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2011 Press Releases
Mease Countryside and Morton Plant Hospitals Earn Care Award for Commitment to Breastfeeding Support and Education
02/21/2011

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla., (February 21, 2011)¾ Mease Countryside and Morton Plant hospitals received the Care Award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) for offering support and education to breastfeeding mothers.

"We are committed to providing professional lactation support as an integral part of the maternal-child services offered to the community, " said Marcia Albanese, Morton Plant Mease director of women's services. "We believe it is the best start for baby and supporting the new mother is essential for long term breastfeeding."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while 75 percent of U.S. babies start out breastfeeding, only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed at the end of six months. Morton Plant and Mease Countryside offers educational classes for expectant moms to post-delivery and provides weekly support groups for moms nursing infants either at home or in the workplace. "With our support for breastfeeding in place, Morton Plant has increased the percentage of women successfully breastfeeding from 63% in 1991 to 85% in 2010 and Mease Countryside has increased the percentage from 71% in 2009 to 82% in 2010," added Albanese.   

Just last month, Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin issued a "Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding," outlining steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies. Benjamin urges more communities, health care systems and employers to support breastfeeding mothers so babies receive health benefits associated with breastfeeding. 

Women's services at both hospitals support the Surgeon General's Office breastfeeding benefits statement:

  • Breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma.
  • Children who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese.
  • Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

About International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners and International Lactation Consultant Association

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) is a non-profit organization established to develop and administer the certification examination for lactation consultants. The IBLCE examination is the premier, internationally recognized measure of competence in lactation consulting. The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is the professional association for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and other health care professionals who care for breastfeeding families and is a worldwide network of lactation professionals.

About Morton Plant Mease

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals - Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.  

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 195 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.

BayCare's family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital-North, St. Joseph's Women's, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at www.BayCare.org.

Media Contact: Denise Moore, (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager