It is estimated that it took 400,000 people to put Neil Armstrong on the moon. There’s magnificent potential in collaboration. Read on to learn how a maternal child health care team collaborates to better serve families.
Last week on Our Milky Way, we visited the idea that change is the only constant. Much has evolved in the realm of maternal child health: infant feeding messaging, breastfeeding and birth practices, policies, and support and laws and legislation to name a few. Although tides are ever turning, collaboration between care providers, families, institutions and communities has endured the test of time and remained an effective and essential tool in improving health outcomes.
Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) maternal child lactation coordinators Dianna Moore, LPN, IBCLC, CLC and Kristine Schiller, RN, ANLC and CCMH Maternal Child Director Josephine LeMaster’s, RNC-OB, MSN, EFM collaborative efforts have allowed their team to flourish and better serve families.
In their lactation program’s infancy, establishing a milk depot in 2015 seemed to be their “easiest and quickest” victory, the team reports. LeMaster attributes that in part to connections with the NICHQ Best Fed Beginnings program in Colorado Springs.
“We were able to connect… for insight on what to do to create buy-in,” LeMaster explains.
LeMaster goes on to share that her grandchild benefited from the establishment of the milk depot. This helped pave the way to donor milk acceptance as a safe alternative to formula.
Equipped with Healthy Children Project’s 20 Hour Course training, Moore has trained not only CCMH staff but extended that training to staff at another institution in Sheridan, Wyo. Moore says this gives staff consistent, baseline knowledge.
The team reports that they’ve received recognition from ACOG for the support offered by CLCs at CCMH.
“ACOG said we are setting a precedent,” LeMaster says.
CCMH connections reach to the WIC program and the Intercommunity Council where they come together to address community needs. The CCMH Maternal Child health team has been asked to collaborate on WIC’s new educational materials.
The CCMH team, WIC, La Leche League (LLL) and other stakeholders have joined efforts to tackle worsening preterm birth rates in Campbell County, as detailed in the March of Dimes report. While Wyoming’s overall preterm birth rate has improved, Campbell County received an F on the report card.
LeMaster explains that maternal smoking causes most of these cases and adds that smoking cessation and breastfeeding education walk hand in hand. They’ve teamed up with local OB and pediatric offices and public health officials to create consistent messaging and parental education.
“We as a state can have major impact if we work together,” she says.
In their own facility, the CCMH maternal child team will move to a new unit at the end of the month when they’ll launch a couple of new programs.
With this space will come a new pumping room for lactating employees. In the past, pumping moms used Moore’s office.
The team will begin handing out breastfeeding-friendly backpacks at discharge in lieu of bags sponsored by formula companies. The new gifts will include a t-shirt, blanket, a magnet with infant feeding specialist contact info, information on how to store breastmilk and a water bottle.
Progress is “slow and steady” in their county, LeMaster says, but they celebrate the wins as they come.