Breastfeeding: more accomplishments and moving forward

30.8.18 Diario EL OBSERVADOR

New Breastfeeding Room, birthing workshops and a bigger team benefit our associates and employees who relay their experiences. This week the British Hospital, pioneer in customized work with mothers and babies, inaugurated a Breastfeeding Room, located on the first floor of the main building, which will enable , 24 hours a day, mothers belonging to staff as well as members, to extract and conserve their milk, allowing them to do it in the privacy required for such an intimate moment between mom and baby and rising the opportunities to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. “Being able to reach this is an important achievement. Behind this step there are many Hospital representatives who worked, supported and transmitted considerable knowledge for this to come true” told Cecilia Riccetto, Nursery graduate and promoter of the Breastfeeding area. “I started working at the Hospital in the 90’s and I never imagined this great step that’s now added to others that have been made at the Maternity area since then: an exclusive telephone line available to mothers 24 hours a day, the Breastfeedeing Polyclinic which works from 2010 and receives them to give them support and education during all the period they breastfeed their babies and home visits to high-risk newborns, "she adds. Although the country has taken important steps with laws that support this stage that many women go through, breastfeeding is still a taboo subject. "Uf, and a big problem it is!", agree the three Hospital employees leading this crusade (last year Verónica Mezquita and Cecilia Acosta joined, also Nursery graduates who have been working day by day together with Riccetto in order to expand the team and train all the Nursing staff in the Maternity area). It should be noted that those working in the Maternity´s nursery area, are getting prepared to be able to offer breastfeeding education, as well as supporting the couple during their staying at the Hospital. Today, there are Nursing assistants and Graduate Nurses operating in Maternity with training in Breastfeeding Counselling. "It’s a daily work and the British Hospital has been making progress, fulfilling and submitting to the goals of the Ministry of Public Health, which makes us learn and improve. The incorporation of two colleagues such as the Graduates Mezquita and Acosta to the Breastfeeding area is another very important advance that shows the commitment from the institution, "mentioned Riccetto. Since October of last year, the British Hospital’s Maternity area has the support of a psychologist, who as well as taking part in all the actions that are carried out to improve the mothers´ experience, she means a great pillar for the Nursing team. "We’re Nursery Graduates and, although we’re trained with a very broad vision, there are situations in which we don’t have the techniques to address them and it’s great that we can now derive them, even from pregnancy," says Acosta. Mezquita agrees and adds: "It was a relief because there are situations that exceed us and complicate breastfeeding. And if we can´t treat them as needed, they end up becoming a limitation for the mother and her baby. " "It’s a joint and multidisciplinary work. Mothers usually open up more with the Nursing team than with doctors or with their family and friends. With the contribution of the psychologist there are still more possibilities of opening. And we work for that, to help people and give them tools that support them in daily life, when they leave the hospital, "Riccetto summarizes. And from her experience and vocation of years in Nursing she adds: "It´s also about: who takes care of those who care?" They tell us how their breastfeeding has improved Verónica Trías, mother of Guadalupe and Josefina who´s 2 months old, member of the British Hospital "I was in all the instances of support offered by the Hospital, starting with birth preparation workshops. I also attended to the Breastfeeding Polyclinic. They came to visit me a few days after I gave birth. My experience was impressive. I came from another institution and the British Hospital made the difference. I received very kind treatment and the professionals tried to remember your name and your medical history; there’s an empathy that in other places is more difficult to find, perhaps because of the number of patients. I know that in the Hospital there’s a lot of emphasis on giving importance to each patient, and from the receptionist to the doctors do it. During the hospitalization the Breastfeeding team was always present, visiting, seeing how I was, and giving me advice ... One of my babies rejected breast and went to the Breastfeeding Polyclinic, they gave me tips, all very professional. The serenity transmitted by the team and the closeness helped me a lot; I think that was what made it not a traumatic moment but quite the opposite. I went back home with a lot of tools " Gabriela, 7-month-old Delfina's mom and Hospital employee “I came to the Breastfeeding Policlinic of the Hospital. Cecilia was a big support for me. She used to tell me not to worry, to relax, that it was an intimate moment for my baby and myself; she taught me to massage myself. There’s always a solution, there has to be someone who teaches you. When you are a first-time mom you feel a lot pressure from others, from the environment; everyone’s over you and asking did she latch on? Then the visits are added. And a mom needs peace so that the connection is formed. Something that the Hospital understands and puts into practice.” Cecilia, 