Brewton, AL - D. W. McMillan Memorial Hospital employees, Meredith Buck and Nicole Pace now certified lactation counselors. Buck and Pace earned their credentials and certification by demonstrating the requisite skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to provide helpful and much needed breastfeeding counseling to families who are considering breastfeeding and have questions or issues during the course of breastfeeding.
Pace has three children of her own and has worked as a registered nurse (RN) for six years in the Women's and Infants unit at D.W. McMillan and Buck has one child and has worked as an RN at D.W. McMillan for three years. Both breastfed their children and hope their personal journey, professional background and training will allow them to provide the best care for the mothers and families in our community.
D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital wants to help educate the community on the benefits of breastfeeding in hopes to increase the desire for mothers to use natural milk to feed their children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding protects against a variety of diseases and conditions in the infant some minor issues such as diarrhea and respiratory tract infection to larger issues like diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkin's disease. Breastfeeding also helps with potential childhood obesity and in addition to baby, it decreases the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in the mother.
"We are excited about the knowledge the two nurses have gained and the impact they can have on our local mothers and babies," said Chris Griffin, hospital administrator. "Our future goals include a lactation suite, one on one counseling, support groups and breastfeeding and prenatal classes."
The hospital hopes to provide prenatal classes in the near future to educate expecting mothers regarding breastfeeding as well as informing expecting fathers how they can best be supportive during this time. Sadly, in many instances the support ends when mothers are discharged from the hospital. The nurses at D.W. McMillan are striving to continue the support throughout the babies' first year by follow-up calls and lactation counseling visits. Buck and Pace are scheduled to lead a Breastfeeding Support Group at the Brewton YMCA this month.
"We believe every mom and baby deserves a chance to breastfeed, to be educated on the process, and to have access to services that provide one-on-one counseling, support, and assistance in their breastfeeding experience," said Pace. "If anyone has questions they can feel free to call D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, Women's and Infants unit @ 251- 809·8124."
About D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital Governed by the Escambia County Healthcare Authority Board of Director, D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital is an acute care hospital that has been a part of the Brewton, Alabama, community for over fifty years. The hospital's facilities include an eight bed intensive care unit; a 24 hour emergency room; general medical, surgical and obstetrical services; and a women & infants unit. In addition, D.W McMillan offers programs and support to area citizens through health education.