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Adventist Health Welcomes Breastfeeding Mothers


CENTRAL VALLEY – August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month – a time to empower women to commit to breastfeeding. One way Adventist Health / Central Valley Network is doing just that is by offering breastfeeding mothers secure rooms to pump milk.

In September 2014, the organization’s Experience Design team began working with managers at Adventist Medical Centers in Hanford, Selma and Reedley, and at Central Valley General Hospital, Central Valley Network Support Services and Community Care sites to identify designated private spaces for working moms and community members.

“Our value of Loving Family inspires us to create an easy transition for a mom returning to work,” says Paula Silva, Experience Producer for the network. “Our goal is to make it easier for moms to have a place to pump milk and store the milk safely.”

The lactation rooms feature a refrigerator, storage cabinet, changing station and a hospital-grade glider chair with a foot rest. Many of the rooms, including the one at the Family Birth Center at Adventist Medical Center - Reedley, are private.

“I enjoy using the room at the Business Education Center in Hanford,” says Vanessa Avina, network employee. “Having the private space allows me to relax and keep up my milk supply. I’m a strong believer in breastfeeding, and now that I can pump at work, my daughter can be exclusively breastfed.”

Items in two of the rooms in Selma and Reedley were funded by grants obtained through First 5 Fresno County.

Processes were also added in the network’s Human Resources department to educate moms before they go on maternity leave about the benefits of breastfeeding and the space available when they return to work. The moms also receive a door hanger they can place outside the door to indicate someone is pumping inside the room and a special bag that includes milk storage, icepacks and coupons.

In addition to these efforts, both Central Valley General Hospital and the Family Birth Center at Adventist Medical Center – Reedley, are working to obtain their baby-friendly designation by 2016.

A baby-friendly designation is awarded to hospitals that implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.