By: Lauren Macaluso, MD, FAAP, FABM, IBCLC. Breastfeeding Medicine (New Hyde Park, NY)
Did you know an estimated 15 million babies are born too early every year, equaling more than 1 in 10 babies? These infants face significant health challenges including increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious intestinal disease that can be fatal. Human milk provides health benefits for all newborns and is especially important for high risk very low birth weight infants. Human milk has been found to decrease the rate of necrotizing enterocolitis.
Breastfeeding and human milk are the normal standards for infant feeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk states, “The potent benefits of human milk are such that all preterm infants should receive human milk. If mother’s own milk is unavailable despite lactation support, pasteurized donor milk should be used.” Accessibility to donor milk in the U.S. is limited in terms of supply, cost and distribution.
The Allied Foundation is playing an essential role in this process. The Foundation has helped to establish three milk depots for the New York Milk Bank. The New York Milk Bank collects milk from carefully screened donors, pasteurizes it, and distributes it to infants in New York State and the surrounding area. Milk depots are locations where screened mothers can call ahead and drop off milk which is then shipped to the Milk Bank for processing and distribution.
Allied Physicians Group has three milk depot locations. Macaluso Medical in New Hyde Park, Peconic Pediatrics in Riverhead and Kenneth Zatz Pediatrics in Nyack. We are filled with pride as our milk depots have collected a total of 34,579 ounces since inception in February 2016. This equates to roughly 10,479 bottles of 100 ml donor milk going out to hospital NICUs and in need outpatients.
We have found our donors to be filled with pride at drop off and we feel this as well, as we are helping infants to get the best start in life.
On an additional note, congratulations to Allied’s Dr. Lisa Visentin for co-authoring “Breastfeeding: Uncovering Barriers and Offering Solutions”, which was recently published in the journal, Current Opinion in Pediatrics. The Allied Breastfeeding Team is here to help you meet your personal breastfeeding goals.
By: Dr. Lauren G. Macaluso, Breastfeeding Medicine (New Hyde Park, NY)
Happy World Breastfeeding Week! This is the 25th World Breastfeeding Week coordinated by WABA, the World Alliance of Breastfeeding Action. WABA is a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, prevention and support of breastfeeding worldwide. Each year World Breastfeeding Week has a theme and this year the theme is Sustaining Breastfeeding Together. The focus is about working together, forging partnerships, and addressing breastfeeding at all levels.
Breastfeeding encompasses baby, mother, partner, family, community, healthcare, workplace and government. This is a time for all of us to reflect on what we can do as individuals and together to help protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
We at Allied have come together in the greater New York metropolitan area to support breastfeeding mothers and babies. I am proud to be part of Allied Physicians Group as our mission it to provide the highest quality healthcare emphasizing respect, integrity, compassion, humility and empathy. We are working together at several levels to assist breastfeeding mothers, babies and their families.
We have physicians focused in breastfeeding medicine providing office visits covered by insurance. Lactation consultants providing phone, home and office breastfeeding support. Milk depots providing a place where mothers who make more milk than they need for their own baby/babies can drop off their milk to be shipped to the New York Milk Bank after they have become an approved donor.
We take part in group activities within our communities via the American Academy of Pediatrics, Long Island and New York Lactation Consultant Associations, and La Leche League.
We work with our local hospitals, pediatricians, obstetricians, midwives, lactation consultants, breast surgeons, ENTs, oral surgeons, and feeding, physical and occupational therapists for optimal patient care.
We are so proud of the recognition in our community of the importance of successful breastfeeding. Mothers are wanting to exclusively breastfeed and their partners and families are supportive in this journey. We are providing time and place for women to feed their babies or express their breast milk in the workplace.
The Global Big Latch On takes place this week at locations around the world where women gather together to breastfeed and offer peer support. Friends, family and the community join in to promote and support breastfeeding. It is fun and inspirational to attend, so be on the look out to take part and support breastfeeding.
A Roadmap to Improving Support for Breastfeeding Mothers
Washington, DC—Three out of four women in the United States provide their infants with the healthiest start in life by breastfeeding, and today Surgeon General Regina Benjamin called on the entire nation to support the removal of barriers to this important public health behavior. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding is an unprecedented document from the nation’s highest medical source, calling on health care providers, employers, insurers, policymakers, researchers, and the community at large to take 20 concrete action steps to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.
The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) applauds the Call to Action, which is based on the latest evidence about the health, psychosocial, economic, and environmental effects of breastfeeding. The document includes action steps and implementation strategies for six major sectors of society:
- Mothers and their Families: emphasizes the need to educate and inform families about the importance of breastfeeding, and provide the ongoing support mothers need to continue.
- Communities: calls upon the entire community to support breastfeeding mothers, including the provision of peer counseling support, promotion of breastfeeding through community-based organizations and traditional and new media venues, and the removal of commercial barriers to breastfeeding.
- Health Care: urges the health care system to adopt evidence-based practices as outlined in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, provide health professional education and training, ensure access to skilled, professional lactation care services, and increase availability of banked donor milk.
- Employment: calls for paid maternity leave and worksite and child care accommodations that support women when they return to work.
- Research and Surveillance: emphasizes the need for additional research, especially regarding the most effective ways to address disparities and measure the economic impact of breastfeeding, and calls for a national monitoring system.
- Public Health Infrastructure: calls for enhanced national leadership, including creation of a federal interagency workgroup, and increasing the capacity of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and affiliated state coalitions.
According to USBC Chair Robin Stanton, “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding truly paints the landscape of breastfeeding support in the United States, demonstrating a society-wide approach to removing the barriers that make it difficult for many women to succeed. The United States Breastfeeding Committee urges all Americans to be proactive in using these action steps as a springboard to extend support so that mothers throughout the country get the care, help, and encouragement they deserve. USBC looks forward to partnering with both public and private entities on implementation of the action steps.”
For more information on the Call to Action, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov. To receive updates and information from USBC, please consider signing on to support Breastfeeding: A Vision for the Futureat www.usbreastfeeding.org/vision. USBC publications, including an analysis of the barriers to exclusive breastfeeding, can be downloaded from www.usbreastfeeding.org/publications.
USBC is an organization of organizations. Opinions expressed by USBC are not necessarily the position of all member organizations and opinions expressed by USBC member organization representatives are not necessarily the position of USBC.
The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is an independent nonprofit coalition of more than 40 nationally influential professional, educational, and governmental organizations. Representing over a million concerned professionals and the families they serve, USBC and its member organizations share a common mission to improve the Nation’s health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. For more information about USBC, visit www.usbreastfeeding.org.