Mercedes Thomas MSN, RN – Lactation and Infant Mortality: The Nurse’s Role in Supporting Breastfeeding Families
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Nurses have been consistently voted the most trustworthy profession for 18 consecutive years, making their connections with patients more unique than any other healthcare team member. Empathy, compassion, and critical thinking skills are always at the forefront in nursing, but what about when that isn’t enough to move the needle? In the United States, infant mortality rates are dismal, and statistics show that black and indigenous infants are disproportionately affected.
Utilizing nurses on the frontlines of maternity, labor & delivery, and postpartum units to support breastfeeding families in the critical hours and days following childbirth is one piece in the complex infant mortality puzzle. Studies have pointed to human milk as a solution that is low to no cost and nutritious for both preterm and full-term infants. However, many nurses, even those with advanced degrees, express that they feel unprepared to help breastfeeding families in a meaningful way.
This webinar will give attendees an overview of the current trends in infant mortality and lactation. Also, taking a dive deeper into the health disparities that exist and the high stakes involved for families who lack resources and support. At the conclusion, attendees should feel empowered with additional knowledge on the importance of breastmilk and resources in their “maternal-infant health toolbox” to help better support patients in the hospital or community setting.
Mercedes Thomas, MSN, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC is a consultant, board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She is also the author of “What in the Baby?!?: The Modern Mama’s Guide to Confidently Caring for Your Baby and Surviving the Postpartum Period,” a book written to help expectant and new mothers transition into the new normal of parenthood. Her book will be released in Winter 2021.
As the founder of Thomas Health Education and Consulting, she teaches infant education and breastfeeding classes to families to help them simplify the first year of parenthood in addition to lactation services. She also works with healthcare professionals and organizations looking for assistance with patient education, boosting patient satisfaction, or content creation focused on infant care, pediatrics, lactation, and postpartum. Mercedes was also named the 2020 Washington Parent Pick in the category of breastfeeding support.
With over 12 years of working in both the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and inpatient and outpatient pediatrics, Mercedes’ mission is to combine her nursing expertise with her experiences as a mom to provide evidence-based education to families and reduce healthcare disparities. She also serves on several national committees to improve infant feeding practices and advocate for access to equitable quality healthcare.
Download a sneak peek of Mercedes’ book, What In The Baby?!? CLICK HERE
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