clinic. Several staff at the clinic are involved in teaching residents how to support breastfeeding their patients.

Many employees have been able to successfully breastfeed and provide human milk to their babies for as long as they desired, despite working long hours. Research shows that healthcare workers who are successful in their won breastfeeding experiences are more supportive of their patients' breastfeeding. The effect of Wingra Clinic doctors and other healthcare workers being able to successfully work and breastfeed has far-reaching impacts on the community as a whole.

Dane County Regional Airport
(Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place)

The recent redesign of the Dane County Regional Airport included the addition of three spaces, called "Mother's Lounge" and "Family Lounge" to accommodate breastfeeding women and their families. These fully equipped (comfortable chairs, small tables, a sink for hand washing, a changing table, and an electrical outlet) lounges are extremely welcoming and convenient.

The recognition of these breastfeeding friendly spaces goes beyond local notice. A Sacramento traveler wrote a message to the airport saying, as a nursing mom that was traveling on business without her baby and had already been relegated to breast pumping in toilet stalls at other airports, this was a welcome sight." "If only other airports would take a page from your airport's book!" In addition, this traveler goes on, "my appreciation goes out to the TSA folks manning the security checkpoint when I went through…" "I had a cooler of breast milk and was rather embarrassed and anxious to be taking such unusual cargo through security but they put me at ease and made my passage through security stress-free." Dane County Airport is an asset in establishing breastfeeding as the norm in our community.

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NEWS RELEASE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH MADISON & DANE COUNTY

Contacts: 
  • Alice Meyer, (608) 242-6348 or
  • Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302