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Published on March 02, 2020

SRMC Maternal Child Health focuses on breastfeeding for National Nutrition Month

Baby holding adult's hand

Because March is National Nutrition Month, Southeastern Regional Medical Center’s Maternal Child Health (MCH) unit is reminding the public that the best nutrition for babies is found through breastfeeding.

Southeastern Health (SeHealth) is part of the Enrich Carolinas Breastfeeding Initiative, which aims to improve maternity care and breastfeeding rates in underserved communities in the Carolinas. As part of that initiative, most of SRMC’s MCH nurses have completed 20 hours of didactic online coursework through the University of Virginia and five hours of clinical time with international board-certified lactation consultants to further develop their breastfeeding education skills. All of the unit’s nurses are expected to complete the training by April 30. Also, all of the MCH providers will complete three hours of online education.

“This training will help us to better sever the nutritional needs of the smallest members of our community,” said SRMC MCH Manager Matilda Cooper. “Not only are we providing women with breastfeeding support during their hospital stay, we are also working to educate women before their babies are born about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to receive support to breastfeed successfully through breastfeeding classes with expectant moms.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months with continued appropriate complementary foods for one year or longer. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2018 Breastfeeding Report Card, only 27 percent of infants in North Carolina are exclusively breastfeeding through six months.