21-month-old Mateo’s mom and nurse at the Maternity area “My pregnancy was going well, panned, wanted. Until week 38 when the ultrasound pointed out that the baby was not growing much. A C-section was scheduled. It was as if everything I had planned suddenly crumbled. Mateo weighed 2,100 kg. Luckily, he didn’t need ICU. But breastfeeding didn’t go as planned, not the pink magazine and that I, as a nurse, advised. He was very small, he couldn’t latch on. But one step at a time we ended up succeeding. That changed me, and I tell the moms that the same thing happened to me, to not worry, that they will get through it. And here I received the same support I had given so much”. Virginia, 7-year-old Josefina and 14-month-old Facundo’s mom, employee and member “Transiting maternity here is the best thing that can happen to you, from the link you make with the gynecologist, who in those nine months becomes an accomplice." The moment of delivery was wonderful, and I think it was due to the group of people that was there, the nurses and the doctor. From my point of view, what makes the Hospital different its people, having the 'sweet look' of the nurse, the simple fact that he´s holding your hand warmly already makes the difference”. Breastfeeding Room From this week on, the new Breastfeeding Room in the main building, available 24 hours a day, joins the one located on the ground floor of Morales’ Polyclinic, which operates from 8 am to 8 pm. The brand-new room has, in addition to all the standards required by the Ministry of Public Health, a refrigerator, two comfortable chairs, table, water, soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, informative material available to the mother and above all, silence and privacy. "Mothers need privacy while breastfeeding. We try to free them from the interferences and pressures that many suffer at that moment and support them, providing them with this space" says Ricetto, who adds that this room is also for the staff of the Hospital. "Starting to work is the main reason for early weaning. And generally, mothers don`t have anywhere to do it or work stress causes milk production to begin to decline. As a Hospital and being aware of the importance that breastfeeding implies, we have that in mind" adds Acosta. Birth workshops Since October 2017, the British Hospital has available workshops for birth preparation, aimed at all users of the Hospital, which can be started from the 20th week of pregnancy, which consists of seven theoretical-practical encounters (pregnancy, emotional aspects and legal aspects of pregnancy, entering Maternity, Pre-labor and cesarean section, puerperium, lactation, adaptation and care of the newborn) led by a multidisciplinary team: psychologist, social worker, gynecologists, neonatologists, nursing graduates, dentist and nutritionist, all coordinated by an obstetrician who’s always present. Riccetto says that these workshops were another great achievement that began years ago with the idea of the "Club of Parents" that Dr. Scasso wanted to promote from the origins. "The doctor wanted the hospital to be a meeting place, for parents to communicate with each other, to exchange doubts, fears, meet in corridors and waiting rooms and stay connected even when they left here; so, to be the starting point of a so necessary network at this stage" says Riccetto, satisfied because “this was achieved”. “These are very rich encounters in which we all teach and learn, but at the same time we make it clear that the idea is to demystify and demolish fears, but that the support will be provided once the child is born, when we meet and see how the baby gets along with the mother and father; each case is unique and requires personalized treatment” says Mezquita, from the formal aspect regarding social laws, etc., to the emotional aspects. Continue working Riccetto insists that it’s an “ant work”, that it’s important and comforting to see the evolution that has been made and how much is going to continue advancing, always affirmed in the following shared principles that guide them. Personalized attention “It's not a slogan. For us, breastfeeding is unique and unrepeatable in every woman. We care about empathizing and providing that space for listening and understanding; of observation of the situation of each mother, her family nucleus and other aspects that influence. This requires a time that isn’t possible to achieve anywhere”. Staff training. “Although there have been advances in Uruguay, there’s still a need to delve into breastfeeding. It’s a new issue and we are concerned to base and rely on evidence to tear down uses and traditions around the issue”. Strengthening of the mother. “We care to truly support, not from the momentarily assistance but to “empower” the new mom so that she can manage herself beyond us, when she leaves the hospital and they are together with the father alone with that baby. We try to reinforce them so that they leave with as many tools as possible. " With a broad perspective, Riccetto draws an imaginary timeline in which she celebrates the path traveled, the evolution until today and everything that will come. “What has made me personally strengthened in the issue is the daily work in Maternity. And that dedication that Nursing involves, which is to support the person, or the couple, or that family nucleus, when they’re hospitalized and when they separate from us. It`s something that’s carried within oneself, a vocation to which everything that has been transmitted to us by the people who have marked us in the Hospital is added”.

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