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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Designation Awarded to Good Samaritan Hospital

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SUFFERN, N.Y. (August 16, 2018) – Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), joined a growing number of businesses in Rockland County to become a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite as designated by the Rockland County Department of Health's Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program.

To be designated a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite, Good Samaritan Hospital was required to create a written breastfeeding friendly policy, offer a private space other than a bathroom where a mother could pump milk and offer support and information to mothers who have chosen to continue to breastfeed when they returned back to work.

Celebrating at the Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite ceremony are (l-r): Maria Cecilia Mosquera, MD, MPH, RCDOH; Lauire Messenger, RCDOH; Patricia Ruppert, MD, Commissioner, RCDOH; Aney Paul, Deputy Majority Leader, Legislature of Rockland County; Mary Leahy, MD, CEO, Bon Secours Charity Health System; Susan Sippel, RN, Administrative Director of Maternity, Good Samaritan Hospital; Meg Moore, Maternity Consultant, Good Samaritan Hospital; and Maria Rea and Eve Rosenstock, Lactation Consultants, Good Samaritan Hospital.

The hospital, which employs more than 1,400 female staff, offers a designated Employee Lactation Room complete with a breast pump that employees can use, breastfeeding-related education materials and breastfeeding-centered artwork to help a mother feel more comfortable and relaxed while using the room.

Employee Lactation Room at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Breastfeeding-friendly employers who proactively support employees who choose to breastfeed their infants when they return to work have seen many positive impacts to a business’s bottom line. Employers that provide lactation support services report higher employee retention, lower absences, higher morale and greater overall productivity in their workforce.

Patricia Ruppert, MD, Commissioner, RCDOH, Aney Paul, Deputy Majority Leader, Legislature of Rockland County, and Laurie Messenger in the Employee Lactation Room at Good Samaritan Hospital.

“We want our employees who are new mothers to know that we support their decision to continue breastfeeding when they return to work,” said Maria Rea, RN, BSN, IBCLC, Lactation Consultant at Good Samaritan Hospital. “Breastfeeding is the foundation of good health and it is beneficial to provide breast milk exclusively for the first six months of an infant’s life.”

The benefits of breastfeeding are endless for both mother and child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that breastfeeding provides essential nutrients to an infant, helps protect against childhood illnesses and lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some benefits for the mother include: a decreased risk of postpartum depression, the production of naturally soothing hormones, such as oxytocin, which helps reduce stress and a lower risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Good Samaritan Hospital promotes breastfeeding by providing education to new mothers on its benefits and by also providing support and resources to mothers looking for breastfeeding guidance once they leave the hospital. The designation was awarded during Breastfeeding Awareness Month, which runs the entire month of August.

The Good Samaritan Family Birthing Center is the premier birthing center in the region, with more than 3,000 births anticipated this year. The Center was recently the recipient of the 2018 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award and has received a five-star rating for Vaginal Delivery from Healthgrades, the leading online resource for health information, for four years in a row. The Center offers a 10-bed Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that can safely care for babies born at 32 weeks or older who weigh over three pounds. It has a close affiliation with the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, so babies in need of more advanced care can be seamlessly transferred there. This nursery cares for babies with every type of medical issue in a family-oriented, professional environment. And if necessary, mothers identified as high- risk can also be transferred to Westchester Medical Center.

For additional questions or information, please call Susan Sippel, MHSA, RN, Administrative Director, Maternity, at (845) 368-5892.