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LVMC accepted into national CHAMPS Breastfeeding Program

  • Category: Press Release
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Nora Wallace, Public Relations
LVMC accepted into national CHAMPS Breastfeeding Program

Lompoc Valley Medical Center is excited to announce it is the first California hospital accepted into a specialized program to improve the rates of breastfeeding in the community.

The CHAMPS program, or Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices, is a national 3-year program funded by the Centers for Disease Control. It is designed to help hospitals increase exclusive breastfeeding rates, improve maternity care and decrease racial disparities.

LVMC is one of 100 hospitals across the country to enroll in the CHAMPS program. The program provides support via one-on-one coaching, free training for staff and partners, and on-site visits, according to LVMC Lactation Consultant Kayla Dunavan, BS, IBCLC. The program's goal is to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates via implementing hospital practices consistent with the World Health Organization’s “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” according to Dunavan.

Those steps include:

  • Training all healthcare staff and establish ongoing monitoring and data collection.
  • Breastfeeding education for pregnant patients and their families.
  • Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.
  • Support mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties.
  • Unless medically indicated, do not provide breastfed newborns any food or fluids other than breast milk.
  • Enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practice rooming-in 24 hours a day.
  • Support mothers to recognize and respond to their infants’ cues for feeding.
  • Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers.
  • Coordinate discharge so that parents and their infants have timely access to ongoing support and care.

“Decades of research indicate that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and breastfeeding benefits both mothers and babies,” Dunavan said. “The optimal nutrition in breastmilk contributes to reduction in the incidence and severity of diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, respiratory and ear infections, obesity, asthma, and Sudden Infant Death syndrome.”

Lompoc Valley Medical Center has a lactation team that consists of Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), Lactation Educators (CLE), and nursing staff. Support services offered by LVMC include prenatal lactation appointments to prepare expectant moms for breastfeeding; inpatient lactation support to assist mothers in learning how to breastfeed; outpatient one-on-one appointments and a breastfeeding mothers support group.

The CHAMPS program will also help LVMC update its infant feeding policy to comply with new state requirements and will help the hospital decrease racial inequities in vulnerable populations.

LVMC will strengthen collaborative partnerships with pediatricians, OB/GYNs, community groups, and the Public Health Department’s Nutrition Services/WIC program to achieve the breastfeeding goals.