Telfair BirthPlace to expand lactation training

Jul 7, 2015

Grant recognizes the robust breastfeeding practices already in place at the Telfair BirthPlace and will train even more co-workers to help mothers and babies.

The Telfair BirthPlace at St. Joseph’s/Candler was recognized for being a leader in breastfeeding initiatives and awarded a grant to train more co-workers to eliminate breastfeeding barriers.

The grant comes from the Enhancing Maternity Practices (EMPower) breastfeeding initiative. The Telfair BirthPlace at St. Joseph’s/Candler has long followed the evidence-based practice of encouraging breastfeeding for mothers and newborns.

“All medical staff caring for mothers and babies will receive extensive education in evidence-based practices to support breastfeeding in the hospital,” said Dr. Kathleen McDonald, a neonatologist at the Telfair BirthPlace. “Our goal is to achieve successful breastfeeding and minimize or eliminate breastfeeding barriers.  Under this initiative, a baby is not separated from the mother unless medically necessary and formula and pacifiers are not provided without consent.  In addition, babies will go skin-to-skin with their mother immediately after delivery and will be assisted to have their first breastfeeding within the hour of birth.  All of these steps are important for ensuring families choosing to breastfeed will be successful from the moment their baby comes into this world.” 

The grant will include intensive training on maternity care practices that support breastfeeding.

EMPower is designed to support 100 hospitals in the achievement of Baby-Friendly USA© designation. Hospitals will be selected to participate based on set criteria designed to address issues of equitable access to maternity care that optimally supports mothers to be able to breastfeed.

The Telfair BirthPlace is part of the Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital at St. Joseph’s/Candler, a center of excellence specializing in all aspects of women’s health. The Telfair BirthPlace delivers more than 3,000 babies a year and offers comprehensive support and education for new mothers and families.

St. Joseph’s/Candler is a 714-bed, national Magnet-designated facility for nursing excellence, with a focus on the latest technologies and research. Its comprehensive network includes centers of excellence for oncology, cardiovascular, neurosciences, women’s and children’s services, orthopedics and a variety of other disease specialties. St. Joseph’s Hospital and Candler Hospital are the anchor hospitals for the not-for-profit health system serving 33 counties in southeast Georgia and the South Carolina Low Country. It is the largest and only faith-based institution in the region. For more information, visit

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